1st Edition

Teresa of Avila Mystical Theology and Spirituality in the Carmelite Tradition

Edited By Peter Tyler, Edward Howells Copyright 2017
    164 Pages
    by Routledge

    162 Pages
    by Routledge

    This innovative book offers an original insight into the context and times of St Teresa of Avila (1515 – 1582) as well as exploring her contemporary relevance from the perspective of some of the foremost thinkers and scholars in the Teresian field today including Professors Julia Kristeva, Rowan Williams and Bernard McGinn. As well as these academic approaches there will be chapters by friars and nuns of the Carmelite order living out the Carmelite charism in today’s world. The book addresses both theory and practice, and crosses traditional disciplinary and denominational boundaries – including medieval studies, philosophy, psychology, pastoral and systematic theology - thus demonstrating her continuing relevance in a variety of contemporary multi-disciplinary areas.


    Part One: Teresa in Her Context

    1. True Confessions: Augustine and Teresa of Avila on the Mystical Self
    2. Prof. Bernard McGinn

    3. From Carmel to Avila
    4. Fr Wilfrid McGreal OCarm

    5. Mystical Affinities – St Teresa and Jean Gerson
    6. Prof. Peter Tyler

    7. Teresa of Avila: Negative Theologian?
    8. Dr Edward Howells

      Part Two: The Impact of Teresa

    9. Teresa, the Eucharist and the Reformation
    10. Dr Rowan Williams

    11. Teresa - Her Vocation as Founder
    12. Fr Matthew Blake OCD

    13. St Teresa: Witness to Christ’s Resurrection
    14. Fr Iain Matthew OCD

      Part Three: Teresa in the 21st Century

    15. The Passion According to St Teresa of Avila
    16. Prof. Julia Kristeva

    17. Wise Action in a World of Suffering and Injustice - Teresa’s Vision for Today
    18. Prof. Gillian Ahlgren

    19. Living the Teresian Tradition in the 21st Century – Thoughts from Praxis

    Sr Jo Robson OCD, Sr Mary of St Joseph OCD, Sr Philomena Sargeant OCD


    Prof. Peter Tyler is Professor of Pastoral Theology and Spirituality at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. He is also a spiritual director and registered psychotherapist. His recent publications include The Pursuit of the Soul: Psychoanalysis, Soul-Making and the Christian Tradition (T & T Clark, 2016), Teresa of Avila: Doctor of the Soul (Bloomsbury 2013), The Bloomsbury Guide to Christian Spirituality (Bloomsbury 2012, co-edited with Richard Woods) and The Return to the Mystical: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Teresa of Avila and the Christian Mystical Tradition (Continuum 2011). He has contributed much to the ongoing debate between psychology and spirituality and is Co-Editor of Vinayasadhana, a new journal for Psycho-Spiritual formation.

    Dr Edward Howells is Senior Lecturer in Christian Spirituality at Heythrop College, University of London. Publications include John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila: Mystical Knowing and Selfhood (Crossroad 2002); Sources of Transformation: Revitilising Christian Spirituality (Continuum 2010, co-edited with Peter Tyler); and various journal articles and book chapters on Christian spirituality and mystical theology. He is currently working on the Oxford Handbook of Mystical Theology, co-edited with Mark McIntosh (Oxford, forthcoming 2017).

    ‘Even in the celebration of her 500th anniversary, there still remains the danger of belittling the great Teresa, of explaining her in terms of existing stereotypes of 'female mysticism'. This book goes to some lengths to undo that false presumption, and so releases the real Teresa from her 'admirers'. What emerges is an edgy prophetic figure of real intellectual genius, someone still to be reckoned with politically as well as spiritually. The editors are to be congratulated on their astute choice of commentators.’ - Sarah Coakley, Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University

    ‘This volume makes a significant contribution to understanding the depth and breadth of Teresa's place in spirituality today. I cannot recommend it too highly. As Prior General of the Carmelite Order, I feel glad and proud of this studies in which we found both the Carmelite background of Teresa and also her great influence in other spiritualities. We cannot understand Teresa without Carmel, but since her life and writings, we cannot understand Carmel without Teresa.’ - Fernando Millán Romeral O.Carm., Prior General of the Carmelite Order

    ‘The image of Teresa which baroque mysticism has handed down to us cannot do justice to the richness of this woman, who in an extraordinary way has marked the history of the Church and the story of spirituality. The present volume gives us a series of essays which will help the reader to reach through to the mind of Teresa, to get in touch with her culture, relish her language, appreciate her skill as a writer. What emerges is a multi-faceted picture, which recognises Teresa’s connection with the tradition she inherited, the originality of her ‘discoveries’, and her relevance for challenges which we face in the 21st century. Teresa stands at the crossroads where theology and spirituality meet, where the human person finds herself, and where the person’s inmost core beckons.’ - P. Saverio Cannistrà O.C.D., Superior General of the Discalced Carmelite Order

    ‘No academic theological library should be without it. "Teresa speaks many languages," the editors say. Here, they are ably laid out for our appraisal.’ - Lavinia Byrne in Church Times

    ‘…a ‘serious work’ – yet it is also exciting and imaginative and I am sure it will stimulate thought and encourage the desire to know, follow and love the Jesus of Teresa.’ - Terence Drainey, Bishop of Middlesbrough, in Mount Carmel