Academy #38 Required Reading
Session 6 (find books for sessions 1-5 below session 8)
Michael Cartwright: Protestant Spirituality
Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People by Dorothy Bass
The Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan (Below are 3-4 questions provided by Michael Cartwright for you to consider while reading this text.)
ENGAGING THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS by John Bunyan
Overview: In the 19th century, The Pilgrim's Progress was widely read by Protestants in America as well as many other places throughout the (English-speaking) world. At that time, many people resonated with the various locations in the spiritual geography that Christian -- and later Christiana, and their children -- traversed in route from "the wicket gate" to the heavenly city. In the 21st century, Bunyan's narrative is not as widely read. Indeed some American Protestants have never picked up a copy. On the other hand, many Americans have encountered the themes and images of The Pilgrim's Progress in other contexts. To take but one example, the song "Wayfaring Stranger" incorporates many of these symbols.
1) Whether you have read Bunyan's book before or not, where and when and how have you encountered the symbols and images of this spiritual narrative? And if this is not the first time that you have engaged these images and/or the narrative itself, how has your response to this spiritual journey changed?
2) In what ways do you resonate with the story The Pilgrim's Progress? If possible, pick out a passage that you can discuss with members of your covenant group or other spiritual friends. In what ways do you feel repelled by aspects of Bunyan's narrative? If so, why do you think that is the case? Is it about wording? Or is it about the kinds of spiritual experiences you have had in your life that are not mapped by Bunyan's spiritual geography?
3) Like other great books and works of art, The Pilgrim's Progress has inspired other writers: C. S. Lewis's The Pilgrim's Regress narrates a (first half of the) twentieth century spiritual journey. Mark Twain's satire The Innocents Abroad: The New Pilgrim's Progress took a spiritual trope and used it as a vehicle for social satire. And still other writers have found images associated with this narrative (for example, the memoir of the Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o entitled In the House of the Interpreter) to be powerful metaphors for challenging colonialism. Have you encountered pilgrimage narratives that play off of Bunyan's storyline? If so, how do you respond to such extensions of The Pilgrim's Progress?
4) Finally, Bunyan's narrative is not the only Christian narrative. There are Catholic pilgrimage narratives, of course. One of the earliest was written by the Abbess Egeria who visited Jerusalem in the latter part of the 4th century after the transformation of the Holy Land under the rule of Constantine. And The Way of a Pilgrim reflects spiritual experience of Orthodox Christianity. We also know that over the past generation, various examples of "pilgrimage" have been reappropriated by Christians from around the world. In 1978, it was possible to go to Chartres Cathedral and find no one using the labyrinth that is part of the floor of the nave. If the same person returned to this medieval church in 2013, what she would have encountered is a group of people waiting in line to use this space. In the early 1980s, less than 2,000 people walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Now in the 21st century, hundreds of thousands of people travel to Spain every year to go to the place where according to tradition, relics of St. James can be venerated. Many of these pilgrims are Protestants even though the pilgrimage concludes in a Catholic setting. What do you make of these examples that are often cited as evidence of the "revival" of pilgrimage as a spiritual practice that has taken place in our lifetime?
Hy Xuan Le: Spirituality and Ways of Healing
Ronald Rolheiser (2015) The Passion and the Cross. Cincinnati, OH: Franciscan Media.
David Steindl-Rast (1984) Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer: An Approach to Life in Fullness. Paulist Press.
Luther Smith: Spiritual Leadership in Local Faith Communities
INTIMACY AND MISSION by Luther E. Smith, Jr.
DISCIPLINES OF THE SPIRIT by Howard Thurman
Suggested Reading & note from Luther Smith: After session 6, I hope participants will read a prayer or two each day in preparation for our session 7 time
AWED TO HEAVEN, ROOTED IN EARTH by Walter Brueggemann
Hee-Soo Jung: Christian Spirituality in the Global Context
Ray Buckley: Bearing Witness to the Reign of God in the World
Kathryn Damiano: Sustaining our Life in Christ
The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and “Women’s Work” , by Kathleen Norris Paulist Press, 1998
Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve, Paul R. Smith Paragon House, 2011
Session One: August 9-14, 2016
Marjorie Thompson: Attentiveness to the Word
Shaped by the Word, Robert Mulholland
The Way of Scripture, Robert Mulholland and Marjorie Thompson (Companions in Christ Participant's Book
Loyd Allen: Traditions of Christian Spirituality
Bradley Holt, Thirsty for God, 2005 edition (2009 edition in print format available as NEW)
Gabriel O'Donnell and Robin Maas, Spiritual Traditions for the Contemporary Church
Session Two: October 24-29, 2016
Rabbi Chava Bahle: Hebrew Spirituality
Kunst, Judith M. The Burning Word: A Christian Encounter with Jewish Midrash. Brewster, MA: Paraclete, 2006.
Alter, Robert. The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary. New York: W.W. Norton, 2009. - paperback. Not to be read in its entirety but this will be a valuable reference.
Sr. Dawn Mills: Spiritual Disciplines
Richard J Foster's classic Celebrations of Discipline
Margaret Funk's Tools Matter
Session Three: February 7-12, 2017
Wendy Wright: Roman Catholic Spirituality
Lawrence Cunningham, Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel Life (Grand Rapids MI: Wm. Eerdmans, 2004.
Wendy M. Wright, The Lady of the Angels and Her City: a Marian Pilgrimage (Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2013).
Don Saliers: Liturgy and Spirituality
An Altar in the World, by Barbara Brown Taylor, (Harper One, 2009)
Worship and Spirituality, by Don Saliers (OSL Publications, 1997)
Suggested: Worship Come to Its Senses, by Don Saliers
Session Four: May 1-6, 2017
Fr. John Mefrige: Orthodox Spirituality
The Orthodox Understanding of Salvation: "Theosis" in Scripture and Tradition by Christopher Veniamin (Printed book available at www.mountthabor.com)
The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology by Igumen Chariton.
Additional recommended: The Way of a Pilgrim: and The Pilgrim Continues His Way, by R.M. French (translator)
Jane Vennard: Incarnational Spirituality
Praying with Body and Soul: A Way to Intimacy with God by Jane E. Vennard, Augsburg, 1998.
An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor, HarperOne, 2009
Session Five: August 1-6, 2017
Leticia Guardiola-Saenz: New Testament Spirituality
Hardin, Leslie- The Spirituality of Jesus: Nine Disciplines Christ Modeled for Us. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2009.
Reeves, Rodney- Spirituality According to Paul: Imitating the Apostle of Christ. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2011.
Barton, Stephen C., The Spirituality of the Gospels. Eugen, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1992
Roberta Bondi: Prayer and the Art of Discernment (substitute: Sr. Kathleen Flood)
Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, by Anne Lamont
To Pray and to Love, by Roberta Bondi