This course is part of the Distance Learning Website of the Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland (CIBI)


This online module is designed to introduce students to some of the devotions, sacramentals, and popular piety found across the Carmelite Family from its origins to the present day. It outlines a contemporary, post-Conciliar approach to devotions in the light of renewed appreciation of popular piety. It covers such topics as: 

  • the theology, development and pastoral implications of ‘devotions’

  • Carmel’s devotion to major figures such as Elijah, Mary, and other saints

  • the symbolism of the Carmelite Brown Scapular

  • attitudes to prayer, contemplation, and asceticism

  • Carmel’s promotion of pilgrimage and other acts of piety

  • the link between liturgy and popular devotions

  • the universal and distinctive elements of Carmelite devotions within wider Christian belief and culture

There is no set course book for this module; recommended further reading will be given as appropriate, with advice on where such resources might be found. 

Over the semester we will cover the material in the following units: 

Week 1

Unit 1

The theology, spirituality and development of devotions, sacramentals and Carmelite popular piety

Unit 2

Defining Carmelite devotions and popular piety

Week 2

Unit 3

In allegiance to Jesus: early devotion and prayer on Mount Carmel

Unit 4

Following the Prophet: Carmelite devotion to Elijah

Week 3

Questionnaire 1

on units 1-4

Week 4

Unit 5

Carmelite devotion to Mary 1

Unit 6

Carmelite devotion to Mary 2

Week 5

Unit 7

The legacy of medieval Carmelite devotions 1

Unit 8

The legacy of medieval Carmelite devotions 2

Week 6

Questionnaire 2

on units 5-8

Week 7

Unit 9

Scapular 1: history of a devotion

Unit 10

Scapular 2: pastoral concerns

Week 8

Unit 11

Scapular 3: saints of the scapular

Unit 12

Devotional attitudes in the Carmelite tradition

Week 9

Questionnaire 3

on units 9-12

Week 10

Unit 13

Carmelite devotion to Christ and his family 1: Jesus

Unit 14

Carmelite devotion to Christ and his family 2: St. Joseph

Week 11

Unit 15

Carmelite devotion to Christ and his family 3: wider family

Unit 16

Popular saints in Carmelite devotion

Week 12

Questionnaire 4

on units 13-16


on all units

    Module Tutor: Johan Bergström-Allen


    The course is divided into 8 units, with 4 questionnaires, spread over the period of the module, and a final examination at the end.


    Once posted, each unit will be available until the end of the module. The dates on which each of the units, and the other material for this module is available in the calendar in the Student Section.


    Units 1 & 2

    Units 3 & 4

    Questionnaire 1

    Units 5 & 6

    Units 7 & 8

    Questionnaire 2

    Units 9 & 10

    Units 11 & 12

    Questionnaire 3

    Units 13 & 14

    Units 15 & 16

    Questionnaire 4

    Examination Questions

    Please click HERE to access the STUDENT SECTION for module start and end dates

    From the date corresponding to the relevant Monday (see main web page of, you can click on the relevant unit to access it. 

        Once you have successfully accessed and studied the material in each pair of units, please click on the relevant questionnaire to access it when it is launched. Read the questions and send your answers by email to the course administrator: [email protected]

    One question must be chosen from the three final examination questions posted and the answer must be submitted by email on or before the date indicated to the administrator:

    [email protected]




    The author of the course holds the copyright to this material (text, graphic and other); distribution to family or friends, or publication (including on internet) of any part of the material is not permitted without the author’s explicit written permission.