Michał Heller

Michał Kazimierz Heller (born 12 March 1936 in Tarnów) is a Polish professor of philosophy at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków, Poland, and an adjunct member of the Vatican Observatory staff. He also serves as a lecturer in the philosophy of science and logic at the Theological Institute in Tarnów. A Roman Catholic priest belonging to the diocese of Tarnów, Heller was ordained in 1959. In 2008 he received the Templeton Prize for his works in the field of philosophy.

Michał Heller
Heller in 2013
Heller in 2013
Born12 March 1936 (age 83)
OccupationPhilosopher, theoretical physicist
Alma materCatholic University of Lublin
Notable awardsTempleton Prize (2008)
Order of Polonia Restituta (2009)
Order of the White Eagle (2014)


Michał Heller attended high school in Mościce, graduated from the Catholic University of Lublin, where he earned a master's degree in philosophy in 1965 and a Ph.D. in cosmology in 1966.

After beginning his teaching career at Tarnów, he joined the faculty of the Pontifical Academy of Theology in 1972 and was appointed to a full professorship in 1985. He has been a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and a visiting scientist at Belgium's University of Liège, the University of Oxford, the University of Leicester, Ruhr University in Germany, The Catholic University of America, and the University of Arizona among others.

His current research is concerned with the singularity problem in general relativity and the use of noncommutative geometry in seeking the unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics into quantum gravity. His model gives new perspectives on quantum entanglement and the EPR paradox.[1]


Templeton Prize

In March 2008, Heller was awarded the $1.6 million (£820,000) Templeton Prize for his extensive philosophical and scientific probing of "big questions". His works have sought to reconcile the "known scientific world with the unknowable dimensions of God."[2] On receiving the Templeton Prize, Heller said:

If we ask about the cause of the universe we should ask about the cause of mathematical laws. By doing so we are back in the great blueprint of God's thinking about the universe; the question on ultimate causality: why is there something rather than nothing?

When asking this question, we are not asking about a cause like all other causes. We are asking about the root of all possible causes.

Science is but a collective effort of the human mind to read the mind of God from question marks out of which we and the world around us seem to be made.[3]

Heller used the prize money to establish the Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies – an institute named after Nicholas Copernicus aimed at research and popularisation of science and philosophy. Heller himself is the director of the Center, as well as the program director of Copernicus Festival.

Other distinctions

Honorary degrees from:

Other distinctions:


Further reading

Michael Heller has published nearly 200 scientific papers, not only in general relativity and relativistic cosmology, but also in philosophy, history of science and theology. He authored more than 50 books. In his volume, Is Physics an Art? (Biblos, 1998), he writes about mathematics as the language of science and also explores such humanistic issues as beauty as a criterion of truth, creativity, and transcendence.

Books – Physics and Cosmology

  • The Science of Space-Time, with Derek Jeffrey Raine, Pachart Publishing House, Tucson 1981, ISBN 09-1291-812-8
  • Encountering the Universe, Pachart Publishing House, Tucson 1982, ISBN 09-1291-807-1
  • Questions to the Universe – Ten Lectures on the Foundations of Physics and Cosmology, Pachart Publishing House, Tucson 1986, ISBN 08-8126-008-8
  • Theoretical Foundations of Cosmology – Introduction to the Global Structure of Space-Time, World Scientific, Singapore–London 1992, ISBN 978-98-1020-756-4
  • Lemaître, Big Bang and the Quantum Universe, Pachart, Tucson 1996, ISBN 978-08-8126-285-8
  • Some Mathematical Physics for Philosophers, Pontifical Council for Culture, Pontifical Gregorian University, Vatican City–Rome 2005, ISBN 978-88-2097-724-5
  • Ultimate explanations of the universe, transl. by Teresa Bałuk-Ulewiczowa, Springer, 2009, ISBN 978-36-4202-102-2

