Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2018.

Degree Name

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)


Hung Pham, S.J.


This thesis addresses and offers solutions to the issue of lack of affectivity in decision making among the Christian Life Community members in Darjeeling. The problem has been traced from their former religious practices of immediately appeasing spirits by offerings material things through village priests when the spirits interfere in their life. This practice has come down to instant decision making without out paying close attention to the consequences, as they would cease all activity to appease the spirits. To examine and resolve this issue, this thesis first presents the relationship between affectivity and discernment. Second, the thesis presents an understanding of affectivity within the history of discernment of spirits from the patristic period to St. Ignatius of Loyola. This historical survey helps one to understand the importance and role of affectivity in discernment. Third, the thesis discusses affectivity in Ignatian discernment of spirits as it flows from his affective life and experiences. It goes to claim that all Ignatian discernments are affective in nature. Finally, this thesis offers ways and practical recommendations on how to be aware of affectivity, which plays a vital role in discernment. This task of application of affectivity is done through affective accompaniment, which is working with spiritual directors so as to enkindle affectivity in discernment. Through the historical critical method, the following analytical tools— dualistic, unitive, and “tending towards the good”—are employed to facilitate the understanding and practice of affectivity in discernment. Thus, the thesis presents a schema that can be applicable to any ministry, be it teaching, spiritual ministry, parish work, or any social work. In any situation, we could use these analytical tools. Ultimately, we tend towards an affective God to be effective in God’s mission.

Included in

Religion Commons