The achievements of John Paul II in recent years cannot be overstated. Led by this man and his profound contribution to Catholic social thought, the Catholic Church has become the world's single greatest voice for democracy and human rights. Protestants, too, have found in Pope John Paul II a brave and steadfast Christian pastor. Few people, however, know the Pope's background or the philosophy behind his thinking. Written by Rocco Buttiglione, one of the Pope's closest friends and counselors, this volume is the standard work for all who want to understand the philosophical mind of Karol Wojtyla, the man who became Pope John Paul II. Based on an accurate reading of all of Wojtyla's works and of all relevant secondary literature, this English edition of Buttiglione's book provides a complete introduction to the Pope's philosophy and his original contribution to the philosophy of freedom. The early chapters give biographical information on Wojtyla and examine his early philosophical formation. The middle chapters explore in depth two of the Pope's central philosophical and theological conceptions--human love and the acting person. The closing chapters look at Wojtyla's role at the Second Vatican Council, examine his poetic works, and place his thought in dialogue with contemporary philosophy. New to this English edition of Buttiglione's work are a foreword by Michael Novak, an appendix published for the third edition of The Acting Person, and an afterword that updates the book with a survey of secondary literature on the Pope's thought published between 1982 and 1996.