ABSTRACT

The Chastising of God's Children is a devotional compilation written for a religious sister to help her deal with the afflictions common to the advanced contemplative life. The article investigates female agency in the text. It discusses how the religious sister is addressed by the compiler and how the text uses female role models. It argues that female agency and the sister's empowerment do not derive from the female role models she is given but, rather, from the instruction she receives. The article shows that the compiler's focus is on the transmission of knowledge that enables the female reader to arrive at in-depth understanding of the causes and advantages of temptations and specific and general remedies for them. The religious sister is given tools that enable her to practice discernment of spirits, so that she can judge her own and other people's spiritual experiences as given by God or the devil.

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