Teresa of Avila and the Rhetoric of Femininity

" Confronting the historical irony of Teresa's transformation from a figure of questionable orthodoxy to a national saint, Alison Weber shows how this teacher and reformer used exceptional rhetorical skills to defend her ideas at a time ...

Author: Alison Weber

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691219622

Category: Religion

Page: 202

View: 938


Celebrated as a visionary chronicler of spirituality, Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) suffered persecution by the Counter-Reformation clergy in Spain, who denounced her for her "diabolical illusions" and "dangerous propaganda." Confronting the historical irony of Teresa's transformation from a figure of questionable orthodoxy to a national saint, Alison Weber shows how this teacher and reformer used exceptional rhetorical skills to defend her ideas at a time when women were denied participation in theological discourse. In a close examination of Teresa's major writings, Weber correlates the stylistic techniques of humility, irony, obfuscation, and humor with social variables such as the marginalized status of pietistic groups and demonstrates how Teresa strategically adopted linguistic features associated with women--affectivity, spontaneity, colloquialism--in order to gain access to the realm of power associated with men.

Teresa of Avila and the Politics of Sanctity

See Weber , Teresa of Avila and the Rhetoric of Femininity , pp . 35-50 , 72-76 . 3. Vida 19 : 4 : " Yo quisiera aquí tener gran autoridad para que se me creyera esto . Al Señor suplico Su Majestad la dé ? Although Teresa was aware of ...

Author: Gillian T. W. Ahlgren

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 080148572X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 188

View: 302


Teresa of Avila, one of history's most beloved mystics, wrote during a time of intense ecclesiastical scrutiny of texts. The determination of the Counter-Reformation Church to dominate religious life and control the content of theological writing significantly influenced Teresa's career as reformer and writer. Gillian T. W. Ahlgren explores the theological and ecclesiastical climate of sixteenth-century Spain in this study of the challenges Teresa encountered as a female theologian and mystic. As inquisitional censure increased and the authority of women's visions and ecstatic prayer experiences declined, Teresa's written self-expressions became, of necessity, less direct. Her later writing was heavily encoded and scholars have only recently begun to decipher those protective codes. Ahlgren demonstrates how Teresa's rhetorical style and theological message were directly responsive to the climate of suspicion created by the Inquisition and how they thus constituted a challenge to sixteenth-century assumptions about women. The only female theologian to be published in late sixteenth-century Spain, Teresa sought to provide a clear defense of mystical experience, particularly that of women. Ahlgren suggests that the rhetorical strategies Teresa developed to protect women's visionary experiences were subsequently used by Church officials to rewrite aspects of her life and thought, transforming her into the model for official Counter-Reformation sanctity.

The Magdalene in the Reformation

On Teresa and her context, see Alison Weber, Teresa of Avila and the Rhetoric of Femininity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990); Bilinkoff, The Avila of Teresa; Gillian T. W. Ahlgren, Teresa of Avila and the Politics of ...

Author: Margaret Arnold

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674989443

Category: Religion

Page: 290

View: 454


Prostitute, apostle, evangelist—the conversion of Mary Magdalene from sinner to saint is one of the Christianity’s most compelling stories. Less appreciated is the critical role the Magdalene played in remaking modern Christianity. Margaret Arnold shows that the Magdalene inspired devotees eager to find new ways to relate to God and the Church.

Constructions of Feminine Identity in the Catholic Tradition

Teresa of Avila, Autobiography, XXIX.17. 23. Carrera, 33. 24. Alison Weber, Teresa of Avila and the Rhetoric of Femininity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1990), 11. 25. Kenneth DiMaggio, “St. Teresa of Avila: Nun, Saint, Creative Writing ...

Author: Christopher M. Flavin

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 9781498592734

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 204

View: 763


Christopher M. Flavin examines the ways in which late classical medieval women’s writings serve as a means of emphasizing both faith and social identity within a distinctly Christian, and later Catholic, tradition, which remains a major part of the understanding of faith and the self. Flavin focuses on key texts from the lives of desert saints and the Passio Perpetua to the autobiographies of Counter-Reformation women like Teresa of Ávila to illustrate the connections between the self and the divine.

