Summer Institute

The Summer Institute of Christian Spirituality (SICS)

We have chosen "Reconciliation" as the theme for this summer's courses. Each year we allow the professors to choose their own topics, but we always discover that the Holy Spirit has led us to some kind of overarching "theme." This year we discovered that each of our courses was in some way connected to the theme of reconciliation. Each of the topics for this summer has a focus on a unique person – Joseph son of Jacob, Chiara Lubich, Thomas Merton, and Jordan Duffner. One person was dealing with the crisis of his brothers selling him into slavery, another World War II, another the war in Vietnam and finally a Christian today living among Muslims in the Middle East. Each of these individuals somehow found community and peace in reconciliation with those who might at first seem to be enemies. Join us for the Summer Institute where we will engage these examples of the human struggle for peace and reconciliation.

“Reconciliation is not the same as good manners. No, it’s a radical attitude, one that tries to respect the dignity of others as well as my own. From insult to reconciliation, from envy to friendship—this is the example that Jesus gives us today.”

~Pope Francis, Homily for Mass at Casa Santa Marta, June 14, 2018.

Established in 1993, our annual institute offers a unique blend of academic challenge and spiritual enrichment, specifically designed for adults seeking to deepen their faith, exploring the vast traditions of Christian spirituality and, if you choose, for pursuing one of our certificate or degree programs. The curriculum is made up of a series of one-credit courses offered in one-week or intensive weekend sessions, studying a variety of spiritual masters and mystics, along with biblical, liturgical and social themes. Taught in the Jesuit tradition of excellence, courses may be taken for graduate or undergraduate credit or on an easy listening basis (no required assignments, no grade, no transcript record kept). While rooted in Catholic theology, the program is fully ecumenical and welcomes persons of all faiths.

Click here for Testimonials and Photos

We hope you will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity for learning and renewal. If you have never attended Spring Hill College or the Summer Institute, and wish to receive more information about the event, please email (theology@shc.edu) or call us (251-380-4458 or toll-free 877-857-6742) and we will be glad to add you to our mailing list or answer any questions you may have. We look forward to the opportunity of hosting you in the summer!

Dr. Timothy R. Carmody
Professor & Director of Graduate Programs in Theology and Ministry
carmody@shc.edu

Summer Institute 2019

Reconciliation, by Josefina de Vasconcellos, in St. Michael's Cathedral, Coventry.
Reconciliation, by Josefina de Vasconcellos, in St. Michael's Cathedral, Coventry, England.

This sculpture showing two former enemies embracing each other was originally placed at the University of Bradford in Bradford, England in 1977, but replicas now exist in in four other cities. In 1995, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, bronze casts of this sculpture were placed in the ruins of St. Michael's Cathedral in Coventry, England and in the Hiroshima Peace Park in Japan. In 1999 a cast was placed in front of the Chapel of Reconciliation in Berlin, Germany as part of the Berlin Wall memorial. In 2000 a cast was placed on the Stormont Estate in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The statues remind us that in the face of destructive forces, human dignity and love will triumph over disaster and bring nations together in respect and peace.

Mobile

Session I: June 3-7, 2019

Morning: Monday - Friday, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

SPT524/424 Unity and Jesus Forsaken: Theology of Chiara Lubich and the "Work of Mary" (1 credit hour) (Historical)
Rev. Mark Mossa, SJ

Jesus’ prayer that all will be one and his cry of forsakenness from the cross form the foundation of the theology and ministry of one of the most influential Catholics of the twentieth century, Chiara Lubich. As bombs fell in her hometown during World War II, a new movement began as Lubich and a group of companions put this theology of communion and fraternity to work in the service of others. The work, whose official name is the “Work of Mary,” is better known as Focolare and now counts hundreds of thousands of members around the world. This course will examine Chiara Lubich as a theologian, but also examine how that theology has been incarnated and put into practice in the history and ministry of the global movement which she inspired. Though Lubich died more than a decade ago, her legacy lives on continuing to impact not only Catholicism but the work of inter-religious dialogue and economics as well.

