Title

The Study of Christian Spirituality: Contours and Dynamics of a Discipline

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1998

Publisher

Peeters Online Journals

Abstract

This article, the substance of which was originally developed as the first presidential address of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality1 , is an attempt to describe the 'state of the discipline' of spirituality, at least as it has developed in North America in the second half of the 20th century. I harbor no illusion that my positions represent even a majority of scholars in the field nor that I have the one correct position on any of the topics I address. Rather, the article attempts to stake out a position about the nature and role of spirituality in the academy with sufficient substance and clarity to provide a framework for ongoing discussion. I address, at very unequal length, three of the most controversial substantive issues currently under discussion in the field: interdisciplinarity, Christian self-identification, and the self-implicating character of research in this field.