Mark Gonnella Published in The Catholic Social Science Review


Mark Gonnella, MA, St. Mary’s Dominican High School Religion teacher, has been published in the current issue of The Catholic Social Science Review (Vol. 19). Gonnella who holds a master’s degree in theology from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, MO found inspiration for the article, “Authentic Sexual Freedom: John Paul’s II’s Personalism and a Response to Humanistic Psychology,” from his two academic interests – psychology and theology.

Throughout his studies Gonnella said he noticed the possibility of interdisciplinary contact between the two fields of study. “One could have a more fulfilled human psychology if one begins with a proper philosophical anthropology. In my theological studies, I was drawn to Aquinas, and in my psychological studies, I was drawn to humanistic/existential psychology, most notably in the figure of Carl Rogers,” Gonnella said.

“I wanted to find a way in which the two could meet as a theoretical whole, but it became quite clear that in spite of the potential collaborative relationship between the two, Rogers’ humanistic psychology was founded upon a false anthropology, which rendered his psychology incapable of addressing modern man’s condition. Eventually I made my way to Pope St. John Paul II and his beautiful synthesis of Thomistic philosophy and contemporary philosophy, and it was in him that I found the proper bridge to Rogers. More importantly, I found the proper antidote to Rogers’ false anthropology, and thus the essay was born.”