Archbishop Rowan Williams's study of Teresa of Avila exemplifies his own deep spiritual theology. Together with her contemporary and friend, St John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila stands at the highest point of Catholic spiritual writing in the troubled age of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. She is also one of the founding figures of modern Spanish literature. Her vivid descriptions of her experiences in prayer have long made her an object of intense interest to psychologists of religion. This book makes use of recent historical research on Teresa and her society and provides a full introduction to all her major works. It shows Teresa as more than just a chronicler of paranormal states of consciousness. She emerges as a genuine theologian in her own right, with a powerful contribution to make to contemporary understanding of God. Above all, Teresa is concerned with developing a model of Christian Life as friendship with God, a God who abandons status and dignity for the sake of human beings. In this book, Rowan Williams also shows how all Teresa's major writings concentrate on this incarnational theme. In the final chapter he argues that Christian mysticism is itself deeply misunderstood unless it is seen within an incarnational framework.