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Document Details :

Title: Contextualizing Teresa
Subtitle: Vida 20:1: Are the phenomena identical?
Author(s): BLAIS, Donald
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 12    Date: 2000   
Pages: 141-146
DOI: 10.2143/SIS.12.0.505316

Abstract :
This article examines a key passage in Teresa of Avila's opus, Vida 20:1, as a way of unlocking Teresa's experience of mystical phenomena. The author maintains that Teresa's contemporaries to the present have often misunderstood Teresa's vocabulary and thereby invalidate a proper appreciation of Teresa's rich spiritual transformation. It will be asserted that Teresa contextualizes her usage of ecstasy etc., and thus employs mystical terms in several senses. This being the case, suspension, union, rapture, elevation, flight of the spirit, transport and ecstasy, while sharing some similarities, should not be understood as being mere phases or grades of identical phenomena. To do so would be reductionist.

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