Perpetuating Foundations

by Jody Godoy '05

On October 21 and 22, the Haggard School of Theology hosted the annual Lectureship on Holy Living. The featured speaker was Stephen Gunter, Ph.D., who serves as Arthur J. Moore Chair of Evangelism at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.

The lectures focused on three “distinctive dimensions” of Wesleyan spirituality: “orthopathy” – right feelings and dispositions; “orthopraxy” – right practices; and “orthodoxy” – right teachings. Gunter discussed these Wesleyan concepts in terms of the wide historical range of Christian spiritualities.

“There has been an ebb and flow in the history of Christian spirituality,” said Gunter, describing the different emphases on which Christians have historically focused. He described an intellectual and speculative “spirituality of the mind,” in contrast with a heartfelt and affective “spirituality of the heart.” He also explained that there is a “spirituality of mysticism” emphasizing the mystery of God, as well as a “spirituality of existence” that looks to God’s effects in the world. “These are all different ways of knowing God,” said Gunter.

Gunter explained these distinctions, surveyed the connections between historical events and trends in spiritual emphasis, and gave guidelines to help Christians to better know their own spirituality.

As a part of the Lectureship on Holy Living, this series served to “continue the Wesleyan beliefs and practices instrumental in APU’s founding,” said Professor of Christian Theology Donald Thorsen, Ph.D.