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Book Title: Teresa de Jesus. Libro de La Vida|
The author of the book: Teresa of Ávila
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 2.58 MB
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Reader ratings: 4.3
Date of issue: March 31st 2015
ISBN 13: 9788441434509
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This is a review of the translation by E Allison Peers.
Peers writes a very interesting introduction about the sources and challenges of translating Saint Teresa of Avila. I kept them in mind during my reading, and indeed found the text to be vibrant and always racing forwards. The manuscripts are available so Peers was able to rely on Teresa’s own hand.
The Life will read very differently to believers and those arrayed along the spectrum of doubt to disbelief. I read it as a psychological study of someone who’s faith and illnesses led her to experience intense internal visions and perhaps served as a model for those who subsequently imitated her, either unconsciously or in full knowledge that they were fabricating an experience. She acknowledges that she is accused of averring raptures, locutions, ecstasies and visions for attention, and one could read her claims to pursue humility and retreat as either sincere or a bit too insistent. It does seem that her visions conveniently tell her that God supports whatever course she wants to take but is opposed by the hierarchy or that she professes to doubt herself. On the other hand, in a society where women’s roles were so limited, I sympathize with whatever path she took to express her own powerful personality.
The book also makes interesting background for understanding the relationships among the different religious orders, the range of commitment one could make to living in a convent, male/female religious roles and relationships at this time, etc.
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Read information about the authorSaint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, was a prominent Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. In 1970 she was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI.
Born in Avila, Spain, on March 28, 1515, St. Teresa was the daughter of a Toledo merchant and his second wife, who died when Teresa was 15, one of ten children. Shortly after this event, Teresa was entrusted to the care of the Augustinian nuns. After reading the letters of St. Jerome, Teresa resolved to enter a religious life. In 1535, she joined the Carmelite Order. She spent a number of relatively average years in the convent, punctuated by a severe illness that left her legs paralyzed for three years, but then experienced a vision of "the sorely wounded Christ" that changed her life forever.
From this point forward, Teresa moved into a period of increasingly ecstatic experiences in which she came to focus more and more sharply on Christ's passion. With these visions as her impetus, she set herself to the reformation of her order, beginning with her attempt to master herself and her adherence to the rule. Gathering a group of supporters, Teresa endeavored to create a more primitive type of Carmelite. From 1560 until her death, Teresa struggled to establish and broaden the movement of Discalced or shoeless Carmelites. During the mid-1560s, she wrote the Way of Perfection and the Meditations on the Canticle. In 1567, she met St. John of the Cross, who she enlisted to extend her reform into the male side of the Carmelite Order. Teresa died in 1582.
St. Teresa left to posterity many new convents, which she continued founding up to the year of her death. She also left a significant legacy of writings, which represent important benchmarks in the history of Christian mysticism. These works include the Way of Perfection and the Interior Castle. She also left an autobiography, the Life of St. Teresa of Avila.
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