Article: Friendship with Teresa of Avila: Spiritual Companionship Across Time and Space, by Tara K. Soughers

Great clouds of witnesses… messengers along the journey…

Christian Spirituality Studies

Published in the Fall 2014 issue of Spiritus (v. 14, n. 2, pp. 166-186), Tara Sougher’s article explores how academic study of a spiritual writer’s works can lead to a personal relationship with the author. An earlier version of this article was awarded the 2012 Founders’ Circle Award by the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality and was presented at its Annual Meeting. Here is the article’s abstract:

What might it mean to describe a historical figure—a saint —as a spiritual companion? Although spiritual companionship with contemporaries has been well described, analogous relationships with the saints have not been. Separated by time and space from contemporary Christians, saints may seem to be unlikely spiritual companions for Christians today. Yet, saints and other historical figures often continue to influence those still living, providing a continuing relationship across the ages, a relationship theologically supported by the doctrine of the communion of saints…

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