Ronald Modras to teach at SHC Summer Institute of Christian Spirituality

Thu, 05/03/2007 (All day)


MOBILE, Ala. — St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, is one of a handful of individuals who permanently changed the way we understand God. Ronald Modras, Ph.D., professor of theological studies at St. Louis University, will be one of several visiting faculty members teaching during Spring Hill College’s Summer Institute of Christian Spirituality in Mobile this year. During his course on Jesuit Humanists, he will examine why Ignatian spirituality remains so relevant today.

“At its heart, Ignatian spirituality is a humanism that defends human rights, prizes learning from other cultures, seeks common ground between science and religion, struggles for justice, and honors a God who is actively at work in creation,” Modras said.

To bring the towering achievements of the Jesuits to life, Modras offers compelling accounts of Jesuit heroes and humanists: Matteo Ricci, Karl Rahner, and Pedro Arrupe.
Modras also finds that the timing of the Jesuits’ founding during the Renaissance influences its current relevance. In his book, “Ignatian Humanism: A Dynamic Spirituality for the 21st Century,” which will be used for the course, Modras reveals the effect Renaissance humanism had on Ignatian spirituality and the Society of Jesus.

“The Renaissance is an apt model for our troubling and transitional times,” he said. “Ignatian humanism truly is a dynamic spirituality for the 21st century.”

Modras was born in Detroit, Mich., where he received his early education. He received a doctorate in theology at the University of Tubingen, Germany, where he studied under the future Pope Benedict XVI and Hans Kung. He has been teaching at St. Louis University since 1979. 

Modras has been involved in ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue for more than 30 years. For many years, he served on the Advisory Committee to the National Council of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Catholic-Jewish Relations. Modras is the author of six books and more than 50 articles. He has lectured at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Oxford University and the University of Berlin.

His course, “Jesuit Humanists:  Ricci, Rahner & Arrupe will be offered during Session II of the Summer Institute of Christian Spirituality, June 10-16, on the Spring Hill campus.  The course will meet from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. daily. The cost to attend is $254. 

Rooted in its Catholic heritage and continuing 450-year-old Jesuit tradition of educational excellence, Spring Hill College offers programs of theological studies at four locations in the Southeastern U.S.:  Mobile, Atlanta, Birmingham and Jackson, Miss.

For more information visit or call 251-380-3094.