God Made Word: An Archaeology of Mystic Discourse in Early Modern Spain
Published: March 2022© 2022
336 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25 x 0.75 in
The Golden Age of Spanish mysticism has traditionally been read in terms of individual authors or theological traditions. God Made Word, however, considers early modern Spanish mysticism as a question of language and as a discourse that circulated in concrete social, institutional, and geographic spaces.
Proposing a new reading of early modern Spanish mysticism, God Made Word traces the struggles over the representation of interiorized spiritual union – the tension between making it known and conveying its unknowability – far beyond the usual canon of mystic literature. Dale Shuger combines a study of genres that have traditionally been the object of literary study, including poetry, theatre, and autobiography, with a language-based analysis of other areas that have largely been studied by historians and theologians. Arguing that these generic separations grew out of an increasing preoccupation with the cultivation and control of interiorized spirituality, God Made Word shows that by tracing certain mystic representations we come to understand the emergence of different discursive rules and expectations for a wide range of representations of the ineffable.
1. Prayer Manuals
2. Mystic Poetry
3. Spiritual Autobiography
4. Mysticism before the Inquisition
5. Mysticism on Stage
6. The Missionary Impulse
"God Made Word is a tour de force of the transformations of mystical discourse. Dale Shuger’s scholarship is impeccable and her analysis is innovative and convincing. This book will be essential for students of early modern Spanish religious history."Darcy Donahue, Professor Emerita of Spanish, Miami University
"God Made Word considers mystical discourse in early modern Spain, examining its major genres and identifying a connection between the difficulty of articulating profound inner experience and the cultural developments of El Siglo de Oro. It is a lucid and penetrating examination of Spanish mysticism through a Foucauldian lens and represents a major piece of new scholarship."Jon Balserak, Senior Lecturer in Early Modern Religion, University of Bristol