Date of Submission



This dissertation is a study of Christian spirituality within the Roman Catholic tradition in the modern era. Specifically, it is an exploration of the tensive relationship between "the mystical" and "the political". Though this inter-relationship has become a feature in twentieth century Roman Catholic theology there remains a relative absence of considered treatments on the theme. The thesis is a response to this lacuna. The thesis suggests that, given both the development of laicality in recent times and the enunciation of the 'universal call to holiness' in chapter five of Lumen gentium of the Second Vatican Council, an engagement of the relationship between the "the mystical" and "the political" is now unavoidable in the development of a spiritual life. Evolving aspects of the Roman Catholic tradition have dissolved a previous two-tiered systematization of the pursuit of holiness and presented "the world" itself as the locus for the experience of holiness. The thesis is animated by a certain pastoral concern and with the conviction that the necessity of such an engagement shall only increase in the period ahead.

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


369 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Theology and Philosophy