The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola give shape to the spiritual lives of Jesuits and many other Christians. But might these different ways of praying, meditating, and reading scripture be helpful to members of other faiths as well? In response to the call of Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, SJ, the thirtieth Superior General of the Jesuits (2008-2016) to explore how the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises can be fruitfully appropriated by non-Christians, A World on Fire
analyzes the prospects for adapting the Spiritual Exercises in order to make them accessible to members of other faith traditions while still maintaining their core meaning and integrity.
Erin Cline examines why this ought to be done, for whom, and what the aims of such an adaptation would be, including the different theological justifications for this practice. She concludes that there are compelling reasons for sharing the Exercises with members of other religions and that doing so coheres with the central mission of the Jesuits. A World on Fire
goes on to examine the question of how the Exercises can be faithfully adapted for members of other religions. In outlining adaptations for the Hindu, Buddhist, and Confucian traditions that draw upon the traditional content of the Exercises supplemented by the texts of these religious traditions, Cline shows how Ignatian spirituality can help point the way to a different kind of inter-religious dialogue - one that is not bound up in technical terminology or confined to conversations between theologians and religious leaders. Rather, in making the Spriitual Exercises accessible to members of other faith traditions, we are as Pope Francis puts it, "living on a frontier, one in which the Gospel meets the needs of the people to whom it should be proclaimed in an understandable and meaningful way." A World on Fire
will be of interest to comparative theologians and scholars working on inter-religious dialogue, religious pluralism, contemplative studies, and spirituality, as well as Jesuit priests and other practitioners who employ the Spiritual Exercises in their ministry.