Required Texts:
      • Lubich, Chiara. Essential Writings: Spirituality, Dialogue, Culture. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2007.
      • Lubich, Chiara. Jesus: The Heart of His Message: Unity and Jesus Forsaken. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 1997.
      • Gillet, Florence. The Choice of Jesus Forsaken in the Theological Perspective of Chiara Lubich. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2015.

Evening: Monday - Thursday, 6:30-9:00 p.m.

SPT536/436 Joseph and His Brothers: Resentment and Reconciliation (1 credit hour) (Biblical)
Dr. Timothy Carmody

There are three great cycles of ancestor stories in Genesis: Abraham, Jacob and Joseph. Each is unique in its style and theological insights. The Joseph cycle is the last and the culmination of a growing theme in Genesis: Can God’s people become a great and numerous nation when there are chosen sons and internecine fighting? Is there a way for multiple sons (multiple tribes) to live together and be led by a leader chosen by God? The story of the twelve sons of Jacob and their abuse of and then reconciliation with Joseph provides insight into the competition and resentment inherent in God’s call of a people and God’s choosing and gifting special persons to serve the people. The story provides great insight into how such a group can be brought to reconciliation and cooperation and what leadership of such a group could look like. This course will examine the narrative strategies of this story cycle as it raises these problems and provides insight and answers. This story provides much insight for Christians today.

Required Text: Articles will be provided.

Session II: June 10-14, 2019

Morning: Monday - Friday, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

SPT565/465 Spiritual Discernment in Time of Crisis: Thomas Merton in the 1960s (1 credit hour) (Historical)
Mr. Robert Grip

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Cistercian monk, the author of more than 60 books, including his best-selling autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain. Behind the enclosure of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, south of Louisville, Kentucky, Merton wrote prophetically about topics from monastic spirituality, civil rights, and nonviolence to the nuclear arms race. This course will use video, lectures, and dialogue to offer an introduction into the early, hedonistic life of the young Merton, his conversion to Catholicism, and his ability to see deeply into the problems of the twentieth century from his vantage point in the monastery and, later, his hermitage. His writings speak directly to the spiritual crises facing our world today.

Required Text: Forest, Jim. Living with Wisdom: A Life of Thomas Merton (Revised Edition). Orbis Books, 2008.

Evening: Monday - Thursday, 6:30-9:00 p.m.

SPT571/471 Spirituality of Inter-Religious Dialogue (1 credit hour) (Moral)
THL574 Inter-Religious Dialogue (3-credit option available online) (Moral)
Dr. Matthew Bagot

In his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium--The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis writes: "Interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world, and so it is a duty for Christians as well as other religious communities." But what role does inter-religious dialogue play in the spiritual lives of Christians? More generally, what is the relationship of Christian duty to spirituality? And, conversely, how might the spirituality of Christians enhance peace in the world today? In this course, we will explore such questions through a close reading of Jordan Denari Duffner's recent book, Finding Jesus among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic.

Required Text: Duffner, Jordan Denari. Finding Jesus among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic. Liturgical Press, 2017.

Costs in Mobile

    • Tuition: $345 per credit hour
    • Easy Listening (no transcript record kept): $125 per credit hour
    • On-campus lodging: $35/night
    • Cookouts: $12 each

Atlanta

Weekend I: June 14-16, 2019

SPT536/436 Joseph and His Brothers: Resentment and Reconciliation (1 credit hour) (Biblical)
Dr. Timothy Carmody

There are three great cycles of ancestor stories in Genesis: Abraham, Jacob and Joseph. Each is unique in its style and theological insights. The Joseph cycle is the last and the culmination of a growing theme in Genesis: Can God’s people become a great and numerous nation when there are chosen sons and internecine fighting? Is there a way for multiple sons (multiple tribes) to live together and be led by a leader chosen by God? The story of the twelve sons of Jacob and their abuse of and then reconciliation with Joseph provides insight into the competition and resentment inherent in God’s call of a people and God’s choosing and gifting special persons to serve the people. The story provides great insight into how such a group can be brought to reconciliation and cooperation and what leadership of such a group could look like. This course will examine the narrative strategies of this story cycle as it raises these problems and provides insight and answers. This story provides much insight for Christians today.

Required Text: Articles will be provided.

