Prof. Lech Szczucki – Winner of the FNP Prize 2014
Professor Lech Szczucki (b. 1933 in Warsaw) is a historian of philosophy and culture. He conducted research at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw in 1955-2004. An active member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, full member of the Warsaw Scientific Society, member of the Society for the Advancement of Sciences and Arts. The author of several monographs: Marcin Czechowic. Studium z dziejów antytrynitaryzmu polskiego [Marcin Czechowic. A Study from the History of Polish Anti-trinitarianism], 1964; Michał Servet. Wybór pism i dokumentów [Miguel Servet. Selected Writings and Documents], 1967; Myśl filozoficzno-religijna reformacji XVI wieku [Philosophical and Religious Thought of the 16th-century Reformation], 1972; W kręgu myślicieli heretyckich [Among Heretical Thinkers], 1972; Filozofia i myśl społeczna XVI wieku (700 lat myśli polskiej, t. 2) [Philosophy and Social Thought in the 16th Century (700 Years of Polish Thought, vol. 2)], 1978; Nonkonformiści religijni XVI i XVII wieku [Religious Non-conformists of the 16th and 17th Centuries], 1993; Humaniści, heretycy, inkwizytorzy [Humanists, Heretics, Inquisitors], 2006. Former editor of Archiwum Historii Filozofii i Myśli Społecznej, currently a member of the journal’s Programme Council.
Professor Lech Szczucki received the FNP Prize 2014 in the humanities and social sciences for explaining the cultural ties between Central and Western Europe in a monumental edition of the correspondence of Andrzej Dudycz, the 16th-century thinker, religious reformer and diplomat.
Andrzej Dudycz (Andreas Dudith, Andrija Dudić Orehovički, 1533-1589) was a Hungarian-born nobleman of Croatian descent. He arrived in Kraków in 1565 as an ambassador of Emperor Maximilian, King of Bohemia and Hungary. Though a Roman Catholic bishop, he supported the ideas of the Reformation – in Poland he ultimately became a Unitarian. Dudycz pursued a lively correspondence with many leading figures of 16th-century Europe. His letters cover an unusually wide range of topics as well as reflecting his many interests, which included theology, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, philosophy, ancient history and law. Another unique feature of this humanist’s epistolography is its multilingualism; Dudycz wrote his letters in five languages: Italian, Hungarian, German, Polish and Latin.
Professor Lech Szczucki worked on his seven-volume edition of the complete correspondence of Andrzej Dudycz for almost three decades. Completing the project for which he received the FNP Prize required him to collaborate with many researchers from all over Europe – they helped with conducting extensive and comprehensive searches for Dudycz’s manuscripts in European archives. The many languages found in the correspondence also meant inviting a large group of linguists to join in the work. Besides overseeing the whole project, Professor Szczucki’s significant contribution to the edition of Andrzej Dudycz’s correspondence included adding a commentary and writing the introductions to all the volumes, adding footnotes and supplementing the books with extra information. The editing work he performed went far beyond presenting the correspondence and views of the 16th-century humanist, religious thinker and diplomat. The edition also explains the depth and reach of European political and cultural ties as well as showing how ideas affected politics and religion. The work constitutes an enormous contribution to the development of Polish and European humanities, providing keen insights into the thoughts of leading intellectuals in a period of great importance for Europe’s development.