Intense interest in meditation is a sign of the times. People of all faiths as well as of no faith engage in meditation. Students will be led to ascertain their individual spiritual gift by studying the riches of the Christian tradition of prayer. This unit will study especially the Christian meditative techniques that emphasise the ‘wordless’ and supernatural dimension of prayer. They will explore in-depth at least one of the great teachers of the Christian mystical tradition. They will come to a clearer understanding of the specific identity of Christian meditation with reference to other traditions such as Buddhism and Yoga. They will also examine how the Christian tradition of meditation can enhance and challenge modern life.

Unit code: DS8600C

Unit status: Approved (Minor revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Spirituality

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Ascertain their place within the trajectory of the Christian spiritual tradition.


Articulate the specific character of Christian meditation in relation to other religious traditions.


Explain the inter-relationship of private meditative prayer and public liturgy.


Describe ancient techniques of prayer, evaluating their relevance to modern experience.


Articulate some of the implications of Christian meditation for everyday life.


Undertake research and analysis of meditation in the Christian Tradition in a critically rigorous, sustained and self-directed manner.

Unit sequence

Graduate Certificate in Teaching Meditation


Lectures help the students appreciate the many aspects of the complex subject and develop their ability to reflect and critique.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Dieker, Bernadette and Jonathan Montaldo. eds. Merton and Hesychasm: the Prayer of the Heart. Cambridge: Fons Vitae, 2003.
  • Dupuche, John. Jesus, the Mantra of God. Melbourne: David Lovell, 2005
  • Freeman, Lawrence. Jesus – the Teacher Within. New York: Continuum, 2000.
  • Griffith, Bede. The New Creation in Christ. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1992.
  • Keating, Thomas.* Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel*. New York: Continuum, 1986.
  • Main, John. The Way of Unknowing. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1989.
  • Matthew, I. The Impact of God: Soundings from St John of the Cross. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1995.
  • May, G. The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth. New York: HarperCollins, 2004
  • Merton, Thomas. What is Contemplation? Springfield: Templegate, 1981.
  • Williams, Rowan. The Dwelling of the Light: Praying with Icons of Christ. Mulgrave: John Garratt, 2003.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

3000-word written assessment task

3000 50.0

3000-word written assessment task

3000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 27 Sep, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-27 15:46:37 +1000