The Feast is not a journey from darkness to light or from spiritual struggle to permanent freedom. In The Feast, author Joseph Duggan challenges the religious authorities who refused to walk with him as companions through his most burning struggles, ambiguities and questions. The Feast celebrates the companionship of struggle with spiritual practices that leads all on their pilgrimage into mission.
Who is The Feast re-forming author and how has he been formed to offer a spirituality that prioritizes conversation with God and listening to the Spirit over all else?
Key experiences have formed Duggan’s re-forming vision and spiritual practices.
Spirit in love
The Ignatian spirituality that Duggan challenges in The Feast is also one of the major sources for his fundamental spiritual formation that gave voice to this book. The most influential part of his spiritual forma- tion was what Ignatius of Loyola called “The Principle and Foundation.” Duggan’s superiors used this principle to insist on his availability, his indif- ference to all desires, and to submit to his superiors’ desires. The Principle and Foundation has become for Duggan a spiritual power analysis tool harnessed in his reading of the radical ecclesiology of Leonardo Boff with his tutor, the late Professor Richard Schaull, Visiting Professor of Princeton Theological Seminary, during the Spring 1987 term at General Theological Seminary in New York. Boff ’s book Church: Charism and Power, with Boff ’s radical abandon to criticize the church he loved, offered Duggan a way to integrate his passion for God and desire to reform the Christian church for a new century of mission. AlthoughThe Feast is primarily about the Society of Jesus, Duggan continues his re-forming passions in The Episcopal Church where he now serves as a parish priest.
From 1991 to 1993, he studied to be a New York diocesan priest at St. Joseph’s Seminary in New York, a seminary rooted in traditional doctrine and passionately committed to the papacy. From 2003 to 2006, he studied at the Episcopal Divinity School, known as one of the most progressive liberal seminaries in the United States. He received his PhD in theology from the University of Manchester in England, one of the largest and most diverse secular universities in the United Kingdom. Through all these theological learning centers, Duggan experienced a multiplicity of ways to be faithful, broader than any one of these institutions’ claims. His broad theological and spiritual formation substantially contributed to his freedom to radical re-forming, and continues to energize him to challenge rigid, hierarchical religious systems that drain life out of the Spirit’s bold call to mission.
Duggan began his life with a stutter and a lifelong tremor. Learning to speak without stutter and withstanding the teasing of boyhood friends, Duggan developed a deep and sustained empathy to befriend the speechless and those who are ignored. His voice was further strengthened as an executive working for major professional service firms and now as a scholar who is leading a knowledge activism movement through Postcolonial Networks and Borderless Press.
The Feast is always beginning anew,and Duggan seeks conversation partners who want to form their Spirit in love without rigid ideological commitments that unnecessarily divide, and speak with voices that liberate unconditional love into a world yearning for healing and reconciliation.