Content

This unit explores the history of contemplative practices in Western Christian spirituality. The unit begins with an investigation of key biblical passages and then moves to the early Church Fathers including Origen, Augustine of Hippo and Pseudo‐Dionysius. The unit analyses key texts of monastic traditions, including St Benedict, early Carthusian writings, St Bernard of Clairvaux, Richard of St Victor, and St. Francis. The unit then moves to major male and female spiritual authors of the High and Late Middle Ages who wrote in the vernacular, including John of Ruusbroec, Eckhart, Hadewijch, and the Modern Devotion. Important texts from the Early Modern and Modern Period will also be studied, including the Carmelite spirituality of St John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises. The unit concludes with a consideration contemporary contemplative practices and a critical reflection on the relevance of the contemplative tradition.

Unit Code: DS9199J

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Spirituality

Delivery Mode: Online

Proposing College: Jesuit College of Spirituality

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Learning Outcomes

1.

Articulate a detailed knowledge of the history, content and context of selected mystical texts

2.

Analyse, critically interpret, research and develop a sustained argument about the history of Christian contemplation

3.

Critically reflect on the history of contemplative practices in dialogue with contemporary theology and spirituality

4.

Synthesise the knowledge of spiritual authors from the past with one’s personal experiences, values and beliefs and if applicable, one’s ministry as a spiritual director.

Unit sequence

Prohibited combinations: DS9191J/ DS9199J CH9191J/ CH9199J

(old code: DS9125J)

Pedagogy

Each session will consist of: (i) online resources (including recorded lecture), (ii) guided reading, and (iii) facilitated interaction in an online forum.

Assessments

Name Description Weight (%)
Essay

1000 word reflection

15.0
Essay

5000 word essay

85.0
Approvals

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2016

Unit Record last updated: 2019-05-16 13:44:44 +1000