Music, Mysticism, Religious Imagination and Ritual

Monday July 11th – Friday July 15th

‘The Christian of the future will be a mystic or she or he will not exist at all.’Karl Rahner

The aim of this course, is to foster spiritual growth through the study of music, mysticism, religious imagination and ritual. The course will lead participants to an understanding of the imagination as providing privileged access to the world of creativity as worship as well as worship as creativity.

Participants will attend the monastic liturgy and study it as an unconscious manifestation of the Church (as opposed to the conscious formulation of dogmas and creeds etc.)

From the other side of the equation we study ways to connect with the Divine: the psalms as poetry; poetry and art as outpourings of the religious imagination; music and song as essential elements of liturgical prayer; the gap between mysticism and these other attempts to connect with or express the Divine. Part of our work will be to create a ceremony of welcome and hospitality according to the Celtic Christian tradition. The varying strands of meaning of hospitality in the Irish language have much to teach us: féile means celebration; flaithiúlacht is about generosity and big-heartedness; fáilte is welcome and appreciation of one another. It is hoped to celebrate this ritual in the newly reclaimed Lady Garden in Glenstal Abbey.

This course is part of the Certificate in Theology and Religious Studies offered by M.I.C. 6 ECTS credits are awarded for this course.


€370 for course and lunch each day.

Accommodation available in the boarding school at a special rate of 55 euros per night. This rate includes breakfast and supper.

If you wish to register for this course or get further information please email