Books – Philosophy and Theology

  • The World and the Word – Between Science and Religion, Pachart Publishing House, Tucson 1986, ISBN 978-08-8126-724-2
  • The New Physics and a New Theology, transl. by G. V. Coyne, T.M. Sierotowicz, Vatican Observatory Publications 1996, ISBN 02-6801-479-5
  • Creative Tension. Essays on Science & Religion, Templeton Foundation Press, Philadelphia–London 2003, ISBN 19-3203-134-0
  • A Comprehensible Universe. The Interplay of Science and Theology, with George Coyne, Springer, New York 2008, ISBN 978-35-4077-624-6, ISBN 978-36-4209-637-2
  • The Sense of Life and the Sense of the Universe, Copernicus Center Press, Cracow 2010, ISBN 978-83-6225-902-1
  • Philosophy in Science: An Historical Introduction, Springer, 2011, ISBN 978-36-4217-704-0
  • Philosophy of Chance. A cosmic fugue with a prelude and a coda, Copernicus Center Press, Cracow 2012, ISBN 978-83-7886-000-6


  • The Origins of Time, in: The Study of Time IV, ed. by J.T. Fraser, N. Lawrence, D. Park, Springer Verlag, New York–Heidelberg–Berlin 1981, pp. 90–93, ISBN 03-8790-594-4
  • Algebraic Self-Duality as the "Ultimate Explanation", Foundations of Science, 9, 2004, pp. 369–385

See also


  1. ^ Abner Shimony, “Bell's theorem”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  2. ^ Million-Dollar Prize Given to Cosmologist Priest
  3. ^ Professor wins prize for maths link to God

External links

Bartosz Brożek

Bartosz Brożek (born 17 June 1977) is a Polish philosopher and jurist whose main research interests are in philosophy of law, philosophy of science, logic and cognitive science. He is currently professor of jurisprudence at the Jagiellonian University and vice dean of the Faculty of Law and Administration, as well as a deputy-director of the Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Kraków. Author or co-author of 20 book monographs (including Methods of Legal Reasoning from Springer, as well as The Double Truth Controversy and Rule-Following from Copernicus Center Press) and more than 70 scientific papers. He holds PhDs in both law (2003) and philosophy (2007), habilitation in law (2008) and the title of full professor (2013).Professor Brożek received numerous awards and prizes, including the Award of the Prime Minister of Poland for the Habilitation Dissertation, the Scholarship of the Minister of Science and Higher Education for Outstanding Young Scholars, as well as the fellowship of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He is also a laureate of the Foundation for Polish Science MASTER programme (2015). In 2013 he was the youngest person in Poland who held the title of professor.

Catholic moral theology

Catholic moral theology is a major category of doctrine in the Catholic Church, equivalent to a religious ethics. Moral theology encompasses Roman Catholic social teaching, Catholic medical ethics, sexual ethics, and various doctrines on individual moral virtue and moral theory. It can be distinguished as dealing with "how one is to act", in contrast to dogmatic theology which proposes "what one is to believe".

Copernicus Festival

Copernicus Festival is a science festival held every May in Kraków, Poland. It was founded in 2014 and provides lectures, discussions, workshops, film screenings and exhibitions focusing on neuroscience, evolutionary biology, physics, law, and philosophy at various venues in the city. The event is organized by the Copernicus Center and the Tygodnik Powszechny Foundation.

The majority of events are free of charge to promote accessibility.

Emmanuel Mounier

Emmanuel Mounier (; French: [munje]; 1 April 1905 – 22 March 1950) was a French philosopher, theologian, teacher and essayist.

