Polish experience of multiculturalism in the interpretation of John Paul II as an inspiration for intercultural education
The inquiry aims at indicating that the interpretation of Polish experience of multiculturalism performed by John Paul II may become an inspiration for intercultural education and comparative pedagogy of religion. This can occur mainly because the issue of particularity and universality, which is considered significant for research into intercultural education, is present in the interpretation of Polish experience of multiculturalism carried out by John Paul II. He combined Polish experience of multiculturalism with his own personal experience which shaped his identity as well as with moral experience and experiencing the Christian faith. For those who share axiological convictions promoted by John Paul II, his interpretation of Polish experience of multiculturalism has become crucial. They can see significant merits of the papal interpretation of the Polish ethos. If this interpretation is granted rightness, it acquires the qualities of an intellectually and morally important point of reference for the axiological and educational sense of Polish experience of multiculturalism. The issues of intercultural education and comparative pedagogy of religion were frequently undertaken by John Paul II. In his book Pamięć i tożsamość. Rozmowy na przełomie tysiącleci /Memory and Identity: Conversations at the Dawn of a Millennium/, in which John Paul II recapitulates his philosophical and theological considerations on culture, his convictions concerning Polish experience of multiculturalisms are also expressed: ‘Polishness is in fact multitude and pluralism, not narrowness and confinement. It seems, however, that this »Jagiellonian« dimension of Polishness [...] ceased to be, unfortunately, something obvious in our times’74. What is essential for intercultural education is the recognition that Polishness is marked by ‘multitude and pluralism, not narrowness and confinement’, because in this way axiological principles of shaping beliefs and attitudes in interpersonal relations are created in the complex situation of multiculturalism.