A New Companion to Hispanic Mysticism

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Winner of the 2011 SCSC Bainton Prize for Reference Works

The “canon” of Hispanic mysticism is expanding. No longer is our picture of this special brand of early modern devotional practice limited to a handful of venerable saints. Instead, we recognize a wide range of “marginal” figures as practitioners of mysticism, broadly defined. Neither do we limit the study of mysticism necessarily to the Christian religion, nor even to the realm of literature. Representations of mysticism are also found in the visual, plastic and musical arts. The terminology and theoretical framework of mysticism permeate early modern Hispanic cultures. Paradoxically, by taking a more inclusive approach to studying mysticism in its “marginal” manifestations, we draw mysticism—in all its complex iterations—back toward its rightful place at the center of early modern spiritual experience.

Contributors: Colin Thompson, Alastair Hamilton, Christina Lee, Clara E. Herrera, Darcy Donahue, Elena del Río Parra, Evelyn Toft, Fernando Durán López, Francisco Morales, Freddy Domínguez, Glyn Redworth, Jane Ackerman, Jessica Boon, José Adriano de Freitas Carvalho, Luce López-Baralt, María Carrión, Maryrica Lottman, and Tess Knighton.

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Hilaire Kallendorf, Ph.D. (2000) in Comparative Literature, Princeton University, is Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies at Texas A&M University. Her books include Exorcism and Its Texts (2003) and Conscience on Stage (2007), both published by the University of Toronto Press.
The Bainton Reference Works Prize Committee voted unanimously to award the prize to: The New Companion to Hispanic Mysticism ,ed. Hilaire Kallendorf.
From the prize committee’s report: "This volume comprehensively covers a very important topic within the history of early modern religion – “Hispanic” mysticism. It provides not only a fine example of the state of current research, but also of new approaches to traditional topics and of new questions to be asked of the materials. Its innovative approach is most evident in the expanded geography of its vision that, looking beyond the traditional borders of Spain, now includes the Spanish possessions not only in the New World, but also in Europe (Portugal, Southern Italy, and the Netherlands). Such a larger geographical view of the field is echoed in the range of the discussions, with articles that consider the relationship of mysticism with such topics as gender, music, or space.
Particularly noteworthy was the editor’s decision to seek contributions from scholars at various points in their career and from very different scholarly traditions (Anglo-American, Latin-American, Iberian, Dutch). This decision enriched the offerings and provided a healthy dose of diversity to the collection. The first four articles consider “larger trends” and thus provide a “survey” of the field that will be useful to scholars across the disciplines. The next eight consider “specific figures”, both male and female, both European and Latin American, and their relationship with such topics as gender, reform, Islam, or with their precursors, such as St. Catherine of Siena. The last five contributions illustrate the “interdisciplinary applications” the topic and current research both foster.
The book is a terrific reference tool for anyone wishing to teach a course early modern mysticism in general or on Hispanic mysticism itself. Its introduction and its seventeen articles will be useful to scholars across the disciplines and the geography of Europe and its early modern expansion.


Additional reviews

“[…] the book is essential for any university library collection. Graduate students, theologians, and scholars in numerous disciplines will benefit from the text's interdisciplinary methodology and vision.” - Rafael Luévan, Chapman University, Orange, Calif., in: Theological Studies, December 2011, pp. 926-928
“This new collection of essays enriches our understanding of Hispanic mysticism in several ways. […] the essays are well crafted (or well translated) and provide a wealth of information on religious thought, spiritual practice, early modern Spain, and a host of other subjects. The collection is not only a useful tool for scholars and students, but also a pleasurable read. Hilaire Kallendorf is to be congratulated.” - Barbara Mujica, Georgetown University, in: The Medieval Review 11.06.03
"This book, then, sets a new agenda for the study of the Spanish and Portuguese mystics, in the Old World and the New. Its essays and their accompanying footnotes will prove a rich resource for further investigation." - Colin Thompson, Saint Catherine’s College, Oxford
I. Preface
Colin Thompson

II. Introduction
Hilaire Kallendorf

III. Chapter Summaries

IV. Larger Trends

1. Religious Autobiography
Fernando Durán López

2. Traditions, Life Experiences and Orientations in Portuguese Mysticism (1515-1630)
José Adriano de Freitas Carvalho

3. New World Colonial Franciscan Mystical Practice
Francisco Morales

4. The Alumbrados: Dejamiento and Its Practitioners
Alastair Hamilton

V. Specific Figures

1. Mother Juana de la Cruz: Marian Visions and Female Preaching
Jessica Boon

2. John of the Cross, the Difficult Icon
Jane Ackerman

3. Teresa of Jesus and Islam: The Simile of the Seven Concentric Castles of the Soul
Luce López-Baralt

4. The Mysticism of Saint Ignatius Loyola
Darcy Donahue

5. Cecilia del Nacimiento, Second-Generation Mystic of the Carmelite Reform
Evelyn Toft

6. The Influences of Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Teresa of Ávila on the Colombian Nun Jerónima Nava y Saavedra (1669-1727)
Clara Herrera

7. A New Way of Living? Luisa de Carvajal and the Limits of Mysticism
Glyn Redworth

8. From Saint to Sinner: Sixteenth-Century Perceptions of “La Monja de Lisboa”
Freddy Domínguez

VI. Interdisciplinary Applications

1. The Gardens of Teresa of Ávila
Maryrica Ortiz Lottman

2. Home, Sweet Home: Teresa de Jesús, Mudéjar Architecture, and the Place of Mysticism in Early Modern Spain
María Mercedes Carrión

3. Interrupted Mysticism in Cervantes’s Persiles
Christina H. Lee

4. Suspensio Animi, or Mysticism in Literature
Elena del Río Parra

5. “Through a Glass Darkly”: Music and Mysticism in Golden Age Spain
Tess Knighton

VII. Bibliography

VIII. List of Figures

IX. Index
All those interested in mysticism, theology, spirituality, the history of religion, comparative literature, religion and literature, religious studies, Hispanic literature, Hispanic studies, Ibero-American history and related disciplines.
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