Volume 69, Issue 4, 2021
From the Death to Rebirth of Religion
Evolution of Leszek Kołakowski’s Thought in the Context of the Question: “Who Is Man?”
In his numerous books and articles, Leszek Kołakowski brought up a number of topics in the fields of the history of philosophy and contemporary philosophy. His work offers valuable insights into problems revolving around Karl Marx’s philosophy, social philosophy, and the philosophy of religion, to mention but a few. In all these areas of thought, the Polish philosopher centres his focus on the fundamental question of man. The present paper is aimed at discussing Leszek Kołakowski’s contribution to the philosophical debate on this topic. The evolution of Kołakowski’s views is traced from the Marxist concept of man which, after a certain period, is discarded by the philosopher in favour of a religious concept, to be confronted again with a liberal theory. Kołakowski is not uncritical about any of the conceptions, which testifies to the profound complexity of every attempt to gain insights into the very essence of the human being which, irrespective of the doctrine or perspective taken for interpretation, escapes clear-cut definition. However, despite the lack of unambiguous definitions Kołakowski recognises that the sole point of reference in any attempts to gain an understanding of the human condition in culture is religion.