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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 09 March 2021

An Uncertain Sword

An Uncertain Sword

(p.125) 6 An Uncertain Sword
Between Exaltation and Infamy

Stephen Haliczer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Without questioning the existence and validity of genuine divine revelation, the Inquisition nonetheless concerned itself with the problem of fraudulent mystical experiences, which were understood to be demonic in origin. Women were especially vulnerable to ‘false’ mysticism because of their perceived emotional frailty and temptation to the sin of pride. To distinguish between ‘false’ and authentic divine communication, the Inquisition created a set of criteria by which to judge a visionary's claim. Women who were charged with ‘false’ mysticism were subjected to a process of imprisonment, trial, and sentencing by the Inquisition, although generally, those found guilty were not severely punished but rather subjected to corrective education and curtailment.

Keywords:   criteria, demonic, fraudulent, Inquisition, mysticism, revelation, women

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