Ignatian Mysticism: Exploring the Spiritual Exercises

By Stephen J. Costello

An exploration of the spiritual exercises of Ignatius Loyola, as well as an opportunity for readers to reflect on and interpret for themselves this Ignatian spirituality

ISBN: 9780227180211


This work explores the influential Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola, the sixteenth-century Spanish soldier, saint, mystic, and founder of the Jesuit Order. The Ignatian Exercises, including the Examen, are brought into dialogue with the psychologies of C.G. Jung and Viktor Frankl, the philosophies of Eric Voegelin and Bernard Lonergan, as well as the thought of Teilhard de Chardin, von Balthasar, and Eastern philosophy. Their enduring relevance and implications for the Recovery and wellness movement are also articulated.

Drawing on key themes such as gratitude, forgiveness and consciousness as a springboard for reflection and interpretation, the mystical dimension of Ignatian spirituality is emphasised throughout. The Ignatian Mysticism: Exploring the Spiritual Exercises will benefit the beginner, serious scholar, spiritual seeker and anyone intent on gaining an understanding of this unique ‘way of proceeding’.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 152 mm
Pages 222


Trade Information JGENPOD

About the Author

Dr Stephen J. Costello, MA, PhD is an acclaimed philosopher, practising analyst, Enneagram coach, the author of fifteen books, and the founder-director of the Viktor Frankl Institute of Ireland. He leads retreats in Ignatian spirituality and seminars in the areas of leadership, decision-making, communication, and meaning at work both nationally and internationally. Dr Costello has addressed two parliaments on the issues of human rights and mental health. Dr Costello’s website is www.stephenjcostello.com


Preface: The Jesuits and I

Part I
1. Characteristics of the Ignatian Charism
2. Overview of the Spiritual Exercises
3. Conscience and Consciousness
4. A Jesuit Account of the Spiritual Exercises

Part II
5. Gratitude and Forgiveness
6. Ignatian Wisdom and ­Mental Wellness
7. Carl Jung’s Commentary on the
Spiritual Exercises
8. The Twelve Steps and the Spiritual Exercises

Part III
9. Discerning Decisions
10. Spiritual Theology
11. Mystical ­Union

Appendix: Compendium of Jesuit Works
Select Bibliography


Endorsements and Reviews

Costello’s inspiring and mindful journey into Ignatian Spirituality reconnects the Jesuit ethos of its founder with the God who is present in every human search for meaning. In his imaginative work, the author unites the contemplative Christian tradition of the West with the Nondual apophatic way of the East. Paolo Gamberini, S.J., Ph.D. Jesuit Priest and Professor of Theology, Saint Joseph’s University

I really loved this book. I found it faithful and fresh, and it puts things together (Lonergan and Voegelin, for instance, and Jung with Ignatius) in exciting and provocative ways. This book is an itinerary that directs the reader toward new vistas where the unexplored depths of the Ignatian charism are brought to the surface and allowed to radiate anew. Ryan Duns, S.J., Ph.D. Jesuit priest and Associate Professor of Theology, Marquette University

As 2023 saw C. G. Jung’s 1939-40 lectures on the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius having been made publicly available for the first time, Stephen J. Costello’s book comes at a very opportune moment. By setting in motion an important discussion on the psychological reading of the Spiritual Exercises, his study provides more than just a useful introduction into the current philosophical and theological research. Psychoanalyst, philosopher of religion, and a renowned expert in Ignatian spirituality one cannot think of a better qualified scholar for the task of initiating this debate than Dr Stephen Costello.
Martin Liebscher, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University College London, and editor and translator of C. G. Jung’s works