nations born from the former federation. The closure of the university was a catastrophe, born of a new Russian strategy that was both anti-Polish and anti-western.
Not until forty years later did new dynamic Polish university centres come into existence in Austrian Galicia. Cracow and Lvov (today Lviv in the Ukraine) played extremely important roles for the Polish elites in all three zones. At the same time, the Academy of Sciences at Cracow became a national centre for Polish science and thought.
The universities also possessed faculties of theology, and the crucial issue of the formation of priests became for several reasons a very difficult and delicate matter in the nineteenth century. The seminaries, strictly controlled by the states, often offered a mediocre practical formation, particularly in the largest Russian zone. In the Prussian one, advantage was taken of the German theological faculties, often at a high level, but there were no centres for specifically Polish theological reflection. It was only with the universities of Cracow and Lvov that centres of this type were created, though not outstanding ones. The deeper influence on the formation of Polish priests was probably through adaptations of new western theological thought in practical theology and social and pastoral reflection from the end of the nineteenth century.
Given the relative intellectual weakness of the priests engaged in pastoral service, the religious reflection of the cultural and intellectual elites became more important. The 'Great Emigration' afterthe insurrection of 1830-1 valued and idealised Poland in Romantic fashion in the works of eminent poets and original thinkers. The Messianism of this generation - Poland was portrayed as the 'Christ of the nations' - exalted the religious vocation of Poles as forever faithful to their religion. The great poet Adam Mickiewicz - recognised as a 'national prophet' by successive generations - published in 1832 A book of the Polish nation on pilgrimage in the form of a biblical book of piety. It is a sort of catechism of Christian and fraternal liberty, opposed to all oppression, and deeply ecumenical in spirit. Long popular in Poland, the work was translated into nearly all the languages of central-eastern Europe. The Polish Messianism of Mickiewicz visibly expressed universal values, but his ardent patriotism was fundamentally contrary to the aggressive nationalism of later generations. In spite of a positivist current which was very fashionable in the second half of the nineteenth century, with a scientism often much attenuated in the setting of a country inhabited by the Catholic masses, Romantic ideas, embodied especially in great literature, remained very popular in the wider ranks of
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