The Mysticism of KnowingA Center for Christogenesis Online Course
A New Online Course Offering from the Center for Christogenesis
The Mysticism of Knowing
Tuesday Evenings, December 1 – December 22
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm ET USA (UTC/GMT-4)
Limited to 44 Registrants
What is the significance of God in an evolving world?
What is the significance of God in an evolving world? What is religion’s relationship to nature? In an expanding cosmos, where is my place and what am I supposed to do about it? In this introductory course on the Teilhardian vision of Ilia Delio and the Center for Christogenesis we will be intimately exploring these questions, and digging deeper into the fundamental concepts of the rich theological tradition employed by Ilia Delio following Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
This course—limited in size to 44 registrants—will provide a rich opportunity for those seeking to deepen their understanding of the mission of the Center for Christogenesis. Through group learning and discussion, as well as optional spiritual exercises outside of meetings, participants will be equipped with the ability to understand and apply theological concepts, and be enriched by spiritual exercises in the spirit of the transformative power of love in the cosmos.
The course will meet via Zoom on four consecutive Tuesdays during the month of December. Each meeting will last an hour and a half, and different than our monthly webinars will provide ample time for group discussion, dialogue, and questions. Recordings of the classes will be available for all registrants shortly after the end of the course. No theological background is required to register, and no “homework” will be assigned. Each participant will be given a worksheet at the end of each class to deepen their understanding of the topics, but completion of the worksheets is not required.
Meeting 1: 12/1
Topic: The Mysticism of Knowing
Description: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once wrote that “we who are Christians know that the savior has already been born; but we now have a completely new phase of [human]kind, and should not the savior be re-born in a form commensurate with our present needs?” (Teilhard, The Awaited Word). In this liturgical season of Advent, Christians prepare their hearts and homes for the celebration of the birth of Christ. In the same spirit as the Church and Teilhard, the Center for Christogenesis is also awaiting the birth of Christ, re-born for a culture that is more religious than ever. In this first course in The Mysticism of Knowing series we will explore what it means for a savior to be reborn with wider horizons and what this means for our own understandings of the human person, God, and nature.
Meeting 2: 12/8
Description: One of the most magnificent parts of Advent is realizing where the Gospel of Jesus Christ begins — in the midst of a messy barn, in an even messier world. The world in which the Gospel begins is not too different than the world we can see around us. Political upheaval, injustice, and distress abounds in both. As we begin our own journey of knowing this week, it is important to consider how we got to where we are now. In this course meeting in the throughs to Advent and Christmas preparation, we will explore and celebrate our own lives in the midst of the messy world, and the invitation into a new future, to go forth as an earth community called by the power of divine love into the fullness of love.
Meeting 3: 12/15
Topic: The Human Person
Description: Perhaps you’ve been able to live your whole life without asking the question of what it means to be a human person. A quick internet search on what it means to be human will reveal all sorts of answers, from anthropology to zoology. In this course we will explore what exactly personhood is, holistically. By considering the human person as both a part of evolution, and also deeply conscious of our collective lives, we can start to see that we are not just a fixed point, but are growing with the universe around us. As we prepare in the season of Advent for the birth of a human person, we can recognize that we, too, are born into a world bigger than our individual selves.
Meeting 4: 12/22
Description: The word Advent comes from two Latin words: ad and vino. In Latin, ad means “to” and vino means “come.” Advent is about waiting for God to come to the world in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. It is easy to think about God as distant, distinct, and holed up in heaven. After all, aren’t we waiting for God “to come”? In this class just a few days before Christmas, we will explore the ways in which God is present in the cosmos, already actively participating in the world through relationship, not just as a baby in a manger at Christmastime. This God-world relationship shows us that God is radically present to us, and we are never distinct from God’s own life no matter the season of life.
About the Instructors
Jillian Langford is a PhD student at Villanova University studying systematic theology and spirituality. She earned her BA in theology from Aquinas College, and her MTS from Villanova University. Her research interests include metaphysics, spiritual ecologies, and theologies of friendship. Jillian lives in Philadelphia, PA.
Robert Nicastro is a Ph.D. student in the Theology and Religious Studies program at Villanova University who is specializing in the areas of Biblical Literature and Systematic Theology. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Psychology from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a Master of Arts in Theology from Saint Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland. Robert’s research interests lie at the intersection of theology and artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and quantum physics.