The Heirs of St Teresa of vila

4 Alison Weber, Teresa of Avila and the Rhetoric of Femininity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), 45. 5 Consider Weber's comment that “Teresa attributes interpersonal conflict— especially the internecine struggle with the ...

Author: Christopher Wilson

Publisher: ICS Publications

ISBN: 9781939272140

Category: Religion

Page: 140

View: 751


This issue of Carmelite Studies presents new insights into the lives and writings of individuals who knew Teresa of Avila in life and who, after her death in 1582, worked to propagate and defend her legacy, including the illustrious nuns Anne of St. Bartholomew, Ana of Jesus, Maria of St. Joseph, and Ana of St. Augustine, and her close male confidant and collaborator, Jerome Gracian of the Mother of God. A further focus of the essays is the reception of the Teresian heritage by individuals outside the order, as mediated by these early Discalced Carmelites and by Teresa's published writings. The essays were originally presented at the 2004 symposium The Heirs of St. Teresa at Georgetown University. That year marked the 400th anniversary of a pivotal moment in Discalced Carmelite history: the arrival in France of a group of six nuns, some of Teresa's most favored proteges, including Ana of Jesus and Anne of St. Bartholomew, who traveled from Spain to inaugurate the order's first French convent. Motivated by devotion to their Founding Mother, amidst success and setbacks, these and other of Teresa's heirs strove to carry out her will with a resolute determination and to extend her reputation for sanctity throughout the world.

Men and Women Making Friends in Early Modern France

Following Héloïse, who regrets her “unkempt words,”80 and Teresa of Avila, who deplores her “wretchedness,”81 Elisabeth deploys ... 81 Teresa of Avila, cited in Alison Weber, Teresa of Avila and the Rhetoric of Femininity (Princeton, ...

Author: Lewis C. Seifert

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317097518

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 316

View: 356


Today the friendships that grab people’s imaginations are those that reach across inequalities of class and race. The friendships that seem to have exerted an analogous level of fascination in early modern France were those that defied the assumption, inherited from Aristotle and patristic sources, that friendships between men and women were impossible. Together, the essays in Men and Women Making Friends in Early Modern France tell the story of the declining intelligibility of classical models of (male) friendship and of the rising prominence of women as potential friends. The revival of Plato’s friendship texts in the sixteenth century challenged Aristotle’s rigid ideal of perfect friendship between men. In the seventeenth century, a new imperative of heterosociality opened a space for the cultivation of cross-gender friendships, while the spiritual friendships of the Catholic Reformation modeled relationships that transcended the gendered dynamics of galanterie. Men and Women Making Friends in Early Modern France argues that the imaginative experimentation in friendships between men and women was a distinctive feature of early modern French culture. The ten essays in this volume address friend-making as a process that is creative of self and responsive to changing social and political circumstances. Contributors reveal how men and women fashioned gendered selves, and also circumvented gender norms through concrete friendship practices. By showing that the benefits and the risks of friendship are magnified when gender roles and relations are unsettled, the essays in this volume highlight the relevance of early modern friend-making to friendship in the contemporary world.

The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila

Christopher Bache examines psychoanalytic perspectives on Teresa in “A Reappraisal of Teresa of Avila's Supposed Hysteria,” ... Alison Weber, Teresa of Avila and the Rhetoric of Femininity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).

Author: Carlos Eire

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691164939

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 280

View: 728


The life and many afterlives of one of the most enduring mystical testaments ever written The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila is among the most remarkable accounts ever written of the human encounter with the divine. The Life is not really an autobiography at all, but rather a confession written for inquisitors by a nun whose raptures and mystical claims had aroused suspicion. Despite its troubled origins, the book has had a profound impact on Christian spirituality for five centuries, attracting admiration from readers as diverse as mystics, philosophers, artists, psychoanalysts, and neurologists. How did a manuscript once kept under lock and key by the Spanish Inquisition become one of the most inspiring religious books of all time? National Book Award winner Carlos Eire tells the story of this incomparable spiritual masterpiece, examining its composition and reception in the sixteenth century, the various ways its mystical teachings have been interpreted and reinterpreted across time, and its enduring influence in our own secular age. The Life became an iconic text of the Counter-Reformation, was revered in Franco’s Spain, and has gone on to be read as a feminist manifesto, a literary work, and even as a secular text. But as Eire demonstrates in this vibrant and evocative book, Teresa’s confession is a cry from the heart to God and an audacious portrayal of mystical theology as a search for love. Here is the essential companion to the Life, one woman’s testimony to the reality of mystical experience and a timeless affirmation of the ultimate triumph of good over evil.

