This unit will explore the genre, structure, socio-historical context and theological emphases of the Gospels, and the cultural and social situation of the Mediterranean world in New Testament times. The key focus will be on the role of the imagination in prayer, as outlined by Saint Ignatius. When an exercitant prays over a Gospel passage in making the Spiritual Exercises, he or she enters it as a participant. The unit will give attention to early influences leading Ignatius to employ imaginative prayer with the Gospel narratives within the Spiritual Exercises. It will explore the psychology of the human imagination and its relevance to the practice of prayer in life, work and ministry.

Unit Code: DS9079J

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Spirituality

Delivery Mode: Online

Proposing College: Jesuit College of Spirituality

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Learning Outcomes


Outline the basic psychology of human imagining and its value for prayer


Describe the influence of Ludolph of Saxony’s practice of imaginative contemplation upon Ignatius of Loyola and his subsequent writing of the Spiritual Exercises


Articulate the structure and subject outlines of the four Gospels and their particular use of symbols and images


Identify and develop skills in using imaginative prayer that enhances the ministry practice of spiritual directors

Unit sequence

Prohibited combinations: old code/ name: DS9105F Synagogues, Villages and Towns: Using the Imagination in Contemplating Gospel Narratives in Ignatian Prayer


Lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group reflection


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

6000 word-essay

6000 100.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2017

Unit Record last updated: 2019-05-15 07:47:58 +1000