How complicated is this going to be?
If you’re able to understand (and enjoy) introductory courses aimed at first year university students you should have no problems studying with us. We also don’t expect you to have a lot of prior knowledge. To put it even more firmly: we will be explaining things practically everybody would have known only thirty years ago or so. We are quite aware of the secularisation process and the fact that nobody no longer knows anything about Christian subjects. If you haven’t the foggiest idea about the divine Trinity, which Sacraments you can eat and which not, or even about the difference between a Protestant and a Catholic, let alone between extasis and epectasis: don’t fret. Not only do we provide basic knowledge as a rule, but you will also be given the opportunity to ask questions after every lesson.
However, we do expect you to be reasonably able to appropriate philosophical abstractions. A lot of the written testimonies of religious experience we will be studying use technical jargon extracted from the works of classical and medieval philosophers. Here too, we won’t expect you to have prior knowledge, but you need to be prepared to invest some time and sweat into this aspect of the subject matter.
The fact that we will be learning at an academic level does not necessarily mean we also have an academic goal. It’s true that we are not missionaries. We are not concerned with apologetics, even if our main lecturer is a Catholic priest. We don’t expect the majority of our students to be primarily driven by academic curiosity either. Personal growth and a healthy grasp of one’s own cultural and religious roots: those are worthy things to aim for in our opinion. To be able to read a mystical text independently and not only admire it, but also understand at least some of it. To be able to have a conversation on religious experiences without embarrassment. Recognising one’s own prejudices and respecting and guarding nuances. That’s what we’d like to stand for.