Weekend II: June 21-23, 2019

SPT571/471 Spirituality of Inter-Religious Dialogue (1 credit hour) (Moral)
THL574 Inter-Religious Dialogue (3-credit option available online) (Moral)
Dr. Matthew Bagot

In his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium--The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis writes: "Interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world, and so it is a duty for Christians as well as other religious communities." But what role does inter-religious dialogue play in the spiritual lives of Christians? More generally, what is the relationship of Christian duty to spirituality? And, conversely, how might the spirituality of Christians enhance peace in the world today? In this course, we will explore such questions through a close reading of Jordan Denari Duffner's recent book, Finding Jesus among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic.

Required Text: Duffner, Jordan Denari. Finding Jesus among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic. Liturgical Press, 2017.

Schedule for Atlanta Intensive Weekend

(All events at Ignatius House Retreat Center.)
Friday
    • Dinner: 6:00 p.m.
    • Class: 7:00–9:00 p.m.
 Saturday
    • Class: 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. & 1:00–4:00 p.m.
    • Lunch: Noon–1:00 p.m.
    • Social, Dinner and Q&A with professor: 6:00 p.m.
Sunday
    • Class: 9:15–11:15 a.m.
    • Mass: 11:30 a.m.
    • Lunch: following Mass

Costs In Atlanta

    • Tuition: $345 per credit hour
    • Easy Listening (no transcript record kept): $125 per credit hour
    • Every registered student must choose one option for each weekend:
      • 2 days of room and all meals: $220 per weekend
      • 2 days of all meals: $100 per weekend
      • Saturday lunch, reception and dinner: $50 per weekend
      • Hospitality and Saturday lunch: $30 per weekend
      • Retreat Costs: Please contact Ignatius House Retreat Center at (404) 255-0503 or Ignatiushouse.org.

2019 Faculty

Dr. Matthew Bagot

Matthew Bagot is an Associate Professor of social ethics in the Department of Theology at Spring Hill College. He received his Ph.D. in theological ethics at Boston College and has taught at Spring Hill for eleven years. He has presented papers on Christian-Islamic approaches to human rights and religion/state relations at a number of international conferences, and his article, "Dialogic Universalism Today: The Intellectual Solidarity of David Hollenbach, Abdullahai Ahmed An-Na'im, and Naser Ghobadzadeh regarding the Political Role of Religion" appeared recently in Public Theology and the Common Good: The Contribution of David Hollenbach, S.J.

Dr. Timothy Carmody

Timothy Carmody, a Professor of Theology at Spring Hill College since 1989 and currently the Director of Graduate Programs in Theology and Ministry, is a graduate of The Catholic University of America and a long-time member of the Catholic Biblical Association. This past year he was awarded a CCD/CBA Grant for developing and teaching Biblical courses in the Deacon Formation Program for the Diocese of Jackson, MS. His book, Reading the Bible (Paulist Press 2004), is a well-used textbook in college courses and Bible study groups. He is also the author of The Gospel of Mark: Question by Question (Paulist Press 2008).

Robert Grip, MA

Robert Grip taught for more than 25 years at Spring Hill College in the Communication Arts Department. He holds degrees in Education from Boston College and in Journalism from The Ohio State University. He was the first to use the Freedom of Information Act to research U.S. government files on Thomas Merton, and has published in The Merton Seasonal and Cistercian Studies. A past President of the International Thomas Merton Society, he received, in 2017, the organization’s highest honor for “distinguished service [contributing] to the aims of the Society and to furthering its goals.” A recently retired television news anchor, Grip is a newly inducted member of the Alabama Broadcasters’ Association Hall of Fame.

Rev. Mark Mossa, SJ

Fr. Mark Mossa, S.J. is the Director of Campus Ministry at Spring Hill College. He earned a M.Div at Weston Jesuit School of Theology and an S.T.L. at Boston College. His S.T.L thesis explored the theme of abandonment in Christian theology emerging after World War II. In it he considered Chiara Lubich side-by-side with figures like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Alfred Delp, Hans Urs Von Balthasar, and Jurgen Moltmann. Interdisciplinary in approach, his writing and teaching draws from the fields of Literature, Philosophy and Theology often with an added dose of popular culture.

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