Under the Cross: Polish Catholic Identity in post-Christian Europe

Under the Cross: Polish Catholic Identity in post-Christian Europe

Thursday, 12 March 2015 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Adam Szostkiewicz (Polityka weekly newsmagazine)

Seminar Room, European Studies Centre, 70 Woodstock Road

Adam Szostkiewicz (Polityka weekly newsmagazine)

Dr Mikolaj Kunicki (St. Antony’s College, Oxford University)

Jonathan Luxmoore (freelance journalist and author)


Adam Szostkiewicz is a Polish author, commentator on religion and politics, journalist and translator. He studied Polish language and literature in the early seventies at Jagiellonian University. He was active in the Polish political opposition against the authoritarian rule, joined the Solidarity movement for human and workers’ rights as well as democracy and independence from the USSR. He was imprisoned after Martial law in Poland against Solidarity was imposed by a Military Junta in December 1981. After his release six months later, he remained part of the Solidarity underground. In 1988, he joined Tygodnik Powszechny, a liberal Catholic weekly in Kraków as Political Editor. He was spokesman for the 1990 presidential campaign of Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki. In the early nineties he was a producer in the BBC Polish Section. After the death of the longtime editor of Tygodnik Powszechny, Jerzy Turowicz in 1999, he joined the staff of Polityka weekly news magazine in Warsaw, where he writes about the Roman Catholic Church in Poland and worldwide and other religions in the wider contexts of culture and society, as well as on international relations and literature.  In 2014, President Bronisław Komorowski, for outstanding achievements in the democratic transformation of Poland as well as for his contribution to the development of free media and independent journalism, awarded him the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

Jonathan Luxmoore has been Europe correspondent in Oxford and Warsaw for Catholic News Service (Washington/Rome), Ecumenical News International (Geneva) and The Tablet (London) since 1988, as well as a staff commentator for Polish Radio and freelance writer for newspapers and newsagencies in Europe and the US. He was based in Poland full-time from 1988 to 2001, and his coverage of religious affairs during the transition to democracy in Eastern Europe won five Catholic Press Association awards, and the Silver Award from Worldfest Houston for the ABC TV film „A Time to Build” (ABC and PBS TV 1992).  He read Modern History at the University of Oxford (1976-1979) and studied International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (1986- 1989), and has been a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), the Churches East-West European Relations Network (CEWERN) and the International Editorial Board of the journal, Religion, State and Society.He was also a co-founder in 1996-98 of the Polish chapter of Transparency International, the world’s largest anti-corruption NGO. His books include The Vatican and the Red Flag: The Struggle for the Soul of Eastern Europe (London/New York, 1999) and Rethinking Christendom: Europe’s Struggle for Christianity (Leominster, 2005), and his two-volume study of communist-era religious persecution – The God of the Gulag: Martyrs in an Age of Revolution, and The God of the Gulag: Martyrs in an Age of Secularism – will be published this summer by Gracewing.