Like the Rule of Benedict itself, and offered in collaboration with the Benedictine community of nuns at Jamberoo Abbey, NSW, this unit invites you to explore a way of life. Benedict of Nursia (c.480-543) developed his Rule from Scripture and early Christian writers as a dynamic set of guidelines (regula) for life in community. The Rule has endured since the sixth century as a flexible resource for decision-making and a model for leadership outside monasteries as well as within them. From the first word ‘listen’ through to the last chapter where Benedict explains his work is not complete and should be read in relation to other authorities, the Rule expects interpretation and adaptation. Alongside that adaptability, the strong traditions of ‘paying attention’ provide stability. We will locate the Rule of Benedict and the Australian Benedictine communities in the wider history of monastic life. We will consider key themes in the Rule (hospitality, community, silence and work), the pattern of monastic prayer with attention to the psalms, lectio divina, liturgical expression, and the significance of the Rule of Benedict for contemporary times. The unit is not a retreat but we will live in the guest accommodation at Jamberoo for eight days, participating in the community’s life of prayer as well as seminars, structured conversations and lectures.
Articulate their experience of Benedictine spirituality and hospitality;
Identify the central themes and concerns of the Rule of St Benedict and the Benedictine way of life;
Articulate and evaluate the creative tension between the Rule of Benedict as a sixth century text and its application in contemporary Christian life;
Discuss the historical role and contemporary significance of monasticism within the Australian church and community.
Pre-requisite 18 points in CH
Community of practice developed with onsite engagement at Jamberoo, lecture input, structured conversation, structured reflection
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Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 16 Sep, 2020
Unit record last updated: 2020-09-16 10:49:31 +1000