Christian Spirituality Studies Blog

Article: Divine Opacity: Mystical Theology, Black Theology, and the Problem of Light-Dark Aesthetics, by Andrew Prevot

In this essay, Andrew Prevot, Assistant Professor of Theology at Boston College, tackles the issues raised for Black Christians who practice their religion in a tradition which has often used darkness as a metaphor for evil and ignorance. While seeing value in the darkness of God in apophatic mysticism and the blackness of God in black theology, Prevot argues for a third theological approach. He writes:

Instead of opting for either mystical theology or black theology, I propose a constructive synthesis of the two, not unlike that found in the works of James Noel.There are several reasons...

Syllabus: History and Traditions of Spiritual Formation

Here's the second of Tom Schwanda’s two syllabi. The first was posted earlier. Here’s the description:

This course traces some of the dominant themes of Christian spirituality. Through biblical, theological, and historical study we will examine how various individuals and movements have experienced and sought to nurture their relationship with the Triune God. Particular attention is paid to developing the skills of discernment for reading primary sources.

As before, copies of the syllabus are available to SSCS members by contacting the moderator.

Syllabus: Spiritual Theology: Knowing and Experiencing God

Tom Schwanda of Wheaton College is making two syllabi available. Here is a description of the first:

Spiritual theology is the practical, experiential exploration into the major themes of Christian theology. It is concerned with both how we think about God and how we live our lives with God and others. Therefore, this course seeks to integrate the principles and practices of doctrine and life. Special attention will be placed upon our experience of God and how we can reflect upon those experiences to deepen our knowledge and love of God and our neighbor.

Copies of this syllabus are...

Syllabus: Pro-Seminar in Spirituality

The third syllabus we’ve received comes from Dale M. Schlitt,omi, who teaches at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio , Texas. Titled a Pro-Seminar in Spirituality, it has the following course description:

History and nature of the academic study of spirituality, including a consideration of the role of second order reflection on spiritual experience. Research tools and resources. Approaches, and accompanying methodology considerations, in spirituality studies with the identification of the presuppositions and limitations of such approaches and methodologies. Critical and...

Syllabus: Classics of Western Spirituality

Our second syllabus comes from Charles J. Scalise. He describes it as a syllabus for “a course I taught last year to master’s-degree students at both Fuller Northwest in Seattle and Fuller Seminary in Pasadena.” Here is the course description:

This reading seminar seeks to involve students in spiritual reading, historical study, and critical interpretation of diverse classics of Christian spirituality across major historical periods of the Christian movement. Emphasis will be placed upon a blend of spiritual and critical understanding of the common readings and student-chosen spiritual...

Syllabus: Foundations of Spirituality

The first syllabus added to the CSS blog (!), it provides the outline for a course taught by Carla Mae Streeter, OP, professor emerita at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri. SSCS members can request copies of the syllabus by sending a request to the blog moderator. Here’s the course description:

The course is a systematic study of the two-fold foundation of an integrated, incarnational spirituality: the anthropological component and the grace component.  Central to the course is the study of conversion in its religious, moral, psychic, and intellectual forms.  Grace...

Subscribe to SSCS blog posts