Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Teresa of Avila

  • Ann M. RothschildEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_608

St. Teresa was born on March 28, 1515, in Avila, Spain. She joined the contemplative Carmelite order, taking the habit on November 2, 1535. She founded her first monastery, St. Joseph, in Avila, in 1562. She then founded 17 convents, all smaller and simpler and with more discipline than the traditional ones of her times.

Teresa is best known for her three main works. The first was her autobiography, The Life of Teresa of Jesus, written when she was in her 40s and completed in 1565. The Way of Perfection was written a year later in 1566. Finally, near the end of her life, in 1577, when she was 62 years old, she completed The Interior Castle, a work she considered a masterpiece, her best work. She died on October 4, 1582. She was canonized in 1622. In 1970 Pope Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church.

St. Teresa suffered from serious illnesses. She was bedridden for years. She had emotional issues as well. From the beginning of her religious life, she faced enormous physical and...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New YorkUSA