The Guitar of God
Gender, Power, and Authority in the Visionary World of Mother Juana de la Cruz, 1481-1534
AUTHOR: Surtz, Ronald E.
PUBLISHER: University of Pennsylvania Press
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Until recently, Spanish literary historiography has virtually ignored hundreds of women who wrote between 1500 and 1700. Most of them wrote to record, defend, and disseminate their spiritual visions, for despite the general disempowerment of Spanish women, female visionaries enjoyed considerable authority.
This book recovers and examines the visionary experiences of Mother Juana de la Cruz, the most famous of these women during her lifetime and for two centuries afterwards. Born of peasant stock, she became abbess of a Franciscan convent and a mystic who was visited not only by Cardinal Cisneros, but by Emperor Charles V himself. Ronald E. Surtz places Mother Juana's visions in the religious and social context of the age and discusses such pertinent biographical elements as the nun's own androgyny. His focus is on the questions of gender, power, and authority, so pertinent to our own age.
The Guitar of God will be of particular interest to scholars and students of late medieval Spanish culture, religion, and history, and women's studies.
PUBLICATION DATE: 7/1/1990
CATEGORY: History, Religion, Social Science