I endorsed an excellent new book by Dr. Theresa Yugar, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Feminist Reconstruction of Biography and Text.
Dr. Rosemary Radford Ruether wrote a wonderful Foreword to the book.
Below is an excerpt from Amazon.com.
In Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Feminist Reconstruction of Biography and Text, Yugar invites you to accompany Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a seventeenth-century protofeminist and ecofeminist, on her lifelong journey within three communities of women in the Americas. Sor Juana’s goal was to reconcile inequalities between men and women in central Mexico and between the Spaniards and the indigenous Nahua population of New Spain. Yugar reconstructs a her-story narrative through analysis of two primary texts Sor Juana wrote en sus propias palabras (in her own words), El Sueño (The Dream) and La Respuesta (The Answer).
Yugar creates a historically-based narrative in which Sor Juana’s sueño of a more just world becomes a living nightmare haunted by misogyny in the form of the church, the Spanish Tribunal, Jesuits, and more-all seeking her destruction. In the process, Sor Juana “hoists [them] with their own petard” In seventeenth-century colonial Mexico, just as her Latina sisters in the Americas are doing today, Sor Juana used her pluma (pen) to create counternarratives in which the wisdom of women and the Nahua inform her sueño of a more just world for all.
”Theresa Ann Yugar’s book elaborates the importance of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the foremost seventeenth-century protofeminist and ecofeminist in the Americas. Yugar’s work on Sor Juana as the foundational figure for Latina feminism and ecofeminism in the Americas deserves wide recognition and reading. I highly recommend it.”
–Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA
”Theresa Yugar’s imaginative reconstruction of the life of Sor Juana de la Cruz locates the seventeenth-century scholar within the framework of liberation theology and ecofeminism. She demonstrates the ways that communities of women with whom the writer lived influenced Sor Juana’s thinking about patriarchy and hierarchy. Further, she shows how natural disasters shaped the nun’s views about the environment. Yugar therefore enlarges and expands our understanding of the significance of Sor Juana de la Cruz, taking scholarly considerations of this figure in new directions.”
–Rebecca Moore, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
”Theresa Yugar has written a refreshing book on a feminist theology that places Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz at the headwaters of Latina feminism and ecofeminism. In shedding new light on this important figure who lived and wrote in seventeenth-century colonial New Spain, Yugar uses her own feminist eyes to clear away patriarchal preconceptions about Sor Juana. Yugar is a promising, rising feminist scholar whose new book is characterized by thorough research, enticing writing, and delightful presentation.”
–Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
”Like many bold women, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz can be interpreted as ‘ahead of her time.’ Theresa Yugar clearly shows that Sor Juana–in her intelligence, wit, and candor–occupies her unique historical moment and social location, yet she relates directly to contemporary feminist and ecofeminist concerns. Yugar’s book is a good read for anyone interested in Mesoamerican and colonial history, women’s studies in religion, and Catholic feminism.”
–Sarah Robinson, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA
”Yugar offers a contemporary feminist reconstruction of the thought of Latin America’s most famous woman intellectual, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. In a new interpretation that will be inspirational to many readers, Yugar’s Sor Juana is a fiery critic of the church magisterium and a visionary who dreamed of a civilization that valued indigenous peoples.”
–Jennifer Scheper Hughes, University of California, Riverside, CA –Wipf and Stock Publishers
About the Author
Theresa A. Yugar is an alumna of Claremont Graduate University and Harvard Divinity School in the discipline of Women’s Studies in Religion. As a Latina feminist liberation theologian, she created a Latina feminist paradigm as a model of an inclusive twenty-first-century ecclesiology. Her research interests include gender and colonial Latin American history and creating biocentric curricula using pre-Columbian Mesoamerican principles.