This unit explores the history of contemplative practices in Western Christian spirituality. The unit begins with an investigation of key biblical passages and then moves to the early Church Fathers including Origen, Augustine of Hippo and Pseudo‐Dionysius. The unit analyses key texts of monastic traditions, including St Benedict, early Carthusian writings, St Bernard of Clairvaux, Richard of St Victor, and St. Francis. The unit then moves to major male and female spiritual authors of the High and Late Middle Ages who wrote in the vernacular, including John of Ruusbroec, Eckhart, Hadewijch, and the Modern Devotion. Important texts from the Early Modern and Modern Period will also be studied, including the Carmelite spirituality of St John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises. The unit concludes with a consideration contemporary contemplative practices and a critical reflection on the relevance of the contemplative tradition.
Articulate a detailed knowledge of the history, content and context of selected mystical texts
Analyse, critically interpret, research and develop a sustained argument about the history of Christian contemplation
Critically reflect on the history of contemplative practices in dialogue with contemporary theology and spirituality
Synthesise the knowledge of spiritual authors from the past with one’s personal experiences, values and beliefs and if applicable, one’s ministry as a spiritual director.
Prohibited combinations: DS9191J/ DS9199J CH9191J/ CH9199J
(old code: DS9125J)
Each session will consist of: (i) online resources (including recorded lecture), (ii) guided reading, and (iii) facilitated interaction in an online forum.
1000 word reflection
5000 word essay
Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2016
Unit Record last updated: 2019-05-16 13:44:44 +1000