Teresa Urrea: Mexican mystic, healer, and apocalyptic revolutionary

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This article is a study of the mystical and apocalyptic dimensions of Teresa Urrea. As explained in this article, Urrea's mystical experiences and visions are unique for their connection with a propheticapocalyptic and political worldview. This apocalyptic dimension is more than a communication of a hidden message or spiritual world; it also includes a reading of history that is catastrophic and discontinuous. The crisis and terror of history are given expression in Urrea's mystical and apocalyptic pronouncements. In particular, the chaotic and oppressive circumstances of Mexican society during the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz was confronted and denounced in Urrea's mystical and apocalyptic ministry. This apocalyptic healer castigated those culpable or even complicit with the injustices affecting the indigenous communities of Mexico during the late nineteenth century. In the case of Urrea, the transformation and healing of Church and society was an important aspect of her spiritual, healing powers. Because Urrea possessed neither arms nor the weapon of the pen, her sole weapon became her mystical experiences and the insight and healing powers that flowed from them. People of Mexico - especially indigenous groups - began to flock to her hoping that she would bring God's presence to the troubled and chaotic circumstances of their lives. Her compassion and tenderness for the afflicted as well as the apocalyptic expectations that she stirred up among the indigenous groups of Northern Mexico were enough to get this mystical-political Mexican mestiza exiled from her homeland.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-519
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Religion
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


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