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Document Details :
Title: Prayerful Spirituality as Experiential Theology
Subtitle: Teresa of Avila's Mystical Transposition of Augustine's Confessions
Author(s): FORTIN, Jean-Pierre
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 27 Date: 2017
Through the detailed comparative analysis of Teresa of Avila’s The Book of Her Life and Augustine’s Confessions, this essay demonstrates that the originality of Teresa’s description of Christian spirituality resides in her skillful transposition, in light of her own mystical experiences, of Augustine’s articulation of Christian life as confessional prayer. In Teresa of Avila’s The Book of Her Life, the nature and characteristics of mystical prayer, condition of possibility and concrete expression of faithful confession, are explicitly articulated through reflective relation of personal lived experience. An ‘uneducated’ woman whom God lavished with mystical graces thus transposes in highly original and enriching fashion that which the trained mind of the philosopher-bishop of Hippo had already attempted to convey in his Confessions: to be authentic, human existence must be lived in and with God, that is, as a prayer radically claiming and transforming the whole person.