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book reviews347 through the volume, surrounded by others that put it in large context, an indication ofhow radically historical studies have shifted in the past fifty years from the great-men approach. Some issues recur throughout the volume. Politicians looked upon poverty, or on the problems it entailed, as a threat to public order. Even as they tried to aUeviate its miseries and spoke the language of Christian charity, they had their eyes on sustaining the political and economic status quo. Nonetheless, the religious image of feeding Christ by feeding the poor propelled many of the initiatives . These Uiitiatives were remarkable in their variety and, often, in their flexibiUty and effective response to concrete situations. They were interested in charity and mercy, not justice. They were "medieval"; they were "modern." Even as they flourished they bit by bit lost or unwittingly surrendered ground to centralizing bureaucracies, thus becoming even more "modern." John W. O'Malley, SJ. WestonJesuit School ofTheology Teresa von Avila. Humanität und Glaubensleben. By Jutta Burggraf. (Paderborn : Ferdinand Schöningh Verlag. 1996. Pp. 510. DM 88,-.) The author of this extraordinary book—"Teresa of Avila—Humanness and the LUe of Faith"—has invested all of her erudition and experience in examining the IUe and spirituality of the Carmelite foundress with particular emphasis on her human qualities and the interaction between her personality and her deep faith. In her introduction, Burggraf states that the human being has an innate dignity due, she says, to our theomorphic dimension. That we are created in the image of God may be indemonstrable, but it can be clearly discerned when the human being engages in loving relationship with other human beings . God is love, and so when man or woman acts out of love, the God-image is most perceptible. This acting out of love—humanitas as a concept—appears in the later books of the Old Testament but more so in the New Testament. The more one is like God, the more one is truly human. A concept gains credibUity when it is studied through the human relationship of a celebrated person especiaUy as expressed in word and action. In Teresa ofAvila we have that famiUar person who has a reputation for extensive relationships in which her faith and her love interact . Her human foibles or faUings are not ignored, nor are they exaggerated. Attention is paid to the positive attitude of the saint for human values and the development of the personality. To treat Teresa justly one has to honor her individual humanness to which belong limits and weaknesses as weU as strength and finally, the victory of divine grace. Burggraf examines first what Teresa means to say and recount when setting up her "way of perfection" and, second, what she inadvertently reveals of her 348book reviews personality in dealing with contemporaries while herseU walking that "way." She investigates in Part I Teresa's outstanding talents and basic principles. Part II looks at the external factors which influenced her humanitas, the historical milieu, culture, society, and the church politics of her country and tune. Part III estabUshes how and why Teresa can be called a "singular phenomenon" in that she practiced what she preached. Did she truly motivate others to draw nearer to God? How did she manUest her personality in concern for the Reform and in her leadership of the monasteries she founded? Part IV explores the relationship between Teresa's humanness and Christ's humanitas. This touches on her relationship with God, on the uniqueness of Teresa's mysticism and theology which resulted in a powerful missionary zeal. Lastly, the summary in Part V demonstrates the specific contribution Teresa's life as witness has made toward estabUshing the identity of a Christian and indirectly the identity of a Christian theologian. In 510 pages, the book Uves up to the expectations it raises. One is startled at seeing a six-page Ust of abbreviations plus 2,581 footnotes, and a bibliography of 926 books and articles. Whatever has appeared about Teresa ofAvUa in EngUsh , French, German, Latin, and Spanish seems to be included. This veritable Teresian encyclopedia would be an asset to every Carmelite library, and each province should...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 347-348
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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