General Objectives: To offer the doctrinal foundations and the progressive stages of growing in Christian life towards perfection. To help the students, as future Christian leaders, shepherds and spiritual guides, to combine theology and spirituality, Christian doctrine and practice, contemplation and action, so to know the ways of God and the ways of men, and lead them to the stature of Christ. To hearten them to live in the forefront what they teach and preach.
Course Outline: 1. Nature and scope of Spiritual Theology: Terminology, method, sources, types. 2. Biblical and theological foundations of spirituality. 3. Schools of spirituality. 4. The goal of our striving: The glory of God, salvation, sanctification. 5. Our life in the Trinity: The Father, goal of all the creatures; Christ, the way, the truth, the life; the Holy Spirit sanctifier. 6. The supernatural organism: Grace (sanctifying, actual, effects), indwelling of the Trinity, infused virtues, gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, beatitudes. 7. Perfection of the Christian life: the nature of Christian perfection, the mystical state. 8. Growth in holiness: Conversion from sin, means of spiritual growth (the sacraments, meritorious good works, and prayer of petition). 9. The theological virtues (faith, hope, charity) and the moral virtues (prudence, counsel, justice, piety, temperance, fear, fortitude). 10. Vocal prayer, meditation, lectio divina, affective prayer, prayer of simplicity, contemplative prayer, prayer of quiet, prayer of union, prayer of conforming, union prayer, transforming union. 11. Aids to spiritual growth: The presence of God, examination of conscience, the desire for perfection, conformity to God’s will, fidelity to grace, plan of life, spiritual reading, holy friendships, spiritual direction. 12. Discernment of spirits: types of spirits, psychosomatic phenomena, extraordinary mystical phen.
Textbook: Aumann, Jordan. 2010. Spiritual Theology. London: Sheed & Ward. Bibliography: Bouyer, Louis. 2013. Introduction to the Spiritual Life. Notre Dame: Christian Classics; Burke, Dan. 2012. Navigating the Interior Life: Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. Steubenville: Emmaus Road Publishing; Chan, Simon. 1998. Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life. Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press; Collins, Kenneth, ed. 2000. Exploring Christian Spirituality: An Ecumenical Reader. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic; Downey, Michael. ed. 1993. The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality. Collegeville: Liturgical Press; Doyle, Charles. 2013. Guidance in Spiritual Direction. USA: Create Space Independent Publishing Platform; Fernandez-Carvajal, Francis. 2012. Through Wind and Waves: On Being a Spiritual Guide. New Rochelle: Scepter; Francis. 2018. Apostolic Exhortation “Gaudete et Exsultate” on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World. Vatican City: LEV; Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald. 2013. The Three Ages of the Interior Life. 2 vols. USA: ICGTesting; Gioia, Luigi. 2018. Touched by God: The Way to Contemplative Prayer. London: Bloomsbury Academic; Gray, Tim. 2009. Prayer in Scripture for a Change: An introduction to Lectio Divina. Neceda: Ascension Press; Healy, Charles. 2012. Christian Spirituality. An Introduction to the Heritage. New York: Alba House, 1998; Holder, Arthur. 2006. The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality. Indianapolis: Blackwell Publishing; Jones, Cheslyn, Geoffrey Wainwright, and Edward Yarnold, eds. 2004. The Study of Spirituality. 6th Edition. London: SCPK; Kuttianimattathil, Jose, ed. 2011. Spiritual Direction Today: Essays in Honour of Rev. Fr. Matthew Maruvathrail, SDB. Bangalore: Kristu Jyoti Publications; Louf, André. 2015. In the School of Contemplation. Edited by Paul Rowe. Collegeville: Cistercian Publications; McDermott, Thomas. 2013. Filled with All the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark; McGrath, Alister. 2005. Christian Spirituality: An Introduction. 9th Edition. Indianapolis: Blackwell Publishing; Merton, Thomas. 2017. A Course in Christian Mysticism: Thirteen Sessions with the Famous Trappist Monk. Edited by Jon Sweeney. Collegeville: Liturgical Press; Mursell, Gordon. 2001. The Story of Christian Spirituality: Two Thousand Years, from East to West. Oxford: Lion Hudson; Sheldrake, Philip, ed. 2005. The New SCM Dictionary of Christian Spirituality. 2nd Revised Edition. London: SCM; Sheldrake, Philip. 2013. A Brief History of Spirituality. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell; Špidlík, Tomáš. 1986. Spirituality of the Christian East: A Systematic Handbook. Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications; Standaert, Benoît. 2018. Spirituality: An Art of Living: A Monk’s Alphabet of Spiritual Practices. Translated by Rudolf van Puymbroeck. Collegeville: Liturgical Press; Streeter, Carla. 2013. Foundations of Spirituality: The Human and the Holy: A Systematic Approach. Collegeville: Liturgical Press; Tanquerey, Adolphe. 2013. The Spiritual Life. A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology. Revised Edition Charlotte: Tan Books & Publishing; Wiseman, James. 2006. Spirituality and Mysticism: A Global View. New York: Orbis Book.