The “Sign of Jonah” is a prominent spiritual motif used in the Gospel of Matthew and understood by first generation Christians as referring to the existential and integral transformation of the individual. The “sign” implied certain esoteric Christological and ascetical principles that informed the early researchers of the proto-enneagram. This presentation will review the Sign of Jonah, its Christological and theological foundations, and its implications for an authentic practice of the Enneagram with particular reference to the existentialism of Thomas Merton in late twentieth century America.

David Burke is the founding and current Director of the Australian Institute for Enneagram Studies and is a leading authority on the Enneagram personality system, lecturing throughout Australia and internationally. David established the oral tradition of the Enneagram in Brisbane in 1994 through the St. Mary’s Project, and is well regarded for his work on the psychological and theological origins of the Enneagram within neoplatonic philosophy.

As Managing Director of Ingenius Communication Consultants, David consults widely to business, educational and community based organizations and is an experienced counselor and spiritual director. David established a residential centre for spiritual contemplation and research at Andelaine in the Gold Coast hinterland in 2003.

David has worked extensively with teachers, parents and students in schools to develop more effective teaching, and is internationally recognized for his work with teaching and learning styles.

He is currently completing doctoral studies at the Centre for Islamic Research, Griffith University, with Imam Mohammad Abdulla, and has worked for over a decade with the eminent Patristic scholar, Prof. Pauline Allen. He studied the Enneagram in Australia with Tony Hempenstall cfc and in the USA with Palmer and Daniels.

David Burke


2007 IEA Global Conference

Redwood City, California, USA

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