This unit is designed to develop in the students an ability to engage in an informed critical reading of New Testament texts as sacred scripture. It aims to enable students to broaden and deepen their engagement with the New Testament in a spirit of open and critical inquiry by drawing on a wide range of exegetical tools of interpretation. Students will also learn to evaluate and relate the literature of the New Testament, its literary forms and historical setting, as well as its representation of God, to the literature, literary forms and representation of God in the Spiritual Exercises.

Unit code: DS8309J (Approved)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Spirituality

Proposing College: Jesuit College of Spirituality

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Learning outcomes


Interpret the literature of the New Testament, its literary forms and historical setting, as well its representation(s) of Jesus Christ, Son of God


Apply a variety of contemporary interpretative methods to Biblical texts


Use a variety of interpretive techniques (such as the historical critical and literary readings) to evaluate ways biblical texts can be exegeted when reflecting on and interpreting the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola


Analyse and evaluate (through scholarly engagement with some key texts in the New Testament), the uses of Scripture when giving or receiving The Spiritual Exercises


Critically analyse the ways in which Ignatius adopted and applied sacred scripture in The Spiritual Exercises


All lectures will be filmed. There will be some opportunity for online participation. Each session will consist of: (i) online resources (including recorded lecture), (ii) guided reading, and (iii) facilitated interaction in an online forum

Indicative Bibliography

  • Borg, M. Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1999.
  • Boring, M. E. An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology. Louisville: John Knox Press, 2012.
  • Brown, R E. An Introduction to the New Testament. Garden City: Doubleday, 1997.
  • Byrne, B. Freedom in the Spirit: An Ignatian Retreat with Saint Paul. New York: Paulist Press, 2016.
  • Byrne, B. A Costly Freedom: A Theological Reading of Mark’s Gospel. Strathfield: St Pauls Publications, 2008.
  • Gallagher, Timothy M. Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture. New York: Crossroad, 2008.
  • Ivens, Michael. Understanding the Spiritual Exercises: Text and Commentary: A Handbook for Retreat Directors. Leominster: Gracewing, 1998.
  • Levine, A. J. The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2006.
  • Moloney, F. J. The Living Voice of the Gospels. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006.
  • Munitiz, Joseph A., Philip Endean, and Ignatius. Personal Writings: Reminiscences, Spiritual Diary, Select Letters Including the Text of the Spiritual Exercises. Penguin Classics. London: Penguin Books, 1996.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay (4000 words)

4000 60.0
Critical Review

A critical review of a scholarly article/book chapter on Biblical Exegesis (1500 words)

1500 20.0

A reflection on the use of New Testament texts in The Spiritual Exercises (1,500 words)

1500 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 30 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2019-11-01 08:06:15 +1100