The life and work of Teresa of Ávila illuminates God’s Word in a way that fosters unity in the body of Christ. Although the wounds of disunity exist in modern Christianity, Elizabeth Newman eloquently argues that the influence of saints such as Teresa will help Christians of all denominations to look upon one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Newman explains that God heals the Church by providing saints from across time and space as gifts for the whole Church regardless of the denomination or time of life of the saint in question. It is Newman’s conviction that saints are potential sources of unity and of shared storytelling, and that they serve as ecumenical luminaries, providing a way to move forward in our call to unity. In this light, Newman examines the life of Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582), and the unique ways in which Teresa’s embodiment and understanding of the Word aspires to unity. She explores Teresa’s perceptions and narratives about key providential patterns grounded in Scripture that give form to the Church in ways that extend Christ’s body in the world.
Attending to the Wounds on Christ’s Body is a valuable reclamation of the lives of saints for Christians of any denomination, and pursues the praiseworthy aim of Christian unity through the study of the unique life of Teresa of Ávila and men and women like her.
About the Author
Elizabeth Newman is Professor of Theology and Ethics at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. She is the author of Untamed Hospitality: Welcoming God and Other Strangers (2007).
1. How to Read Teresa after Modernity
2. The Politics of Teresa’s Dwellings
3. Divine Marriage and an Economics of Abundance
4. On Pilgrimage: a Unity both Visible and Hidden
5. Teresa as a Saint for Unity
6. Ecclesial Practices as Dwelling Places
Endorsements and Reviews
This is a wonderfully informative book about Teresa of Avila, but it is also much more. Newman reflects on Teresa’s central images, dwellings, marriage, and pilgrimage to challenge modern Christians to reconsider their understandings of such things as time, abundance, place, politics, and economics. Such work helps us better inhabit a divided church, to repent of wounding her, and to imagine and pray for her healing. It is hard to conceive of more important theological work.
Stephen Fowl, Chair of the Department of Theology, Loyola College
… the vision of politics, economics and church unity presented here has much to commend it … it is welcome to see Newman’s clear demonstration of how Teresa draws deep on Scripture to provide a prayerful vision of life with Christ …
Sam Hole, Westcott House, in Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol 21, Issue 2
Attending to the Wounds on Christ’s Body: Teresa’s Scriptural Vision, explores how the saint, declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI, can help to build up the Church today across divisions and towards a greater understanding of the Body of Christ as a unified whole.
Church Times, 22 January 2016