Theology Concentrations & Center for Contemplative Studies
The Center for Contemplative Studies seeks to promote interest in the rich spiritual
tradition of the Christian West, in the belief that this tradition is central to our
common intellectual heritage.
Through the study of significant texts and movements, it aims at a better understanding
of the nature of spirituality itself, the unfolding of Christian spirituality in the
West and the role spirituality has played in the development of Western culture and
The Center’s interests lead it beyond narrow disciplinary perspectives. It not only
welcomes, but requires, the varied approaches of the historian, the literary critic,
the philosopher, the theologian. Indeed, the Center wishes to be an interdisciplinary
forum for all those who study the history of spirituality.
In addition, while it emphasizes the Western tradition of spirituality, it recognizes
the importance of viewing this tradition within the largest possible human and religious
perspectives. The Center sponsors the Christian Contemplative Tradition concentration.
In addition, it sponsors colloquia, minicourses, weekend seminars and lectures by
visiting professors and members of the university faculty. These activities are intended
to illuminate the authors and texts of the spiritual tradition from as wide a variety
of scholarly perspectives as possible.
The student should declare his or her intention to concentrate by coming to speak
to the director no later than the first semester of the junior year. No more than
two courses may count toward both the concentration and the major. Substitutions in
the concentrations must have the written approval of the Director. Theology students
may also be interested in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Concentration. If a student wishes to concentrate in both Medieval and Renaissance Studies and
Christian Contemplative Tradition, no overlap will be allowed in the courses required
for either concentration. Doing both concentrations requires 30 hours of course work.