Pilgrimpace's Blog

reading st teresa
May 5, 2014, 10:08 am
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A few people have asked me recently about reading St Teresa of Avila.

Here’s a first go at recommending some primary and secondary sources.  If anyone else wants to chip into this, please add a comment or email me.

Teresa of Avila’s major works are The Book of the Life, The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle.  There are a number of other works, notably the Book of Foundations, the Letters and poetry.  The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle are the ones which I find speak most to me, but this is likely to be a matter of taste.  I like the translations by Kavanaugh and Rodriguez published by the Institute of Carmelite Studies.  Clear contemporary language and good translation.  There are study versions available of the books which help the contemporary reader to think through and grasp what Teresa is saying.

There are a multitude of secondary sources.  Some are useful in helping us to make the leap between Spain 500 years ago and now.  Rowan Williams’ Teresa of Avila is one of his best books.  Dense at times, but helpful.  There is a very good little book by Peter Tyler called The Way of Ecstasy which introduces The Interior Castle.  Tyler has also just published Teresa of Avila: Doctor of the Soul.  I have a review copy which I am about to read.  It looks promising.

The Carmelite Book Service is a good place to order Carmelite books from.

There is some good stuff on the web too.  You might like to look at some of these sites:

Carmel Stream

Teresa of Avila .org

Please let me know if there are any mistakes here, or if anything else should be added.

2 Comments so far
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I’m just beginning to read Gerald May’s “Dark Night of the Soul” which seems very readable. This is a very mature reflection on the spirituality of St Theresa and John of the Cross written from Garald May’s special perspective as contemplative and psychiatrist.

Comment by freescot

Thanks – another one to look out for!

Comment by pilgrimpace

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