Dona Maria Vela Y Cueto, Cistercian Mystic of Spain's Golden Age (Spanish Studies S. No. 27)

Dona Maria Vela Y Cueto, Cistercian Mystic of Spain's Golden Age (Spanish Studies S. No. 27)

By: Margaret A. Rees (author)Hardback

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Maria Vela y Cueto (1561-1617), a Cistercian nun, represents the later stages of a religious reform led by St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross, her mystical life recorded in a spiritual diary and an autobiography. In recent years interest has been gathering in religious writings by women, since comparatively little is known about them. One crucial issue under discussion is the connection between mystical ecstasy and hysteria or neuroticism in women. In the past Maria has been presented as a constitutionally weak female - holy but hysterical. This study aims to re-awaken awareness of an almost unknown figure who was once venerated, and also to look again at her spirituality. Her writings are of interest to hispanists, historians and theologians: (1) as an example of the growing number of mystics in Golden Age Iberia; (2) as an illustration of Spanish social history at this time; (3) for the light they throw on contemporary Church history, including the increasing importance of spiritual advisers; (4) for their description of convent life including - since Maria was organist and choir mistress - a glimpse of the liturgy in a convent famed for its music in an era producing some of Spain's greatest composers. More important still, her pages include passages of great power which should be made more widely known to an English-speaking public, especially anyone with an interest in spirituality.

About Author

Margaret A. Rees held a Dudin Brown Open Scholarship at Westfield College, London, where she obtained her M.A. and Ph.D degrees. She later took up a post-doctoral Fellowship and then a lecturing post at Liverpool University. As Senior lecturer in Spanish at Trinity and All Saints University College, Leeds, she was General Editor of the Leeds Iberian Papers series. She has also published six books relating to the Romantic period or to the Spanish Golden Age. The most recent of these is The Writings of Dona Luisa de Carvajal y Mendoza, Catholic Missionary to James I's London in the Edwin Mellen Press's Spanish Studies Series. At present she is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity and All Saints and an Honorary Research Fellow of Leeds University.


Acknowledgements, Preface, Introduction; Dona Maria and Life in the Convent Community; 'Martyr of Love'. Maria Vela's Asceticism; Prayer, Visions, and Voices; Maria's Theological Knowledge; Dona Maria, Legatee of Monastic Mysticism's 'Cistercian Miracle'; Conclusion, Bibliography, Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780773463219
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 132
  • ID: 9780773463219
  • ISBN10: 0773463216

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