Spirituality in the Ignatian Tradition

Spirituality in the Ignatian Tradition

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This course will enable students to examine and reflect critically upon the theory and practice of Christian spiritual direction with a specific focus on the Ignatian Tradition. Building on the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, this module will explore the dynamics of spiritual direction and issues that arise in the pastoral ministry of spiritual accompaniment. Students will examine the theory and practice of Christian spiritual direction with a specific focus on the Ignatian Tradition, engage with the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, reflect on pastoral ministry through the lens of spiritual direction, explore the issues that arise in the pastoral ministry of spiritual accompaniment, understand the dynamics of spiritual direction, identify the processes within spiritual direction and the roles of director and directee.

When: 10am – 4pm on 13th January and 10th February includes breaks

Course Leader: Dr Gemma Simmonds

Study Day 1

Session 1: Introduction Spiritual Direction in the Ignatian Tradition In this session students will:

– identify and discuss the contemporary personal, ecclesial and social context of spiritual direction.

– consider part of the Memoriale of Ignatius Loyola and the writings of Mary Ward as foundational to an understanding of the dynamics of spiritual direction in the Ignatian tradition

– have an introduction to the person and story of Ignatius

– spend time considering what they think spiritual direction is and appropriate responses for a ministry of spiritual direction in contemporary ecclesial and social contexts

Session 2: Prayer – Image and Imagination

In this session students will:

– analyse the way in which different forms of prayer inform our images of God and self and vice versa.

– explore ways in which prayer and image of God or self can help or hinder knowledge of oneself as loved and forgiven sinner

– consider the role of the imagination and affective response in prayer.

Sessions 3: Dynamics of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercise as a Paradigm of the Spiritual Life (Part 1)

In this session students will:

– Consider the way in which the different ‘Weeks’ of the SpExx represent different phases of life experience and a person’s spiritual development

– Consider Psalm 8 and Augustine’s Confessions as exemplifying the spiritual awakening implied by SpExx 23, the Principle and Foundation

– Consider how spiritual direction might help a person at particular stages of their spiritual process

Session 4: Dynamics of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises as a paradigm of the spiritual life (Part 2)

In this session students will:

– Consider how to listen well for the denial of suffering, for anger and resistance and/or the depression that can come with it

– Explore how to deal with a pilgrim’s pain, how this effect the guide, and what s/he should do about it

– Examine what desolation is in spiritual/theological terms and how it should be dealt with

Study Day 2

Session 5: Essential Elements in Discernment

In this session students will :

– Consider the wider question of discernment and how discernment works within the context of spiritual direction

– Examine discernment and direction in relation a major life decision

– Explore what Ignatius calls discreta caritas or ‘discreet charity’ in relation to a given situation

– Consider issues of personal freedom, the role of desire in spiritual direction and in prayer in general

– Reflect on how blocks can occur, and/or how people can sabotage our own spiritual growth

Session 6: Further models of Spiritual Direction, further reflections on spiritual direction and discernment

In this session students will:

– Consider another model of spiritual direction and evaluated it

– Consider the implications of offering spiritual direction to people who are ‘spiritual but not religious’ and evaluated an academic approach and their own responses to it.

– Considered the ethical implications of the spiritual direction relationship and evaluated the published guidelines for their own possible use

– Examine two case studies and responded to them using personal reflection

Session 7: Ethics of Spiritual Direction, thoughts on religious experience

In this session students will:

– Consider in detail different types of religious experience

– Compare and contrasted them with one another

– Consider how a person who has undergone such an experience might be effectively accompanied

– Consider the question of ethics in spiritual direction

Session 8: Spiritual Direction: Questions of Culture

In this session students will:

– Consider set reading material and evaluated it

– Consider the content of SpExx Week 4 as a pattern for committed Christian discipleship and the question of cultural difference in spiritual direction

– Consider how the reading material impacts on your ideas about spiritual direction from the perspective both of the pilgrim and of the guide

For each sessions there will be reading and preparatory tasks assigned, some of these involving work on key texts, short student presentations, and / or empirical observational research.

This is an online course. All recordings and materials will be available via a portal.

If you require any further details please email Adele at: aa2451@mbit.cam.ac.uk

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Date And Time

13-01-2024 @ 10:00 AM to
10-02-2024 @ 04:00 PM


Online event

Event Category

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