About the Institute

 

The Institute of Spiritual Theology at CUL is the most developed center in regards to faculty and program of spiritual theology in Poland.  Its beginnings are related with the person of Fr. Prof. Antoni Słomkowski, CUL rector (1944-1951), from whose initiative in the year 1957 within the then Department of Theology at CUL was called forth the first in Poland academic Chair of Ascetic and Mystical Theology within the Section of Dogmatic Theology.

In the years 1961-1970 the Chair curator was Fr. Prof. Wincenty Granat († 1979), presently Servant of God, the successor of Fr. Słomkowski in the position of the Academy's rector. In the Chair since the year 1961, Fr. Dr. Walerian Słomka first undertook the assigned lectures, and after completing specialized studies in the area of spirituality out-of-state (Rome and Paris) in 1965 he was elected senior assistant of this Chair, and adjunct, professor's assistant, a year later. After Fr. Granat retired, in 1970 the Chair was lead under the care of Fr. Prof. Stanisław Witek († 1987) and transferred to the Section of Moral Theology. Meanwhile it was transformed into the Chair of Internal Life Theology.

 

Fr. Prof. W. Słomka, after his professor's thesis in 1972 based on the dissertation entitled Christian Experience and its Role in Knowing God. A Study in the Light of the Phenomenological Method of Husserl (Lublin 1972) and obtaining through it a nomination to the position of reader (1974), he became director of the Chair of Internal Life Theology. In the academic year 1978/79, the Chair lead an individual program of studies for 3 students, which gave the basis for founding the Specialization in Theology of Internal Life in 1981, in whose framework a year later in 1982 there already existed two chairs: theology and history of spirituality. Two years later, the Theology Department Council approved of Specialized Studies in the Section of Moral Theology, whose director remained Fr. W. Słomka. Therefore in 1985 a third Chair of Internal Life Psychology was created (later renamed the Chair of Psychological Ecclesiology). In 1995 the Academic Senate of CUL confirmed the creation of the Chair of Catholic Action Spirituality.

 

In March of 1999 the CUL Academic Senate, taking into consideration the academic accomplishments of the workers and significant number of students, transformed the Section of Spiritual Theology into the Institute of Spiritual Theology.  During this period the Institute was composed of four chairs and seven full-time workers, in this three with the title of professor: Fr. Walerian Słomka (title of professor given 13 XII 1990), Antoni Jozafat Nowak OFM (title of professor given 12 VI 1995) and Fr. Jerzy Misiurek (title of professor given 26 II 1996). All three professors are presently retired.

 

In the years 1984-2001 specialized studies in the field of spirituality were undertaken by 101 people obtaining a Church licentiate degree. 25 doctorate dissertations were carried out and about 300 magistrate and licentiate theses were defended.  In addition, since the year 1976 at the initiative of Fr. W. Słomka there are yearly Spirituality Weeks (presently: Days of Spirituality), which are very popular among students and the society of Lublin city. Recitations from the symposiums as well as the supplementary studies are published in the publication series "Homo meditans". Since the year 1992, the periodical "Roczniki Teologiczne" included folder nr. 5, edited by Institute employees, and since 2000 the series "Homo orans" is published, dedicated to prayer.

 

The Institute leads a broad range of research on Catholic spirituality, taking into account Polish specifics. The essential direction of studies are: methodology of spiritual theology, Biblical and theological bases of spirituality, spirituality of the states of life in the Church, the sacramental dimension of spiritual life, history of Polish spiritual theology, and lately also spirituality of consecrated life.

 

A measureable phenomenon of this academic-research activity are the numerous publications of the Institute's workers. In recent years several dozen book publications appeared, by authors and compilations, in this the series "Duchowość w Polsce" (Spirituality in Poland) (several dozen volumes appeared since the year 1993). Another aspect of the Institute of Spiritual Theology's activity are the symposiums and academic sessions, mainly organized in cooperation with the Section of Poland's Spirituality Theologians (presently: The Polish Society of Spirituality Theologians). Under the patronage of the Institute several dozen nationwide symposiums took place with the participation of numerous out-of-state contacts, not counting Weeks and Days of Spirituality. On these occasions, many foreign contacts are made, thanks to which the Institute's workers took active participation in foreign congresses and academic symposiums, among others in America, Australia, Spain, Canada, Germany, Slovakia, Italy and Lithuania.

 

The goal of the activities of the Institute of Spiritual Theology at CUL is preparing directors of spiritual life for seminaries and institutes of consecrated life as well as preparing leaders of contemporary Christian societies. For this reason, among the former and present students of the Institute are people from Spain, India, Lithuania, Ukraine and the USA.

 

The employees of the Institute are members of various societies and academic bodies, national and foreign (among others the CUL Academic Society, the Lublin Academic Society, Polish Mariological Society, Depth Psychology Circle in Salzburg, International Society of Psychology of Religion in Regensburg). However, they are most involved in the work of the Polish Society of Spirituality Theologians, for whom the Institute of Spiritual Theology at CUL comprise, in a certain sense, the organ of founders and moderators.

 

Directors of the Institute of Spiritual Theology:

 

- 1981-1987 - Rev. Prof. Dr. hab. Walerian Słomka
- 1987-1991 - Fr. Prof. Dr. hab. Antoni Jozafat Nowak OFM
- 1991-1997 - Rev. Prof. Dr. hab. Jerzy Misiurek
- 1997-2000 - Fr. Prof. Dr. hab. Antoni Jozafat Nowak OFM
- 2000-2006 - Rev. Dr. hab. Marek Chmielewski, prof. CUL
- since 2000 - Rev. Dr. hab. Jarosław M. Popławski, prof. CUL