This gallery features images of Bernini's 'Ecstasy of Saint Theresa' sculpture.
Like many other Christian saints, St. Theresa of Avila's experience is at odds with the dry,
official Church theology. Of Saint Theresa (sometimes 'Teresa'), philosopher William James said,
"Her idea of religion seems to have been that of an endless amatory flirtation...between the devotee and the deity."
Bernini's rennaissance sculpture portrays this even better than words.
The expression on Theresa's face makes clear the close connection between orgasm and rapture.
To learn more about the similarities between sacred sex experience and that of Christian mystics & saints, visit the
Sacred Sex Tradition Forum in our Learning Center.
[The figure above Theresa is Cupid, with arrows of love.]