Seminar Franciscan spirituality: the good life

Lecturers: Willem Marie Speelman, Gerard Pieter Freeman

Scope: 12 lectures of 2 hours (6 ects)

– The student knows how to find franciscan texts and stories, knows how to interpret and analyse these spiritual sources.
-The student knows how to recognize the narrative values of franciscan spirituality in these spiritual sources as properties of the franciscan “good life”.
-The student knows how to use these values with current themes, including care, sustainability and leadership.
-The student develops his own position in the debate about current themes.

Required literature
W.M. Speelman, Levende Franciscaanse Spiritualiteit: een Spirituele Methode, Heeswijk: Berne Media, 2013

Final assignment
Choose a current theme and give an introduction; choose and analyse a franciscan story and use this story to highlight the current theme.

1-2. Introduction to franciscan stories as spiritual genre, and to franciscan spirituality as a model for the good life. Second hour: First introduction in the spiritual reading method of these stories, and an analysis of a franciscan story.
3. Introduction to the theme care, it’s history and current situation: from laour of love tocommodity in a market culture. Second hour (each time): analysis of an exemplary franciscan story.
4. Introduction to the spirituality of care: it’s function in the community (“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”).
5. Introduction to the spirituality of care: guarding and serving good relations (“and confidently make known to each other their needs”).
6. Introduction to the theme sustainability, it’s historic roots and recent history (“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!”).
7. Introduction to the sustainable livelihood of religious, specifically trappists and friars minor.
8. Introduction to sustainability in the viewpoint of the good life.
9. Introduction to the theme leadership, it’s historic development and current features.
10. Introduction to leadership as role play, office and charisma.
11. Introduction to the leadership of the servant (“As a washing of the feet”).
12. Together we look back on the lectures to see the common thread: what is the function of these stories in our search for the good life?

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