Gillian AhlgrenGillian T. W. Ahlgren is internationally recognized as one of the leading scholars of Teresa of Avila.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where she studied under Bernard McGinn and spent several years doing archival work in Spain to support the writing of her dissertation.  She is Professor of Theology and Church History at Xavier University (Cincinnati), where she teaches courses in the Christian mystical tradition and is the Founding Director of the Institute for Spirituality and Social Justice.

Her first book, Teresa of Avila and the Politics of Sanctity (Cornell University Press, 1996), was praised for the depth and energy of its research and its thorough analysis of the theological and political issues of sixteenth-century Spain.  Her study of Francisca de los Apóstoles, a contemporary of Teresa’s who was condemned by the Spanish Inquisition for alumbradismo (“false mysticism”), received the 2006 award for Best Translation from the Society for the Research of Early Modern Women.  Her Entering Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle: A Reader’s Companion is considered a definitive work for understanding Teresa’s core mystical text.

In Enkindling Love: The Legacy of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, she highlights the fruits of Teresa and John’s collaboration, exploring the insights of two of history’s greatest mystical teachers.

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