Content

Karl Rahner is often quoted as saying that: “In the days ahead, you will either be a mystic or nothing at all.” In this unit students will explore the importance of this assertion through an investigation of mystical traditions throughout Christian history. These investigations will begin and end with attempts to define what is meant by mysticism and lead to a discussion of the contemporary importance of the mystic for the future flourishing of the Christian message and practice in the World today.

Unit code: DS2322Y (Approved)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Spirituality

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes

1.

articulate a definition of Christian mysticism and the role of the mystic

2.

develop the ability to interpret writings within the Christian mystical tradition

3.

demonstrate an understanding of the role of the mystic in the Church’s self-understanding

4.

reflect on the place of mysticism in the Church’s life today and in the future

Unit sequence

The Unit is an elective within the disciplines of Church History and Spirituality. Pre-requisite CH1001Y – Survey of Early and Medieval Church History or equivalent

Pedagogy

The unit will consist of Lectures, Tutorials and discussion forums all delivered in a Seminar style (whether online or face to face) so that students can interact with the ideas presented, engage with other students and their reflections and ideas and develop skills in critique, debate and practical application.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bernard of Clairvaux. Selected Works. Translated by G. R. Evans. The Classics of Western Spirituality. New York: Paulist Press, 1987.
  • Bonaventure. The Soul’s Journey to Life; The Tree of Life; The Life of St. Francis. Translated by Ewert Cousins. The Classics of Western Spirituality. New York: Paulist Press, 1978.
  • Clément, Olivier. The Roots of Christian Mysticism: Texts and Commentary. 2nd ed. New York: New City Press, 2013.
  • Edwards, Denis. The God of Evolution: a Trinitarian Theology. New York: Paulist Press, 1999.
  • Hildegard of Bingen. Scivias. Translated by Columba Hart & Jane Bishop. The Classics of Western Spirituality. New York: Paulist Press, 1986.
  • John Cassian. Conferences. Translated by Colm Luibheid. The Classics of Western Spirituality. New York: Paulist Press, 1985.
  • Julian of Norwich. Showings. Translated by Edmund Colledge & James Walsh. The Classics of Western Spirituality. New York: Paulist Press, 1978.
  • McGinn, Bernard. The Presence of God. Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. London: SCM, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2007, 2012.
  • Mechthild of Madgeburg. The Flowing Light of the Godhead. Translated by Frank Tobin. The Classics of Western Spirituality. New York: Paulist Press, 1998.
  • Meister Eckhart: The Essential Sermons. Translated by Edmund Colledge & Bernard McGinn. The Classics of Western Spirituality. New York: Paulist Press, 1981.
  • Merton, Thomas. New Seeds of Contemplation. Reprint. New York: New Directions, 2007

Assessment

Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Portfolio

Portfolio of 10 Tutorial Exercises of 200 words each

2000 40.0
Essay 2500 60.0
Approvals

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 22 Sep, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-09-22 18:42:52 +1000