To centre or not to centre: Ss Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross and the 'Centre of the Soul'

Tyler, Peter (2013) To centre or not to centre: Ss Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross and the 'Centre of the Soul'. In: Nelstrop, Louise and Podmore, Simon D, (eds.) Christian Mysticism and Incarnational Theology : Between Transcendence and Immanence. Contemporary Theological Explorations in Christian Mysticism . Ashgate, Farnham, pp. 177-190. ISBN 9781409456711

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This chapter arises from a reflection on the current trend to talk about 'centring' or 'focusing' prayer. Recently, whilst leading a seminar on the writings of St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), the question arose as to what is meant by 'the centre of the soul' in Teresa's writings. Having spent some time studying Teresa's writings and trying to elucidate her psychological concept of the self in my recently published The Return to the Mystical (2011), my immediate response was to say 'But there is no centre in Teresa's soul!' Having said this both myself, and the seminar, were struck by the oddness of this statement. The consequence was that I had to return to Teresa's writings to see exactly what she meant by 'the centre of the soul'. The result was this chapter.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Immanence of God. ; Incarnation. ; Mysticism. ; Transcendence of God.
Subjects: 200 Religion > 201 Religious mythology & social theology
200 Religion > 203 Public worship & other practices
School/Department: School of Education, Theology and Leadership
Depositing User: Catherine O'Sullivan
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2014 09:20
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2014 09:20


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