From Augustine to Chesterton and Beyond: Great Spiritual Autobiographies

Podcast-style audio & video course - 12 Topics
Length: 4 hrs and 59 mins
Sacred Heart University
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00
Includes Free Study Guide

From Augustine to Chesterton and Beyond: Great Spiritual Autobiographies

Podcast-style audio & video course - 12 Topics
Length: 4 hrs and 59 mins
Sacred Heart University
Includes Free Study Guide
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00

What would it be like to listen to great figures of our faith discuss their struggles, life lessons, and spiritual insights?

A number of remarkable Christians have bequeathed to us their autobiographies. Now, you can access their words and understand the contexts in which they lived with a master scholar and teacher as your guide.

In this course, you will explore fourteen inspiring writers who have revealed their spiritual yearnings and encounters with the transcendent. As you do so, you will find new intimacy with each writer, fresh perspectives, and horizons for discovery.

Starting with the Confessions of St. Augustine, you will move chronologically through the classics of the Christian tradition and modern spiritual masterpieces. You will explore Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Ávila, whose mystical autobiographies laid the foundations for their respective religious orders. Then, you will look at the moving spiritual relationship between Blaise Pascal and his sister Jacqueline, the intellectual vivacity of John Henry Newman, and the “Little Way” of Thérèse of Lisieux.

As you move into the twent

What would it be like to listen to great figures of our faith discuss their struggles, life lessons, and spiritual insights?

A number of remarkable Christians have bequeathed to us their autobiographies. Now, you can access their words and understand the contexts in which they lived with a master scholar and teacher as your guide.

In this course, you will explore fourteen inspiring writers who have revealed their spiritual yearnings and encounters with the transcendent. As you do so, you will find new intimacy with each writer, fresh perspectives, and horizons for discovery.

Starting with the Confessions of St. Augustine, you will move chronologically through the classics of the Christian tradition and modern spiritual masterpieces. You will explore Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Ávila, whose mystical autobiographies laid the foundations for their respective religious orders. Then, you will look at the moving spiritual relationship between Blaise Pascal and his sister Jacqueline, the intellectual vivacity of John Henry Newman, and the “Little Way” of Thérèse of Lisieux.

As you move into the twentieth century, you will encounter lay Catholic philosophers Jacques and Raïssa Maritain, beloved writer G. K. Chesterton, and the anguished genius of Simone Weil. Finally, you will look at two men executed in Nazi Germany: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Alfred Delp, S.J.

Join Dr. Higgins on this literary, spiritual, and altogether unforgettable odyssey today.

Learn about downloadable programs.

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Michael W. Higgins, Ph.D., is the leading biographer of Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen. He is a celebrated scholar, an award-winning author and documentarian, and the Vatican affairs specialist for the Globe and Mail and CTV Network. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Catholic Thought and previously served as Professor of Religious Studies and Vice-President for Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Heart University. He is also a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto. Previously, he served as the president of St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo, and of St. Thomas University in New Brunswick.
Prof. Higgins has edited and co-edited, authored, and co-authored thirteen books including: Heretic Blood: The Spiritual Geography of Thomas Merton, The Jesuit Mystique, Power and Peril: The Catholic Church at the Crossroads, Stalking the Holy: The Pursuit of Saint-Making, and Genius Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen. Dr. Higgins is the recipient of many awards, including the 2013 Gold Medal for International Radio Documentaries awarded by the New York Festivals. He is a regular contributor to Commonweal and the Literary Review of Canada and a columnist for the Telegraph-Journal and the Irish Catholic
Praise for Michael Higgins
“Michael Higgins is a first rate public intellectual. His is among the most erudite and astute voices in matters of spirituality and culture that we have in North America today.” – Prof. Joseph Raab, Co-Editor of The Merton Annual
“Michael Higgins is a gifted writer and speaker whose work on major spiritual figures such as Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen and others guarantees that his listener is in for a banquet of rich, spiritual, and life-giving fare.” – Paul M Pearson, Director, Thomas Merton Center
“Dr. Michael Higgins is truly one of the luminaries of the contemporary Catholic intellectual tradition which he has served and enhanced during his rich professional life as a writer and journalist. Consider any one of his numerous contributions to this essential feature of Catholic culture and be broadened, deepened, and enlightened in the wondrous richness of faith-filled engagement in the life of our world.” – Kathleen Deignan, C.N.D., Ph.D., President, International Thomas Merton Society

  • Introduction to Spiritual Autobiography: “Out of Silence—A Voice”
  • The Confessions of St. Augustine
  • The Autobiography and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola
  • The Interior Castle of St. Teresa de Ávila
  • “Jacqueline et Blaise: The Heart Has Its Order”
  • John Henry Cardinal Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua
  • Thérèse de Lisieux’s Autobiography: The Story of a Soul
  • Jacques et Raïssa Maritain
  • Gilbert Keith Chesterton’s Autobiography
  • Simone Weil: “The Afflicted Genius of France”
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison
  • The Life and Selected Prison Letters of the Jesuit Alfred Delp

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