Heller (surname)

Heller is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Ágnes Heller (born 1929), Hungarian philosopher

Amalia Heller (born 1951), Venezuelan television presenter and beauty pageant winner

Amos Arthur Heller (1867–1944), American botanist

André Heller (born 1947), Austrian artist, musician, entertainer

André Heller (volleyball) (born 1975), Brazilian volleyball player

Arnold Krumm-Heller (1876–1949), Gnostic archbishop

Becca Heller, American human rights lawyer

Bruno Heller (born 1960), British television and film writer

Camill Heller (1823–1917), Czech / Austrian zoologist

Carlos Heller (born 1940), Argentine executive and politician

Carol Heller, vocalist, guitarist: +44 (band)

Craig Heller (physiologist), physiologist and biologist at Stanford University

Craig Heller (writer), American television soap opera script writer

Dean Heller (born 1960), American Senator

Edmund Heller (1875–1939), American zoologist

Eric J. Heller (born 1946), American theoretical chemist

Erich Heller (1911–1990), European thinker and essayist

Fanya Heller (born 1924), Holocaust survivor

George Heller, president and CEO of Hudson's Bay Company

Guy Heller, vocalist (aka Dickie Moist): Moistboyz

H. Robert Heller, economist, Governor of the Federal Reserve Board and CEO of Visa

Hermann Heller (legal scholar) (1891–1933), German philosopher

Hermann Heller (Swiss politician) (1850–1917)

Isaac Heller (1926-2015), American toy manufacturer, co-founder of Remco

James Heller, character from the TV series 24

Jettero Heller, main character in the Mission Earth (novel) novels written by L. Ron Hubbard

Joseph Heller (1923–1999), author of Catch-22

Karl Bartholomaeus Heller (1824–1880), Austrian botanist and naturalist

Karl Borromaeus Maria Josef Heller (1864–1945), Austrian entomologist

László Heller (1907–1980), Hungarian inventor

Lisa Heller (born 1996), singer and songwriter

Lukas Heller (1930–1988), screenwriter

Marcel Heller (born 1986), German footballer

Max Heller (1919–2011), Austrian refugee, American businessman, South Carolina politician

Mervin Heller, Jr., president, United States Tennis Association

Meshullam Feivush Heller (1740s–1794), Hasidic author

Michael Heller (law professor), law professor

Michał Heller (born 1936), Polish philosopher

Pete Heller, English electronic and house music producer

Rick Heller, American baseball coach

Robert Heller (1826–1878), British magician

Robert Heller (journalist) (1923–2010), British management journalist, consultant and author

Seligmann Heller (1831–1890), Jewish Bohemian-Austrian poet and journalist

Stanislav Heller (1924–2000), Czech harpsichordist

Stephen Heller (1813–1888), Hungarian pianist, composer

Steven Heller (design writer) (born 1950), American art director and journalist

Tziporah Heller, Jewish studies educator, author, and speaker

Walter E. Heller (1891–1969), financier

Will Heller (born 1981), American football player

Yom-Tov Lipmann Heller (1579–1654), rabbi

Zoë Heller (born 1965), English journalist and novelist

Johann Baptist Metz

Johann Baptist Metz (born 5 August 1928) is a German Catholic theologian. He is Ordinary Professor of Fundamental Theology, Emeritus, at Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster, Germany.

John Paul II High School in Tarnów

John Paul II High School in Tarnów ((pl) IV Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Jana Pawła II w Tarnowie) is a high school in Tarnów, Poland. The school was established in 1945.

Joseph Maréchal

Joseph Maréchal (1 July 1878 – 11 December 1944) was a Belgian Jesuit priest, philosopher, theologian and psychologist. He taught at the Higher Institute of Philosophy of the University of Leuven and was the founder of the school of thought called transcendental Thomism, which attempted to merge the theological and philosophical thought of St. Thomas Aquinas with that of Immanuel Kant.

List of Catholic philosophers and theologians

This is a list of Catholic philosophers and theologians whose Catholicism is important to their works. The names are ordered by date of birth in order to give a rough sense of influence between thinkers.

