Spanish Devotional and Meditative Literature of Renaissance Spain
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Spain produced a plethora of religious literature. The writers of mystical literature, such as Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross, are very well known, even outside of Hispanic Studies. However, there is another body of work by religious writers such as Malón de Chaide, García Gómez de Cisneros, Alonso de Madrid, Luis de Granada, El Beato Orozco, Tomás de Villanueva and Ignatius of Loyola, to name a few. These writers describe the process of devotional reading, mental prayer, meditation, contemplation, and spiritual as well as ascetical exercises in a context which is more methodical in nature. The great mystics also contributed to this type of religious literature in several of their works. This type of methodical prayer and meditation began in the reform of monasteries such as San Benito in Valladolid and at Montserrat. It is at Montserrat that Ignatius of Loyola learned the type of methodical reading, exercises and meditation that led to the creation of his Spiritual Exercises. There are also lesser-known writers who wrote commentaries on the works of St. John of the Cross and others who followed the Ignatian method of prayer and meditation.
“[In this study,] Dr. DiSalvo presents for the reader a detailed analysis of the literature of Spanish Renaissance male and female authors whose spiritual exercises foster the development of the purgative and illuminative stages of a mystical union with God ... It is against [a] complicated background of Renaissance Spain that Dr. DiSalvo examines the devotional literature. The breadth of this research has produced a well-organized and comprehensive analysis of devotional literature. The manner in which [Dr. DiSalvo] has made available in one book the most important writings of Renaissance devotional literature is truly a noteworthy accomplishment.” – (from the Preface) Professor Michael J. McGrath, Georgia Southern University
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ISBN10: 0-7734-5850-6 ISBN13: 978-0-7734-5850-5