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The Relationship between Mariology and Ecclesiology in the Theological Thinking of John Paul II

Ngah Andrew Kushu-Solii

This work treats of the Phenomenology of Mary and the Church as persons of faith in relation to the Wojtilian phenomenology of the human being as an acting person. According to John Paul II, Mary is an ideal person in/for the Church, and the Church, as a personal communion, has Her as a mirror and concrete evidence of the Church’s call, being and mission. As far as the vocation of the Church is concerned, it will always be far from complete if it is studied, proclaimed or believed in without placing Mary as part of the unavoidable persons and personality in its unfolding. Mary and the Church are related in the mystery of the Church as personal subjects of faith. They owe their being and vocation to the Trinity and have a direct connection with Judaism. Christ is the centre of this relationship and this goes on to highlight ecumenism and also the place of the laity and women in the life of the Church.

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GENERAL INTRODUCTION

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John Paul II (JPII) has been referred to by many as one of the greatest ecclesiologists and mariologists of the last century after Vatican II. This claim is one of the factors which is encouraging us to investigate into the relationship between Mariology and Ecclesiology in his theological thought; a topic which seems to face much criticism and as such needs a lot of clarification of doctrine for the Church today especially in places where Marian piety and doctrine still play an important role in the life of Christians. Mary and the Church define, clarify and explain each other’s roles in the mystery of Salvation in Jesus Christ. This conviction has led the author to attempt, with the teaching of JPII, a research into a relationship which seems controversial in some areas of the Church today. The author’s personal experience of Marian teaching and piety has also suggested this to be a necessary and timely contribution especially for the Church today. The human person is very central to the theological thinking of Karol Woj- tyla. This central place of the human person guides his philosophy, phenome- nology and his understanding of the Church and its raison d’être. His Polish en- vironment coupled with his personal interest and study of Mariology lets him to posit Mary as the ideal person or being in the Church and as a model reflection of the Church’s understanding of the human person. He states the central place of the human person in the being...

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