Michael O Sullivan 01


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Seminars, Lectures & Study Days

Authentic Interiority and Studying Spirituality

by Revd Dr Michael O’Sullivan, Director of the Spirituality Institute for Research and Education; Programme Leader MA in Applied Spirituality; Research Fellow, University of the Free State, South Africa

Thursday 15 February 2018 (4.30-6pm)
Spirituality, Theology & Health seminar series (Durham University)

This seminar took place in Seminar Room B (D/TH004, Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham).

To watch the Lecture, please click on the video below:


“If you look at the educational system and you look at most of the public fora in our culture, there is very little time or attention given to what you could almost call learning the art of inwardness or a pedagogy of interiority”.

(John O’Donohue, On Being website)

This lecture will focus on authentic interiority as a framework for identifying that we are spiritual, and for establishing the scope of the field of spirituality study and how to study the field. It will provide an opportunity to discover and verify the nature of authentic interiority. It will also apply that framework to do a spiritual reading of the lived experience of a girl-child, an atheist, and Jesus when faced with a woman’s infirmity. These readings will illustrate the value of authentic interiority as a foundational and methodological framework for revealing spirituality at work in diverse lived situations.


Rev. Dr. Michael O’Sullivan is Co-Founder and Director of SpIRE, the Spirituality Institute for Research and Education in Dublin, Ireland, Programme Leader for the MA in Applied Spirituality at Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland, and Research Fellow, University of the Free State, South Africa. He is also a Jesuit priest.

He was formerly Director of the MA in Christian Spirituality programmes, Cluster leader of PhD and MA by research spirituality students, and Head of Theology at All Hallows College, Dublin City University; before that he was Director of the Higher Diploma and MA in Applied Spirituality at Milltown Institute (National University of Ireland); and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Spiritual Capital Ireland Centre.

He is a member of the Executive Board of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality, a member of the Management Team for the Centre for the Academic Study of Christian Spirituality at the University of Zurich, a Fellow of the European Spirituality in Economics and Society Institute, a Research Associate at the Centre for Spirituality, University of Hull, and a member of the Spirituality Research and Innovation Group, Trinity College Dublin.

He has served on the Governing Board of the largely North American international Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality (SSCS), and the Steering Committee of the Christian Spirituality Study Group of the American Academy of Religion. He currently serves as a founding member on the International Relations Committee, as well as on the Promotions Committee, of the SSCS, which is growing into a global society, and is a member of the editorial board of Spiritus, the Society’s prestigious journal.

He worked as a missionary in Latin America, and has extensive experience living and working with socio-economically disadvantaged people in Ireland and Latin America, as well as in East Africa where he was a visiting lecturer.

Many of his publications can be found by clicking on his orcid id, which is available on the website of the Spirituality Institute for Research and Education.