University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Spirituality and Life Stages

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Moral Theology

DESCRIPTION Human beings are not things to be known but people always caught up in relations that take shape in time, in history. This anthropological appreciation together with a higher life expectancy and the contemporary challenge of how the church is to accompany people in different life stages calls for an in-depth study. In this course the basic elements that are specific to spiritual theology and that throw light on our way of understanding, interpreting and accompanying the various seasons that mark human experience are explored and integrated with insights from the human sciences. Through the study of scriptures and the insights of saints and mystic writers, the student will acquire the tools through which a sapiential approach to the different life phases can be internalized and proposed. Moreover, through an appreciation of challenges and graces that are specific to every age, the student will be able not only to integrate his/her human life experience, but also be able to accompany others who call upon him for spiritual direction. Specific attention will be given to childhood, young age, midlife, and old age.

Study-Unit Aims:

By the end of the study-unit, the student should:
- distinguish the key principles that guide the study of life stages in spiritual theology.
- integrate the principles of spiritual theology with those of human sciences.
- acquire the skills to examine and value the specific challenges and opportunities of the different phases of life.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- ANGELINI GIUSEPPE – COMO GIUSEPPE – MELCHIORRE VIRGILIO – SCALABRINI PATRIZIO ROTA, Le età della vita: accellerazione del tempo e identitá sfuggente, Glossa, Milano 2009.
- Credere Oggi 109/1 (1999): Le eta’ della vita.
- Parola Spirito e vita 49/1 (2004): Le eta’ della vita.
- Concilium 2007/5:Ages of Life and Christian Experience.
- Guardini Romano, Le età della vita, Vita e Pensiero, Milano 20062.

Supplementary Readings:

- Bouwer, J. (ed.), Successful Ageing, Spirituality and Meaning. Multidisciplinary Perspectives, Peeters, Leuven-Paris-Walpole MA, 2010.
- Guérin, Paul, La maturité, un défi spirituel, Bayard, Paris 2001.
- O’COLLINS Gerald, The Second Journey. Spiritual Awareness and the Mid-Life Crisis, Gracewing, Herefordshire 1995.
- Richards Ann-Privett Peter, Through the Eyes of a Child. New insights in theology from a child’s perspective, Church House Publishing, London 2009.
- SECONDIN Bruno, La Spiritualità nei rit- mi del tempo. Alla soglia del terzo millennio, Borla, Roma 1997.
- Smith Christian –Snell Patricia, Souls in Transition, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2009.
- VAN BREEMEN PETER, Summoned at every Age. Finding God in our Later Years, Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame (I) 2005.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
Closing Date Dissertation Proposals
Deadline to present dissertation proposals for next Faculty Board is Wednesday 29th November 2017 at 1700hrs

Augustinian Institute Academic Year 2017-18

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