If we accept claims of her Jewish ancestry and her personal divine revelations, Saint Teresa de Ávila had plenty to conceal from a dominant Church. In Libro de la vida, the methods she uses to avoid any threat to her orthodox status within the Roman Catholic Church are
many and varied, exemplified by the chapter in which she defines and describes her possibly heretical rapture (arrobamiento). Borrowing two epistemological terms from the philosopher Richard Rorty, we can trace those moments where Saint Teresa employs 'conversational justification'
of belief in her status as a non-heretic contrasted with those where she uses first-person claims of an 'epistemological justification'. Saint Teresa manages to assimilate into conversation what would otherwise be a personal statement; she shifts the privileged representation of rapture from
her own account to the readers' shared understanding.
Journal of Romance Studies promotes innovative critical work in the areas of linguistics, literature, performing and visual arts, media, material culture, intellectual and cultural history, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, gender studies, social sciences, and anthropology. The primary focus is on those parts of the world that speak, or have spoken, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, but work on other cultures may be included. Issues cross national and disciplinary boundaries in order to stimulate new ways of thinking about cultural history and practice.