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The Complete Julian of Norwich (Paraclete Giants) [Paperback]

John Julian
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jun 2009 Paraclete Giants
The most engaging and complete collection available of this 14th century English mystic The Revelations of Julian of Norwich is the first book written in English by a woman in this case, by a 14th century recluse who recounts the poignant, subtle, and radical insights granted to her in sixteen visions of the crucified Christ as she lay on what was believed to be her deathbed. Julian's miraculous recovery from that illness then led to twenty more years of reflection and contemplation on those revelations and finally to her writing a detailed account of her mystical experience. Her work in the same Middle English as her contemporary Geoffrey Chaucer is dense, deeply intuitive, and theologically complex. The Complete Julian is the first book to offer a modern translation of all of Julian's writings (including her complete Revelations), a complete analysis of her work, as well as original historical, religious, and personal background material that helps the reader comprehend the depth and profundity of her life and work.

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The Complete Julian of Norwich (Paraclete Giants) + In Search of Julian of Norwich + Enfolded in Love: Daily Readings with Julian of Norwich
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Product details

  • Paperback: 490 pages
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press (MA) (1 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155725639X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557256393
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15.2 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 702,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good but spoilt for me in some ways 30 May 2010
Format:Paperback
This is a review of The Complete Julian of Norwich (Paraclete Giants) - A translation by Fr John Julian, OJN.

I do not want to detract from the very good review already made and any that may follow. On the whole this is a very good book. At the same time, lack of complete punctuation is making my reading a bit hard going, as I need to read some bits over again to understand them properly as opposed to in the sense of doing lectio Divina with them, which is otherwise most valuable.

I also regret the tendency for the writer to want to reflect some of the original quirks of style from the original texts, which tend to obscure some of the meaning for me, also sometimes needing the commentary on the left hand page to clarify things, which would otherwise not be needed. Although some of the words that he has chosen to stay with, once understood, do give a pleasant flavour of the original without detracting from the text. I would welcome a revision of his text to make it fully up to date in its expressions so that one is not so conscious of the antiquity of the original writing where it tends to reflect the original sentence structure and idioms etc. While academics would be quite happy with this tendency among translators of books like these, it would be helpful if they could use their abilities to make their editions much more readable to those who may perhaps not be so gifted as they are. I do realise that it is not easy and one has the problem of deciding between a more direct translation as opposed to a sense translation which ends up as more of a paraphrase, but surely a version that is more accessible to the non-academic that conveys the wisdom of the book much better should be a priority.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of riches 4 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a book full of riches - a translation of Julian of Norwich's wonderful work which captures her homely idiom, with loads of helpful explanatory notes and appendices. If you've read Julian of Norwich before, this will deepen your understanding; if you haven't yet discovered her, it gives a great way in to one of the treasures of Christian spirituality.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite edition of Julian of Norwich 29 Oct 2009
By Anne Rice - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have several different books on the great medieval mystic, Julian of Norwich, but this is by far my favorite for a number of reasons. First off, Fr. John-Julian has written remarkable material here about Julian's life, what we know of it, what we can't know, etc., and included vivid and detailed descriptions of the times in which Julian lived, and the type of anchorhold, or cell, in which Julian endured her years as an anchorite. I found all the information about medieval Norwich of great interest, including descriptions of the Black Death, and the floods that visited this part of England in the Middle Ages. In the Appendices, there was a wealth of information on things pertaining to Julian's references, all of it very well documented and presented. I enjoyed the article on St. John of Beverley in particular. Lastly, this handsome book has Julian's Revelations on the right hand page, and notes on the left hand page throughout, and this made it very easy for me to benefit from the author's excellent annotation. I wish more books adopted this type of organization. Quite a wonderful package. Highly recommended. I will be ordering more Paraclete Giant editions.
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best one yet 22 July 2009
By Michelle Jackson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Father John-Julian knows Julian of Norwich better than anyone else. He founded the order which takes her name and made the translation from Middle English that is contained in this book. His 'Complete Julian' has annotations for each chapter, as well as sections on related material, such as the Black Plague, and death rates in Norwich, the Bible translation she might have read, how an anchorite would have lived at that time, the historical situation of the church at this time, and above all else, her possible identity. Julian of Norwich's real identity is a mystery. Her book disappeared for 600 years. Her theology is radically modern, for a woman born in 1342; she was the first woman to write a book in English, and although her name is not known, Father John-Julian has a creditable theory of who she might have been.

When she was 30 years old, she became very ill and almost died. During her illness she received a series of visions, revelations of the love of God for humanity. Julian wrote that Jesus is our mother, and that there is no wrath in God, the wrath we see in God is actually our own that we are projecting onto God. She said that sin has no real substance, because God's will shall always prevail, that all shall be well. In a time when God was seen as a distant King on a heavenly throne, which corrupt human beings could never hope to approach, Julian said that God is our brother, our father, our mother, our savior and that there is a core of sanctity in each person which never consented to sin.

This book is indeed the most complete volume on Julian Norwich yet published ,and well worth reading. You will come away refreshed and hopeful
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How "All shall be well" even in these trying times 3 Aug 2009
By Muri B. Pugh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Yes, my 401(K)and investments for those future rainy days have tanked; but in this marvelous work on Julian's showings, I learned that her life was lived in times as tumultuous as our own and she was still able to remain at peace in her soul. Her secret to such profound serenity amidst bouts of the Black Plague and the possible deaths of her loved ones unfolds as she ponders God's love for each of us and for all of his creation.

