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Why Christian Spirituality is Special

What makes Christian spirituality distinctive from other major forms of spirituality, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and general philosophy?

That’s just what we’ll cover in “Christian and Non-Christian Spiritualities,” a course we’re offering in the Graduate program this spring at the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation.

for post on Christian spirituality

We’ll start with just what the nature of spirituality is. We’ll then look at what questions we must answer and identify the distinguishing characteristics of Christian spirituality. And then we will compare them for greater understanding and clarity.

Students will be better able to understand authentic spirituality versus those in modern culture who might misrepresent a Catholic understanding of spirituality or distort authentic Catholic spirituality through non-Christian eastern religious perspectives.

This course, which has a prerequisite of “Introduction to Spiritual Theology,” is based on the theological explorations of Hans Urs von Balthasar who said of this topic: “The question is: does selflessness mean emptiness or Trinitarian love?” Scholar Fr. Raymond Gawronski noted that the future of civilization hangs upon this question and the dialogue we will explore in this course.

The registration deadline for Spring Quarter courses is January 15. For more information on any of our programs, please contact me at or visit

Other classes being offered in Spring 2015:

  • Introduction to Spiritual Theology (Graduate Program)
  • The Bible and the Revelation of Prayer (Graduate Program)
  • Spiritual Warfare in Modern Times – CS Lewis and the Screwtape Letters (School of Spiritual Formation)
  • Introduction to St. Teresa of Avila (School of Spiritual Formation)
  • Living the Virtuous Life (School of Spiritual Formation)
  • Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church (School of Spiritual Formation)
  • Evangelization and the Spiritual Life (School of Spiritual Formation)
  • Angels and Demons (School of Spiritual Formation)

With live, interactive, online courses, the Avila Institute can bring the classroom to you no matter where you are located in the world. Want to know more about what the Avila Institute has to offer you? Read more here.

Art: Ein ernstes Gespräch (A Serious Conversation), Ludwig Johann Passini, by 1902, PD-US, Wikimedia Commons.

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About Nicole Garcia

Nicole Garcia is an Admissions Counselor for the Avila Institute. She is excited to speak with anyone who is interested in learning more about the Avila Institute. All those discerning the Avila Institute are in her prayers. Know that if you feel even a tiny pull or interest, Nicole hopes to hear from you! To learn more about the School of Spiritual Formation or the Graduate Program at the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, please contact Nicole at or 520-429-4524.

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