The Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations at the Jagiellonian University is one of the few teaching-research units of this type in the world and the only one in Poland. We combine an interdisciplinary approach with practical knowledge of oriental languages (Japanese, Tibetan, Arabic and Hindi) based on the classical traditions of historical and archeological research as well as on the modern multidimensional approach to contemporary cultural phenomena. Our range of research covers religion, ethnicity, literature, sociology, art and pop-culture. Our staff includes scholars from a variety of professions specialising in a wide range of cultural and academic issues. As a result, our students are equipped with a broad comparative knowledge as well as a more profound specialisation in the particular cultural and civilisational fields which are of most interest.
The academic Programme includes courses relating to the main four civilisations of the contemporary world:
- the Western civilisation (Europe and America);
- the Muslim civilisation (the Arab world, Iran, South-East Asia);
- the Confucian civilisation (China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam);
- the Indian civilisation (India, Nepal, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia).
Our study programmes offer a degree in the comparative studies of civilisations (BA and MA) and, since 2011, in Buddhology (BA).
The world of the XXI century is a place where the old geographic barriers collapsed and contact between the representatives of various civilisations became an everyday occurrence. In such a world, the knowledge of other civilisations has lost its exclusive nature and has become a pragmatic matter – the adequate understanding of one's interlocutors, their behavioural patterns, ideals and motivations.
Moreover, this knowledge is indispensable in the understanding of international relations. We are currently living in the age of the "multipolar world" – a world which values more and more the bodies of global peace: China, Japan, India, Iran and Muslim communities. These societies are rooted in completely different cultural traditions, in some respects the exact opposite of the Euro-American civilisational standards.
Prof. Dr. hab. Andrzej Flis
Prof. Dr. hab. Andrzej Flis, the founder of the Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations
Prof. Andrzej Flis (1953-2009) began his academic career in sociology from which he graduated in 1976 having written a thesis on the topic of Karl Marx's holistic and historical explanations. Three years later he graduated from philosophy and defended his thesis, under the supervision of Prof. Zbigniew Kuderowicz, on the ontology of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Whereas philosophy never became his passion, Andrzej Flis devoted much of his time and energy to sociology which became his main field of interest during his doctoral studies under the supervision of Prof. Piotr Sztompka. In 1983 he wrote and defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled The Sociological Conceptions of Man. In 1991 he presented his habilitation thesis and in 2002 has received a professorship in the humanities.
Prof. Andrzej Flis conducted research in a wide variety of subjects: the sociology of culture, theory of civilisations, cultures of the Far East as well as early Christian history (particularly in the Near East and Egypt), the history of European civilisation and its modern transformations. Additionally, he was a devoted academic teacher. His seminars were frequented by the students of the Jagiellonian University, Silesian University of Technology and Academy for the Dramatic Arts, while Flis himself visited practically every continent with his guest lectures.
Prof. Andrzej Flis' life was one of constant search and inquiry - he was never satisfied with simple answers. He finally established the Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations which gathered scholars of various fields who, together with Andrzej Flis, "hunched over the problems of the world".
The selected publications of Prof. Andrzej Flis (in Polish):
2006, The Unintended Consequences of the Macro-Social Acts. The Paradoxes of Westernisation of the Far East, [in:] The Becoming of Society, ed. A. Flis, Krakow.
2005, What did the West Learn from the East in XX Century?, [in:] The Values of the East and the Values of the West. The Meeting of Civilisations, eds. J. Danecki, A. Flis, Krakow.
2004, The Forgotten Brothers. The Dying World of the Near Eastern Christians (with B. Kowalska), Krakow.
2001, Christianity and Europe: Studies from the History of the Western Civilisation, Krakow.
1990, The Antinomies of a Great Vision. A Critique of Marx's Theory of History, Krakow.
1988, The Social Time: Between the Change and Immortality (with S. Kapralski), "Studia socjologiczne", nr 2.
1987, The Interests, Charisma and the Dynamics of Culture (with S. Kapralski), "Studia socjologiczne", No 4.
1984, The Sociology of Knowledge and the Theory of Alienation (with S. Kapralski), "Studia socjologiczne", No 4.
Calendar of Events
1st February 1996
The Institute of Sociology establishes the Laboratory of the Comparative Studies of Civilisations. This date marks the beginning of the comparative studies of civilisations at the Jagiellonian University.
1st February 2000
The Laboratory of the Comparative Civilisation Studies is transformed into the Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations in the Institute of Sociology.
1st October 2000
The Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations introduces a specialisation in the comparative studies of civilisations for students of the Institute of Sociology.
1st October 2001
The Department of Comparative Civilisation Studies initiates the external complementary MA programme in culture studies with a specialisation in the comparative studies of civilisations.
1st October 2004
The Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations opens a regular undergraduate programme in cultural studies with a specialisation in the comparative studies of civilisations.
1st October 2005
The Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations opens an undergraduate evening programme in cultural studies with a specialisation in the comparative studies of civilisations.
21st December 2005
The Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations is transformed into an autonomous research-didactic unit belonging to the Faculty of Philosophy.
1st October 2007
The Centre opens a weekday MA programme in culture studies with a specialisation in the comparative studies of civilisations.
1st October 2008
The Centre opens an evening complementary MA programme in culture studies with a specialisation in the comparative studies of civilisations.
Prof. Marta Kudelska becomes the new head of the Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations.
1st October 2011
The Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations opens a weekday undergraduate programme in cultural studies with a specialisation in Buddology.