Julian of Norwich

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the anchoress and mystic who, in the late fourteenth century, wrote about her visions of Christ suffering, in a work since known as Revelations of Divine Love. She is probably the first named woman writer in English, even if questions about her name and life remain open. Her account is an exploration of the meaning of her visions and is vivid and bold, both in its imagery and theology. From her confined cell in a Norwich parish church, in a land beset with plague, she dealt with the nature of sin and with the feminine side of God, and shared the message she received that God is love and, famously, that all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.

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  • Katherine Lewis 5 episodes
    Professor of Medieval History at the University of Huddersfield
  • Philip Sheldrake No other episodes
    Professor of Christian Spirituality at the Oblate School of Theology, Texas and Senior Research Associate of the Von Hugel Institute, University of Cambridge
  • Laura Kalas No other episodes
    Senior Lecturer in Medieval English Literature at Swansea University

Reading list

  • A Companion to the Book of Margery Kempe
    John H. Arnold and Katherine Lewis (eds.) (D.S. Brewer, 2004) Google Books →
  • Julian's Way: A Practical Commentary on Julian of Norwich
    Ritamary Bradley (Harper Collins, 1992) Google Books →
  • Julian of Norwich: Showings
    E. Colledge and J. Walsh (eds.) (Paulist Press, 1978)
  • A Companion to Julian of Norwich
    Liz Herbert McAvoy (ed.) (D.S. Brewer, 2008) Google Books →
  • Authority and the Female Body in the Writings of Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe
    Liz Herbert McAvoy (D.S. Brewer, 2004) Google Books →
  • Julian of Norwich: Mystic and Theologian
    Grace Jantzen (Paulist Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • Revelations of Divine Love
    Julian of Norwich (trans. Barry Windeatt) (Oxford World's Classics, 2015) Google Books →
  • The Writings of Julian of Norwich: A Vision Showed to a Devout Woman and a Revelation of Love
    Julian of Norwich (ed. Nicholas Watson and Jacqueline Jenkins) (Brepols, 2006) Google Books →
  • Margery Kempe's Spiritual Medicine: Suffering, Transformation and the Life-Course
    Laura Kalas (D.S. Brewer, 2020) Google Books →
  • Encountering the Book of Margery Kempe
    Laura Kalas and Laura Varnam (eds.) (Manchester University Press, 2021) Google Books →
  • Women in Christianity in the Medieval Age: 1000-1500
    Laura Kalas and Roberta Magnani (eds.) (Routledge, forthcoming 2024)
  • Julian the Solitary
    Ken Leech and Benedicta Ward (ed.) (SLG, 1998)
  • Julian of Norwich's Legacy
    Denise Nowakowski Baker and Sarah Salih (ed.) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) Google Books →
  • Wisdom's Daughter: The Theology of Julian of Norwich
    Joan M. Nuth (Crossroad Publishing, 1999) Google Books →
  • Julian of Norwich: "In God's Sight": Her Theology in Context
    Philip Sheldrake (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019) Google Books →
  • Julian of Norwich: Revelations of Divine Love
    E. Spearing (ed.) (Penguin Books, 1998)
  • Julian of Norwich, Theologian
    Denys Turner (Yale University Press, 2011) Google Books →
  • The Secret Within: Hermits, Recluses and Spiritual Outsiders in Medieval England
    Wolfgang Riehle (Cornell University Press, 2014) Google Books →
  • Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages
    Caroline Walker Bynum (University of California Press, 1982) Google Books →
  • Anchorites and their Patrons in Medieval England
    Ann Warren (University of California Press, 1985) Google Books →
  • Ancrene Wisse: Guide for Anchoresses
    Hugh White (trans.) (Penguin Classics, 1993) Google Books →

Related episodes

Programme ID: m001rgs4

Episode page: bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001rgs4

Auto-category: 270.209 (Christian spirituality in the Middle Ages)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In the late 14th century, Julian of Norwich had visions of Christ's suffering and she wrote these down in an account known since as Revelations of Divine Love.