Fortress Press

Enkindling Love: The Legacy of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross

Enkindling Love

The Legacy of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross

Gillian T. W. Ahlgren (Author)

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Enkindling Love chronicles the journey toward a living partnership with God, as articulated by two of Christianity's great mystical teachers. Excerpts from the seven dwelling places of Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle are held together with selections from John of the Cross’s Dark Night of the Soul, Spiritual Canticle, and The Living Flame of Love, in order to show stages of growth and transformation. The book chronicles our partnership with God as we accept the divine invitation to deepening friendship and intimacy and begin to live in the full fruition of the mystical life. Moving through the process via textual passages and commentary, readers are invited to consider how the love of God actively invites us into deeper relationship not only with God but also with self and other. Because Teresa and John experienced God’s love as a transforming power, they teach that it is a participatory reality that shapes and remakes us, even as it invites us to collaborate with God in the remaking of our world.
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  • ISBN 9781506405599
  • Format Paperback
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 194
  • Publication Date May 1, 2016


Review on Reading Religion


"Gillian Ahlgren offers a valuable guide for reading selected texts from both Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle and John of the Cross's major works. Her careful choices and explanatory interpretations throughout the book emphasize the central theme these two eminent mystical theologians accent in their writings: a transformative love, a profound union with God that awakens love far beyond the boundaries of the individual self. Bookended between a comprehensive introduction influenced by much of the latest historical, literary, and theological scholarship related to the Carmelite Saints and a final erudite chapter tracing the complicated reception history of their legacy, Enkindling Love illumines a pathway into some of the most remarkable contemplative writings of Christianity. It offers to readers the transformative energy these works of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross convey."

Constance FitzGerald, OCD | Baltimore Carmel Monastery

"Readers familiar with Gillian Ahlgren's earlier writing on Teresa of Avila have come to expect first-rate scholarship coupled with profound personal insight. Enkindling Love lives up to the author’s high standards. Ahlgren's new book not only deepens our understanding of two of Spain's greatest mystics, but also guides us toward a more intimate, authentic relationship with God."

Barbara Mujica | Georgetown University