Jesuits have contributed to the life and theological development of the Church for many generations - culminating in Pope Francis, the first Jesuit Pope. Ignatius Loyola called his men and all those inspired by the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises to a certain ecclesial disposition a way of thinking, judging and feeling with the Church.
Gill Goulding discusses the key texts from St Ignatius’ life and work to identify the Ignatian ecclesial disposition that is centered on Christ. It is fuelled by a Trinitarian horizon, and with a clear emphasis on the dignity of every human person. Golding introduces and examines key historical figures such as St Pierre Favre and Mary Ward; as well as two of the major 20th century theologians - Henri de Lubac and Avery Dulles. Finally, Goulding highlights the Ignatian ecclesial disposition in the highest authority of the contemporary Roman Catholic Church, in the background to the pontificates of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis, focusing on the centrality of Christ and the work of the New Evangelization.
This book raises the key questions of the relationship between Christ and the Church as the body of Christ. It indicates the importance of maintaining a Trinitarian horizon in theological vision and raises the pertinent if difficult question of the meaning of Christian obedience. Goulding also underlines the importance of the integration of spirituality and theology which has ramifications for all Christian denominations and possibilities for ongoing inter-faith dialogue.
This is a book full of wonderful insights. And I believe it will fill an important need in the Church—both universal and particular - in the years of Pope Francis’ papacy. This reading is offered as guidance for today’s “Church Militant”, that is the Church here on earth in this twenty-first century world. My hope is that this timely work will open up channels of thought and discussion to the praise of God’s greater glory.
—Terrence Prendergast S.J.,, Archbishop of Ottawa, Canada
The key to Gill Goulding’s book lies in the phrase “ecclesial disposition”. It points to a faith-inspired psycho-spirital stance (my terminology) that she traces first to Ignatius’ Rules for Thinking with the Church, then to other Ignatian writings. This way of belonging to the communio of believers (Karl Rahner referred to it as kirchlichkeit) is an intrinsic dimension of Ignatian spirituality. Calling on saintly witnesses, Jesuit theologians, and the last three Popes, Goulding shows how this ecclesial disposition can offer “passion and hope” to the New Evangelization. The book enriches both Ignatian studies and ecclesiology.
—Brian O’Leary, S.J. Milltown Institute, Ireland
Gill Goulding, C.J. invites readers to move beyond a debilitating polarization in the Church and to adopt an ecclesiology of communion. She presents the ecclesial disposition of St Ignatius of Loyola, rooted in love for Christ, alive to the inseparable union between Christ and the Church, and aware that to love Christ is to love the Church—the real, concrete, hierarchical, “institutional” Church, the people of God, the spouse of Christ infused by His Spirit. Goulding’s love for the Church is evident in all she writes and suffuses the exposition with warmth. One cannot read this book without feeling the call to communion in the Church. A Church of Passion and Hope also serves to highlight an underemphasized part of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises - the Rules for Thinking (sentir) with the Church—a valuable contribution to Ignatian writing and practice.
—Fr Timothy Gallagher, O.M.V., Saint Clement Eucharistic Shrine, USA
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Gill K. Goulding is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Spirituality at the Jesuit Regis College