PG 658: Pathways in Biblical Spiritualities

Module Level

9/10 MTh / PhD / STL Seminar Course

Time Allowance

First Semester. Online participation via Moodle from 23 September 2019 to 9 January 2020; On campus week intensive, 13-17 January 2020 inclusive: 10:00-13:00.

Assessment

Online participation (Q&A, forum discussions, short submissions): 30% / Oral Presentation (15 minutes): 20% / Major essay (4000 words): 50%

Module Aims

In this blended learning module, participants will study aspects of spirituality within the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament and explore some ways in which Christians have related to the Bible as a book of faith at various junctures in Church history.

The module adopts a multidisciplinary perspective, drawing upon liturgical, historical and biblical studies approaches. Participants will engage with key themes within spirituality across a range of biblical texts. They will also consider methodological questions about the academic study of spirituality; discover variations in how the Bible functions in lived faith in different time periods and faith traditions; engage in several methods of praying with Scripture; and learn to apply a hermeneutic of reading for transformation.

The module has both online and face-to-face learning components.


Indicative Syllabus

  • Biblical spirituality as an academic discipline
  • Key biblical terms: ruach, pneuma, nephesh, psyche, metanoia, zedekah, shalom.
  • The social and communal dimensions of spirituality in the Torah and Pauline corpus.
  • Scriptural foundations for an eco-justice spirituality
  • Key elements of a transformational hermeneutics
  • Spirituality and the imagination
  • Praying with Scripture: lectio divina, biblical meditation and Gospel contemplation.
  • The liturgical use of the Psalms
  • Word and lection in Catholic and Protestant (Anglican and Reformed) traditions
  • Scripture-based devotional practices in various faith traditions and historical periods.



Learning Outcomes

  • Upon successful completion of this seminar, students will be able to:
  • Critically engage with scholarship at the intersection of scripture and spirituality.
  • Formulate definitions for key terms as these are used within particular strands of the biblical tradition.
  • Characterise Christian spiritual praxis vis-à-vis Scripture across a range of historical and ecclesial contexts.
  • Trace themes pertinent to spirituality through a number of chosen biblical texts with a sensitivity to both continuity and difference across genres and Testaments.
  • Engage in and reflect on various ways of praying with Scripture.

Bibliography

  • Anderson, Bradford A. and Jonathan Kearney (Eds), Ireland and the Reception of the Bible: Social and Cultural Perspectives, London: T&T Clark, 2018.
  • Bowe, Barbara Ellen, Biblical Foundations of Spirituality. Touching a Finger to the Flame, 2nd ed, Lanham MD, Rowman and Littlefield, 2017.
  • Gillingham, S. E., ed., Jewish & Christian Approaches to the Psalms. Oxford: OUP, 2013. [223.206]
  • Lincoln, A. T., et al., eds., The Bible and Spirituality. Exploratory Essays in Reading Scripture Spiritually. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2013.
  • Lombaard, Christo, The Old Testament and Christian Spirituality: theoretical and practical essays from a South African perspective, Atlanta GA:SBL Press, 2012.
  • McGrath, Alistair, Christian Spirituality. An Introduction, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 1999.
  • Schneiders, Sandra M., “Biblical Spirituality,” Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, 56/2 (Apr 2002): 133-142.
  • Stuhlmueller, C., The Spirituality of the Psalms. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2002.
  • West, Fritz, Scripture and Memory. The Ecumenical Hermeneutic of the Three Year Lectionaries, Collegeville MN:Liturgical Press, 1997.
  • Wink, Walter, The Bible in Human Transformation. Toward a New Paradigm for Biblical Study, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010.

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