Leszek Kołakowski was professor of philosophy at the University of Warsaw until March 1968 when he was formally expelled for political reasons. He was later a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He was the author of several books, including Main Currents in Marxism. The article in this issue will appear in the collection of essays Is God Happy?, to be published in February by Basic Books. He died in 2009. (December 2012)


Is God Happy?

Leszek Kołakowski, 1998
The question is not absurd. Our conventional view of happiness is as an emotional state of mind. But is God subject to emotion? Certainly, we are told that God loves His creatures, and love, at least in the human world, is an emotion. But love is a source of happiness when it is reciprocated, and God’s love is reciprocated only by some of His subjects, by no means all: some do not believe that He exists, some do not care whether He exists or not, and others hate Him, accusing Him of indifference in the face of human pain and misery.

Yalta & the Fate of Poland

The following remarks are extracted from the proceedings of a seminar held at All Souls College, Oxford, on October 22, 1985. The seminar, one of a series on “The Partition of Europe 1945–1985,” was entitled “Yalta and the Origins of Partition.” The principal speaker was Sir Frank Roberts, G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., …