Teresa of Avila s Autobiography

a sign of sincerity; 'Santa Teresa en el ensayismo hispánico', in La voluntad de estilo (Madrid: Taurus, 1957), 89–98. ... a revised form in Teresa of Avila and the Rhetoric of Femininity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990).

Author: Elena Carrera

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781351197052

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 212

View: 826


The Spanish mystic Teresa of Avila (1515-82), author of one of the most acclaimed early modern autobiographies (Vida, 1565), has generated a wealth of literary, historical and theological studies, yet none to date has examined the impact of textual models on Teresa's self-construction. In looking at the issue of the self, Carrera draws on revisions

Feminism Absolutism and Jansenism

Early modern women developed a remarkable variety of rhetorical strategies to circumvent the restrictions placed on their sex, ranging from the self-deprecating “rhetoric of femininity” used by Teresa of Avila,32 the “psychological ...

Author: Daniella Kostroun

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139497107

Category: History


View: 489


Feminism, Absolutism, and Jansenism chronicles seventy years of Jansenist conflict and its complex intersection with power struggles between gallican bishops, Parlementaires, the Crown and the Pope. Daniella Kostroun focuses on the nuns of Port-Royal-des-Champs, whose community was disbanded by Louis XIV in 1709 as a threat to the state. Paradoxically, it was the nuns' adherence to their strict religious rule and the ideal of pious, innocent and politically disinterested behavior that allowed them to challenge absolutism effectively. Adopting methods from cultural studies, feminism and the Cambridge School of political thought, Kostroun examines how these nuns placed gender at the heart of the Jansenist challenge to the patriarchal and religious foundations of absolutism; they responded to royal persecution with a feminist defense of women's spiritual and rational equality and of the autonomy of the individual subject, thereby offering a bold challenge to the patriarchal and religious foundations of absolutism.

In Context Teresa of vila John of the Cross and Their World

The boarding school for young women at the Augustinian convent of Santa María de Gracia in Ávila to which the young Teresa was ... Ahlgren, Teresa of Avila, 8; Alison Weber, Teresa of Avila and the Rhetoric of Femininity (Princeton, ...

Author: Mark O'Keefe, O.S.B.

Publisher: ICS Publications

ISBN: 9781939272850

Category: History

Page: 312

View: 483


St. Teresa of Ávila and St. John of the Cross are among the greatest teachers of prayer in the Christian tradition. For nearly five centuries, their writings on the spiritual life have guided those seeking greater union with God. Beyond the written corpus of these saints, the lived experiences of these reformers of the Carmelite Order also draws fascination. Living in sixteenth-century Spain among kings, prelates, explorers, inquisitors, and reformers, these two saints were formed and sanctified by the context and circumstances of their historical time and place. In Context: Teresa of Ávila, John of the Cross, and Their World explores the social, cultural, intellectual, and religious themes that prevailed during the time in which St. Teresa of Ávila and St. John of the Cross lived and breathed. This book is not only a thematic overview but also visits particular situations in the lives of these saints: the events that shaped their writings, their lives, and the Carmelite Reform they initiated. Offering for the first time in English a comprehensive contextual overview of the Carmelite reformers, Father O’Keefe draws upon pivotal scholarly sources not available to many beginner-to-intermediate students of spirituality. The extensive bibliographies point readers toward the next steps in diving deeper into Carmelite studies. Also including a comprehensive index and 16 pages of color photos, this book is an excellent resource for any earnest student of St. Teresa of Ávila and St. John of the Cross.