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Between Exaltation and InfamyFemale Mystics in the Golden Age of Spain$
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Stephen Haliczer

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148633

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195148630.001.0001

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Women Mystics in a Male‐Dominated Culture

Women Mystics in a Male‐Dominated Culture

(p.48) 3 Women Mystics in a Male‐Dominated Culture
Between Exaltation and Infamy

Stephen Haliczer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Concerned that educated women would threaten male authority in religion and politics, a misogynous culture of male domination emerged to subordinate and restrict women's lives. Still concerned with potential heterodox threats, the church found itself in the paradoxical position of needing to enforce a conservative orthodoxy while at the same time not wanting to alienate those followers of popular religious trends who were also devoutly Catholic. As such, many women mystics who were prominent in popular movements were supported and even canonized. The spiritual piety of these women achieved greater and greater recognition and their writings flourished. Many, however, were wholly dependent upon their male spiritual advisors who had the power to determine their success or failure as mystics.

Keywords:   canonized, Inquisition, misogynous, mujer varonil, mystics, popular religious trends, spiritual advisors, St Teresa de Avila

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