Teresa - A Woman

A Biography of Teresa of Avila

By Victoria Lincoln

Subjects: Biography
Series: SUNY series in Cultural Perspectives
Paperback : 9780873959377, 482 pages, June 1985
Hardcover : 9780873959360, 482 pages, June 1985

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Table of contents

Introduction by Antonio T. de Nicolas
Editor's Foreword by Elias Rivers
Essential Bibliography
List of People and Places
Preface by Victoria Lincoln

1. Juan Sanchez, Teresa's Jewish Grandfather
2. Teresa's Father and Mother; Her Birth in Gotarrendura
3. Teresa's Siblings
4. Teresa as a Child and as a Very Young Woman in Avila
5. Her Life in an Augustininan Convent
6. Teresa as Nun in the Unenclosed Carmelite Convent of the Incarnarion
7. Osuna's Third Spiritual Alphabet; "Mental Prayer"
8. Teresa's Recovery from Serious Illness
9. Inner Conflict; Teresa's Second Conversion following Her Reading of St. Augustine's Confessions
10. Jesuit Confessors; Teresa's Desire to Escape from the Incarnation
11. Breakdown of Teresa's Health; Living in the House of Yomar (Dona Guiomar de Ulloa); Teresa and Certain Jesuits; The First Rapture
12. Teresa and Her Confessor, Juan de Pradanos; Visions and Voices
13. "The Ecstasy of St. Teresa"
14. Fray Pedro de Alcantara
15. The Idea of Founding a Reformed, Enclosed Carmelite Convent
16. First Steps toward Establishing a Reformed Convent; Difficulties
17. Teresa Ordered to Toledo as Spiritual Companion to a Widowed Great Lady. Teresa Writes Her Life, as Ordered to by Father Garcia de Toledo
18. Bishop Mendoza; Humble Founding of St. Joseph's Discalced Convent in Avila
19. Saving St. Joseph's from Being Closed by the City Council
20. Teresa's Constitutions for Discalced Carmelite Nuns
21. Garcia de Toledo, Domingo Banez, and The Way of Perfection
22. Enter Rubeo (Father Rossi, New Carmelite General)
23. House-hunting for a Reformed Convent in Medina del Campo; Heredia; John of the Cross
24. Malagon. Trouble Caused by Teresa's Loan of Manuscript of Her Life
25. A Tiny House for Discalced Carmelite Friars in Duruelo; Labors of John of the Cross; Malaria
26. Convenets in Valladolid and Toledo
27. The Princess of Eboli
28. A Year in Toledo; Inquisitor Soto
29. Founding in Salamanca; the Bad Friars at Pastrana; The Book of Foundations
30. Teresa's Very Partial Account of the Foundings in Salamanca and Alba de Tormes
31. Cause of the Delay in Salamanca; What Happened in Alba de Tormes
32. Teresa and Martin de Gutierrez; Climate of Fear
33. The Carmelite Provincial's Plan to Sidetrack Teresa
34. Her Return to the Incarnation as Prioress
35. John of the Cross at the Incarnation as Its Vicar and Confessor to the Nuns
36. Enter Gracian; a Letter from Teresa to King Philip
37. The House at Salamanca, Father Baltasar Alvarez, and the Widowed Princess of Eboli as a Nun
38. Father Domingo Banez, Gracian, Nieto, and Mariano
39. Founding a Convent in Segovia
40. The Spanish Inquisition
41. Founding a Convent at Beas; Teresa's Blind Faith in Gracian
42. Teresa's Love for Gracian, and Her Vow to Him
43. The Journey to Seville
44. Teresa in Seville; Her Letters to Her General, Rubeo
45. Teresa's Appeal to King Philip; Her Strangely Unadmirable Self-justifying Letter to a Prioress
46. Maria del Corro; General Rubeo's Condemnation of Teresa; His Authority versus that of Gracian as Apostolic Visitor
47. A Letter from Teresa to General Rubeo; the Inquisition Comes to Seville to Question Her
48. Teresa's Superb Successful Defense; the Convent at Caravaca; Letters of this Time
49. The Vicar-General, Tostado; Teresa's Flight from Seville to Malagon; Financial Problems of the Convents
50. Some of Teresa's Troubles with Gracian
51. Teresa's New Book, The Visitation of Convents; Letters She Wrote during a Year on Toledo
52. Teresa's Fears for Gracian
53. New Problems; Maria de San Jose; More Letters to Gracian
54. Teresa and Her Brother Lorenzo
55. Things Go from Bad to Worse for Teresa, Gracian, and the Discalced
56. More Letters; Writing The Interior Castle; Death of the Friendly Papal Nuncio
57. War between Calced and Discalced Carmelites; Teresa's Effort to Overcome Effects of Gracian's Inactivity; an Imbroglio and Violence at the Incarnation
58. Imprisonment of John of the Cross; Teresa's Letters to the King
59. Beginning of a Year of Crisis; Idea of Making the Discalced a Separate Order
60. Teresa's Attempts to Influence the New Nuncio, Sega, Who is Hostile to Reforms
61. Teresa's Advice to Gracian on an Appeal to Rome
62. Gracian, King Philip, and the Nuncio
63. Accusations at the Seville Convent; Teresa and Doria
64. Teresa's Travels Resumed
65. A Foundation at Villanueva de la Jara; a Threat of Violence to Teresa in Montalban
66. Orders to Visit Valladolid and Segovia and to Found in Palencia; John of the Cross, a Saint
67. Teresa's Meditations; Death of Her Brother Lorenzo
68. Teresa'a Brush with Death; Death of Friends
69. An Unopposed Founding in Palencia
70. A Chapter Meeting of the Discalced; Teresa's New Constitutions for the Order
71. Plan to Found in Soria
72. The Soria Founding
73. Failure of St. Joseph's and Other Convents to Maintain Teresa's Ideals
74. More Problems for Teresa
75. Dr. Castro, a Congenial Confessor; Last Meeting with John of the Cross
76. A Ghastly Trip to Burgos
77. A Founding in Burgos Despite Hostility
78. Trouble with Jesuits; Beginning of Teresa's Fatal Illness; Burgos Flooded
79. Visit to Palencia; Last Letter to Gracian
80. A Bad Reception in Valladolid; Teresa Kidnapped by Heredia; a Mess in Alba de Tormes
81. Teresa's Death and Burial; Exhumation at Gracian's Orders; Author's Last Words on St. Teresa



She was a saint, a mystic, a reformer, a legend, and she was a fascinating and complex woman. This is the first full-scale biography of Saint Teresa of Avila from a human, nonconfessional point of view. Victoria Lincoln immersed herself thoroughly in all of Saint Teresa's writings, including her extensive correspondence. She has reconstructed the inner life of this rigorous reformer of the Carmelite Order and disciplined explorer of mystical experience. The relation between Saint Teresa's inner and outer life is defined with new insight and profundity.