Wounds of Love: The Mystical Marriage of Saint Rose of Lima

Hardcover | September 13, 2007

byFrank Graziano

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The Peruvian mystic St. Rose of Lima (Isabel Flores y Oliva, 1586-1617) was canonized in 1671 as the first saint of the New World and remains the object of widespread devotion today. In this engrossing new study, Frank Graziano uses the example of St. Rose to explore the meaning of femalemysticism and the way in which saints are products of their cultures. Virginity, austerity, eucharistic devotion, incessant mortification, and mystical marriage to Christ characterized the devotional regimen that structured St. Rose's entire life. Many of her mystical practices echo the symptoms of such modern psychological disorders as masochism, depression,hysteria, and anorexia nervosa. Graziano offers a sophisticated argument not only for the origins and meaning of these behaviors in Rose's case, but also for the reason her culture venerated them as signs of sanctity. In the process he explores a wide range of themes, from the idea of suffering asan expression of love to the assimilation of childhood trauma through religious repetition. Graziano also offers a penetrating analysis of the politics of Rose's canonization. He finds that her mystical union with God--bypassing the institutional channels of sacrament and priestly mediation--was inherently subversive to the bureaucratized Church. Canonization was a cooptation by whichRose's competing claim to Christ was integrated into the Catholic canon. The book concludes with a fascinating exploration of mystical eroticism, with its intense experiences of vision and ecstasy. The eroticized suffering of many mystics is shown to be very human in origin: the mystic's wounded love is projected onto a God conceived to accommodate it. Wounds of Love is based on a decade of research in archives, rare books, and an extraordinary range of secondary sources. Introducing an innovative method that integrates history, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, and clinical psychology, this compelling work offers a bold new interpretation offemale mysticism.

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The Peruvian mystic St. Rose of Lima (Isabel Flores y Oliva, 1586-1617) was canonized in 1671 as the first saint of the New World and remains the object of widespread devotion today. In this engrossing new study, Frank Graziano uses the example of St. Rose to explore the meaning of femalemysticism and the way in which saints are produc...

Frank Graziano is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Hispanic Studies at Connecticut College. His previous books include Divine Violence: Spectacle, Psychosexuality, and Radical Christianity in the Argentine "Dirty War" (1992), The Lust of Seeing: Themes of the Gaze and Sexual Rituals in the Fiction of Felisberto Hernandez (1997), and...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 6.3 × 9.29 × 1.5 inPublished:September 13, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195136403

ISBN - 13:9780195136401

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"Among the many riches of this book is the vivid sense it gives of the encompassing spirituality in which many lived in the Hispanic world of Rose of Lima's time. In elucidating Rose's behavior and its reception by commoners, State, and Church, Graziano offers his reader a cornucopia oflearning ranging from the symbolism of classical times to recent psychology-a cornucopia made doubly attractive by the suppleness of his thought and litheness of his prose." --Peter J. Bakewell, Edmund and Louise Kahn Professor of History, Southern Methodist University