Reviewed by Jose Cornelio for Readers' Favorite
The Christian Self-Formation: Anthropology of Becoming by Krzysztof Stanibula is an interesting book that explores the theme of human formation and the human person, who is both the “subject and object” of the evolution witnessed in the journey of self-formation. The book starts with a tribute to the author’s mother. Janina’s life journey is captured in her diary and it depicts the horrors she witnessed and lived through when she was just six, surviving the attack on Poland by Nazi Germany, and then the invasion by communist Russia. The book explores the question: Who am I and what ought I to be? Writing from a Christian perspective, the author explores how the reference to Christ becomes a yardstick that we can use to define and measure personal and human development. She writes: “Christian formation can provide the fundamentals of man’s integration in the person of Christ, enabling him to reform himself at any stage of life.” This book demonstrates the author’s philosophy of self-formation and the drive to become better versions of ourselves.
The book is very informative and filled with compelling arguments. Krzysztof Stanibula discusses themes like freedom, consciousness, moral compass, the role of faith, and our spiritual reference as essential components in the growth process. This is not a how-to book and readers won’t find a step-by-step guide to follow, but it is an essay that succinctly presents the author’s human philosophy within the context of an evolving social and political environment. It is written in an academic style and filled with manifold references and footnotes. While the academic approach to the writing can be intimidating, The Christian Self-Formation: Anthropology of Becoming uses language that is accessible and familiar. The author raises the consciousness of readers — especially Christian readers — on their vocation to become “who we ought to be.” It is rich in content and inspiring in its message; a book that is as relevant as it is required for contemporary Christian readers.