Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

Theo 281 Christianity through the Ages: The World of Ignatius Loyola

Spring 2014

Theo 281/Christianity through the Ages:  The World of Ignatius Loyola

Professor Mark Bosco, S.J.



Summer 2014-Interssion


Department of Theology

Loyola University Chicago/John Felice Rome Center



This course is a theology course whose primary goal is to investigate the major interactions between Christian thought and practice and the cultures that is has been a part of in its two thousand year history.  As an intensive immersion course, it introduces students into an in-depth study of the history, spirituality, and theological vision of the founder of the Society of Jesus, Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556).  Designed as an academic “pilgrimage,” it provides students an opportunity to study the legacy of Ignatius by following in his footsteps along the route of his early life in Spain—Bilbao, Azpeitia (Loyola Castle), Aranzazu, Xabier, Pamplona, Montserrat, Manresa and Barcelona.   We will begin by looking at the personal experience of Ignatius, the pilgrim, as an experience that sheds light on the religious issues during the ruptures of reformation and post-reformation European life and culture.  At the same time, we will look at Loyola’s autobiography, his journal, and the Spiritual Exercises, in order to ask the question:  what about his life and his theological vision sheds light on how people come to grow in the spiritual life?  Lectures will be on site at the various locations and we will travel together as pilgrims via public transportation (bus and train) to our various destinations.  Finally, students will have the opportunity to do a 6-hour walk/pilgrimage from Montserrat to Manresa, near Barcelona.


Learning Outcomes:  Knowledge and Skills

This course will develop competency in the area of Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge.  By successfully passing this course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze and interpret religious texts, beliefs and practices using standard scholarly methods and tools.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, with attention to historical development, of the beliefs, ethical understandings, and practices of the Christian tradition and, specifically, Ignatian spirituality.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the intersections between religion and selected contemporary issues.
  • Evaluate one’s own religious perspective and the religious perspectives of others.


Required Texts: 

  • Sumption, Jonathan, The Age of Pilgrimage:  The Medieval Journey to God.  (Paulist: 2003).
  • A Pilgrim’s Journey:  The Autobiography of Ignatius of Loyola, Joseph Tylenda, editor (Ignatius Press, 2001 edition)
  • Various pdfs that will be required for reading/downloaded during our travels.


Evaluation categories:

  • 6-8-page book review/response completed prior to arrival in Spain.  20%
  • Presentation to the class of a significant point of interest or work of religious art at one of our travel sites. 20%
  • Daily journal.  20%
  • Mid-term examination.  20%
  • Final.  20%


Book Review/Response: 

Students will read The Age of Pilgrimage prior to arrival in Spain, and write a formal response to the book by answering questions provided to you.  Your answers should be in essay form, with quotations cited numerically in the text.  Students must email the report one week prior to the beginning of the course at mbosco@luc.edu



Students will be assigned to present on-site at a significant point of interest or a work of art along the pilgrimage route of the course.  The student will cite four (4) things of note about the point of interest/art object and pose two (2) questions about it to the class at the conclusion of the oral presentation.  Research on the assigned piece will be completed and the copy printed (2 copies) before the trip to Spain.  One copy is for the instructor, one for the student.  These can be rendered in outline form.


Daily Journal:

Students will keep a journal that will be a rendered digest of their daily taken notes on the lectures, presentations, discussions of the day.  The journal may be enhanced by further comments and reflections pertaining to one’s own personal (spiritual) appropriation of the day’s site, lecture, or activity.  Each journal entry is daily and should amount to no less than one written page (or no less than a half typed page if you are doing this via word processor).  Your journal will either be given to the instructor on the final day or sent via email as an attachment on the final day.


Mid-term and Final:

There will be a midterm on June 25th and a final on June 29th.  The subject matter will be based upon lectures and readings of the course.  The format of these exams is short answers and essay questions.  Each will last one hour.  Due to the brevity of this course, there are no make-ups.




Rough draft of Itinerary, subject to change


Day One (June 20): 

  • Arrival in Bilbao in early afternoon
    • Hotel:  Petit Palace Arana

C/ Bidebarrieta, 2, 48105 Bilbao

Tel:  +34 944 156 411

  • Walking tour and tapas night out in the old quarter


Day Two (June 21)

  • Local train/bus to Azpeitia to visit the Shrine and Castle of Loyola
    • Hotel Arrupe

Santuario de Loyola

Tel: +34 943 025 026

  • Lecture, tour, and liturgy in the Rooms of Ignatius
  • Pick up “pilgrim’s passport” at Loyola.
  • Walk to town to visit where Ignatius was baptized.


Day Three (June 22)

  • Local train/bus to Arantzazu Shrine
    • Hotel Arantzazu

20560 Onati Gipuzkoa

+34 943 781 314

  • Lecture and visit to the shrine, opportunity for silence and prayer
  • Evening discussion


Day Four (June 23)

  • Local train/bus to Pamplona
    • Hotel:  TBA
    • Visit, lecture, and tour in Pamplona


Day Five (June 24)

  • Local train/bus to Javier
    • Hotel Xabier

31411 Javier, Navarra

+34 948 884 006

  • Visit, lecture to Javier Castle, the birthplace of St. Francis Javier
  • Evening Discussion


Day Six (June 25)

  • Morning mid-term in Javier


Day Seven (June 26)

  • Local train/bus to Montserrat
    • Hotel:  TBA
    • Visit, lecture to the Shrine or Our Lady of Montserrat


Day Eight (June 27)

  • Six hour morning pilgrimage walk from Montserrat to Manresa
  • Lunch in Manresa with the Jesuit Community
  • Visit and lecture at the cave of Ignatius and sites in Manresa
  • Bus back to Montserrat for the night


Day Nine (June 28)

  • Morning lecture in Montserrat
  • Train/bus to Barcelona
    • Hotel:  TBA
    • Visit and lecture to Gothic quarter and the sites of Ignatius


Day Ten (June 29):

  • Morning Final Exam
  • Group beach day in Barcelona
  • Final Dinner


Day Eleven (June 30):  Departure