What is spirituality? What is Christian spirituality? What is its role in the lives of Christians today? These are just a few of the questions this course will take up. The course explores the various spiritual traditions and practices that have shaped the lives of Christians over the centuries. The first part of the course will seek to define spirituality, both as a lived experience and as an academic field. The second part of the course will engage selections from a variety of classic Christian spiritual sources including Sacred Scripture, St. Augustine, St. Benedict, St. Francis and St. Clare, Julian of Norwich, St. Hildegard of Bingen, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. The final part of the class will examine the ways that Christian spirituality can inform our understanding of contemporary issues; these include sexuality, ecology, interreligious dialogue, and political action. Students will engage texts from a variety of contemporary Christian spiritual writers such as Thomas Merton, Desmond Tutu, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., Sr. Simone Campbell, Anne Lamott, and Gustavo Gutierrez. In addition, students will reflect critically on the possibilities and limitations of the various spiritual traditions and practices so that they might be able to determine for themselves the value and role of Christian spirituality in today's world.