Monthly Archives: July 2017

Article: Metodologia ermeneutica nella spiritualità cristiana: fenomenologia e interdisciplinarità, by David B. Perrin

David B. Perrin, former President of the SSCS, is pleased to share information about the following recent publication “Metodologia ermeneutica nella spiritualità cristiana: fenomenologia e interdisciplinarità” available in the online academic journal Mysterion: Rivista di Ricerca in Teologia Spirituale, Anno 10 Numero 1 (2017), 5-21.  You will have guessed that this publication is in Italian but the synopsis below is in English.  The article was first presented at a conference at the Teresianum University, Rome, Italy in May 2013.  You may access the article online at http://www.mysterion.it/

This article examines how hermeneutical methodology offers the researcher in Christian spirituality a way to understand “movements of meaning in life” such that the meaning of human existence within the movement of the Divine in the world can be discerned.  In order to accomplish this task as it applies to Christian spirituality, hermeneutical methodology pushes the researcher beyond a singular conceptual framework, theological or other, to advance and adjudicate the results of research projects.  Furthermore, hermeneutical methodology evaluates the perspective (bias and prejudice) of the researcher as a positive contribution to the research analysis.  As such, the article explains why the study of experience as experience – the formal object of study in Christian spirituality – is seen as the door to seeing new and exciting ways that the Divine is active in “making all things new.” (Rev. 21:5)

Also available in English.  See: “Hermeneutical Methodology in Christian Spirituality,” Theoforum 44 (2013), 317-337 or contact dperrin@uwaterloo.ca

Article: The Night Office: Loss, Darkness, and the Practice of Solidarity, by Douglas E. Christie

In contrast to its cataphatic spirituality and its emphasis on divine presence, fullness, and light, Christianity’s apophatic spiritual practices offer believers an alternative path that reflects the human experience of divine absence, emptiness, and darkness. Douglas Christie‘s article introduces his readers to this path, a “practice that can help us discover the courage and empathy necessary for entering into those places of profound loss and unknowing that have become so pervasive in our world and standing with those who suffer and struggle there.” Here is the article’s abstract:

What does it mean to enter the night? This question has long haunted the Christian mystical tradition. There, entering the night almost always means accepting uncertainty, insecurity and loss as inevitable and necessary, part of what it is to come to know ourselves in God and in relation to one another. In our own time, amidst increasingly acute encounters with loss, suffering and insecurity, the language of darkness is taking on new meaning and significance. In this essay, I consider what it might mean to retrieve traditions of spiritual darkness as part of a transformative spiritual practice. How might such practice help us cultivate the courage and empathy to engage the profound loss and unknowing that has become so pervasive in our world and to stand in solidarity with those who suffer and struggle there? How might it help us become, in the words of Pope Francis, more “painfully aware?”

Here is the article’s citation data:

Douglas E. Christie. “The Night Office: Loss, Darkness, and the Practice of Solidarity.” Anglican Theological Review. 99, 2 (Spring 2017): 211-232.