Happiness, Life, Liberty (A Catholic View)


  • Balázs M. MEZEI Peter Pazmany Catholic University




Life, liberty, happiness, philosophy of revelation, phenomenology, history of ideas, catholicity


Happiness, life and liberty are central terms in the history of philosophy. At the same time, they belong to the core of Christianity. We find these key terms already in the New Testament and we also find that reflections on these terms have defined their meanings in new ways throughout the centuries. I show the way how the original meanings have gradually changed. In contemporary reflections, we find interesting attempts to reform the traditional meanings, in which the influence of the natural sciences and twentieth century philosophies (such as phenomenology, existentialism, Marxism and post-modernism) have proven to be decisive. Christianity-oriented philosophies in contemporary academia, such as those of Michel Henry or Jean-Luc Marion, offer versions of these thoughts. The main defect of the traditional understandings may be seen simply their isolationist approach, that is to say, their approach to consider these terms as unrelated to one another. My own solution finds the common structure in the reality of revelation and considers life, liberty, and happiness as moments only insufficiently grasped by traditional approaches.


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Author Biography

Balázs M. MEZEI, Peter Pazmany Catholic University

Professor and Research Director of Philosophy at Peter Pazmany Catholic University, Hungary. He published 11 book and more than 150 scholarly articles on the philosophy of religion, phenomenology, political philosophy, and literary criticism. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University, Loyola University in Maryland, the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, the Husserl Archives in Leuven, and other institutions. He has been Senior Fulbright Fellow at the University of Notre Dame in 2015. His Radical Revelation, a book on the philosophical notion of revelation is forthcoming with Bloomsbury.


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How to Cite

MEZEI, B. M. (2017). Happiness, Life, Liberty (A Catholic View). WISDOM, 8(1), 49–59. https://doi.org/10.24234/wisdom.v8i1.173