Cultural Dimensions of Christian Spirituality


In cooperation with members of these institutions

Sponsored by

CDCS Advisory Board

Abbot Primate
(Sant’Anselmo/ Rome)

(Waegwan/ South Korea)

Abbot HENRY VESSEUR OSB (Doetinchem/
The Netherlands)

(Gerleve/ Germany)

(Mvimwa/ Tanzania)

Novice Director
(Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey/ USA)

Congregation Secretary
(Solesmes/ France)

The Cultural Dimensions of Christian Spirituality

The CDCS programme awards a First-Level University Master at the fulfilment of all requirements.
CDCS is a two-year summer programme; new students can enrol every year.
Next unit : 1 – 12 July 2019 : Sant’Anselmo, Rome : map here
Registration deadline : 2 May 2019 : Register now
Contact information : Prof. Dr. Matthias Skeb :
Contact information : Prof. Dr. Thomas Quartier :

Scholarships are available : Click here for instructions (at #3)

From the very beginning Christians have traversed two worlds: their spirituality arises at the crossroads between Christian traditions and contemporary cultures. The relationship between Christian traditions and contemporary cultures in the context of spirituality can be theologically analysed from different points of view:

  • The Bible and its reception
  • Early Christian theology and literature (and in particular the Rule of St. Benedict) in which the roots of later spiritualities can be uncovered
  • The particular mental horizons of the 21st century
  • The concrete ritual forms spirituality can assume
  • The comparison between the spirituality of different religions and denominations

Questions of this sort will be addressed in an academic programme offered at the Monastic Institute (Pontifical Benedictine University Sant’Anselmo, Rome), in cooperation with members of the following institutions: Faculty of Philosophy, Theology & Religious Studies of Radboud University Nijmegen (NL), Liturgical Institute of the Catholic University Leuven and Titus Brandsma Instituut (NL).

In all the modules the different dimensions of Christian spirituality, and in particular Benedictine spirituality, will be examined in relation to their cultural context and other cultures. This implies an interdisciplinary and hermeneutical study of traditional resources (historical) and contemporary forms of spiritual life (anthropological).

The programme will help to improve the understanding of historical and modern cultural challenges for Christian spirituality with regards to single persons and in the context of monastic and non-monastic communities.

The programme has an ecumenical orientation. Members of all Christian denominations are welcome.

Further information about the programme and the scholarships is available through the coordinators:
Prof. Dr. Matthias Skeb
office: or
Fr. Matthias Skeb OSB (1959; monk of Königsmünster Abbey, Meschede (D)) is full professor for Patristic Studies at the Pontificial Gregorian University, Rome, and visiting professor at the Pontifical Benedictine University Sant’Anselmo.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Quartier
Br. Thomas Quartier OSB (1972; monk of Sint Willibrordsabdij, Doetinchem, NL) is the director of the Benedictine Centre for Liturgical Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen (NL). He is professor for Monastic Studies at Catholic University Leuven (BE), senior researcher at Titus Brandsma Institute (NL) a and visiting professor at the Pontificial Benedictine University Sant’Anselmo.

Claudia Burger
Tel: 0039.06.5791.323

Details about CDCS

The whole programme consists of 16 academic modules each worth 3 European Credits (EC). For each module 3 sessions (90 minutes each) are organized. Additionally, students study literature and write a paper on each module. At the end of the two-year Programme a thesis (30 pages) will be written by the students who want to gain a Master (University Master, First Level) accredited by the University of Sant’Anselmo (Monastic Institute) according to European university law (“Bologna Process”). A combination with other educational programmes is possible with personal advice from the coordinators.

The next part of the programme will be organized 2-13 July 2018 in Rome. The first week will be coordinated by Prof. Matthias Skeb OSB (Rome), the other by Prof. Thomas Quartier OSB (Nijmegen/Leuven/Rome). In addition to the coordinators, Prof. Dr. Ludger Schwienhorst-Schönberger (University of Vienna) will teach on “Culture and Biblical Spirituality”, Prof. Paul van Geest (Tilburg) will teach on “Modern hermeneutics and patristic texts from the Didache to Augustine of Hippo”, Prof. Manuel Scheiba OSB (Sant’Anselmo) will teach on the “Rule of Saint Benedict“, Dr. Isabelle Jonveaux (Graz) will teach on “Contemporary monasticism in various cultural contexts”, and Prof. Peter Nissen (Nijmegen) will teach on “Comparative perspectives on spirituality”.

