Easter Course

Paths to Human Maturity

David Field | March 11-15, 2019

Registration Opens: January, 2019.

In our personal discipleship, in our pastoral counselling, and in our standing with and witnessing to the world, we seek as full an understanding of human wholeness and maturity (Christlikeness) as possible and we wish to identify and deploy all the means which God has given us as crafts and techniques of growth.

In this course, attention will be given to three distinct major approaches to human maturation (one anti-religious; one religious, but not Christian; and one Christian, but not Reformed), each of which has its own ‘craft and technique of change’ and all of which have appeal and influence in contemporary society. These are:

  • Psychoanalysis (the unconscious; drives, deficits, and development; insight psychology)
  •  Zen meditation (present-moment awareness; mind and body; breath)
  • Hesychasm (silence; ascesis; watchfulness)

By giving open-hearted and clear-minded attention to these approaches we will gain deeper understanding of the crafts of change in the Reformed tradition (perhaps coming to recognise that we have under appreciated some of God’s gifts), be better equipped to engage wisely and compassionately with our culture, and be yet more grateful for the grace of God in the gospel.

Pre-reading of selected texts will be required and the course, which will take a Reformed commitment to the biblical story and to the gospel as its starting point, will include brief expositions of the conceptual framework and the ‘craft of change’ in these three traditions; the insights of biblical theology into matters such as breath, the unconscious, and attention; and discussions of the implications for our own pursuit of holiness and our pastoral practice.

David Field has been interested in the topics covered in this course for some 35 years. During that time he has lectured in seminaries in Nigeria and England, served as minister of a local church south of London, and worked in business as an executive search consultant for leading international universities. He took his first degree, in theology, at Oxford and later gained his PhD, from Cambridge, for work on late English puritan theology. He has published books on puritan John Howe and on the book of Obadiah, and articles on puritan theology, biblical studies, and ethics. David lives in Oxford, is married to Sue, and has three grown-up daughters and two grandsons.

Theopolis Institute admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies or scholarship programs.