Christian Contemplative Tradition

Christian Contemplative Tradition

The concentration consists of four courses (twelve hours) approved by the Director. Of these, two must belong to the cycle of courses dealing with the history of spirituality, i.e., Patristic Theology and Spirituality, Medieval Spirituality and Modern Spirituality. Descriptions follow.

Courses are offered in a three-year cycle.

Patristic Theology and Spirituality. (The 5315 Patristic and Byzantine Theology)

History of Christian doctrines from apostolic times to the end of the Patristic period in the West and into the Byzantine period in the East, with special attention paid to the interconnection between early Christian doctrine and spirituality. Authors studied may include: Origen, Evagrius, Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Denys the Areopogite, Maximus the Confessor, Ambrose, Augustine. Prerequisite: Theology 2311, Western Theological Tradition.

Medieval Spirituality

Deals with monastic spirituality, pastoral spirituality, the spirituality of the friars and late Medieval spirituality. Authors studied may include: Benedict of Nursia, Gregory the Great, Bernard of Clairvaux, William of St. Thierry, Aelred of Rievaulx, Richard of St. Victor, Francis of Assisi, Clare, Bonaventure, Jordan of Saxony, Humbert of Romans, Eckhart, Catherine of Siena, Walter Hilton, Rusbroec, Nicholas of Cusa, Thomas à Kempis.

Modern Spirituality

Close reading of major texts showing the development of the contemplative tradition from the sixteenth through the twentieth century. Authors studied may include: Thomas More, Luther, Calvin, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Francis de Sales, Bérulle, Pascal, Spenser, Wesley, Newman, Thérèse of Lisieux, Merton.

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