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Saturday, November 2 • 11:15am - 12:30pm
Breakout 3.04: Thomas Merton and Religious Education

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Silence as the "Mother of Speech": Cultivating a Contemplative Orientation for Dialogue and Communion Across Difference
Thomas Murphy (Boston College)

Research Interest Group. [Paper] This essay explores the role of silence and a contemplative orientation for religious education that can foster deep dialogue across difference. First, aspects of a Christian mystical tradition of contemplation and the practice of silence are explored through the work of Thomas Merton and others. A review of related contemplative pedagogical practices is then offered. Finally, these considerations are applied towards deepening the commitment within religious education to both honoring the unique agency and subjectivity of self and other and seeking communion within a diversity of perspectives.

Roots and Branches: The Origins and Potential of Mystagogy in Religious Education
Paul Melley (Boston College)

Research Interest Group. [Paper] This paper argues that incorporating a praxis of mystagogy within religious education is crucial for the church and our world today. It enables us to “sniff out grace” and be all the more likely to discern the mystery that inheres to daily life. A praxis of mystagogy incorporated into religious education helps to fashion people into mystics—a life-long process of becoming alert to God’s hidden presence by honoring the fundamental mode by which we know anything about God: intentional reflection on the encounter with God’s self-revelation and effective love through human experience.

Keywords: contemplative, merton, mystagogy, experience, sacramental, meaning-making,.

avatar for Patrick Manning

Patrick Manning

Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology, Seton Hall University
As a religious educator, professor, and teacher formator, my goal is to facilitate transformative encounters with the Christian tradition in the classroom setting. Operating at the intersection of theology, education, and cognitive science, my work focuses on methods of theological/religious... Read More →


Paul Melley

Ph.D. Student, Theology & Education, Boston College

Thomas Murphy

PhD Student, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Saturday November 2, 2019 11:15am - 12:30pm
Algonquin C

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