Modern Carmelite nuns and contemplative identities

Shaping spirituality in the Netherlands

Brian Heffernan
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Discalced Carmelite convents are among the most influential wellsprings of female spirituality in the Catholic tradition, as the names of Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux and Edith Stein attest. Behind these ‘great Carmelites’ stood communities of women who developed discourses on their relationship with God and their identity as a spiritual elite in the church and society. This book looks at these discourses as formulated by Carmelites in the Netherlands, from their arrival there in 1872 up to the recent past, providing an in-depth case study of the spiritualities of modern women contemplatives. The female religious life was a transnational phenomenon, and the book draws on sources and scholarship in English, Dutch, French and German to provide insights into gendered spirituality, memory and the post-conciliar renewal of the religious life.

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