Dr. Janet K. Ruffing will talk about, "Ancestry, Place(s), and Identity in Spiritual Direction Narratives" during the John McKendy Memorial Lecture at St. Thomas University.
Dr. Janet K. Ruffing will talk about "Ancestry, Place(s), and Identity in Spiritual Direction Narratives" during the John McKendy Memorial Lecture on October 19 at 7PM in Brian Mulroney Hall, Room 101.

“Spiritual direction is a narrative process, recognized or not, in which the person tells his or her sacred tale in interaction with a spiritual director who significantly affects the unfolding of this serial narrative of lived faith,” Dr. Ruffing said. 

“At a time, when people 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 has been 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 a PhD in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley 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 led 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, kataphatic mysticism, and female religious life. She a member of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas from California. Most relevant to this lecture is her book: To Tell the Sacred Tale: Spiritual Direction and Narrative, Paulist, 2010.

The McKendy Lecture is sponsored by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Narrative and is named in honour of Dr. John McKendy, a much loved and respected member of the St. Thomas community.