Thérèse mon amour: Julia Kristeva’s St. Teresa of Avila

Feminist Theology 24 (2):156-170 (2016)
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This essay reads Julia Kristeva’s ‘novel-essay’ on St. Teresa of Avila, Thérèse mon amour, as a form of relationship to literature we can also see suggested, though not theorized, in Kristeva’s critical thought. Thérèse mon amour performs feats of interpretation and intimacy with St. Teresa’s writing that rehearse key tenets of her theology, but that also revive and re-open questions at the heart of Kristeva’s theoretical matrix, questions of narcissism and love, metaphor and language. The essay traces these questions in Kristeva’s oeuvre, proposing that Thérèse mon amour exposes unexpected affinities between a Kristevan ethics of relationship and the radical dilemma of faith in St. Teresa. The two are united, I suggest, by the fraught project of writing love.



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