New edition of “The Avila of Saint Teresa”

Now available from Cornell University Press, a new edition of–

The Avila of Saint Teresa

Religious Reform in a Sixteenth-Century City

by Jodi Bilinkoff

Cornell University Press is pleased to announce the publication of a new edition of The Avila of Saint Teresa by Jodi Bilinkoff, which describes with clarity and concision the world of sixteenth-century Avila, known through its charismatic and dynamic monastic reformer Teresa de Ahumada, Santa Teresa. First published by Cornell University Press in 1989, this new edition of The Avila of Saint Teresa includes a new introduction in which the author provides an overview of the scholarship that has proliferated and evolved over the past 25 years on topics covered in her book. The new edition also include an updated bibliography of works published since 1989 that address topics and themes discussed in her book.

For more information about The Avila of Saint Teresa, see below and visit the book’s page on the Cornell University Press web site: http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?gcoi=80140100779290.

This book is now available directly from Cornell University Press via our website and our ordering department (tel: 1-800-666-2211). Use the promo code CAU6 at checkout or when calling to receive a 25% discount off the $24.95 list price of the paperback.

Customers in the UK/Europe may order the book from NBN International; customers in Australia and New Zealand may order from Footprint Books; use the ISBN 978-0-8014-7981-6 when searching for best results.

The book is also available from major booksellers and as an ebook from the Amazon/Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble/Nook, Google Play, and Kobo.

 

About The Avila of Saint Teresa

The Avila of Saint Teresa provides both a fascinating account of social and religious change in one important Castilian city and a historical analysis of the life and work of the religious mystic Saint Teresa of Jesus. Jodi Bilinkoff’s rich socioeconomic history of sixteenth-century Avila illuminates the conditions that helped to shape the religious reforms for which the city’s most famous citizen is celebrated.

Bilinkoff takes as her subject the period during which Avila became a center of intense religious activity and the home of a number of influential mystics and religious reformers. During this time, she notes, urban expansion and increased economic opportunity fostered the social and political aspirations of a new “middle class” of merchants, professionals, and minor clerics. This group supported the creation of religious institutions that fostered such values as individual spiritual revitalization, religious poverty, and apostolic service to the urban community. According to Bilinkoff, these reform movements provided an alternative to the traditional, dynastic style of spirituality expressed by the ruling elite, and profoundly influenced Saint Teresa in her renewal of Carmelite monastic life.

A focal point of the book is the controversy surrounding Teresa’s foundation of a new convent in August 1562. Seeking to discover why people in Avila strenuously opposed this ostensibly innocent act and to reveal what distinguished Teresa’s convent from the many others in the city, Bilinkoff offers a detailed examination of the social meaning of religious institutions in Avila. Historians of early modern Europe, especially those concerned with the history of religious culture, urban history, and women’s history, specialists in religious studies, and other readers interested in the life of Saint Teresa or in the history of Catholicism will welcome The Avila of Saint Teresa.

First published by Cornell University Press in 1989, The Avila of Saint Teresa is now available in a new edition that includes a new introduction in which the author provides an overview of the scholarship that has proliferated and evolved over the past 25 years on topics covered in her book. Also included is an updated bibliography of works published since 1989 that address topics and themes discussed in her book.

 

About the Author

Jodi Bilinkoff is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  She is the author of Related Lives: Confessors and Their Female Penitents, 1450–1750, also from Cornell.

 

Praise for The Avila of Saint Teresa

“In The Avila of Saint Teresa, Jodi Bilinkoff describes with clarity and concision the world of sixteenth-century Avila, known through its charismatic and dynamic monastic reformer Teresa de Ahumada, Santa Teresa. This 25th-anniversary edition is a testimony to the continued attraction of Bilinkoff’s account, equally approachable for specialists and those who know nothing of Spain or saints. Hers is a crisp and lucid telling of a complex story–the rise of a merchant class that included converts from Judaism, its enthusiasm for a kind of religion freed from privilege in which a series of inspired women are key protagonists, and the eclipse of their movement with Spain’s economic decline. I recommend the book to anyone interested in the history of Spain, the Age of Reformation, mysticism, saints and society, or women and spirituality, and of course anyone going to Avila.”

–William A. Christian Jr., author of Visionaries: The Spanish Republic and the Reign of Christ

 

From reviews of the first edition–

“What Bilinkoff does exceedingly well is to give us a genuine feel for the city of Avila both before and after Teresa’s lifetime. . . . Reader’s of this great saint’s work will be enriched by this careful piece of social history.”–Commonweal

“An important addition to our understanding of sixteenth-century Spain.”–Sixteenth Century Journal

“Examining the Catholic Reform and Counter-Reformation through the microcosm of the city of Avila, Bilinkoff provides a depth of analysis unequalled by any other study of this major reform movement.”–Catholic Historical Review

 

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