Describing pathways of transformative experience, the Hero’s Journey is a set of principles for living, a handbook for life and a manual in the art of being human. Set forth by Joseph Campbell as a way of reading myths, past and present, the Hero’s Journey has been adapted and revised, mostly notably by Christopher Vogler, whose Writer’s Journey has become the sacred text of Hollywood screenwriters. Heroes, which include common people, are summoned on a journey, face trials and challenges, sacrifice and suffer, and emerge as wiser, more virtuous figures.
In this four-part series, we will journey with the hero from the ordinary world to the special world and home again, exploring life experiences, such as callings, thresholds, ordeals, rewards and return. On the way, we’ll meet mentors, allies, and threshold guardians, heralds, shadows, and tricksters. The Hero’s Journey offers language, patterns and archetypes for interpreting individual and communal narratives. From film buffs and travelers to pastors, chaplains and spiritual directors, the series offers a sojourn of personal renewal and professional development. Following Vogler’s easy-to-read book, the series will rely heavily on small group discussions.
Session 1: From the Ordinary World to the Approach of the Innermost Cave
Session 2: Ordeals, Rewards, and Return
Session 3: Mentors, Shadows, and Allies: The Archetypes of the Hero’s Journey
Session 4: Betwixt and Between: Applications of Liminoid Experience
Limit: 15 participants course option
Thinking Theologically offers concepts, tools and theories for accompanying people on their journey to God. Showcasing practical resources that have been largely overlooked in theological formation, these courses provision church leaders in relevant approaches to everyday faith. Consisting of teachings, exercises and small group discussions, each of the courses has practical applications to personal faith, church leadership and congregational development, including preaching and pastoral care. Thinking Theologically invites church leaders on a sojourn of personal renewal and professional development.
All courses are held via Zoom.
Courses will be led by Rev. Rodney Aist, PhD. Rodney grew up in the First UMC of Warrensburg, Missouri, where he received his call to ministry as a teenager. An ordained elder in the New Mexico Annual Conference, he has served Christian communities in Arkansas, Scotland, Jerusalem, Italy and the Navajo Nation. A Holy Land scholar with a focus on Christian pilgrimage, past and present, Rodney directs a Doctor of Ministry program in pilgrimage and spirituality at Drew Theological School in New Jersey. His recent publications include Jerusalem Bound: How to be a Pilgrim in the Holy Land (2020) and Pilgrim Spirituality: Defining Pilgrimage Again for the First Time (forthcoming).
Rodney received his MDiv from Duke Divinity School and has a MA in Celtic Christianity and a PhD in theology from the University of Wales. His travels include an around-the-world pilgrimage and the Camino de Santiago. He is an associate of the Iona Community and a writer for Iona Books (Wild Goose Publications). He lives in Milan with his wife, Janet.