Christian Spirituality Studies Blog

Article: To Live Is Not Enough: Integration – The Task of the Authentically Human, by David B. Perrin

In this article, David Perrin argues that contemporary emphasis on personal productivity in our society neglects our need to realize a more wholistic sense of self. Here is his open access article's abstract:

In today’s world of mechanization, unbridled intellectualism, and a focus on rational knowing, there is a need to recapture the primordial sense of what it means to be human – that is, the worth of the totality of the individual and not just his or her function or role within some complex structure that does not recognize each person’s uniqueness or individuality. This article...

Article: Mysticism as a Dimension of Christian Spirituality, by Diana L. Villegas

This newly published article by Diana Villegas offers definitions of mysticism, spirituality, and Christian spirituality which draw on selected texts by early Christian authors. Here is the article's abstract:

Mysticism and spirituality have acquired broad, interdisciplinary meanings. In this essay I return to the early Christian origins of mysticism to understand the meaning of this experience as a dimension of Christian spirituality. After addressing definitions of spirituality in our pluralistic culture, I argue that mysticism should be an essential part of Christian spirituality.


Syllabus: Contemplative Practices through the Arts, by Tyanna Yonkers and Cheryl H. Hooks

SSCS member Professor Tyanna Yonkers co-created this syllabus with Professor of Fine Arts Cheryl H. Hooks for a course offered at the University of Mount Olive. Here is the course description:

The purpose of this interdisciplinary course, Contemplative Practices through the Arts, is to provide the student with the opportunity to develop a personal spiritual formation through an increased knowledge and use of contemplative practices and creative exercises in art, music and theater.

Here is an article about the course.

SSCS members may request a copy by emailing the blog moderator J...

Syllabus: Contemplative Prayer Practices, by Lisa Dahill

Last fall, Lisa Dahill offered a course on contemplative practices and their capacity for being followed within an ecological context. Here is the course description:

This course introduces students to a range of practices of contemplative prayer, centering in a broadly ecological context: both Earth itself as our shared creaturely home and the particular places where students live. Students will engage in experiential elements that are adaptable to the students’ own tradition and/or context, including traditional forms like centering/mindfulness, Ignatian Examen, and lectio divina as...

Book: Unexpected Mystic: Encountering the Mystical Theology in First and Second Peter, by Robert D. Flanagan

Some scholars believe that if we are to reclaim a more mystical Christianity for our times, we need to reclaim a mystical understanding of the Bible. In this book, Robert Flanagan contributes to this effort by uncovering the mystical aspects of the letters of Peter. Here is an overview:

The apostle Peter is a pillar of the church whose writing has been overlooked until recently when scholarship remedied this gap, significantly elevating Peter's letters. However, one critical area has been omitted. Within the Petrine writing is a robust, empowered, and beautiful mystical theology, which...

Book: The Hildegard of Bingen Pilgrimage Book, by Annette Esser

In this book the author Annette Esser invites the reader to take a pilgrimage on Hildegard Way. The text can serve as a guide if one were undertaking an in-person pilgrimage to the sites it describes, but also as a text for contemplative reading. Here is the publisher's introduction to the book's contents and author:

The Hildegard of Bingen Pilgrimage Way is a new path that invites pilgrims from all over the world to walk along the historic sites where the saint lived in the twelfth century. The route leads pilgrims on 140 kilometers (87 miles) from Idar-Oberstein via Disibodenberg and...

Syllabus: Spiritual Formation, by Andrew Dyck

This is the fifth of five syllabi Andrew Dyck has made available to SSCS members. You can find blog posts about the other four (or any other syllabi) by going to the SSCS website and typing syllabus in the box below Christian Spirituality Blog. To get a copy of this syllabus, please email the blog moderator. Here is the course overview:

This experience-centred course introduces students to practices and perspectives for growing in attentiveness to God’s presence in order to be continually formed into Christlikeness by the Holy Spirit. The course helps cultivate spiritual habits that can...

Syllabus: Christian Spirituality, by Andrew Dyck

Andrew Dyck has been most generous in sharing his syllabi. This, the fourth, is also for a graduate course. Here is the course description:

This course introduces students to the study of Christian spirituality by examining diverse traditions of Christian spirituality historically and presently, by considering the scriptural and theological moorings of these traditions, and by engaging in research that studies spiritual life. Through these explorations, students will be invited to consider their own spiritual heritage and ongoing spiritual development. 

This course has been designed...

Syllabus: Prayer, by Andrew Dyck

Andrew Dyck created this syllabus for a graduate course at Canadian Mennonite University. Here is the course description:

This course will help students develop their convictions and practices of prayer—both individual and communal—by examining Christian prayer in church history, theology, and scripture (incl. Psalms, the Lord’s Prayer, and other New Testament prayers). Students will be given opportunities to experience and respond to various prayer practices individually and in small groups. An underlying theme for the course is ‘No one prays alone.

SSCS members can request a copy...

Special Journal Issue: Spirituality and Addiction, co-edited by Bernadette Flanagan and Noelia Molina

Co-edited by SSCS members Bernadette Flanagan and Noelia Molina, this special issue of the monthly journal Religions is available for download because it is an open access journal. Here is an excerpt from the editors' introduction:

In this collection of essays, we turn the spirituality spotlight onto the inner drives in life which can shape our existence, consciously or unconsciously. The diversity of addictions discussed, and perspectives presented, aims to raise deeper questions regarding the nature of addiction. Rather than presenting addictions as diverse clinical challenges, the...

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