The two-year programme has the following module structure in each year, though some details may change:

1° week    :    Biblical and historical subjects

1.  Culture and biblical spiritualitySchwienhorst-Schönberger3
2.  Culture and spirituality – historical aspectsScheiba (annually changing)3
3.  Early Christian spirituality as "inculturation"Skeb3
4.  Seminar: Studying biblical and historical source textsVan Geest (annually changing)3

2° week    :    Anthropological and comparative subjects

5.  The 21st century as a challenge for spiritualityJonveaux (annually changing)3
6.  Ritual dimensions of spiritualityQuartier3
7.  Comparative perspectives on spiritualityNissen3
8.  Seminar: Anthropological methods appliedQuartier3

The specific topics of the lessons will be announced in due course.

The courses will be taught in English. They require a student’s physical presence in the classroom of 4 lessons (90 minutes) a day. On Saturday an optional visiting programme will be offered. Sundays are free.

The programme is aimed at members of monastic communities, clergy (ministers), oblates, professionals in religious or social areas, scholars, etc.

The courses will be open to participants who have a sufficient knowledge of English and who have the qualifications needed to guarantee the academic level of the programme. For the degree of Master of the Pontifical University Sant’Anselmo, a Bachelor’s degree is presupposed. Applicants are welcome from those who want to earn European Credits, as well as for personal formation or further education.

The participants are accommodated in the “Benedictine College Sant’Anselmo” which is in the same building as the Pontifical University Sant’Anselmo on the Aventine Hill in Rome.

Maximum number of students    :    20
Annual charges for two weeks:

  • € 600 board and lodging: 1 July (afternoon) – 12 July (morning) 2018 in the Benedictine College Sant’Anselmo
  • € 550 enrolment for the Master Programme

Please register here.
A limited number of scholarships is available for highly qualified students. Click here and follow directions at #3.

Deadline for registrations    :    2 May 2019

Deadline for scholarship applications    :    1 April 2019

Further information about the programme and the scholarships is available through the coordinators:

Prof. Dr. Matthias Skeb

Prof. Dr. Thomas Quartier

Claudia Burger
Tel: 0039.06.5791.323

Registration for the master programme and scholarship application

Fee    :    € 600 board and lodging    +    € 550 enrolment    =    € 1150 total

  1. Click here to fill in the registration form
  2. In addition, for registration in the academic programme we need as PDF files
    – a legible copy of your passport
    – a short description of your educational curriculum vitae
    – a copy of the certificate of the Bachelor degree you have been awarded.
  3. If you want to apply for a scholarship for board and lodging we also need as PDF files
    – a covering letter
    – an application essay: “Why do I want to study ‘Cultural Dimensions of Christian Spirituality'” (1000 words)
    – your curriculum vitae in tabulated form
    – a copy of your Bachelor degree certificate which contains the marks you have received and/or an “Academic Transcript” that contains a breakdown of your studies into marks. The average mark should be close to the best mark
    – a letter of recommendation of your superior if you are a member of a religious order or a cleric
    – an explanation why you need a scholarship
  4. Send all the above-mentioned documents as PDF file before expiry of the deadline, 2 May 2018, to our e-mail address: We will confirm receipt of the documentation.
  5. Within a week after the end of the deadline you will receive
    – provisional confirmation of acceptance on the programme and your registration number
    – notification about your application for a scholarship
  6. After receiving provisional confirmation of acceptance on the programme, you should make the payment of the registration fees within a week. These cover enrolment, board and lodging. The payment of the registration fees can be done by direct deposit or an electronic fund transfer to the Sant’Anselmo.
    Name: Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo
    Bank: BANCA PROSSIMA Gruppo Intesa Sanpaolo, Piazzale Gregorio VII, 10, 00165 Roma /Italy
    Account Number: 1000/60160
    IBAN: IT37 S033 5901 6001 0000 0060 160
    The transfer form must include as “Message to beneficiary” or “Payment reference for recipient” the internal account name “CDCS” and your registration number. Please also inform the CDCS office about your payment via e-mail attaching a PDF copy of the transfer form:
  7. Within a week you will receive the final confirmation of your registration.

Registration form

Information for the applicants – Lg n. 675/96 e s.m.
We inform you that the personal data provided on this form will be treated with the security and the privacy accorded by the legislation aforementioned. At any time this information can be cancelled or modified in writing.

Your request for registration is binding. All cancellation requests must be made in writing to the CDCS office. Cancellations will be eligible to a refund of 70% of the paid registration fee, if they reach the office by 10 May 2019. After this deadline a refund will not be possible.