Fall Noncredit Course | Modern Mystics Oct. 4 - Nov. 15

Nov 15, 2022
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Bernard McGinnUniversity of Chicago

Ann AstellUniversity of Notre Dame

Raul ZegarraUniversity of Chicago

Fr. Peter Bernardi, SJLumen Christi Institute

Maurice CharlesUniversity of Chicago

Tuesdays, Oct. 4 - Nov. 15
6:00pm: Dinner
6:30pm: Presentation


Intended for university students and recent graduates. Others interested in attending please contact

Registrants are free to attend as many sessions as they choose. Sessions do not presuppose previous attendance or prior knowledge of the subject.


“The devout Christian of the future will either be a ‘mystic’ – one who has ‘experienced’ something  – or he will cease to be anything at all” 

                    – Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations VII

Who is the modern mystic? The study of the history of mysticism, pioneered by scholars like Bernard McGinn, has helped uncover the theological genius of writers and thinkers within the tradition of Christianity who fall outside of the neat parameters of systematic theology. Is the mystic in the modern world different from mystics of previous generations? In this no-prep required non-credit course, professors like Bernard McGinn, Anne Astell, and others will introduce participants to modern mystics from both within and beyond the Catholic tradition, addressing Therese of Lisieux, Thomas Merton, Simone Weil, Gustavo Gutierrez, Edith Stein, and Howard Thurman.



6:00 PM Dinner | 6:30 PM Lecture

October 4 | Modern Mystics, Intro (Bernard McGinn, University of Chicago)

October 11 | Therese of Lisieux (Bernard McGinn, University of Chicago)

October 18 | Simone Weil (Ann Astell, Notre Dame)

October 25 | Gustavo Gutierrez (Raul Zegarra, University of Chicago)

Novermber 1 | Edith Stein (Peter Bernardi, Lumen Christi Institute)

November 8 | Thomas Merton (Bernard McGinn, University of Chicago)

November 15 | Howard Thurman (Maurice Charles, University of Chicago)

Fr. Peter Bernardi, SJ is scholar-in-residence at the Lumen Christi Institute and Associate Professor Emeritus of Theology at Loyola University of Chicago, where he taught from 2010 to 2020. Before coming to Chicago he taught at Loyola University New Orleans from 1996 to 2010. Fr. Bernardi holds an Honors B.A. in Classical Languages from Xavier University (Cincinnati), an MA in Philosophy from the University of Detroit, a Master of Divinity from Regis College of the Toronto School of Theology, an STL from the Weston School of Theology with a thesis concerning soteriology, and a PhD in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America.

His areas of interest include modern Christian thought; John Henry Newman, Maurice Blondel, and the Renewal of Catholic Theology; Theology of Vatican II; Christology & Soteriology. He is the author of Maurice Blondel, Social Catholicism and Action Française: The Clash over the Church’s Role in Society During the Modernist Era (CUA Press, 2009).  His most recent scholarly publications are "Blondel, Maurice (1861–1949)" in the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Philosophers (2020), "Louis Cardinal Billot, S.J. (1846–1931): Thomist, Anti-Modernist, Integralist" in the Journal of Jesuit Studies 8 (2021): 585-616, and "Maurice Blondel's diagnosis of extrinsicist 'Monophorism': An enduring critique of Christian Integralism," in Pesando-Revista de Filosofia. Vol 13, No 30 (2022) Dossie Maurice Blondel, 100-113.