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Julian of Norwich: Mystic and Theologian [Paperback]

Grace M. Jantzen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Nov 1987
Julian of Norwich, an anchoress of the fourteenth century has captured the imagination of our time in a remarkable way. She shares with her readers the deepest and most intimate experiences of her life through her writings, which are sustained reflections on the visions which appeared to her during a severe illness. Yet of her life and her world we know virtually nothing, not even how she came to be an anchoress. This detailed study of Julian attempts not only to penetrate her theological ideas but also bring to life her world and her life as an anchoress. This is a book not only for those who have a scholarly interest in Julian, but for anyone drawn to Christian mysticism and the place of women within that tradition. In the new introduction to this edition, Grace Jantzen explores what it might mean to be an anchoress in postmodernity, and how reflections on Julian of Norwich and her desire for God can enable us to become the space of divine transformation.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: SPCK Publishing; 1st Edition edition (12 Nov 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0281043221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281043224
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 329,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'An accessible yet sufficiently detailed introduction to many of the historical and theological issues that surround Julian and her writing.' --Anglican Theological Review

'Bridges the gap of centuries to bring spirituality to our time that is relevant and exciting.' --Spiritual Book Associates

'This is a book for anyone drawn to Christian mysticism and the role of women in that tradition.' --Catholic Women's Network --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Grace Jantzen, an internationally-renowned feminist philosopher of religion, was Professor of Religion, Culture and Gender at Manchester University from 1996 until her death from cancer 10 years later, at the age of 57. She wrote a number of books, including Becoming divine: towards a feminist philosophy of religion. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Julian of Norwich 2 Dec 2013
By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Julian of Norwich is probably the most famous of English anchoresses - born probably in 1342, she died some time after 1416. Little is known about her personal life, not even when she became an anchoress, but it seems from her writings and from the pace of her life that she must have been a learned and deeply philosophical and religious woman for most, if not all her life. We do not even know what her name was - it is likely she was known as Julian of Norwich after the church of which she was an anchoress.

What we know about her today is largely from words written about her by others (for example, Margery Kempe visited her), and from her writings - the Short text and Long text of her own writings, the Revelations of Divine Love. The Short text was probably written not long after her illness and visions, and the Long text may have been some years later, as it shows a maturity of style and deep consideration of the earlier writings. In these works, she tells how she had long sought to receive as gifts from God the gifts of contrition, compassion and true longing for God, if these were things that God willed for her to receive. When she was thirty, she became seriously ill and was though to be near death. At the point of death, she experienced "remarkably vivid visual and auditory phenomena" with corporeal and spiritual visions and understandings of Christ's teachings.

The book is broken into four main sections:
Part One: Background and biography
1. Julian in her Context
2. Education and Enclsoure
3. The Life of an Anchoress
Part Two: Julian's Spirituality
4. Julian's Prayers
5. Julian's Visions
Part Three: Julian's Theology of Integration
6. `Love was His Meaning': Julian's Theological Method
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars satisfied 10 Feb 2012
By bart
This book was bought as a gift for someone who had expressed their interest in reading it. I understand that they found it interesting.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey into the mind of a female mystic 28 Jan 2013
By GeneBales - Published on Amazon.com
Grace Jantzen's study of Julian of Norwich's written work is wonderful, but not for everyone I suspect. Julian has become famous these days for her language about Jesus as Mother--and Jantzen does explore well what Julian meant by that language, and why it is important to keep it mind in the discussion about deity and gender. But just as interesting is her lengthy discussion of Julian's preoccupation with suffering and its meaning. I had not expected such a lengthy and deep discussion, but it was very much worth the study. Julian kept always in mind that God was good--she did not focus on God as all-powerful or the like. She saw her suffering as one with Christ's suffering, and that in turn focused her attention away from the body toward sin. Her view of the body was surprisingly positive, and she changed her own self-image as well from negative to positive. There is much to be learned from Julian's texts, but no one could hope for a better guide through them than Grace Jantzen. For someone who wants to explore late medieval mysticism, there is a wonderful study and I recommend it very highly.
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