Ronald Modras Ignatian Humanism: A Dynamic Spirituality

1371 Words 6 Pages
The active, written, discursive pursuit of the incomprehensible established in Rahner’s writing acts as a form of spirituality. In this way, self-reflexivity grounded in tradition develops as spiritual theology. Evident in Ronald Modras’ Ignatian Humanism: A Dynamic Spirituality for the 21st Century, Patrick Byrne’s “The Passionateness of Being: The Legacy of Bernard Lonergan”, and Bernard Lonergan’s “Method in Theology” and “Healing and Creating in History”, I will focus on how self-reflexivity as cultivated alongside academic theology manifests in a form that heals and creates, rather than one that hates and destroys. Plurality as applied to academic theology functions to educate and mobilize the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. I …show more content…
Based on the principle of good rhetoric referred to as accommodation by Modras, the adaption and negotiation found in Ignatian Humanism allows for the dialectic of inwardness and outwardness. By using theology as a means of bringing people into relationship with God, Ignatian humanism possesses an ecclesial aspect. Although the Ignatians do not deny the scholasticism of Aquinas, they turn inward to the self-reflexivity of the Spiritual Exercises to better their pursuits of ministry ad education in the world. Developed through the interiority of self-reflexivity, individualism combines with the plurality of the Ignatian focus on the study of the humanities. Known as a polymath, Lonergan perfectly exemplifies this plurality of study in his academic pursuits, ranging from art and music, to science and math, to language, philosophy, and religion. In turn, the self-reflexivity, individuality, and plurality manifested in education become aspects of the spiritual holy work done by Ignatian men and women. This application of the inward aspects of the spirituality directly correlates to the holiness found in the Ignatian pursuit of ministry and engagement. Thus, the inward leads to the outward, creating a vibrant community of individuals with goals toward a cohesive sense of nurture for one’s neighbor. This humanism is …show more content…
Mediation of the academic and spiritual spheres requires plurality, a willingness to employ self-reflexivity in moments of negotiation and friction. Furthermore, the reading of religious texts with a plural and inclusive view lends to the focus on human existence, rather than a moralistic obsession with the absolute truth; this mindset, in turn, prompts the growth of community. Coupled with the humanistic perspective of Ignatian spirituality, the self-reflexive writing and study of academic theology heals and creates the tensions caused by plurality, moving toward a mindful ecumenism focused on the human being. Rahner employs Ignatian spirituality to replace the human being at the center of Christianity, and the adaption of this idea to human thought process in academic theology will shape the world anew. Ignatian humanism and self-reflexive writing taught me the importance of the porosity of perceived divisions in society, and that the basic humanity and dignity of all people is far more important than religious differences. Moving forward, we need to be people known for love and not for

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