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Approaches to Teaching Teresa of Ávila and the Spanish Mystics

Editor(s): Alison Weber

Pages: vii & 297 pp.
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781603290234 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781603290227 (hardcover)

"I found the essays as well as the discussion of the evaluation process very stimulating from a pedagogical perspective. I also appreciated the volume's interdisciplinary orientation through its inclusion of essays involving painting, sculpture, and music. I got any number of ideas for classroom activities."
Ronald E. Surtz, Princeton University

The writings of Teresa of Ávila and the Spanish mystics, most notably John of the Cross and Luis de León, aroused passionate responses when they were composed. Though today's students realize that religious beliefs have wide-ranging consequences, they are presented with particular challenges in studying the Spanish mystics because of their unfamiliarity with the linguistic, social, and religious history of early modern Spain. This volume is designed to help instructors elicit students' curiosity, sympathy, and appreciation for writings that can at first seem alien or confusing.

Part 1, "Materials," recommends accessible editions and translations; print, electronic, and visual resources; background and critical studies; and sources on the philosophical and theological responses to the Spanish mystics. Part 2, "Approaches," presents methods for teaching the historical contexts of and various theoretical perspectives on the mystics' works. Contributors consider these authors in relation to Islamic and Jewish mysticism, the traditions of women's writing, feminism, theology, and autobiography. They also recommend ways to teach particular texts in different kinds of courses and institutions.

Gillian T. W. Ahlgren
Linda Belau
Dana Bultman
Joan Cammarata
William Childers
David H. Darst
Darcy Donahue
Ralph Keen
Dona M. Kercher
Howard Mancing
Michael McGaha
Bárbara Mujica
Kathleen Ann Myers
Mario A. Ortiz
Amanda Powell
Helen H. Reed
Elizabeth Rhodes
María del Pilar Ryan
Emily Scida
Barbara Simerka
Carole Slade
Cordula van Wyhe
Sherry Velasco
Marta V. Vicente
Lisa Vollendorf
Christopher C. Wilson

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