By Hilaire Kallendorf
Winner of the 2011 Bainton Prize for Reference Works The "canon" of Hispanic mysticism is increasing. now not is our photo of this specific model of early smooth devotional perform restricted to a handful of venerable saints. as a substitute, we realize quite a lot of "marginal" figures as practitioners of mysticism, extensively outlined. Neither can we restrict the research of mysticism inevitably to the Christian faith, nor even to the area of literature. Representations of mysticism also are present in the visible, plastic and musical arts. The terminology and theoretical framework of mysticism permeate early smooth Hispanic cultures. sarcastically, via taking a extra inclusive method of learning mysticism in its "marginal" manifestations, we draw mysticism--in all its complicated iterations--back towards its rightful position on the middle of early glossy non secular event. members comprise: Colin Thompson, Alastair Hamilton, Christina Lee, Clara E. Herrera, Darcy Donahue, Elena del Rio Parra, Evelyn Toft, Fernando Duran Lopez, Francisco Morales, Freddy Dominguez, Glyn Redworth, Jane Ackerman, Jessica Boon, Jose Adriano de Freitas Carvalho, Luce Lopez-Baralt, Maria Carrion, Maryrica Lottman, and Tess Knighton.
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Additional info for A New Companion to Hispanic Mysticism
12 One crux of interaction between these two categories obviously centered around authority. As Freddy Domínguez reminds us, “[a] common theme in studies about female spirituality and mysticism in the early modern world revolves around the notion of authority. ’ ”13 This idea is affirmed in a nuanced way by Fernando Durán in his essay on feminine conventual autobiography written from obedience to a confessor or other authority figure. But while these may be important aspects or characteristic features of early modern mysticism, they hardly contribute in any meaningful way to its definition.
To these “founding” figures I have chosen to add Saint Ignatius Loyola, whose often-ignored mystical side is explored admirably by Darcy Donahue. While busy founding a different religious order, the Society of Jesus, which was characterized by its members’ active engagement with the world, Ignatius nonetheless valued mystical meditation and in fact instituted a method for practicing it in his Spiritual Exercises. Moving on from the founders of Hispanic mysticism, this section also examines their heirs.
Fasts, privations, whips, flagellations . . these are merely the softest part of a technique of self-inflicted suffering which attains a degree of violence that could seem perverse to our modern eyes. According to Sánchez Lora,26 a heightened ascesis accompanies the decline of true contemplative mysticism during the first half of the 16th century. The performance of physical mortification would be, in this sense, an extreme example of the realistic meditation preached by the Jesuits: from the “composition of place” practiced in the imagination, one would pass to a real representation of the scene, acted out with corporal deeds.