AT 501 is the first of two courses that together provide a comprehensive introduction to ascetical theology including an overview of the general literature of Christian spirituality and its historical development. AT 501 concerns the individual’s spiritual life and surveys the spiritual literature of the first fourteen Christian centuries. The course has a dual focus on the academic basis of the Church’s spiritual tradition and the student’s experiential appropriation of that tradition, and so the course contains elements meant not only to foster in participants an intellectus fidei (a faithful understanding), but also to assist in developing a habitus fidei (a faithful character) that is embodied in a personalized praxis fidei (a faithful practice).