This unit explores the development and structure of the Rule of St Benedict with an emphasis on the study of primary sources and the spirituality underlying the Rule. It will examine the significance of the Rule throughout history as well as its importance as a source of formation for ministry in the life of the Church today and for the future.

Unit code: DS9050P

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Spirituality

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Analyse the key sources for the structure and development of the Rule of St Benedict and explain their significance in relation to the spirituality of the Rule.


Articulate key principles of historical interpretation of ancient Christian texts.


Identify key features of the spirituality emanating from the Rule


Exegete selected passages in the Rule.


Discuss and synthesise for a contemporary audience the implications of the understanding of the Rule for ministry in the contemporary Christian church


Critique secondary sources related to the Rule.


7 days intensive, lecture/seminar style and website resources

Indicative Bibliography

  • Athanasius, The Life of Antony and the Letter to Marcellinus. New York: Paulist Press, 1084).
  • Böckmann, Aquinata. Perspectives on the Rule of Saint Benedict. (Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2005).
  • Casey, Michael. Strangers to the City: Reflections on the Beliefs And Values of the Rule of Saint Benedict. Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2005.
  • Eberle, Luke. (trans.) The Rule of the Master. (Kalamazoo, MI.: Cistercian Publications, 1977).
  • Fry, T. (ed.) RB 1980: The Rule of St Benedict. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1981).
  • Holmes, Augustine. A Life Pleasing to God: The Spirituality of the Rules of St. Basil. (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 2000).
  • John Cassian: The Conferences. Trans. Boniface Ramsey. Ancient Christian Writers. (New York: Newman Press, 1999).
  • Kardong, Terrence. Benedict's Rule: A Commentary. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2000). (recommended for purchase)
  • Lawless, Gregory. Augustine of Hippo and his Monastic Rule. (Oxford: Clarendon Paperbacks, 1987).
  • Stewart, C. Prayer and Community. (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1998).


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Overview Exercise (1000 words)

1000 20.0

Exegesis of the Rule Essay (2000 words)

2000 30.0

Research Essay (3000 words)

3000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2015

Unit record last updated: 2019-05-14 14:45:31 +1000