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The Way of Perfection (Image Classics) Paperback – June 15, 1991


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The Way of Perfection (Image Classics) + The Interior Castle Study Edition + Interior Castle (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Series: Image Classics
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Image; Reissue edition (June 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385065396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385065399
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #761,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The author was a Spanish Carmelite nun in the 16th century. Though designed primarily for others in her order, her guidelines for achieving a deeper sense of spirituality can be followed by anyone, although a good portion of her rules involve a more monastic lifestyle. Though few will go that far, she also provides her personal insights about using prayer to perfect one's relationship with God. The text of this edition has been slightly modernized by former LJ religion columnist Henry Carrigan.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

" . . . the editor succeeds in presenting Teresa's teachings with clarity and grace. Modern readers will welcome this accessible new edition." --Cathleen Medwick, author of Teresa of Avila: The Progress of a Soul --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It is presented in an understandable manor and an easy read, and yet is so rich.
Sunnie718
It can be tiresome to constantly refer to footnotes, but a straight read-through is very enjoyable.
John
I enjoy this book and have gained spiritual strength from the lessons it teaches.
catherine guelph

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 72 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
The Way of Perfection is one of St. Teresa of Avila's great books, in which she discusses the nature of the path to God (perfecting oneself) and offers advice and spiritual insights about this. As with all of her writings, this book is remarkable because St. Teresa was a mystic who had close and ongoing communion with God on a level few ever reach, that is rare. She was also charming, funny, and delightful - so reading her is a joy. Highly recommended.
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80 of 82 people found the following review helpful By The Good Crone on October 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
OK, let's say you have made a beginning on the way of prayer, and you have been looking for good sources to read. You have heard a lot about St. Teresa of Avila. After all, she was one of the first women ever named a Doctor (in the Latin meaning of "teacher") of the Church. But lo and behold, you have found her Life puzzling and The Interior Castle just about impossible to understand.
Then this is the place to start. Yes, Teresa was writing 400 and more years ago, and her audience was cloistered contemplative nuns. But this was written almost like a letter. The personal tone gives it great charm and readability. Very little of it is hard to understand, and almost all of it can be applied to our lives here and now.
My only difficulty with Peers' translation is the huge number of footnotes. They would be invaluable to a scholar, but I can never keep myself from looking at them, and they are not really necessary or even helpful when your desire is to learn the spiritual wisdom of one of our greatest saints. I love her and love this book, and highly recommend it.
review by Janet Knori, author of Awakening in God
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By John on March 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
St. Teresa of Avila lived nearly four hundred years ago. Her work, The Way of Perfection, comes very soon after the completion of her autobiography. The way of which she speaks is a life of prayer. The book is addressed to the nuns of whom she is prioress. It is mainly intended for their use, but it is riddled with introspective knowledge on a prayer-filled relationship with God. This book is undoubtedly a work deeply rooted in Catholicism. However, Teresa's own intimate relationship with the Father is one to be marveled by all Christians. She begins her work by laying out the requirements to begin a prayerful life: aesthetic poverty, perfect love, and self-mortification. She follows with a discussion on the contemplative life and vocal and mental prayer. She meticulously dissects the Lord's Prayer and gives her nuns guidance in praying through the Paternoster. She intends to do the same with the Ave Maria but reconciles to let it alone for lack of space.
There are two versions of The Way of Perfection: the Escorial version and the Valladolid version. The Escorial version was written first and is directed uniquely toward the nuns of Avila. The edition above comes from the Valladolid text. It is a more formal manuscript intended for a larger audience. The translator and editor E. Allison Peers does a wonderful job of footnoting the differences between the two versions and inserting italicized sections from the Escorial text. The reader is given a feel for both versions in one book. It can be tiresome to constantly refer to footnotes, but a straight read-through is very enjoyable. It is nice to know the footnotes are there for any academic study. Teresa often meanders from her main point and talks at length about issues that her writing leads her to discuss.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By CJ on November 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Written over four centuries ago as a guide for the daughters and sisters belonging to the Carmelite Order, this instructional-type book discusses the attributes of a prayerful life and the nature of the path (growth in wholeness, holiness, and maturity) toward communion with God. Beginning with the premise that the foundation of the path toward God is based on three essential principles of a prayer-filled life; detachment from earthly things, true humility, and active love, Teresa of Avila instructs in the methods and discipline required in attaining these virtues through her insightful, astute, and sometimes witty commentaries. Her guidance and directives for attaining spiritual perfection, woven into the tapestry of her writing, are filled with her passion for teaching others how to attain a deep and lasting love of prayer. More than just a guidebook to prayer or rules for the daughters and sisters of the Carmelite Order, The Way of Perfection imparts to the reader advice for building a spiritual relationship with God. Teresa of Avila's counsel, spiritual insights, and directives gain relevancy and become tangible through her profound commentaries on the Paternoster. Most remarkable are her mystical experiences and how she conveys to the reader, through relating these experiences, what can be considered a view into the depth and breath of God's infinite love. Albeit that her communion with God (and mystical experiences) is a level that few ever reach, St Teresa of Avila does not focus on the "effects" - but rather the importance of using prayer and striving for the aforementioned virtues for obtaining a close and ongoing relationship with God that is just as pertinent today as it was to those of the monastic or cloistered life in 16th century Spain. This book is more than just a "classic"; it is a timeless masterpiece that offers a perpetual perspective on prayer and spirituality towards ongoing communion and ultimate union with God.
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