I first heard the term in conversation about early Christian spiritual formation. It came from a medievalist scholar & historian of 1st Century western social, political, economic and cultural life and a man fluent in Latin, Spanish, Arabic and English languages. Despite his scholar’s boilerplate Tom is down to earth and easy with a voice like honey over a fresh biscuit from a wood stove. Campus-dei is his Latin phrase for the level place often the literal level field for gathering to hear of God. It's the field for spiritual formation and practice. It’s literally God’s field where one gathers and practices religious and/or spiritual acts and living in fellowship and community. The campus-dei is the sacred center for cultivating spiritual vitality and renewal.
The campus-dei is the venue, the practice field for all who seek to live into their baptismal covenant. And it could be any sacred covenant; the practice being the journey of small and large acts and observances at such times as people of modest or immodest means choose to offer. A campus-dei welcomes these acts; every act is thankfully received. Your acts shape your spiritual transformation. You make no greater investment and devotion of your interior spiritual vitality than by offering and practicing your acts in the campus-dei. The campus-dei, the sacred place, is tangible and visible proof of your communal religious life as you givers are those who create it. The campus-dei exists solely as testimony to your spiritual transformation.
The campus-dei’s influence is pervasive throughout the camp and in the community beyond; in aggregate the campus-dei’s practices touch and reflect the best qualities of spiritual, religious and sacred orthodox traditions and spiritual acts. The campus-dei is not just a level place, a field, a venue, a building, or an institution. It’s your spiritual body and life in your thoughts, your prayers, your words and yours deeds in the material world.