Julian of Norwich, Theologian

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Yale University Press, Apr 26, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
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For centuries readers have comfortably accepted Julian of Norwich as simply a mystic. In this astute book, Denys Turner offers a new interpretation of Julian and the significance of her work. Turner argues that this fourteenth-century thinker's sophisticated approach to theological questions places her legitimately within the pantheon of other great medieval theologians, including Thomas Aquinas, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Bonaventure.

Julian wrote but one work in two versions, a Short d104 recording the series of visions of Jesus Christ she experienced while suffering a near-fatal illness, and a much expanded Long d104 exploring the theological meaning of the "showings" some twenty years later. Turner addresses the apparent conflict between the two sources of Julian's theology: on the one hand, her personal revelation of God's omnipotent love, and on the other, the Church's teachings on and her own witnessing of evil in the world that deserves punishment, even eternal punishment. Offering a fresh and elegant account of Julian's response to this conflict--one that reveals its nuances, systematic character, and originality--this book marks a new stage in the century-long rediscovery of one of the English language's greatest theological thinkers.


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Julian of Norwich, Theologian

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Turner (historical theology, Yale Divinity Sch.; Faith, Reason and the Existence of God) sets out to argue that 14th-century English mystic Julian of Norwich not only was witness to divine visions but ... Read full review


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About the author (2011)

Denys Turner is the Norris-Hulse Professor of Philosophical Theology at the University of Cambridge and former H. G.Wood Professor at the University of Birmingham. He is the author of On the Philosophy of Karl Marx (Sceptre, 1969), Marxism and Christianity (Blackwell, 1983) and The Darkness of God (CUP, 1995). He is currently working on a book on Thomas Aquinas and the doctrine of God.