Meditation in the Christian Tradition

 Foundational Unit

Six Saturdays, 2020
7, 14 March; 8, 29 August; 5, 12 September
10.00am – 4.30pm
Intense interest in meditation is a sign of the times. People of all faiths as well as of no faith engage in meditation. This unit will study meditative techniques, ancient and modern, such as mantras and stillness, music and iconography. In this way students will acquire new levels of spiritual understanding.  They will enter into a dialogue with the great teachers of the Christian mystical tradition such as John Cassian and John of the Cross and, by questioning them and hearing what they have to say, gain an overview of the divine trajectory. They will explore in-depth at least one of these great teachers. Students will explore classical forms of meditation as well as contemporary approaches such as Christian Meditation and Centering Prayer. In this way, the students will gain a rich and comprehensive understanding of approaches to prayer, both public liturgy and private prayer.

Census Date

Tuesday 21 April 




intensive mode: 10.00am — 4.30pm


  • two 3,000-word essays 2 x 50%


  • Dieker, Bernadette, and Jonathan Montaldo, eds. Merton and Hesychasm: The Prayer of the Heart. Fons Vitae Thomas Merton. Louisville: Fons Vitae, 2003.
  • Dupuche, John. Jesus, the Mantra of God: An Exploration of Mantra Meditation. Melbourne: David Lovell, 2005.
  • Freeman, Laurence. Jesus: The Teacher Within. New York: Continuum, 2000.
  • Griffiths, Bede. The New Creation in Christ: Christian Meditation and Community. Edited by Robert Kiely and Laurence Freeman. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1992.
  • Keating, Thomas. Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel. New York: Continuum, 1992. 
  • Main, John. The Way of Unknowing. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1989.
  • Matthew, Iain. The Impact of God: Soundings from St John of the Cross. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1995. 
  • May, Gerald G. The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2005.
  • Merton, Thomas. What is Contemplation? Rev. ed. Springfield: Templegate, 1981.
  • Williams, Rowan. The Dwelling of the Light: Praying with Icons of Christ. Mulgrave: John Garratt, 2003.