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Covering Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Mechtild of Magdeburg, Julian of Norwich, Hildegard of Bingen, and Clare of Assisi, in Ecstasy: A Devotional Guide to the Female Mystics Vanessa Irena introduces you to the lives and works of these remarkable women and to their transgressive, bodily, and erotic explorations of the divine.


The female mystics were a group of Christian visionaries who lived during the high Middle Ages. Around this period, women began to take a more active role in theological writing and their religious lives became more visible. Denied access to engagement in scriptural interpretation and philosophical studies, these women sought direct communion with God through their own bodies—through the practices of extreme asceticism, meditation, prayer, and the recreation of the sufferings of Christ within their own flesh. The visions they experienced during their numerous ecstasies granted them spiritual authority at a time when women had little, and their contributions to the mystical tradition are immense and undeniable.

Ecstasy: A Devotional Guide to the Female Mystics

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