Between Exaltation and Infamy
Female Mystics in the Golden Age of Spain
By (author) Stephen Haliczer
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Between Exaltation and Infamy by Stephen Haliczer
Book DescriptionThe Counter-Reformation saw an upsurge of feminine religious enthusiasm without parallel since medieval times. Inspired by new translations of the lives of the saints, devout women all over Catholic Europe sought to imitate these "athletes of Christ" through extremes of self-abnegation, physical mortification and devotion. Just as in the Middle Ages, women's piety expressed itself especially in mystical experiences manifested in such phenomena as visions, revelations, voices, stigmata and ecstasies. This book offers a comprehensive look at this Golden Age of women's mysticism as it flourished in 16th- and 17th-century Spain, where it almost took on the character of a mass movement. For his study Haliczer draws on 15 cases brought by the Inquisition against women accused of "feigned sanctity" and on 30 biographies and autobiographies of women mystics. By examining their lives, Haliczer seeks to understand the forces that caused these individuals to choose a life of self-abnegation and ecstatic worship. Overall, he shows how mysticism provided women with a way to transcend, rather than to disrupt, the control of the male-dominated Church.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195148633
(236mm x 156mm x 23mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 1-Jun-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Stephen Haliczer
Sexuality in the Confessional, Hardback (January 1996)» View all books by Stephen Haliczer
Drawing upon a wealth of actual cases and trial evidence left by the Spanish Inquisition, this work documents the eroticizing of the confessional between 1530 and 1819. It argues that the Counter-Reformation Church actually helped to foster sexual solicitation in the confessional.
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Author Biography - Stephen Haliczer
Stephen Haliczer is Distinguished Research Professor of History at Northern Illinois University. He is the author of Sexuality in the Confessional: A Sacrament Profaned (Oxford, 1996) and many other books and articles.
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