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Ancient Practices for Modern Life

  • Course Description

    Sometimes we don’t need a new solution, but an old answer to an age old problem. The spiritual practices of the desert fathers and the ancient Celtic Church have so much to teach us today. In this 3 week course we will explore some of these ancient traditions and discover how they continue to inspire and transform spiritual practices. Classes will be a blend of learning, group work and space to practice some of the disciplines.

  • Lecturer

    Peter McDowell

    Peter joined the lecturing team in January 2018. Peter is an Ordained Minister in the Presbyterian Church and has served in Church settings in Limerick and Belfast. Originally trained as an engineer Peter found himself serving in missions in Nepal before returning to Belfast to study theology and then complete his PhD focussing on Missiology and emerging views of mission. Peter and his family live in Downpatrick.

  • Full Course Description

    Week 1: Desert Spirituality: At a time of cultural upheaval in the Roman Empire some Christians retreated to the desert to explore the Christian life. What can they teach us as we also face a time of cultural upheaval?

    Week 2: Celtic Spirituality: Christianity in Ireland in the early centuries was distinctive from that in the rest of Europe. The Celts evangelised Scotland, Northern England and large parts of Europe. Can we who live here now learn from their practice and experience?

    Week 3: Monastic spirituality: Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “The renewal of the Church will come from a new type of Monasticism”. What did he mean? Could he be right?


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