JP2 Lecture: Ewa Thompson “Non-Germanic Central Europe: Can Christian Europe Survive Without It?”  

JP2 Lecture: Ewa Thompson “Non-Germanic Central Europe: Can Christian Europe Survive Without It?”  

On Thursday, April 7, we invite you to the next lecture of the 2021-22 “JP2 Lectures” series, organized by the St. John Paul II Institute of Culture at the Angelicum, which will be given by Prof. Ewa Thompson, Research Professor of Slavic Studies at Rice University in Houston, USA.


The lecture titled “Non-Germanic Central Europe: Can Christian Europe Survive Without It?” will start at 4.30 PM (CET) in Aula 11, at the Angelicum (address: Largo Angelicum, 1, 00184 Roma).


The lecture will begin with an explanation of why the speaker uses the expression “non-Germanic Central Europe” instead of “Eastern Europe.” In her lecture Professor Thompson will state that this last expression gained popularity because it covered “the sins of empires.” She will analyze three events in European history that seem to support this thesis: the debates at the Council of Konstanz concerning attitudes toward peaceful pagans; the battle of Vienna which saved the Austrian empire from being overrun by the Ottomans; and the Polish-Soviet war that directly followed World War 1. She will state that non-Germanic Central Europeans seem to have been excised by philosophers and historians of various empires from the assembly of active agents in Europe and reduced to an inchoate crowd of followers of uncertain provenance. As a result, the history of Europe has been severely distorted and Christianity in Europe has been weakened. The lecturer will then compare the levels of de-Christianization in the Western world with those in non-Germanic Central Europe, and conclude that the second has preserved much of what is lacking in the first. The lecture will conclude with an appeal to learn from the experience and knowledge of non-Germanic Central Europe, to intensify the translations of texts and popularize the learning of non-Germanic Central European languages.


Professor Ewa Thompson – born 1937 in Kowno (now Lithuania). Research Professor of Slavic Studies at Rice University, Houston, USA. Winner of the Literary Award of the Union of Polish Writers Abroad for popularizing Polish culture and literature in the world (2015). Her books and articles are translated into Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, Italian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian and Chinese. Among others she authored books titled: “Imperial Knowledge. Russian Literature and Colonialism” (2000) and “Understanding Russia. Holy Fool in Russian Culture” (1987).

For on-site participants: please register HERE


The lecture will be delivered in English.

The lecture will also be broadcast live:




Please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to take part in the lecture you are required to show a valid Green Pass or a negative test result for coronavirus. We also ask the participants to respect the sanitary procedures and cover their mouth and nose with a mask.



The monthly open “JP2 Lectures” given by scholars from around the world are offered by the St. John Paul II Institute of Culture at the Faculty of Philosophy at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas – the Angelicum in Rome, the Roman Alma Mater of fr. Karol Wojtyła. The guest speakers in the 2021-22 “JP2 Lectures” series are: John, Lord Alderdice, Jean-Luc Marion, George Weigel, Andrea Riccardi, John Milbank, Carl A. Anderson, Ewa Thompson, and Stanisław Grygiel.


The lecturers in 2020-21 were: Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, John Finnis, Bp Rowan Williams, Marek A. Cichocki, John Cavadini, Francois Daguet O.P., Chantal Delsol, Rémi Brague, Renato Cristin, and Dariusz Gawin.


Video recordings of all the previous lectures are available here: