Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Scent of a Mystic Woman: Teresa de Jesús and the Interior Castle

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Medieval Encounters

In 1577 Teresa de Jesús composed the Interior Castle, an account of her spiritual experiences that deployed architectural images designed to incite readers to piety and devotion. Critical readings have identified the castle as a spiritual and aesthetic emblem of Christian hegemony, emplotting de Jesús's works in the rhetorical frame of Reconquista narratives. But the Castle, like the houses in the 1562 Book of Life and the palaces in the 1562-1564 Way of Perfection, moves readers to remember landscapes that differ from a monocultural event, as it narrates the ultimate spiritual encounter in frank dissidence with the hegemonic politics and aesthetics of Catholicism that became the law of the land in Spain after 1492. In line with a diversity of medieval mystical traditions from Europe and the Middle East, the choice of a castle—a key architectural sign of the Middle Ages—as the place of paradox, memory, and experience of the sublime offers clues that de Jesús figured out a way to communicate what seemed to be an unaccountable event in Counter-Reformation Spain: being in the presence of divinity and living to tell such story in cross-confessional terms. This essay analyzes the polysemic traces of the castle built by this mystic woman with the figurative fragrance of multicultural medieval Iberia, a space where she carefully negotiated war, crusades, and other kingdoms of heaven with contemplation, survival (pervivencia), and adaptation.

Affiliations: 1: Emory University


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Medieval Encounters — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation