He was born on 2 September 1949 in Kraków.
He completed historical studies at Jagiellonian University.
During the studies, he was often detained for participation in anti-regime demonstrations. In December 1970 he was arrested.
Mr Terlecki was involved in the anti-communist opposition movement, e.g. the Workers’ Defence Committee. He cooperated with underground publishing houses, and in 1979 was in charge of the team which published brochure “What is missing
in textbooks”. He conducted underground lectures and courses for university students, teachers, high school students and labourers.
In the period in which “Solidarity” operated legally, he took part in the work of Trade Union University and courses organised for teachers and students. When the martial law was introduced, he joined the editorial team of “Arka” bi-monthly. In addition, he kept conducting educational activity in the underground, e.g. lectures for Workers’ Christian University (ChUR) in Mistrzejowice near Kraków. He also cooperated with a few legal Catholic weeklies.
Since 1977 he worked at the Institute of History of Science and Education at the Polish Academy of Sciences. He defended his post-doctoral habilitation thesis at Jagiellonian University. He lectured on contemporary history at the Jesuits’ Philosophy Department, which was later transformed into
Higher Philosophy and Education School, and currently into Ignatianum Academy. He keeps conducting lectures and seminars there. For one term in office he was the vice-president of that university. In 1992, he became a habilitated doctor and in 2001 a professor.
In 1990, Mr Terlecki was a co-founder and deputy editor-in-chief of the first independent magazine “Czas Krakowski”. He also worked as the editor-in-chief of “Nowiny” daily in Rzeszów. In the years 1998-2002, he was a city councillor in Kraków.