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Title: Giving Ignatian Exercises at ecclesial frontiers
Author: Heiding, Sven Fredrik
ISNI:       0000 0003 8153 1788
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, presuppose Roman Catholicism, but are today made by many who are not Catholics. Moreover, even Roman Catholics who make Ignatian Exercises often are not spontaneously inclined to obey Roman ecclesiastical authority. Neither avoiding the ecclesial dimension nor an authoritarian ‘follow the rules!’ provides spiritual directors with adequate orientation when working with issues at Church frontiers. This dissertation in pastoral theology seeks to navigate a middle position by moving beyond the individualism and the a-historical assumptions of the existing relevant literature. The dissertation remains close to the Ignatian primary sources, in the awareness that the Ignatian tradition needs to be constantly updated and that the contemporary ecclesial frontiers are not fully foreseen in the canonical texts. The main hypothesis is that a notion is needed of a ‘pilgrim Church’ in space and time, with Christians who are related to one another in a deep and fundamental sense. The minor hypothesis is that the individual needs to be open towards and prepared to learn from the Roman Catholic Church, in order to understand and to be profoundly moved by these exercises, but not necessarily to become a Roman Catholic. Having presented and discussed various approaches in the writings of twentieth-century and recent thinkers, this thesis puts forward its own ecclesiological position informed by Charles Taylor, Hans-Georg Gadamer and Karl Rahner. The aim is to take Ignatian studies forward by combining relational anthropology, hermeneutics and a sacramental understanding of the Church, and to apply this synthesis to the practice of giving Ignatian Exercises. The final chapter discusses a selection of cases in the light of my ecclesiological position. The synthesis and application claim originality.
Supervisor: Endean, Philip Sponsor: Society of Jesus, German Province
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Christianity and Christian spirituality ; Church history ; Modern theology ; Ignatius of Loyola ; Jesuits ; Spiritual Exercises ; Spiritual Direction ; Spiritual Discernment ; Church Authority ; Hierarchical Church ; Church as Sacrament ; Ecclesial Frontiers ; Relational Anthropology ; Prophetic Voice of the Poor ; Ecumenical ; Karl Rahner ; Hans-Georg Gadamer ; Charles Taylor ; Hugo Rahner ; Santiago Madrigal ; Raymund Schwager ; Philip Endean ; Jon Sobrino