Spiritual Perception

Link to Spiritual Perception Project Website

The Spiritual Perception Program of interviews is a part of a larger research project focusing on the cognitive equipment, which makes the experience of God possible. Dr. Gavrilyuk has directed six International Symposia and has co-edited two collected volumes covering historical, theological, and philosophical aspects of spiritual perception.

In order to share the results of this research with the general educated public, Dr. Gavrilyuk has interviewed select scholars involved in the Spiritual Perception Project.

The Spiritual Senses in Hans Urs von Bathasar with Mark McInroy

Phenomenology and Spiritual Perception with Mark K. Spencer

Recent Thomistic Aesthetics and Spiritual Perception with Mark K. Spencer

Spiritual Perception in Medieval Theology with Richard Cross

Prof. Richard Cross, John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy, Philosophy Department, University of Notre Dame, discusses Thomas Aquinas’ theory of perception in application to the question of the apprehension of God. For more information, see Paul Gavrilyuk & Sarah Coakley, eds, The Spiritual Senses: Perceiving God in Western Christianity (Cambridge University Press, 2012): https://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Sens…

Spiritual Direction in Early Christianity with George Demacopoulos

Dr. George E. Demacopoulos, Fr. John Meyendorff and Patterson Chair of Orthodox Christian Studies, Co-Direct of the Center of Orthodox Christian Studies at Fordham University, New York, discusses five different models of spiritual perception in early Christianity, developed by such Church Fathers as Athanasius of Alexandria, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory the Great. Prof. Demacopoulos also comments on the implications of these models for contemporary Christian life and practice. For more information, see his book Five Models of Spiritual Direction in the Early Church (University of Notre Dame Press, 2006): https://www.amazon.com/Models-Spiritu…

Spiritual Perception in Analytic Philosophy with William J. Abraham

Dr. William J. Abraham, Albert C. Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, discusses the accounts of spiritual perception in analytic philosophy of religion, including Richard Swinburne and William Alston, as well as in his own work, Crossing the Threshold of Divine Revelation (Eerdmans, 2006): https://www.eerdmans.com/Products/295…

Spiritual Perception and the Purity of Heart with Frederick D. Aquino

Dr. Frederick D. Aquino (Abilene Christian University) discusses the relationship between spiritual perception and purity of heart in John Cassian as well as his larger project, the Oxford Handbook of the Epistemology of Theology. For more, see https://www.amazon.com/Oxford-Handboo…

Spiritual Perception & Contemporary Theology with Sarah Coakley

Prof. Sarah Coakley (University of Cambridge) begins this interview with remarks about what the spiritual senses are and some of the most important figures in the Christian tradition who have discussed them. After these introductory comments, she offers reflections on the meaning of the spiritual senses for the Christian life by making connections with contemplative prayer, the work of the Holy Spirit, and spiritual direction. Coakley next explains why academic Christian theologians should take an interest in the spiritual senses tradition by noting its ability to address subtle issues concerning mind-body integration and feminist theological concerns. Coakley ends the interview by addressing the influence of the spiritual senses tradition on her current work, in particular she emphasizes the importance of seeing aright in order to address racial issues and blindness to “the other” in our culture today. For more on this topic, see Paul Gavrilyuk & Sarah Coakley, eds., The Spiritual Senses: Perceiving God in Western Christianity (Cambridge, 2012), at: https://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Sens…

Significance of the Spiritual Senses Tradition with Boyd Taylor Coolman

Dr. Boyd Taylor Coolman, Associate Professor of Theology, Theology Department, Boston College (Boston, Massachusetts), discusses the theme of spiritual perception in scripture, early Christian theology, and western medieval theology. For an in-depth discussion of the topic, see Paul Gavrilyuk & Sarah Coakley, eds., The Spiritual Senses: Perceiving God in Western Christianity (Cambridge, 2012): https://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Sens…

Spiritual Senses and the Resurrected Life with Boyd Taylor Coolman

Dr. Boyd Taylor Coolman, Associate Professor of Theology, Theology Department, Boston College (Boston, Massachusetts) discusses the function of the spiritual senses in the resurrected life, the concept of the “spiritual body,” and the implications of these ideas for perceiving God in this life. For more in-depth discussion, see Dr. Coolman’s monograph, Knowing God by Experience: The Spiritual Senses in the Theology of William of Auxerre (Catholic University of America Press, 2016).

Perceiving God & Deification with Fredrick D. Aquino

Dr. Frederick D. Aquino, Professor of Theology and Philosophy, Graduate School of Theology, Abilene Christian University (Abilene, Texas) discusses the connection between perception and spirituality in the work of Maximus the Confessor. For an in-depth analysis of this topic, see Dr. Aquino’s contribution to The Spiritual Senses: Perceiving God in Western Christianity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).