Living Theology 2017

Understanding your everyday beliefs


The Beloved Disciple

The Beloved Disciple. (Copy in Oratory at Loreto Centre)

Friday 5th – Sunday 7th May 2017

What is Living Theology?

The Living Theology Summer School has been organised by Jesuits and their associates in venues across the country for over 50 years. The courses continue to provide opportunities for Christians of all denominations to deepen their understanding of the Christian faith and develop their personal reflection on Christian living and belief.

No prior theological knowledge is required, just an open mind and willingness to engage.


All participants follow the three lectures given by Chris Thomas, the Keynote Speaker. His Friday evening lecture is also a Public Lecture, so everyone is welcome, even if not attending the rest of the weekend.

Participants then choose two out of the three other courses offered. Each course will be offered twice, once on Saturday and again on Sunday, and will consist of three presentations throughout the day. This makes it possible for those who are only able to attend on one day, to complete a full course.

God cannot be Tamed –
Scripture and the Mystery of Spirituality

Photo of Chris Thomas

Lecturer: Chris Thomas

The Scriptures move us beyond the study of mere fact into the mystery of a God who cannot be controlled or determined but who is wild and free and unconditionally loving. During these sessions, we will explore what that might mean for our lives and for the Church and for the world.

Chris is a priest of the Liverpool Archdiocese. He has been a full-time youth chaplain, a University chaplain, a Parish Priest and is now the Director of the Irenaeus Project. The Project is an attempt to highlight the whole area of spirituality for everyone. More than anything else, Chris loves working with the scriptures and encouraging people to see them in a different way. His hobbies include reading, music, football and filling his house with so-called antiques… others may well say junk!

Please choose TWO of the following three courses
(or ONE if attending just one day)

COURSE A Discerning God’s Will: Pope Francis’s Invitation to the Church

Lecturer: Nick Austin SJ

Photo of Nick AustinPope Francis has said, ‘Today the Church needs to grow in discernment, in the ability to discern.’ His reforms are motivated by a desire for a more discerning Church, whether at the level of the bishops’ synods, at the local level, or for individual Christians. He has emphasised that the faithful ‘are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations.’

What, then, is discernment? Why is it so needed today? And is it really possible for individuals and communities to discern God’s will in concrete situations? This course will explore the Ignatian tradition of discernment that informs Pope Francis, what we mean by ‘God’s will,’ and how the practice of discernment can be cultivated to guide our everyday choices and lives.

Nick teaches Theological Ethics at Heythrop College, London, and is a frequent visitor to St Beuno’s Jesuit Retreat Centre in North Wales to give the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola. His interests include the Christian tradition of the virtues, and developing the connection between ethics and spirituality in everyday life.

COURSE B Finding God in Literature

Lecturer: Kathryn Keigher IBVM

Photo of Kathryn Keigher

This module will explore our relationship with God through literature, especially through poetry. We will read some traditional religious poems and also explore less obvious religious verse. There will be an opportunity for sharing poems and ideas. Participants will be invited to reflect on specific texts and write some verses of their own. The module is designed for those who love poetry and for those who are simply curious.

This module is neither an English lesson nor an exercise in literary criticism!! It is an experience of the way God leads us as we explore the written and spoken word of poetry. Hopefully, there may be a deepening of our ability to listen to and recognise God in all the experiences of our lives. I hope you will enjoy it as we explore together the wonderful mystery of the God whom we meet.

Kathryn is a Loreto sister, who has taught English for many years in England and abroad. Her love of literature is intertwined with her faith and she is particularly interested in the use of creative writing as an expression of her faith. Kathryn is also the Justice and Peace coordinator for Loreto education in England.

COURSE C How did Jesus see himself?

Lecturer: Gerry Hughes SJ

Photo of Gerry HughesWe can, with careful reading, notice how each of the four evangelists presents Jesus for their readers.

But can we discern from the Gospels how Jesus thought of himself?

You will need a New Testament for this course. These are available at the Centre, but you may like to bring your own.

For many years, Gerry was head of the Philosophy Department at Heythrop College, London. Later he was appointed Master of Campion Hall, the Jesuit house at Oxford University, where he still tutors.


Friday 5th May

Introduction to the Weekend
First Keynote Lecture

Saturday 6th May

Registration for new participants
Morning Prayer
Lecture 1
Lecture 2
Lecture 3
Keynote Lecture
Mass for Sunday

Sunday 7th May

As Saturday, finishing with tea/coffee at 4.45pm.


Suggested Donation:£70 for the whole weekend. £35 for Saturday or Sunday only. A non-refundable deposit of £10 is asked for when booking.

If attending the Public Lecture on Friday only, we ask for a donation of £5. If you are attending any other part of the weekend, this lecture is included in your donation.

It is important to us that nobody is excluded from our programmed events for financial reasons. Please speak to us if you would find difficulty in meeting the suggested offering. If on the other hand, you feel able to make an extra contribution towards a bursary fund, this would enable others to participate in our programme.

Residential Places: Please enquire about availability and suggested donations for residential places if required. Suggested donation: £145-160 depending on the room. (This includes course fee.)

Catering: The suggested donation includes tea/coffee and a light lunch.

Parking: A large car park is available at the Centre.

Bookshop: A bookshop is available during the weekend.

For further information: Please contact Ewa Bem IBVM at Loreto Centre via our contact form.

To book a place: A booking form can be downloaded by clicking the following link:
Living Theology Booking Form.

A pdf version of the Living Theology Course can be found by clicking the following link:
Living Theology Brochure.

Registered Charity 250607