Christian Spirituality Studies Blog

Dissertation: The Cross Now Rooted Breaks In Bloom: A Study of Bruno Barnhart’s ‘Wisdom Knowing’ and Wholeness in Christian Life., by Christopher Morris

SSCS member Christopher Morris's PhD dissertation (University of Divinity, 2020) is freely available for download. Here is its abstract:

This thesis is a study of the work of the Camaldolese Benedictine monk, Fr Bruno Barnhart (1931-2015). He envisions the Christian life from the perspective of wisdom and centred in participatory knowing. Barnhart develops a vision for wisdom today inspired by the Second Vatican Council and framed around four key ‘turns’: an umbrella turn, ‘the sapiential awakening’ representing the fundamental turn towards a wisdom approach; and three further turns to...

Syllabus: Special Topic Seminar: Spiritual Autobiography, by Emily Griesinger

SSCS member Emily Griesinger has made this syllabus available to other Society members. Please contact the blog moderator by email if you'd like a copy. Here is the course's introduction:

Spiritual Auto/Biography: One of the central features of contemporary culture, according to Andrew Delbanco, is an “unslaked craving for transcendence.” In this special topics seminar we will examine classic and contemporary spiritual auto/biographies and memoirs that use storytelling devices—plot, setting, character, tone, point of view, imagery, symbol—to express and convey religious experience.  We...

Syllabus: Introduction to Christian Spirituality, by Richard Bernier

Richard Bernier has made this syllabus available for SSCS members for a course he is teaching this semester. Copies can be requested by contacting the blog moderator by email. Here is the course overview:

The characteristics of Christian spirituality, its roots in scripture, the balance between contemplation and action, its communal dimension, its attitude to the world, are analyzed through the study of a selection of men and women whose lives exemplify various aspects of Christian spirituality over the past two thousand years. The course examines notions of transcendence and immanence...

Syllabus: Spirituality: Personal, Social and Religious Dimensions, by Richard Bernier

SSCS member Richard Bernier has made this syllabus available to other members. Here is the course's overview:

This course focuses on the phenomenon of spirituality as a personal and social response to the human quest for self-integration and self-transcendence. It examines the roles of both religious tradition and secular culture in shaping approaches to the spiritual journey. Consideration of the characteristics of Christian spiritual traditions is complemented by reflection upon the meaning and variety of spiritualities present in the pluralistic postmodern culture.

SSCS members...

Article: Touched by Love: Spiritual Experience in Chinese Christian Conversion Narratives, by Glen G. Scorgie, Kate Scorgie, Alexander Chow, and Nicholas Hsieh.

This article, co-authored by SSCS member Glen Scorgie, reports on a qualitative study designed to explore what first generation Chinese converts, mostly immigrants to the US, experienced in evangelical Protestant Christianity that led to their conversion and supported their new faith. Here is the article's abstract:

Christianity has become the religion of choice for a growing number of diasporic Chinese. This qualitative study examines the conversion narratives of first-generation Chinese converts to evangelical Protestant Christianity, exploring in particular the spiritual experiences...

Syllabus: Catholic Classics and Interiority: Christian Meditation and Mysticism, by Chad Thralls

Chad Thralls has created this syllabus for a course he is offering this spring at Seton Hall University. SSCS members can get a copy by emailing the SSCS Blog moderator. Here is the course description:

Though the terms “mystic,” “mystical,” and “mysticism” are used frequently in our culture, it is not clear what people mean when they use them.  Usually, the term refers to something vaguely mysterious, paranormal, or just plain weird.  This course will explore the phenomenon of mysticism in the Christian tradition using first and third-person perspectives; it will explore the topic in...

Syllabus: Theological Reflection in Professional Practice, by Zinia Pritchard

Dr. Zinia Pritchard, Contemplative Practical Theologian and Practice Director, Provincial Spiritual Care at Alberta Health Services, has created a syllabus for a course titled "Theological  Reflection in Professional Practice." SSCS members can request a copy by contacting the SSCS Blog moderator by email. Here are the expected learning outcomes for students taking this masters and doctoral level course:

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

1. Engage several models and methods of Theological Reflection within personal and practice contexts.
2. Explore “theological...

Dissertation: The Dark Night of the Soul: A Sacred Anatomy of Dying, by Zinia Pritchard

Dr. Zinia Pritchard, Contemplative Practical Theologian and Practice Director, Provincial Spiritual Care at Alberta Health Services, drew on the mystical theology of St. John of the Cross in her dissertation to create an assessment model for identifying the kind of suffering that is spiritually transfomative in palliative cases. Here is the dissertation's abstract: 

This practical theology dissertation is grounded in palliative care practice, comprising an introduction, six articles, and implications. The main research question is: What is the spiritual experience of dying? Each article...

Website: Catherine of Siena's Spirituality, by Diana L. Villegas

SSCS member and the Society's International Relations Committee Chairperson Diana Villegas has authored a website contributing to research in the spirituality of Catherine of Siena. Here is her introduction to the site:

This website replaces my plan to write a book that would unlock to spiritual seekers and spiritual guides the depth of wisdom offered by Catherine of Siena. The website is based on peer reviewed articles I have published about Catherine’s spirituality, as well as some new material including my translations of many passages of her letters both in the “Spiritual Wisdom” and...

Book: Testimonials to Experience of the Trinity, by Dale M. Schlitt

The book's author Dale M. Schlitt, OMI offers a selection of testimonials to experiences of the Trinity throughout the history of Christian spirituality. Each of the book's sixteen chapters focus on a different source of testimony beginning with chapters on Jesus and Paul.. The chapters also offer a range of modes of testimony including architecture, memoir, hymn, and interreligious dialogue. Here is an overview of the book's contents:

Testimonials to Experience of the Trinity is a study in spirituality of the Trinity. “Testimonial” refers to an affirming witness to experience of the...

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