Christian Spirituality Studies Blog

Article: Catherine of Siena on persons created in God’s image: Basis for a spiritual path, by Diana L. Villegas

In this article, the author Diana L. Villegas shows how Augustine's teaching on person as image of God informed Catherine's own teaching on the spiritual journey, a journey made possible by God's love. Here is the article's abstract:

The belief that persons are images of God offers powerful constructs for imagining and thinking about a spiritual journey. What about; who we are makes a relationship possible with God? What are the goals of a spiritual journey given who we are to God? Catherine of Siena’s wisdom regarding persons as images of God offers answers to these questions. This study...

Book: Studying Christian Spirituality, 2nd edition, by David Perrin

The second edition of David Perrin's Studying Christian Spirituality has just been published. Here is Perrin's introduction to the book:

David Perrin's Studying Christian Spirituality, 2nd edition, Routledge (2024) proposes a framework to discover how spirituality can be understood beyond the conventional boundaries that religions have established.

Its nine chapters discuss a wide variety of issues and questions, which include: definitions of spirituality; the impact of models of God; human-spiritual development; the importance of context; historical criticism; anthropology...

Dissertation: Union and communion: The mystical spirituality of James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), by Judy Elise Lam

Judy Lam's doctoral thesis explores the mystical teachings of James Hudson Taylor, a British Protestant missionary in China. By placing Taylor's spiritual writings within the Christian mystical tradition, Lam shows how his mysticism was essential to understanding his missionary work. Here is Lam's introduction:

James Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland Mission (CIM) in 1865, was one of the most prominent 19th century British Protestant missionaries in China. Despite his profound influence on Chinese Church history, Protestant missions, and the ‘faith missions’ movement, his...

Article: From Ecotheology to Ecospirituality in Laudato sí—Ecological Spirituality beyond Christian Religion, by Teresa Messias

In this open access article, Teresa Messias argues for the close relationship between the ecotheology of Laudato sí and ecospirituality. Furthermore, she sees the possibility of Pope Francis's Ecumenical letter leading to substantive connections with other non-Christian spiritualities. Here is the article's abstract:

This article discusses the notion of ecotheology, its origins and the conceptual framework of meaning, particularly within Christian theology, in order to establish its relation to the notion of ecospirituality. The article researches how ecological theology may ground an...

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...

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