History of Western Christian Spirituality

STH TH 820

An introduction to the historical study of Western Christian spiritual practices. The course exposes students to the historical-critical study of spiritual practices through careful examination of selected narratives of Western Christian spirituality, primary texts, and participatory observation. Participants will learn to analyze spiritual practices--such as reading, fasting, and prayer--by the twofold process of "abstracting/isolating" practices and "reading/interpreting" them in their historical context. While emphasis will be placed on the synchronic interpretation of practices, due attention will also be given to their development over time. Readings will include selected articles representative of current methodology in the field. Participants will gain a better understanding of continuity and change of spiritual practices in Western Christian traditions. (Requires TF 701/702 or equivalent)

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