List of Polish-language authors

Notable Polish novelists, poets, playwrights, historians and philosophers, listed in chronological order by year of birth:

(ca.1465–after 1529) Biernat of Lublin

(1482–1537) Andrzej Krzycki

(1503–1572) Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski

(1505–1569) Mikołaj Rej

(ca. 1525–1573) Piotr z Goniądza

(1530–1584) Jan Kochanowski

(1566–1636) Fabian Birkowski

(1580–1653) Szymon Okolski

(1651–1701) Anna Stanisławska

(1694–1774) Przybysław Dyjamentowski

(1720–1784) Franciszek Bohomolec

(1733–1798) Adam Naruszewicz

(1734–1823) Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski

(1735–1801) Ignacy Krasicki

(1746–1835) Izabela Fleming Czartoryska

(1750–1812) Hugo Kołłątaj

(1755–1826) Stanisław Staszic

(1757–1841) Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz

(1761–1815) Jan Potocki

(1762–1808) Franciszek Ksawery Dmochowski

(1765–1809) Cyprian Godebski

(1768–1854) Maria Wirtemberska

(1770–1861) Adam Jerzy Czartoryski

(1771–1820) Alojzy Feliński

(1786–1861) Joachim Lelewel

(1787–1861) Antoni Gorecki

(1791–1835) Kazimierz Brodziński

(1793–1876) Aleksander Fredro

(1798–1855) Adam Mickiewicz

(1798–1845) Klementyna Hoffmanowa

(1801–1869) Franciszek Ksawery Godebski

(1801–1876) Seweryn Goszczyński

(1804–1886) Michał Czajkowski

(1807–1875) Karol Libelt

(1809–1849) Juliusz Słowacki

(1812–1859) Zygmunt Krasiński

(1812–1887) Józef Ignacy Kraszewski

(1814–1894) August Cieszkowski

(1817–1879) Ryszard Wincenty Berwiński

(1818–1876) Narcyza Żmichowska

(1819–1890) Agnieszka Baranowska

(1821–1883) Cyprian Kamil Norwid

(1822–1899) Edmund Chojecki

(1829–1901) Lucyna Ćwierczakiewiczowa

(1838–1897) Adam Asnyk

(1839–1902) Adolf Dygasiński

(1841–1910) Eliza Orzeszkowa

(1846–1916) Henryk Sienkiewicz

(1847–1912) Bolesław Prus

(1849–1935) Michał Bobrzyński

(1852–1930) Kazimierz Bartoszewicz

(1858–1924) Ludwik Stasiak

(1860–1921) Gabriela Zapolska

(1860–1926) Jan Kasprowicz

(1862–1949) Feliks Koneczny

(1864–1925) Stefan Żeromski

(1864–1935) Franciszek Nowicki

(1865–1940) Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer

(1867–1925) Władysław Reymont

(1868–1927) Stanisław Przybyszewski

(1869–1907) Stanisław Wyspiański

(1870-1932) Malwina Garfeinowa-Garska

(1873–1940) Wacław Berent

(1874–1915) Jerzy Żuławski

(1874–1941) Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński

(1876–1945) Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski

(1877/79–1937) Bolesław Leśmian

(1878–1911) Stanisław Brzozowski

(1878/79–1942) Janusz Korczak

(1881–1946) Paweł Hulka-Laskowski

(1884–1944) Leon Chwistek

(1885–1939) Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy)

