What does it mean for rigorous thought about God to be guided by prayer? What do Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises teach us about discernment? How can that discernment become a spiritual discipline which guides our choices throughout life? How can that discipline guide the theological choices we all make, including those of academic theologians?
This book moves beyond the abstract notion that theology should be prayerful to bring theology together with a particular spiritual practice. It argues that the Spiritual Exercises are a system of prayerful discernment which already provide for reason to be used alongside an openness to all experience and all the ways that we can be guided by the Holy Spirit. This book provides a constructive interpretation of the Exercises as a path of prayerful discernment which can be used throughout life. It sees, in the Exercises, a way of active receptivity to all experience, treating all experience as worthy of attention but also approaching that experience with humility and caution. This book sees theology practiced in this way--as a discerning spiritual discipline--as more resistant to the challenges of modernity than theology which has been sundered from our spiritual life.