In this extensively researched exploration of a selection of Catholic women saints, Espín, (emer., San Diego State Univ. and emer., Alliant International Univ.) considers how these women accepted and deviated from their specific patriarchal cultural contexts. After a chapter describing the Catholic Church's process for canonizing saints, Espín considers Joan of Arc and Catherine of Siena as political subversives. She then discusses how the hagiography of the anorexic ascetics Rose of Lima and Mariana Paredes influenced colonial South America. Following the report on Teresa of Avila and a masterful discussion of Edith Stein as mystics of political resistance, she considers the pain and psychological distress of Thérèse of Lisieux. Her reflection regarding women proclaimed Doctors of the Church—Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, Thérèse of Lisieux, and Hildegard of Bingen—clearly recognizes that this honor is a pretense of equality bestowed by an institution that enforces inequality. The author concludes with brief sketches of North American women saints Frances Xavier Cabrini, Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, Katherine Drexel, and Kateri Tekakwitha, and she identifies Henriette Delille, Mary Elizabeth Lange, Julia Greely, and Thea Bowman as African American women for whom a “cause for canonization” has been opened. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers through graduate students.
11/2020 - WATER (Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual) featured these titles in their November 2020 “What We’re Reading” resource roundup. Link:https://www.waterwomensalliance.org/what-were-reading/