Michael O’Sullivan SJ has become the first ever Irish person to be elected to the Executive Board of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality (BASS), at its recent AGM in London.
“I am happy to accept the honour BASS has bestowed on me,” says Michael. “They want me to develop their international profile, outreach, network, and impact. I see what I do as an expression of my Jesuit spirituality which calls me to read the signs of the times in the company of the Trinity and be a companion of Christ at the frontiers of change.”
What makes Michael a valuable addition to the BASS board is his high standing in various societies worldwide dedicated to spirituality as an academic discipline. He is, for example, on the International Relations Committee of the International Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, as well as on the management board of the Centre for the Academic Study of Christian Spirituality at the University of Zurich. In his work with these boards, on top of his work with SpIRE and WIT in Ireland, he has proven his capacity to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and positions.
One of Michael’s first tasks with BASS is to help plan an international conference between BASS and the European Research Institute for Religion, Spirituality, and Health, which is based largely in Bern (Switzerland). The conference will be held at the University of Coventry from May 17-19, 2018. His role will include deciding on speakers and which papers will be presented from the conference call for papers.
Michael gave one of the papers at the international spirituality conference in Zurich at the end of June and chaired and moderated a full morning of plenary paper sessions. For the last six years he has also served on the Editorial Board of Spiritus, the leading international journal for the academic study of Christian spirituality, and is due to continue in that role for another four years following the renewal of his initial term of five years last year.
The other members of the BASS Executive Board are Dr David Rousseau (Director of the Centre for Systems Philosophy, Surrey), Prof Wilf McSherry (Staffordshire University), Helen McSherry (Treasurer), Dr Linda Ross (University of South Wales), Rev Prof John Swinton (University of Aberdeen), Dr Cheryl Hunt (University of Exeter), and Rev Prof Chris Cook (Durham University).