Christian Spiritual Wisdom

This unit presents a developed and critical survey of the major historical schools of spirituality and prayer within the Western Christian Spiritual Tradition with particular reference to their writers and texts, and explores their contribution to their contemporary expression of Christian Spirituality. The unit includes the notion of classic in Christian spirituality, research methodology pertinent to ancient spiritual texts, precursors to the western spiritual tradition, texts within the tradition including, but not limited to: the writings of the medieval English school: Julian of Norwich and the Cloud of Unknowing, the Carmelite school: Theresa of Avila and john of the cross, the post Reformation perspectives and early twentieth century contributions.

Study Level



Christian Life and Ministry

Sub Discipline

Christian Spirituality

Credit Points




Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Identify various genres of spiritual writing
  2. Compare a number of primary texts of selected authors whose spiritual works have become “classics’ in the Christian Spiritual tradition
  3. Distinguish key themes and imagery in the selected texts and determine their sources
  4. Explore the theological foundations of the selected authors’ spiritual doctrine, and explore the relationship between the selected texts and their historical and cultural context
  5. Restate the wisdom of the selected historical texts into a contemporary context for the benefit of spiritual formation and personal practice.
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