Mondays, February 9 – April 27, 2015
6:30 – 8:30 pm
French Jesuit priest, mystic and world-class scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) is often credited with creating a synthesis of science and spirituality that has been immensely helpful to many. In Teilhard’s Mysticism: Seeing the Inner Face of Evolution, physics professor Kathleen Duffy, SSJ, explores the interior of that synthesis. “As Teilhard often complained, the God of our churches is too small,” says Georgetown University theologian John Haught in his foreword to Duffy’s book. “Their ‘fixist’ spirituality no longer fits the dynamic cosmos that the natural sciences are now laying out so lavishly. Like Teilhard, the author of this evocative work feels the need to expand our sense of the divine in proportion to the new horizon of science.”
Expanding the divine through science is the goal of these sessions. Through reflection, reading, writing, group discussion and ritual, participants will join Teilhard de Chardin in recognizing and reflecting on the mystic experience in their own lives. “…I have experienced it through contact with Earth,” says Teilhard, “the Divine radiating from the depths of a blazing Matter: This is what I shall try to disclose and communicate.”
Come journey into the hedgerow as we delve into the heart of matter!
Weekly Session Topics:
February 9: Mysticism: The Supreme Work
February 16: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, His Story
February 23: The Circle of Presence, Ecstatic Moments
March 2: What Is Mysticism? Hymn to Matter
March 9: The Circle of Consistency: Micro and Macro
March 16: The Circle of Energy: From Simple to Complex, the Process of Creative Union
March 23: The Fire of Divine Energy
March 30: The Circle of Spirit: Matter and Spirit Evolving Together
April 6: Matter and Spirit, Brain and Mind: the Energy of Love
April 13: The Circle of Person: Contemplation and Communion
April 20: The Spiral Journey:” I can only grasp the Divine through the Cosmic”
April 27: Participants share their writing or other modes of expression of mysticism
The Hedgerow Initiative offers sustained, systematic programming in feminist theological education, spiritual integration, and leadership for a just and holy world. In a particular way, the Initiative highlights the scholarship of women, who since the 1950’s, have worked to reclaim women’s presence and significance in scripture, church, history, theology, and culture. The initiative takes its name from the hedge schools in Ireland that kept alive the language, faith, culture, and community of the people during the time of the British penal codes. A hedgerow is both a biosphere and a haven.
Susan Hames, CSJ, ABD; Rev. Barbara Lund; Katherine McLaughlin, CSJ, Ph.D.; Mary Kaye Medinger, Consociate, MA; Joan Mitchell, CSJ, Ph.D.; Catherine Steffens, CSJ, MA; Joan Pauly Schneider, Consociate, M.Div.
Additional Guest Instructors:
Jolene Johnson Armstrong, Ph.D, is an Assistant Professor in St. Catherine University’s mathematical sciences and physics department. To learn more about Dr. Armstrong.
Jill Welter is an Associate Professor of Biology at St. Catherine University. Her research focuses on the interaction between landscape structure, species assemblages, and biogeochemical cycling in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. To learn more about Dr. Welter, please read her bio.
Two Required Texts:
Teilhard’s Mysticism: Seeing the Inner Face of Evolution by Kathleen Duffy, SSJ, Orbis Books, 2014
The Heart of Matter by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Harcourt Books, 2002