Fall 2017 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for fall 2017 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

The Guitar of God
Gender, Power, and Authority in the Visionary World of Mother Juana de la Cruz, 1481-1534

Ronald E. Surtz

192 pages | 6 x 9
Cloth 1990 | ISBN 9780812282252 | $79.95 | €69.95 | Buy from De Gruyter
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512808162 | $79.95 | €69.95 | Buy from De Gruyter
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

Until recently, Spanish literary historiography has virtually ignored hundreds of women who wrote between 1500 and 1700. Most of them wrote to record, defend, and disseminate their spiritual visions, for despite the general disempowerment of Spanish women, female visionaries enjoyed considerable authority.

This book recovers and examines the visionary experiences of Mother Juana de la Cruz, the most famous of these women during her lifetime and for two centuries afterwards. Born of peasant stock, she became abbess of a Franciscan convent and a mystic who was visited not only by Cardinal Cisneros, but by Emperor Charles V himself. Ronald E. Surtz places Mother Juana's visions in the religious and social context of the age and discusses such pertinent biographical elements as the nun's own androgyny. His focus is on the questions of gender, power, and authority, so pertinent to our own age.

The Guitar of God will be of particular interest to scholars and students of late medieval Spanish culture, religion, and history, and women's studies.

Ronald E. Surtz is Professor in Spanish at Princeton University and the author of Writing Women in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain: The Mothers of Saint Teresa of Avila, also published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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