Making the Ordinary Exceptional: The Success of a Polish YouTube Monk


  • Barbara Thériault
  • Konrad Pędziwiatr



In this brief essay, we look at a contemporary example of “practical theology:” a fragment of the internet production of Adam Szustak, a Polish Dominican monk, combined with interviews with a small sample of subscribers. Searching for clues to his success, we are attentive to the life conduct and aesthetics he conveys in his videos. In presenting himself as “ordinary,” “normal,” and “authentic,” we argue that he succeeds in speaking to the aspirations and interests of young Catholics in Poland in the context of the increasing politicization of the Church and the strengthening alliance of its more conservative faction with the right-wing government.