(1885–1954) Zofia Nałkowska

(1886–1980) Władysław Tatarkiewicz

(1886–1981) Tadeusz Kotarbiński

(1887–1936) Stefan Grabiński

(1889–1968) Zofia Kossak-Szczucka

(1889–1931) Tadeusz Hołówko

(1889–1965) Maria Dąbrowska

(1890–1963) Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz

(1891–1963) Gustaw Morcinek

(1891–1945) Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska

(1892–1942) Bruno Schulz

(1893–1970) Roman Ingarden

(1894–1942) Józef Stefan Godlewski

(1894–1980) Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz

(1894–1985) Arkady Fiedler

(1895–1959) Stanislaw Mlodozeniec

(1896–1945) Ferdynand Ossendowski

(1897–1962) Władysław Broniewski

(1898–1939) Tadeusz Dołęga-Mostowicz

(1899–1956) Jan Lechoń

(1900–1966) Jan Brzechwa

(1901–1938) Bruno Jasieński

(1901–1964) Sergiusz Piasecki

(1902–1970) Tadeusz Manteuffel

(1902–1985) Józef Mackiewicz

(1902–1995) Józef Maria Bocheński

(1903-1978) Aleksander Kamiński

(1904–1969) Witold Gombrowicz

(1905–1953) Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński

(1905–1982) Adam Ważyk

(1906–1965) Stanisław Jaśkowski

(1907–1991) Stanislaw Wygodzki

(1908–1979) Sydor Rey

(1908–1988) Teodor Parnicki

(1908–1980) Aleksander Baumgardten

(1908–1995) Helena Bechlerowa

(1909–1942) Henryka Łazowertówna

(1909–1966) Stanisław Jerzy Lec

(1909–1970) Paweł Jasienica

(1909–1983) Jerzy Andrzejewski

(1909–1988) Józef Łobodowski

(1910–1978) Maria Boniecka

(1910–2007) Stanisław Dobosiewicz

(1911–1975) Eugeniusz Żytomirski

(1911–2004) Czesław Miłosz

(1912–1990) Adolf Rudnicki

(1913–1979) Zygmunt Witymir Bieńkowski

(1913–2005) Józef Garliński

(1914–1973) Bohdan Arct

(1915–2006) Jan Twardowski

(1916–1991) Wilhelm Szewczyk

(1917–1944) Zuzanna Ginczanka

(1918–1963) Stanisław Grzesiuk

(1919–2000) Gustaw Herling-Grudziński

(1919–2011) Marian Pankowski

(1920–2006) Leslaw Bartelski

(1920–1985) Leopold Tyrmand

(1920–2005) Karol Wojtyła (Pope John Paul II)

