The Christ-Centered Anthropology of Ignatius of Loyola and His Approach of Spiritual Formation in the Spiritual Exercises

Pang, Annie Y. J.
December 2013
Sino-Christian Studies;Dec2013, Vol. 16, p9
Academic Journal
Over the past decade, the topic of spiritual formation has been increasingly discussed in Chinese Protestant churches and courses on Christian spirituality and spiritual formation have been taught in many theological seminaries. In this paper, I suggest an approach to studying traditional Christian spiritual classics. This approach engages the experience, the background and the anthropological foundation of the authors of those spiritual classics. It also tackles the main thoughts and the mode of spiritual formation in the text, and their insights to contemporary spiritual formation. This paper is an attempt to introduce one of the Christian classics, Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises, to Chinese churches. Here, I investigate Ignatius's approach to spiritual formation and his Christ-centered anthropology as set out in the Spiritual Exercises I analyze this topic through three main themes; Ignatius's individual experience of spiritual formation in his "pilgrimage of the imitation of Christ" Ignatius's approach to that concept in the Spiritual Exercises and Ignatius's description of his Christ-centered anthropology and its structure. Finally, I conclude that Ignatius's approach to spiritual formation through the imitation of Christ has to be understood through his Christ-centered anthropology. In this investigation, I demonstrate that Christian spiritual classics are an important resource for contemporary spiritual formation and Ignatius's holistic approach to spiritual formation can provide insights for contemporary churches.


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