Julian of Norwich
1342-1416

Philosophy of Religion, Epistemology, Mysticism



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Julian of Norwich is the author of Showings of Divine Love a work in the 'wisdom literature' tradition. The remarkable woman is named by Cathedral where she lived. Her given name is not known to us. We do know that she was an anchoress and that she counseled others.

She is known as the first woman to have written a book in English. And the saying from this work: "All will be well" has been a touchstone of wisdom for many.

Chronology

1330 - Edward III came to the English throne after his mother and her lover killed his father.

1334 - Scotland and France began the Hundred Years War with England The Black Death, a pestilence that was to kill one third of the peoples in Europe spread rapidly.

1342 - Julian was born in the later part of the year. Note: Julian Bolton Holloway, a Julian scholar says that: It is possible that both she and Adam Easton, [who both became associated with the Benedictines, "were part of a Jewish remnant in Norwich, converting to Christianity, following King John's expulsion of the Jews. Adam Easton taught Hebrew at Oxford University and owned a manuscript of Rabbi David Kimi, Julian shows evidence of Hebrew in her Showing of Love "

1348 - Widespread crop failures.

1351 - A mutant strain of the Black death that was particularly lethal to children emerged.

1363 and 1369 more crop failures. The one in 1369 inspired the Peasant Revolt.

1370 She was 'visited' by Christ as she lay near death. This visitation became the material of her later writing Showings of Divine Love.

1377 Rival Popes emerged - Urban VI was seated in Rome and Clement in Avignon. Urban VI recruited Julian's bishop to lead an army against Clement. He was defeated and returned to Norwich in disgrace.

1393 The manuscript of Showings of Divine Love was likely to be written in this year...or later.

1416 - Believed to be the year of Julian of Norwich's death.

Showings of Divine Love

The full text of Showings of Divine Love is available at  Julian of Norwich: Shewings of Divine Love The page also offers links to other translations of the text.

Useful resources:

An essay on The History of Medieval Norwich can be found at: History of Medieval Norwich

Elizabeth Evasdaughter, "Julian of Norwich," in Waithe, ME, A History of Women Philosophers, Volume 2.

Julian of Norwich is one of more than 100 women philosophers featured in Busted!! A Pictorial History of Women Philosophers photo album and is among the 40 philosophers featured in Busted!! A Pictorial History of Women Philosophers DVD Volume 1.

This page was last updated 12/12/14.

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