Monthly Archives: December 2016

News about the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana – Jesuit University in Bogotá, Colombia

The International Relations Committee (IRC) of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality wants to promote the work of the Society by facilitating interaction between people and institutions across the world that are involved in the study of Spirituality. Diana Villegas, who lives in Colombia and recently joined the IRC, hereby offers a first report on her recent experience on work that is being done on Spirituality in Colombia. Readers who live and work in South America and who want to learn more about the Society or who want to share their interests and research are invited to contact Diana (
Pieter G.R. de Villiers
President, SSCS

News about the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana – Jesuit University in Bogotá, Colombia
~Diana Villegas

The Theology Faculty of the Javeriana University has a solid commitment to research in spirituality, though currently professors of spirituality and research groups in spirituality are under systematics, one of three specialties in the theology department. (The others are Biblical studies and theology of action, most equivalent to practical theology.) Several professors focus on spirituality. Edith Gonzalez is interested in mysticism and did doctoral work on the Beguines. Rosana Navarro did her doctoral work on the spirituality of Etty Hillesum and continues to research her work. Hermann Rodriguez works on individual and community discernment in the tradition of Ignatius of Loyola. Orlando Solano has worked on the theology and spirituality of Gregory of Nyssa and Jorge Zurek specializes in Carmelite spirituality.

Professors Navarro, Rodriguez, Solano and Zurek together with a group of graduate students are engaged in an innovative group research project to analyze Latin American publications on liberation spirituality and examine development in teaching on this topic. The investigation is divided into four periods coinciding with the dates of the Latin American Bishops Conferences beginning with the Medellin conference which was strongly influenced by the emerging Liberation Theology. Two articles have been published in a peer reviewed journal corresponding to two periods, 1968 to 1979 (from the Medellin to the Puebla Conference) and 1979 – 1992 (Puebla to the Santo Domingo Conference). Two more articles are planned, one covering the period between 1992 (Puebla) and 2007 (the conference in Aparecida, Brazil); and a final article covering 2007 until the present.

The two published articles are:

Estupiñán, Miguel Ángel; Hoyos-Camacho, Adriana Alejandra; Navarro-Sanchez, Rosana Elena; Rodríguez-Osorio, Hermann; Solano-Pinzón, Orlando; Zurek-Lequerica, Jorge Antonio. “El despertar de la espiritualidad de la liberación: Evolución de sus expresiones desde Medellín hasta Puebla.” Cuestiones teológicas 40, no. 94 (2013): 405-31.

Gómez-Díaz, Jairo; Hoyos-Camacho, Adriana Alejandra; Navarro-Sanchez, Rosana Elena; Rodríguez-Osorio, Hermann; Solano-Pinzón, Orlando; Zurek-Lequerica, Jorge Antonio. “El sentido teológico de una espiritualidad en camino: La espiritualidad de la liberación entre Puebla y Santo Domingo.” Cuestiones teológicas 43, no. 99 (2016): 149-74.


Article: “O Sweet Cautery”: John of the Cross and the Healing of the Natural World, by Mary Frohlich

In her article for Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society (v. 43, n. 2, Dec. 2016, pp. 308-331), Mary Frohlich  argues for the value of the great 16th century Spanish mystic’s spirituality in meeting today’s ecological challenges. In the article’s abstract, Mary writes

Contrary to what may appear in a superficial understanding of his spirituality, John of the Cross strongly affirms the goodness of creation and its capacity to mediate the presence of God. He specifically identifies the web of mutual interactions among creatures as a primary manifestation of divine love, and he affirms that the more a person participates in God, the more he or she participates fully and joyfully in this community of creatures. Activation of creation’s full capacity to mediate divinity, however, depends on the full fruition of the human person in God. Experientially, this involves a lengthy process of a back-and-forth rhythm between the glimpse of God in creation and the complete renunciation of dependence on creaturely knowledge in favor of faith. John’s writings invite us to participate in the healing of the natural world by pursuing this contemplative rhythm all the way to its fruitional climax.