University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Saint John of the Cross

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Moral Theology

DESCRIPTION In his writings, the Mystical Doctor of the Church, Saint John of the Cross, describes the different stages of the spiritual journey, from the first moments when the soul discovers and decides to accept God’s plan for her life till the perfect union of the soul with God.

The Spanish Saint and Poet who was a renowned director of souls gave practical advice on the spiritual life to all those who approached him in spiritual direction. He also elucidates in his writings the different stages that make up the spiritual journey. His teaching springs forth from his personal experience in the spiritual life under the influence of divine inspiration.

This study-unit will be divided into two major sections. In the first section, participants will be introduced to the life, doctrine and the whole corpus of the Doctor’s writings. The second section will be wholly dedicated to an in depth study, of one particular work, guided by a foreign expert on St. John of the Cross.

This will help the student understand not only the steps of this spiritual journey but also the impact every stage of the spiritual journey has on the whole progression of the soul towards “divinisation”.

Study-Unit Aims:

By the end of the study-unit, participants will:
- be acquainted with the person and works of a major Christian spiritual master and writer.
- manage to grasp the language used in spiritual theology to better understand their own and others’ spiritual journey.
- have better understood God’s pedagogy for the human person, journeying towards Christian perfection.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- engage critically with of one of the major authors of Christian Mysticism.
- use the hermeneutical tools for an in-depth analysis of a mystical text.
- apply theological theory to the dynamics of the interior life.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- appreciate spiritual and mystical language from a literary point of view.
- get hermeneutic skills that enable a proper understanding of texts and their meaning.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- SAN JUAN DE CRUZ, Obras completas. Revisión textual, introducciones y notas al texto: JOSÉ VINCENTE RODRÍGUEZ, Introducciones y notas doctrinales: FEDERICO RUIZ SALVADOR, Madrid 1988.
- JOHN OF THE CROSS, The Collected Works of St John of the Cross: Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez O.C.D. revised edition (1991), Washington 1995.

Supplementary Readings:

- AA. VV., La comunione con Dio secondo san Giovanni della Croce, Roma 1968.
- RUIZ FEDERICO, O.C.D., Giovanni della Croce, in La Mistica, fenomenologia e riflessione teologica (a cura di E. Ancilli e M. Paparozzi) in 2 vol, vol. I, Roma 1984, pp. 547-597.
- ID., S. Giovanni della Croce. Il santo, gli scritti, il sistema, Roma 1968.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Glen Attard
Charlo Camilleri

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.
Measuring Divinity - Inter Faculty Colloquium
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21st Annual Augustinian Lecture 2017
The 21st Annual Augustinian Lecture 2017 will be celebrated on the 5th and 6th December 2017 with two lectures delivered by Rev. Prof. Theodore Dieter.

Closing Date Dissertation Proposals
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Augustinian Institute Academic Year 2017-18

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