Neoplatonism Through the Renaissance

Renaissance Humanism

In what way was St. Teresa of Ávila a Renaissance figure?

St. Teresa of Ávila’s (1515–1582) writings intimately recorded her spiritual development in a way that invited the reader to take the same path for him or herself. Unlike St. Augustine, whose confessional focus was ultimately on God and the religious community, St. Teresa focused on the individual heart and soul. Teresa’s use of sensory imagery and her comparison of advances in mysticism to courtship and love throughout her writings, could probably not have been written during the medieval period. Neither could a distinctly female human voice have found such religious expression, before the Renaissance.


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