Living Theology 2018

Friday 8th – Sunday 10th June 2018

A Summer School in Christian Faith

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 Elizabeth Cotter, the Key Note Speaker. Her 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 other courses, one for Saturday and another for Sunday. Each course 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.



The Spirituality of Mary Ward

Elizabeth Cotter IBVM

Lecturer: Elizabeth Cotter IBVM

Half a century after the death of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order for men, an Englishwoman, Mary Ward, recognised that their way of life could also be lived out by women. Despite opposition from every corner, she held on to her vision and pioneered a new way for apostolic religious women, whose lives would be dedicated to the mission of Christ in the world. The IBVM/Loreto Sisters and the Sisters of the Congregation of Jesus follow in the footsteps of Mary Ward, but today, her family also includes lay people who are inspired by her vision.

What does Mary Ward have to say to us?

Elizabeth will share her reflections on three key aspects:

‘Mary Ward: A Woman of the Church in the Tradition of Ignatius of Loyola’

‘Mary Ward: A Woman Who Lived in Relationship with God’

‘Mary Ward: Living her Spirituality in the 21st Century’

We will explore certain key aspects of Mary Ward’s Spirituality: its rootedness in Scripture, her understanding and practice of discernment, her experience of God as her constant companion, her image of a compassionate and merciful God and her belief that God can be found in all things.

COURSES: Saturday 9th June

Please choose ONE of the following courses, A, B or C:

COURSE A Practical Theology

Lecturer: Mike Smith SJ

Mike Smith SJIn Practical Theology, we reflect on what we know about God and the world we live in. Through reflection, we can understand the theology that underlies and directs how we live in the world. In this course, we will examine our understanding of God, and the ways in which that affects the world. We will look at how God is trying to save the world, and what that means, and look at how the liberation theology movement has led to change in the way we view and participate in God’s saving action.

COURSE B Introduction to the Psalms

Lecturer: James Crampsey SJ

Pick up the hymn book of the Jerusalem Temple and what do you find? There are poems of praise, poems of lament, remembering poems, dark poems with elements of violence. The Psalms have been described as a conversation with God conducted in public.

This course will look at the variety of Israel’s individual and communal prayer and ask whether we can make these prayers our own.

Do they challenge our own ways of praying?


This course will run on Saturday and be repeated on Sunday, so you can choose to participate in it on either day.

Lecturer: Nick Austin SJ

Photo of Nick Austin SJ

“Towards a Fruitful Sense of Sin”. Is the Catholic sense of sin more of a burden than a liberation? This workshop looks at ways of understanding the reality of sin in our lives, and ways the awareness of sin can bear positive fruit in Christian life.

COURSES: Sunday 10th June

Please choose ONE of the following courses C, D or E:

COURSE C As on Saturday.

COURSE D Teilhard de Chardin – his life and work.

Lecturer: Mike Smith SJ

Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit priest who devoted his life to science and realised that science is a revelation of God. As well as studying his chosen sciences – palaeontology and geology – he was a skilled theologian and a mystic. In this course, we will follow three of his main writings to look at creation as the playing out of evolution, the revelation of Christ in evolution, and what it means for us to live in a universe where we are co-creators and given the task of bringing creation to its ultimate perfection.

COURSE E The Parables of Jesus

Lecturer: James Crampsey SJ

James Crampsey SJThese stories of Jesus embedded in the Gospels are a source of encouragement and challenge to the contemporary world. ‘What is the Kingdom of God like?’ asks Jesus, and gives his answer through the parables. This course will look at the parables of Jesus and how they have been received.

Do they continue to make us think? Have we heard it all before?


Mike is a Jesuit priest who has spent most of his life in education. He now specialises in adult education, and lectures in several places on theological topics.

Beginning with a degree in physics, he has a special interest in the links between science and faith and tries to maintain this view of reality in all his work.

James, a Glasgow-born Jesuit, lectured in Biblical Studies at Heythrop College for twelve years after which he became Provincial of the British Jesuits for six years. After that he was a parish priest, working for nine years in the multi-faith and multi-ethnic context of Southall in West London. After eight years in Edinburgh, where he was director of the Lauriston Jesuit Centre, he is awaiting a new assignment.

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.


Friday 8th June (6 pm Supper for resident participants)

6.15 pm Registration

7.15 pm Introduction to the Weekend

7.30 pm First Key Note Lecture

8.45 pm Tea/coffee


Saturday 9th June

8.30 am Registration for new participants

9.30 am Morning Prayer

10.00 am Lecture 1

11.00 am Tea/coffee

11.30 am Lecture 2

12.30 pm Lunch

2.00 pm Lecture 3

3.00 pm Tea/coffee

3.30 pm Key Note Lecture

5.00 pm Mass for Sunday


Sunday 10th June

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 for non-residential or £50 for residential places 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.

Bookings: Please fill our online booking form.

For further information: Please contact Ewa Bem IBVM at Loreto Centre, Tel: 01492 878031 or email via our general enquiry form.