Gospel Narratives in Ignatian Contemplation

Gospel Narratives in Ignatian Contemplation
Starts from:Mon, April 12, 2021
Campus Location

175 Royal Parade,Parkville,Victoria,Australia

Course Feature
  • 2021 This unit is not being offered in 2020 however, will be considered in the planning of the 2021 timetable. If you are interested in studying this unit, please email us at enquiries@jcs.edu.au to register your interest.
Class Description

Online Unit

This unit will explore the genre, structure, socio-historical context and theological emphases of the Gospels, and the cultural and social situation of the Mediterranean world in New Testament times. The key focus will be on the role of the imagination in prayer, as outlined by Saint Ignatius. When an exercitant prays over a Gospel passage in making the Spiritual Exercises, he or she enters it as a participant. The unit will give attention to early influences leading Ignatius to employ imaginative prayer with the Gospel narratives within the Spiritual Exercises. It will explore the psychology of the human imagination and its relevance to the practice of prayer in life, work and ministry.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. outline the basic psychology of human imagining and its value for prayer;
  2. describe the influence of Ludolph of Saxony’s practice of imaginative contemplation upon Ignatius of Loyola and his subsequent writing of the Spiritual Exercises;
  3. articulate the structure and subject outlines of the four Gospels and their particular use of symbols andimages;
  4. identify and develop skills in using imaginative prayer that enhances the ministry practice of spiritual directors.


Rev Dr Richard Leonard SJ


This unit was offered in 2019 and will be offered again in 2021-2022.



Jesuit College of Spirituality, 175 Royal Parade, Parkville VIC 3052


Students enrolled for academic credit | $2,266 Domestic Students | $2,925 International Students

Audit students (not for academic credit) | $1,133


Barry, W.A. Letting God Come Close: An Approach to the Spiritual Exercises. Chicago: Loyola University Press, 2001.

Coleman, G. Walking With Inigo: A Commentary on the Autobiography of St. Ignatius.Gujurat: Anand Press, 2001.

Fischer, K. The Inner Rainbow: The Imagination In Christian Life.New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1983.

Fleming, D.L. Draw me into your Friendship: The Spiritual Exercises. St. Louis, IL: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1996.

Hansen, M. The Gospels for Prayer. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2003.

Lyons, A. Imagine Believing: Explorations in Contemporary Faith. Melbourne, AUS: David Lovell Publications, 2003.

Moloney, F.J. The Living Voice of the Gospel: The Gospels Today.Dublin, UK: Veritas Publications, 2006.

Painter, C. & B. Beckman. Awakening The Creative Spirit: Bringing The Arts To Spiritual Direction.Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 2010.

Silf, M. Compass Points: Meeting God Every Day At Every Turn.Chicago, IL: Loyola University Press, 2011.

de Waal, E. The Celtic Way of Prayer: The Recovery of the Religious Imagination, London, UK: Hodder and Stoughton, 2003.


  • Richard Leonard SJ


    Richard was Ordained a priest in 1993. He directs the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting, is an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Catholic University; has been a visiting scholar within the School of Theatre, Film & Television at UCLA and ...