Approaches to Teaching Teresa of Ávila and the Spanish Mystics
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.
About the Author
Alison Weber is professor of Spanish at the University of Virginia. She is the author of Teresa of Ávila and the Rhetoric of Femininity and the editor of For the Hour of Recreation, by Maria de San José Salazar. Her work concentrates on gender and religious experience in early modern Spain.
"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
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