Wisdom School 21/22 Opening Plenary: A Spirituality of Desire

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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2021, 6:45 P.M.–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom.

Dean Thomason introduces the theme for The Wisdom School at Saint Mark's 21/22 program year.

Desire is often understood as existing in the realm of carnal experience, and is therefore to be denied or rejected. But mystics know a deeper truth—that desire is at the core of our spiritual awareness and informs all that we do and are, in response to God’s desire for us, or alternatively, as a shadow that hinders that union through false attachments. Dean Steve Thomason will draw on art, poetry, science, and theology, including writings of the mystics, exploring desire as a deeply-seated (and perhaps divinely hard-wired) spiritual gift that enables us to engage the Other in life-giving union while also reflecting on ways we fall prey to false attachments meant to fill the spiritual whole that only God can fill. No fee. In-person attendees must be vaccinated. 

Click here to download the Powerpoint slides from this presentation.

References related to this presentation include:

  • Coakley, Sarah. The New Asceticism: Sexuality, Gender, and the Quest for God. Bloomsbury, 2015
  • Gudorf, Christine. Body, Sex, and Pleasure: Reconstructing Christian Sexual Ethics. Pilgrim Press, 1994.
  • Guenther, Margaret. The Practice of Prayer. Cowley, 1998
  • May, Gerald. Will and Spirit: A Contemplative Psychology. HarperOne, 1987.

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