|October 2014|| Vol 53 No 4|
To readers and friends of The Way, welcome to our Special Issue for 2014:
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Personal Experience and Critical Distance in the Interpretation of Spiritual Texts: Do They Conflict?
Dr Edward Howells is Lecturer in Spirituality at Heythrop College, currently celebrating its fourth centenary. Here he asks how the historical material considered in university spirituality courses can be studied in a way that remains open to the contemporary experience of students and others, without distorting or losing touch with its original inspiration.
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Claire E. Wolfteich
Teaching Spirituality: Context, Practice, Scholarship and Formation
The context in which spirituality is taught in the academy is usually very different from that in which the spiritual practices studied originated and are still employed. Yet it seems important that these two spheres should retain close links to one another. Claire Wolfteich reflects on some of the ways in which these links can be maintained.
Teaching Spiritual Accompaniment in the Context of Trauma
Even two decades after the fall of the apartheid system in South Africa, many of that country’s citizens still bear the psychological scars that it inflicted. Anne Marie Paulin-Campbell draws on her work with the Jesuit Institute of South Africa to ask how spiritual directors can best be trained to deal with the kinds of trauma they encounter in this context.
Forming Spiritual Directors in an Academic Course
In Australia a Master of Arts in Spiritual Direction (MASD) course has been run for the last fourteen years. It is unusual in that it aims to form spiritual directors through an academic course. Here Michael Smith, Dean of the college running the course, reflects upon the challenges it has faced and the successes that it has achieved.
Robert R. Marsh
Teaching Spiritual Direction as if God were Real
Rob Marsh has described in earlier issues of The Way a model of spiritual direction that starts from a sharp focus on the reality of God’s work in the life experience of the one being directed. In this article he considers the practical implications of such an approach for the training of spiritual directors, and thus the content of training courses.
Training Spiritual Directors
Is spiritual direction based on a set of skills that can be taught? Or are the best directors those who are recognised as possessors of an innate charism? Over the last decade Ruth Holgate has developed training programmes that acknowledge the charismatic element while rigorously promoting and evaluating the skills that support it.
Forming Directors: Training Programme or Apprenticeship?
Traditionally, spiritual directors were formed through a process of apprenticeship, working alongside those who were acknowledged to show some mastery of the process. Paul Nicholson suggests that this process is still a valid one today, although it may result in fewer new directors than are turned out by some contemporary training courses.
“A God-Mother of the True Believers:” Teaching Spirituality in a Non-Denominational Seminary
Janet Ruffing is professor in the practice of spirituality and ministerial leadership at Yale Divinity School. In her experience almost all the students who enrol for her classes have a desire to explore their own spiritual experience. Ruffing describes how she has developed courses that allow for this kind of exploration.
Beth R. Crisp
Do the Staff Need to Know What We Believe?
In Australia many social welfare agencies are run by, or at least have close associations with, faith communities. Yet the state funding that they receive demands that they make their services available to all, irrespective of belief. Beth Crisp asks how these organizations can help staff understand their faith roots without proselytizing.
Peace Play: Exploring New Frontiers of Body Wisdom
The author is an exponent of the InterPlay movement, which teaches a form of spirituality that takes the wisdom of the body and its awareness of its own needs very seriously. Here Prashant Olalekar describes how this has been developed in an Indian context, and links it with the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius.
Quaestio Divina: Research as Spiritual Practice
For those undertaking initial postgraduate studies, the final thesis or dissertation looms large. This is as true for those studying spirituality as it is for any other discipline. Yet Bernadette Flanagan argues that these research projects have the potential to become privileged occasions of spiritual transformation for those undertaking them.
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FORTHCOMING from WAY BOOKS
Peter Edmonds SJ, The Way Companion to the Sunday Missal
|THIS BRIEF, INFORMATIVE and accessible guide provides commentary and background on the passages of scripture that are read out in every Roman Catholic church in the world on Sundays. It has been described as ‘an answer to a preacher’s prayer’, and is invaluable to those writing homilies and sermons, but it will also repay meditative reading by anyone preparing for the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. The text, first published in 2002, has been fully revised and updated by Fr Edmonds for this new Way Books edition. |
ISBN: 978 0 904717 44 5
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