Focusing on the lives of five women mystics, the great theologian and spiritual writer Louis Bouyer shows that, contrary to the modern idea that the supposed inferiority of women is an inheritance from Christianity, women have played a fundamental role in the Church. If the Church was able to pass beyond the collapse of medieval Scholasticism and the errors of the Renaissance, it was especially due to a succession of exceptional feminine personalities.
Bouyer establishes this by studying those whose influence and sustained tradition have been decisive in working an interior renaissance which the Church has need of today as yesterday. He concentrates on Hadewijch of Antwerp, Teresa of Avila, Thérèse of Lisieux, Elizabeth of the Trinity, and Edith Stein, showing the striking, ever-creative continuity from one to the other. He portrays how the prayer and interior life of each of these women has led modern Christians from idle speculations to the reality of the Christian experience in its purity and fecundity.