The study maps the journey of Milan Machovec from Christianity to Marxism and on to the Marxist-Christian dialogue which Milan Machovec personiﬁed in the 1960’s. In addition to the usual sources the study draws on unfamiliar juvenile texts, minor contributions in press and on his two dissertations at Charles University. – These sources show that his conception of socialism prior to the Communist coup and his ﬁrst response to it did not conform to the ideology of the new regime. Machovec rejected the role of “martyr for freedom” because he understood his life as a task. He joined the Communist party and adopted the idiom of the time, but continued to strive for joining socialist ideals with the democratic heritage of Masaryk’s republic as even Zdeněk Nejedlý promised. – These early texts also show that Machovec was concerned with the issues he later elaborated already as graduate student. They included freedom, humanity, morality, the meaning of the human lot, the relation of the individual and the whole, sacriﬁce, the role of religion in society, the role of personality in history and society, ways of working with historic material in relation to pressing problems. – While Machovec may have lost the religious faith of his youth he remained ever loyal to Masaryk’s ideals of humanity, especially the idea that the task of humans is growth to more mature humanity. Masaryk’s bequest never ceased to be a tangent of Machovec’s thought, helping to lay the ground rules by which he moderated the dialogue of Christians and Marxists. The task of the dialogue was not to be persuasion but rather grasping of a common task: Marxists and Christians could meet, each in his way, on the ground of this Masaryk-given task.
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