Women Mystics in a Male‐Dominated Culture

Stephen Haliczer

in Between Exaltation and Infamy

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195148633
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199869923 | DOI:
Women Mystics in a Male‐Dominated Culture

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Concerned that educated women would threaten male authority in religion and politics, a misogynous culture of male domination emerged to subordinate and restrict women's lives. Still concerned with potential heterodox threats, the church found itself in the paradoxical position of needing to enforce a conservative orthodoxy while at the same time not wanting to alienate those followers of popular religious trends who were also devoutly Catholic. As such, many women mystics who were prominent in popular movements were supported and even canonized. The spiritual piety of these women achieved greater and greater recognition and their writings flourished. Many, however, were wholly dependent upon their male spiritual advisors who had the power to determine their success or failure as mystics.

Keywords: canonized; Inquisition; misogynous; mujer varonil; mystics; popular religious trends; spiritual advisors; St Teresa de Avila

Chapter.  17726 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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