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Conference Santa Teresa: Her Writings and Writings about Her

Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa

This conference will take place from October 22 to 24 and is organized by Iris Roebling (Fellow of the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung 2014-16) in cooperation with the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung and the Dahlem Humanities Center of Freie Universität Berlin.


22. OCTOBER 2015

14.15-14:30 Iris Roebling-Grau (Berlin): Introduction

Santa Teresa and Her Time

14.30-15.15 Jodi Bilinkoff (Greensboro): Teresa of Ávila as Reader, Writer, and Inspirer of Books
15.15-16.00 Gerold Necker (Halle): The Language of Love and Pain: Envisioning Kabbalah in Teresa of Ávila’s Mystical Poetry
16.00-16.30 Coffee Break


Mariano Delgado (Fribourg): Santa Teresa and Martin Luther


Iris Roebling-Grau (Berlin): The Text as Mirror: The Book of My Life and the Vita Christi

23. OCTOBER 2015
Aesthetic Aspects

09.00-09.45 Juan Antonio Marcos OCD (Madrid): Teresa de Jesús: The Power of the Words (Life 38,23)
09.45-10.30 Alison Weber (Charlottesville): The Languages of Friendship
10.30-11-00 Coffee Break
11.00-11.45 Michael Plattig OCarm (Münster): The ‘Discernment of Spirits’

Torsten Passie (Boston/Hannover): On the Psychophysiology of Ecstatic States


Lunch Break
Reception I
15.00-15.45 Bernhard Teuber (München): Madame Guyon as a Reader of Saint Teresa
15.45-16.30 Amy Hollywood (Cambridge): French Feminism and Teresa of Ávila
16.30-17.15 Mary Richards (London): Marina Abramović’s The Kitchen: Homage to Saint Therese
17.15-19.00 Break

Public Lecture in Spanish: Alicia Dujovne Ortiz (Author of Un corazón tan recio): Letras del cielo

24. OCTOBER 2015
Reception II
9.30-10.15 Jutta Weiser (Mannheim): Illness Narrative, Hysteria, and Sainthood: Santa Teresa as a Case Study in Nineteenth Century Spanish Psychiatry and Literature  (La Regenta and El Cura)

Martin Baxmeyer (Münster): La Santa de la Raza, la Santa de la Revolución? The Political Instrumentalization of the Myth of Santa Teresa during the Spanish Civil War and the Dictatorship of Franco

11.00-11.45 Martina Bengert (München): A Question of Reference, Construction and Composition: The City of Santa Teresa in Roberto Bolaño’s 2666
11.45-12.30 Final Discussion

Among the saints of the Catholic Church, Teresa of Ávila seems to stand out, not only because she was one of the first two women to be named a Doctor of the Church, but also because she has become well-known in areas outside of the religious, spiritual domain. This process, which was initiated during the 17th century, is ongoing today, and has lead to many different and even contradictory images of the ‘Saint of Ávila’. But there seems to be a paradox at work. When Teresa writes about something that is considered to be exceptionally personal, even mystical – her hidden soul and its dialogue with God – many readers are able to relate to this private portrait of an inner spirituality. During the conference, this paradox will be examined through the comparison of Theresa's writings with relevant aspects of their later reception.


Dr. Martin Baxmeyer (Münster), Dr. Martina Bengert (München), Prof. Dr. Jodi Bilinkoff (Greensboro), Prof. Dr. Juan Antonio Marcos OCD (Madrid), Prof. Dr. Mariano Delgado (Fribourg), Prof. Dr. Amy Hollywood (Cambridge), Prof. Dr. Bernhard Teuber (München), Prof. Dr. Gerold Necker (Halle), Alicia Dujovne Ortiz (Toulouse), Prof. Dr. Torsten Passie (Hannover/Boston), Prof. Dr. Michael Plattig OCarm (Münster), Mary Richards(London), Dr. Iris Roebling-Grau (Berlin), Prof. Dr. Alison Weber (Charlottesville), PD Dr. Jutta Weiser (Mannheim).

In cooperation with: Fritz Thyssen Stiftung