I particularly found the introduction section on themes that are prevalent in Julian's writing and were important to the theologians of her day helpful. Most importantly for me, I could easily turn to the text notes which are very usefully placed on the page opposite the section of Julian's text where I needed them. I did not have to jot down the chapter and number of the note and then wander off to the end notes to try to find and remember what I was trying to discover. If I wanted to know more, I simply looked across the page to the notes! Fantastic! I could find out what was puzzling me and go on without losing my train of thought or my sense of what point Julian was making.

What a tremendously useful book this is!! I want a copy for the car for waiting in carpool lines, a bedside copy, and one to have in my prayer place. I have been waiting for this book for 600 years.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Julian's "Even Christians" will find The Complete Julian rewarding 19 Aug 2009
By Macrina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Julian of Norwich wrote for ordinary people, yet has a deep theological understanding of the Triune God. If you have ever had difficulty with this concept, this poet of the Trinity will be a welcome read. Fr. John-Julian's commentary is helpful as he writes, "One of Julian's greatest insights regarding the Trinity is its parallel manifestation in the nature of human beings". She writes that "our soul is a 'created trinity', like to the uncreated blessed Trinity".

Fr. John-Julian, OJN, has lived in the spirit of Mthr. Julian of Norwich for many years as a monk and solitary. He writes clearly and distinctly as seen in this comment of the following words of julian in chapter 10 when she writes, "the constant seeking of the soul pleases God very much, for the soul can do no more than seek, suffer and trust", Fr. John-Julian adds, "A succinct summary of the Holy Life."

"Julian of Norwich", writes Fr. John-Julian, "believes wholeheartedly in the basic goodness of human nature. She does not believe that human nature itself was contaminated by Original Sin". Amen

A joy to read.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very good book but spoilt in some ways 30 May 2010
By Templar Truth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a review of The Complete Julian of Norwich (Paraclete Giants) - A translation by Fr John Julian, OJN.

I do not want to detract from the very good reviews already made and any that may follow. On the whole this is a very good book. At the same time, lack of complete punctuation is making my reading a bit hard going, as I need to read some bits over again to understand them properly as opposed to in the sense of doing lectio Divina with them, which is otherwise most valuable.

I also regret the tendency for the writer to want to reflect some of the original quirks of style from the original texts, which tend to obscure some of the meaning for me, also sometimes needing the commentary on the left hand page to clarify things, which would otherwise not be needed. Although some of the words that he has chosen to stay with, once understood, do give a pleasant flavour of the original without detracting from the text. I would welcome a revision of his text to make it fully up to date in its expressions so that one is not so conscious of the antiquity of the original writing where it tends to reflect the original sentence structure and idioms etc. While academics would be quite happy with this tendency among translators of books like these, it would be helpful if they could use their abilities to make their editions much more readable to those who may perhaps not be so gifted as they are. I do realise that it is not easy and one has the problem of deciding between a more direct translation as opposed to a sense translation which ends up as more of a paraphrase, but surely a version that is more accessible to the non-academic that conveys the wisdom of the book much better should be a priority.

The writer's personal theological stance shows through where in one of his comments, he reflects that something Mother Julian says does not reflect the Roman Catholic idea current that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, should be proclaimed co-redemptrix. While I agree with him, although I understand where the RCC is coming from on this, I do not feel that this book is the place to make such comments as it detracts from the purpose of Mother Julian's writing and his interest in helping us to understand her better.

For those who might like to check the statements made by Mother Julian against the Bible, or gain more understanding of what she says in the light of it, I feel that it would be very useful if the editor could manage to cross reference more of the text with relevant Bible passages.

This book is quite bulky and a bit on the heavy side, which makes it a bit uncomfortable for reading in some circumstances. While the text is of a readable size, which was probably what the publishers wanted, and good, I still feel that without spoiling that, the publishers could have produced this book in a smaller more compact size, perhaps using lighter paper.

This translation is older than I realised, having been published before in Love's Trinity: A Companion to Julian of Norwich; Long Text with a Commentary and some might prefer that version, which also has a commentary by another writer. Apart from being minus the commentary Fr John-Julian has also published this text in A Lesson of Love: The Revelations of Julian of Norwich(unabridged). That edition is more suitable for devotional reading as the text is laid out more like poetry to help the sense of the writing come through better and readers might consider foregoing the commentary in order focus more on the text. Perhaps a future edition of this book could make use of the same poetic style of layout, even though it might tend to make the book a bit more bulky. Like this edition though, I feel that at a similar price it is expensive, as this one is, and being only slightly smaller, an opportunity of producing a lighter more pocketable version has most sadly been missed. If the only way of producing this and other books in a more handy size would be to use smaller text, then at least these days one can use reading glasses, as I do, and on balance, I would prefer that.

But for these views I would love to have rated this edition much higher, bearing in mind the time that Fr John-Julian must have taken in producing this book and for which I thank him.

An alternative translation of Revelations of Divine Love is The Revelation of Divine Love in Sixteen Showings Made to Dame Julian of Norwich (Triumph Classics). This is a more modern and more readable translation, by M L del Mastro, (which would also be wonderful in a smaller format, although it is thinner). Be careful of the reviews though, unfortunately Amazon has included a whole lot of reviews from other translations of Julian of Norwich, which give a misleading idea of the value of the del Masto's translation. (I do wish that Amazon would not do this kind of thing, which they also tend to do with the book previews).
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