Spiritual Theology (SPIR) Courses

SPIR 415 Celibacy and Sexuality (3)
This course is an examination of the understanding of sexuality and celibacy in the Christian tradition and in literature and art and of the spiritual dimensions of sexuality and celibacy through prayer and spiritual and personal development. Cross-listed with PTHM 415.

SPIR 424 History of Christian Spirituality I (3)
This course explores the significant formative elements, experiences, and writers of Christian spirituality in its first seven hundred years. Cross-listed with HHTH 424.

SPIR 425 History of Christian Spirituality II (3)
This course is a study of the Christian spirituality of the Middle Ages, especially from the end of the seventh-century to the Reformation. Special attention will be given to notable figures, writings, events, institutions and movements that shaped the expression of Christian convictions and practice, up to the dawn of the "modern" period. Cross-listed with HHTH 425.

SPIR 426 History of Christian Spirituality III (3)
Students will examine the development of Christian spirituality from the Protestant and Catholic Reformations to the present. Also included will be events in Asia, Africa, North and Latin America. Cross-listed with HHTH 428.

SPIR 430 Theology and Spirituality (3)
This course offers an examination of the relationship between concrete experience and theological inquiry as seen in the works of outstanding spiritual writers of the Christian tradition. Prayer in Christian life. Forms of spirituality and asceticism.

SPIR 431 Christian Prayer (3)
This course offers a study of the place of prayer in Christian life, with special emphasis on the Our Father, using various classical commentaries. Theological problems and considerations related to the doctrine of prayer are included, e.g. discernment in prayer, content of prayer, polarities in prayer (such as its apophatic and mystical, individual and communitarian, sacramental and liturgical aspects), and laws of the spiritual life emanating from teachings on prayer.

SPIR 432 Spirituality and Mysticism (3)
Students explore the mystical dimension of Christianity as exemplified in ancient and modern mystics. Students will consider questions of discernment of true from false mysticism; comparative studies; influence of psychology on studies of mysticism; relationship of mysticism to the Church.

SPIR 434 Monastic Spiritual Theology (3)
Students will explore the Christian monastic tradition from the perspective of monastic classics. Cross-listed with MONS 434.

SPIR 435 Christian Asceticism (3)
Christian asceticism is centered upon a discernment of motivations, influences, and goals conducted within a relationship of spiritual accompaniment by an experienced guide. The psychological and spiritual insights of many early Christian writers, especially monastic ones, are a valuable but rarely used resource for spiritual directors, pastors, counselors, and persons seeking spiritual guidance. This course will be a study of Classical, early Chris¬tian and relevant later texts which bear on issues of spiritual growth and pastoral guidance. Cross-listed with MONS 435.

SPIR 436 Bible and Prayer (3)
This course will cover early Christian and monastic attitudes toward the biblical text and the interplay between the Bible and forms of prayer. Students will learn various methods of interpreting the Bible; ways of encountering the Bible (reading, memorization, meditation), kinds of early monastic prayer and their biblical basis, with some attention to the subsequent history of those traditions and a consideration of present-day implications. Cross-listed with MONS 436.

SPIR 437 The Practice of Discernment in Prayer (1)
Preparatory to listening to others' experiences of God we will explore how our own image of God evolves as we discern God's ways of being present to us in prayer and in life.
The course will include an introduction to the practice of lectio divina applied to our lived experience.  Grading is S/U.

SPIR 467 Topics in Jewish Spirituality (3)

SPIR 468 Topics in Spirituality (1-3)

SPIR 470 Independent Study (1-3)

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School of Theology
P.O. Box 7288
Collegeville, MN 56321

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