The first woman known to have written in English, the fourteenth-century mystic Julian of Norwich has inspired generations of Christians with her reflections on the "motherhood" of Jesus, and her assurance that, despite evil, "all shall be well." In this book, Denise Baker reconsiders Julian not only as an eloquent and profound visionary but also as an evolving, sophisticated theologian of great originality. Focusing on Julian's Book of Showings, in which the author records a series of revelations she received during a critical illness in May 1373, Baker provides the first historical assessment of Julian's significance as a writer and thinker. Inscribing her visionary experience in the short version of her Showings, Julian contemplated the revelations for two decades before she achieved the understanding that enabled her to complete the long text. Baker first traces the genesis of Julian's visionary experience to the practice of affective piety, such as meditations on the life of Christ and, in the arts, a depiction of a suffering rather than triumphant Christ on the cross. Julian's innovations become apparent in the long text.
By combining late medieval theology of salvation with the mystics' teachings on the nature of humankind, she arrives at compassionate, optimistic, and liberating conclusions regarding the presence of evil in the world, God's attitude toward sinners, and the possibility of universal salvation. She concludes her theodicy by comparing the connections between the Trinity and humankind to familial relationships, emphasizing Jesus' role as mother. Julian's strategy of revisions and her artistry come under scrutiny in the final chapter of this book, as Baker demonstrates how this writer brings her readers to reenact her own struggle in understanding the revelations. Originally published in 1997. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions.
The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Julian of Norwich's "Showings" by Denise Nowakowski Baker was published by Princeton University Press in July 2014. The ISBN for Julian of Norwich's "Showings" is 9780691602110.