Theology and Ecclesiology

Theology has been described as “faith seeking understanding,” and ecclesiology is the study of the Church. does not pretend to cover either of these areas in any kind of systematic fashion. Instead, we highlight some leading thinkers in these fields whose focus comes from an Ignatian perspective.

Theology of Ignatian Spirituality

Ecclesial Mysticism in the “Spiritual Exercises” of Ignatius (PDF)

By Michael Buckley, SJ

Explores Ignatius’s thinking on the spousal nature of the relationship between the Church and Christ, with the individual exercitant participating in this relationship. The Church’s relationship with Christ becomes the embodiment and paradigm according to which the exercitant realizes his or her own relationship with Christ. The exercitant is formed in a mysticism of service to participate in the Church’s mission to serve the Kingdom.

Ignatian Spirituality and Theology (PDF)

By Bernard Sesboüé, SJ

Ignatius knew that one cannot go backwards, so he supported a living theology which knows how to confront new questions. Bernard Sesboüé discusses the work of 20th century Jesuit theologians including Léonce de Grandmaison, Pierre Rousselot, Yves de Montcheuil, Henri de Lubac, Hugo Rahner, and Karl Rahner. He shows how their work enriched Catholic theology, addressing the issues of the modern world.

Postmodern Spirituality and the Ignatian Fundamentum (PDF)

By Tim Muldoon

Ignatian spirituality offers an invitation to change society by becoming a changed person within society. It can lead the postmodern person to come to know God through a greater knowledge of oneself. The Ignatian fundamentum can be seen as an attentiveness to God who is constantly working with us to co-create our lives.

What Remains to Be Done in Liberation Theology

By Francisco Chamberlain, SJ

Chamberlain distinguishes the work of mission from the call of mission. As a task, mission has limited objectives. In the light of the meditation on The Two Kingdoms in the Second Week of the Spiritual Exercises, mission is a call to participate in the “conquest” of the world.

Our Responsibility for God’s Creation (PDF)

By Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ

Reviews ecological issues from the prisms of Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle to Creatures” and Ignatius Loyola’s “Principle and Foundation.” The natural environment will suffer as long as the human family refuses to see it in the light of its relationship with the Creator.

Struggling and Liberative New Spirituality (PDF)

By Thoonunkaparambil K. John

The author calls for Jesuits to recognize their special vocation to mediate God’s correcting and reconciling intervention through the unheard voice of the deprived so that all listen to God and accept his offer of reconciliation.

The Ignatian Exercises in the Work of Hans Urs von Balthasar

By Werner Löser, SJ

Text of a lecture at Boston College, January 28, 1999. Von Balthasar unfolded three concepts around which the theology of the Exercises revolves: choice, indifference, and obedience. The lecture includes discussion of how it was characteristic of von Balthasar’s work that he situated the Exercises within the history of theology and spirituality.

Karl Rahner, SJ

Karl Rahner, SJ (1904-1984)

By Jim Campbell

Biographical introduction to the 20th-century theologian.

Karl Rahner: Theologian of the Graced Search for Meaning

Edited by Geffrey B. Kelly

Limited preview on Google Books includes the complete introduction to Karl Rahner’s life and the central concepts of his theology, and a significant portion of his essay, “On the Need and Blessing of Prayer.”

A Spirituality of Everyday Faith

By Declan Marmion

Limited preview on Google Books includes the complete bibliography, Chapter 1 on “The Notion of Spirituality,” and a portion of Chapter 2 on “The Notion of Spirituality in Karl Rahner.”

The Anthropological Turn: The Human Orientation of the Theology of Karl Rahner

By Anton Losinger

Limited preview on Google Books includes complete “Preliminary Remarks: The Anthropological Point of Departure in the Theology of Karl Rahner.”

Ministry in Community: Rahner’s Vision of Ministry

By Jerry T. Farmer

Limited preview on Google Books includes complete bibliography, a significant portion of Chapter 1 on “Early Ecclesiological Reflections,” and a portion of Chapter 2 on “Vatican II Period: Ecclesiology.”