Celebrating Teresa of Avila

The Discalced Carmelites in Italy and Their Mission to Persia and the East Indies


Teresa of Ávila's cult was dramatically disseminated in previously unknown celebrations honoring her beatification (1614) and canonization (1622) in Italy and Portuguese Asia, the purview of her Discalced Carmelite Order's Italian Congregation. Reconstructions and analyses of the festivities in Genoa, Rome, Naples, Hormuz, and Goa center on the presentation of Teresa's gender, deeds, virtues, and miracles. The geopolitical roles played by religious, secular, and family networks in particularizing and propagating Teresa's universal cult are emphasized. The desired goal of converting Muslims and Hindus is addressed in light of attitudes toward ethnic and religious diversity shared by lay and ecclesiastical authorities.

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Pamela M. Jones, Ph.D. (1985, Brown University) is Professor Emerita of Art History at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her most recent books include Altarpieces and Their Viewers in the Churches of Rome from Caravaggio to Guido Reni (Ashgate, 2008) and the co-edited A Companion to Early Modern Rome, 1492–1692 (Brill, 2020).
List of Illustrations


PART 1: Teresa’s Beatification Celebrations in Italy, 1614

1 A Triumphal Procession for Cloistered Nuns in Genoa
2 Matriarch of A Global Missionary Order in Papal Rome
3 ”Founder and Doctor and Virgin”: Spanish Holy Woman in Viceregal Naples

PART 2: Teresa’s Italian Canonization Celebrations, 1622

4 Canonizing Five New Saints in St. Peter’s Basilica
5 Honoring St. Teresa in S. Maria Della Scala, Rome
6 A Triumphal Procession for Philip Iv’ s New Saint in Viceregal Naples

PART 3: The Mission to Persia and the East Indies: Conversionary Aspirations and Festivities

7 New Challenges: Confronting Ethnic and Religious Diversity
8 Celebrating Teresa’s Beatification in Hormuz in Portugal’s Estado Da Índia
9 Teresa’s Canonization Festivities in Goa, Rome of the East


This interdisciplinary study is intended for scholars and graduate students in the social histories of art and religion, gender studies, and cultural politics.
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