(1920–2006) Lucjan Wolanowski

(1921–1944) Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński

(1921–2006) Stanisław Lem

(1922–1951) Tadeusz Borowski

(1923–2001) Maksymilian Berezowski

(1923–2003) Władysław Kozaczuk

(1923–2012) Wisława Szymborska

(1924–1998) Zbigniew Herbert

(born 1925) Bat-Sheva Dagan

(1926-2015) Tadeusz Konwicki

(1927–2009) Leszek Kołakowski

(born 1928) Roman Frister

(1929–1994) Zbigniew Nienacki

(1929–2004) Zygmunt Kubiak

(born 1930) Sławomir Mrożek

(born 1932) Wiesław Myśliwski

(1932–1957) Andrzej Bursa

(1932–2013) Joanna Chmielewska

(1932–2007) Ryszard Kapuściński

(1933–1991) Jerzy Kosiński

(born 1933) Joanna Olczak-Ronikier

(1934–1969) Marek Hłasko

(1934–1976) Stanisław Grochowiak

(1935–1984) Janusz Gaudyn

(born 1936) Henryk Grynberg

(1936–1997) Agnieszka Osiecka

(born 1937) Hanna Krall

(1938–1985) Janusz A. Zajdel

(1938-2017) Janusz Głowacki

(1941–1989) Mirosław Dzielski

(born 1941) Leszek Długosz

(born 1943) Wojciech Karpiński

(born 1944) Michał Heller

(born 1945) Małgorzata Musierowicz

(1946–2015) Piotr Domaradzki

(born 1946) Ewa Kuryluk

(born 1948) Andrzej Sapkowski

(born 1949) Stefan Chwin

(born 1949) Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm

(born 1952) Eva Stachniak

(born 1952) Jerzy Pilch

(born 1954) Marek Huberath

(born 1955) Leszek Engelking

(born 1955) Magdalena Tulli

(born 1957) Grazyna Miller

(born 1957) Paweł Huelle

(born 1957) Agata Tuszynska

(born 1957) Grażyna Wojcieszko

(1958–2005) Tomasz Pacyński

(born 1960) Andrzej Stasiuk

(born 1960) Andrzej Ziemiański

(born 1961) Agnieszka Taborska

(born 1962) Olga Tokarczuk

(born 1964) Rafal A. Ziemkiewicz

(born 1965) Jarosław Grzędowicz

(born 1966) Andrzej Majewski

(born 1966) Marek Krajewski

(born 1966) Mariusz Szczygieł

(born 1968) Joanna Bator

(born 1971) Anna Brzezińska

(born 1972) Wojciech Kuczok

(born 1974) Jacek Dukaj

(born 1974) Andrzej Pilipiuk

(born 1975) Michał Witkowski

(born 1976) Zygmunt Miłoszewski

(born 1976) Anna Kańtoch

(born 1977) Łukasz Orbitowski

(born 1979) Sylwia Chutnik

(born 1980) Jacek Dehnel

(born 1982) Jakub Ćwiek

(born 1983) Dorota Masłowska

(born 1984) Joanna Lech

List of philosophers of science

This is a chronological list of philosophers of science. For an alphabetical name-list, see Category:Philosophers of science.

Luigi Taparelli

Luigi Taparelli (born Prospero Taparelli d'Azeglio; 1793–1862) was an Italian Catholic scholar of the Society of Jesus who coined the term social justice.

Michael Heller

Michael Heller may refer to:

Michał Heller (born 1936), Polish professor of philosophy, cosmologist and priest

Michael Heller (poet) (born 1937), American poet, essayist and critic

Michael Heller (law professor), American professor of property rights and ownership

Michel Heller (1922–1997), Russian emigre political scientist

Michael Heller (businessman) (born 1936), British business executive and philanthropist

Mike Heller (born 1982), drummer

Pontifical University of John Paul II

The Pontifical University of John Paul II (Polish: Uniwersytet Papieski Jana Pawła II w Krakowie) is an academic institution located in Kraków, Poland, that offers graduate degrees in theology, philosophy, and church history. It derived from the theology faculty of Jagiellonian University established in 1397. The theology faculty was expelled from the university by Communist authorities in 1954. Remaining under the supervision of the Vatican, the faculty received the honorific title of "Pontifical" in 1974 and was established as an Academy of Theology by Pope John Paul II in 1981 before becoming the Pontifical University of John Paul II in 2009.

Systematic theology

Systematic theology is a discipline of Christian theology that formulates an orderly, rational, and coherent account of the doctrines of the Christian faith. It addresses issues such as what the Bible teaches about certain topics or what is true about God and his universe. It also builds on biblical disciplines, church history, as well as biblical and historical theology. Systematic theology shares its systematic tasks with other disciplines such as constructive theology, dogmatics, ethics, apologetics, and philosophy of religion.

Vatican Observatory

The Vatican Observatory (Italian: Specola Vaticana) is an astronomical research and educational institution supported by the Holy See. Originally based in the Roman College of Rome, the Observatory is now headquartered in Castel Gandolfo, Italy and operates a telescope at the Mount Graham International Observatory in the United States.The Director of the Observatory is Brother Guy Consolmagno, an American Jesuit. In 2008, the Templeton Prize was awarded to cosmologist Fr. Michał Heller, a Vatican Observatory Adjunct Scholar. In 2010, the George Van Biesbroeck Prize was awarded to former observatory director, the American Jesuit, Fr. George Coyne.

Wolfgang Rindler

Wolfgang Rindler (18 May 1924 – 8 February 2019) was a physicist working in the field of General Relativity where he is known for introducing the term "event horizon", Rindler coordinates, and (in collaboration with Roger Penrose) for popularizing the use of spinors in general relativity. An honorary member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and foreign member of the Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, he was also a prolific textbook author.

Early Church
Early Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
Mysticism and reforms
19th century
20th century
21st century

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.