Following on from DS1001C this unit will acquaint students with some significant examples of Christian literature from the Reformation of the 16th Century to the present. The focus will be on the study of these texts in their theological and cultural settings. The impact and aftermath of Vatican II on the development of Christian Spirituality will be considered. Students will be required to experience some contemporary expressions or aspects of this subject. Examples of texts studied may include: • Reformation Period: Thomas More, Erasmus, Francis de Sales; • Classical Spanish School: Teresa of Avila of John of the Cross; • Classical French School: J.P. de Caussade • Modern English Writers: Selected poetry, John Chapman, John Henry Newman and the modern English writers such as Evelyn Underhill, Dorothy L. Sayers and C.S. Lewis • Modern Catholic Writers: Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Teilhard de Chardin, Karl Rahner • Modern Protestants: Dietrich Bonhoeffer • Aspects of the documents of Vatican II and its impact to the present.

Unit code: DS1002C

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Spirituality

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Identify and discuss a representative selection of spiritual texts from the Reformation to the present


Describe the particular areas of Christian spirituality that were developed by some leading authors and texts during this period


Demonstrate the relationship between the writings and the wider cultural context.


Demonstrate how these writings relate to contemporary expressions of Christian Spirituality.


Evaluate ways in which the Christian Spiritual tradition and its contemporary expressions can influence the life of the individual.


Lecture, workshops

Indicative Bibliography

  • Avens, C., and R. Zelley. Walking the Path of ChristoSophia: Exploring the Hidden Tradition in Christian Spirituality. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2005.
  • Downey, M., ed. New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1993.
  • Downey, Michael. Understanding Christian Spirituality. New York: Paulist Press, 1997.
  • Dreyer, Elizabeth, and Mark S. Burrows. Minding the Spirit: The Study of Christian Spirituality. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.
  • Guibert, J., ed. Dictionnarie de Spiritualité. Paris, 1932.
  • Holder, A., ed. Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005.
  • Holder, A. Christian Spirituality: The Classics. London: Routledge, 2009.
  • Miller, R.W., ed. Spirituality for the 21st Century: Experiencing God in the Catholic Tradition. Liguori, MO: Liguori, 2006.
  • Perrin, D.B. Studying Christian Spirituality. New York: Routledge, 2007.
  • Sheldrake, P.E. Explorations in Spirituality. New York: Paulist, 2010.
  • Sheldrake, P. Spirituality: A Brief History. Oxford: Blackwell, 2013.
  • Wakefield, G., ed. A Dictionary of Christian Spirituality. London: SCM Press, 1983.
  • Woods, Richard O. P., and Peter Tyler, eds. The Bloomsbury Guide to Christian Spirituality. London: Bloomsbury, 2012.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Report on Experiences – 500 words

500 10.0

Text study – 500 words

500 10.0

Essay – 1500 words

1500 40.0
Written Examination

Examination (1.5 hours) – 1500 words

1500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-05-06 09:34:07 +1000