John McKendy Memorial Lecture 2017


October 19, 2017 7pm Brian Mulroney Hall, Rm 101

Dr Janet K. Ruffing, RSM

Ancestry, Place[s], and Identity in Spiritual Direction Narratives

In this 2017 John McKendy Memorial Lecture, Dr Janet Ruffing will discuss spiritual direction as a narrative process, recognized or not, in which the directee tells his or her sacred tale in the interaction with a spiritual director who significantly affects the unfolding of this serial narrative of lived faith. At a time, when directees have unprecedented access to genealogical information and also live in or make retreats in a variety of places, how do these new experiences affect their identity spiritually and socially? Do they become integrated into the on-going narrative of identity or not?

Dr. Janet K. Ruffing, RSM is Professor in the Practice of Spirituality and Ministerial Leadership at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, CT since 2010 and Professor Emerita of Spirituality and Spiritual Direction at Fordham University since 2009. She holds the PhD in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley (1986) and advanced degrees from

Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley  and the University of San Francisco. She is a founding member of both Spiritual Directors International and of the society for the Study of Christian Spirituality. She has published five books and more than ninety journal essays and has lectured or lead workshops in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, China, India, Thailand, Korea, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, the UK, and the U.S. She is best known for her publications on spiritual direction, the French mystic, Elisabeth Leseur, kata phatic, mysticism, and female religious life. She is a member of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas from California. More relevant to this lecure is her book: To Tell the Sacred Tale: Spiritual Direction and Narrative, Paulist, 2010.