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Living Theology Ammerdown 2022

Living Theology Ammerdown 2022
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13 Jun 2022 to 16 Jun 2022 17:00 - 12:00

Friday 17 June - Sunday 19 June

R - £240 NR - £150

Please arrive for   5pm, course ends after lunch.

Our theme for the weekend will be:  The Power of the Word: Theology, Spirituality and Literature in Conversation   (booking form and timetable at the bottom of this page).

This Living Theology weekend will focus on links between literature on the one hand and Christian theology and spirituality on the other. Some time will be given to addressing more theoretical issues, such as what connections there are between literature and theology or different ways of speaking about the mystery of God, creation and redemption in theology and literature. Most of the time, however, will be spent reading, commenting on and discussing a selection of literary texts by a range of authors. Here we will explore different ways in which poets and other creative writers address major themes in Christian faith and theology.

David Lonsdale

David Lonsdale taught Christian spirituality and pastoral theology at postgraduate level at Heythrop College, University of London for over 25 years. This included a course based on religious texts and themes in English literature and supervision of PhD students’ research on Ignatius Loyola, Thomas Merton, John Donne, George Herbert and R. S. Thomas.  More recently, he has co-edited a volume of essays on poetry and the religious imagination and published articles on Shakespeare’s King Lear and on links between poetry and prayer and poetry and prophecy. His earlier books on Ignatian spirituality have been translated into several languages.

Fr Michael Kirwan  SJ

Michael Kirwan is a member of the British province of the Society of Jesus. He is currently based at the Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin, where he teaches and researches in theology. After his doctoral studies on the French cultural theorist René Girard, he taught theology for 20 years at Heythrop College, University of London. Michael has become steadily more interested in the relationship between theology and literature, having written chapters and articles on Shakespeare, Blake, Hölderlin, Joyce, and Thomas Mann. He has been involved with the 'Power of the Word' project since 2021; an initiative which brings theology, spirituality, and philosophy into conversation with literature.

The Venue

Ammerdown has proved to be an ideal location for Living Theology. Quiet, peaceful, beautiful and relaxing, Ammerdown offers everything that Living Theology needs. Full residential facilities include a beautiful ecumenical chapel for our liturgies, well equipped modern en suite bedrooms, first-class catering in a comfortable and friendly dining room, plus teaching and lecture rooms with excellent audio-visual equipment, a well-stocked library covering a wide range of relevant Christian (and other) literature, delightful grounds in which to walk and relax at leisure (with swimming pool) and, last but not least, friendly and very helpful staff.

The Cost

From 5.00pm on Friday 17th June 2021, finishing after lunch on Sunday 19th June, the residential cost (£240) covers bed and full board (two nights, Friday, Saturday) plus all lectures and plenaries, with access to Ammerdown’s extensive facilities as above.

Non-residential: The cost (£150) covers lectures, plenaries, liturgies, communal living during the day, lunch and evening meal, but does not include bed or breakfast. For those wishing to be non-residential, Ammerdown can provide details of various hotels and B&B locally.

Make your cheque payable to ‘Living Theology (Ammerdown)’.    Please email Eilish Heath at  or telephone 01284 752495 with any enquiries. Please note that we do not have a facility to handle card payments.  


The nearest railway station is Bath Spa. Bus and taxi services are available from Bath. Full details of travel will be sent to all participants after bookings have been reserved. For those travelling by car there is ample free parking at the Ammerdown Centre itself. The Ammerdown postcode, BA3 5SW, entered into Google Maps or Satnav, should do the rest! For further details of the Ammerdown Centre:  or 01761 433709.

Covid Measures

Living Theologians can be assured that Ammerdown has in place all appropriate measures to ensure their safety, following government guidelines current at the time. As and when guidelines change, so our practices change with them. Should you need a mask, please bring your own, to be worn as appropriate.

Booking Form           Time Table