Paradox of Saint Teresa of Avila: A Study in Will and Humility

Author: Rudder, Robert S.
This study resolves the seeming conflict of will and humility in the life of St. Teresa by examining her relationship with the secular world, nuns, superiors and God.


“…this analysis chiefly addresses the scholar, and as such is thoroughly documented; it is immensely readable and appeals to the serious reader with an interest in religion, philosophy, psychology or literature.”James A. Dunlop, St. Olaf College

“The study reveals the Saint’s impressive political and diplomatic abilities, in particular with respect to her treatment of her religious superiors. This chapter of her life shows her as a proto-feminist who exhorts her nuns to act “like strong men,” -Prof. Ignacio Lopez-Calvo, University of California

“This study reveals Teresa not as a distant saint with a halo firmly attached to her head, but as a human being, in much the same way that she exhorts her nuns to think of God.”-Prof. Gloria Arjona, University of Southern California

Table of Contents


I. Background

II. Theses

III. Santa Teresa in Her Own Words

IV. The Foundations

V. Confessors

VI. Teresa and the General

VII. Nuns

VIII. Seculars

IX. Mysticism

X. God


Biographical Index of Principal Individuals Named in this Study

Selected Bibliography