"When leaders in various fields ask me for advice, my response is always the same: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. It is the only way for individuals, families and societies to grow, the only way for the life of peoples to progress, along with the culture of encounter, a culture in which all have something good to give and all can receive something good in return. Others always have something to give me, if we know how to approach them in a spirit of openness and without prejudice. I call this attitude of openness and availability without prejudice, social humility, and it is this that favours dialogue. Only in this way can understanding grow between cultures and religions, mutual esteem without needless preconceptions, respectful of the rights of everyone. Today, either we stand together with the culture of dialogue and encounter, or we all lose, we all lose; from here we can take the right road that makes the journey fruitful and secure." (Pope Francis, Address to leading members of Brazilian society, Saturday July 27 2013, reported online by Official Vatican Network.)

Course: Mysticism - Plain or Flavoured?

JTom Ryan
Thomas Ryan SM PhD
Starts 10am Tue May 7

What exactly is meant by ‘mysticism’ and ‘mystics? Often the words are associated with special people having special experiences of the divine. Alternatively, what did Karl Rahner SJ mean when he said over 50 years ago that ‘the Christian of tomorrow will either be a mystic—someone who has “experienced” something—or nothing at all’?

This four-week seminar considers these two questions. The first week taps our Christian tradition about a proper understanding of ‘mysticism’ and ‘mystics.’ The next three weeks, using passages from their writings, explores what we can learn from two 20th century authors about mysticism and the presence of God at work in their lives.

These were the Anglican spiritual guide, Evelyn Underhill, and the second Secretary- General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld and his journal Markings.

Nobody will be turned away simply because they cannot afford to pay. Offer a donation if you cannot pay the full registration fee.

Presenter: Thomas Ryan SM PhD
Where: Aquinas Academy, Level 5, 141 Harrington St, The Rocks, Sydney
When: 4 Tuesday mornings, 10am – 12noon, May 7,14, 21, 28
Cost: $150/person

For further information please telephone 02 9247 4651 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please register before the course starts so that notes will be available.

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