Julian of Norwich, Theologian by Denys Turner

By Denys Turner

For centuries readers have conveniently authorized Julian of Norwich as easily a mystic. during this astute ebook, Denys Turner bargains a brand new interpretation of Julian and the importance of her paintings. Turner argues that this fourteenth-century thinker's refined method of theological questions areas her legitimately in the pantheon of alternative nice medieval theologians, together with Thomas Aquinas, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Bonaventure.

Julian wrote yet one paintings in types, a quick textual content recording the sequence of visions of Jesus Christ she skilled whereas soreness a near-fatal disease, and a miles increased lengthy textual content exploring the theological that means of the "showings" a few 20 years later. Turner addresses the obvious clash among the 2 resources of Julian's theology: at the one hand, her own revelation of God's all-powerful love, and at the different, the Church's teachings on and her personal witnessing of evil on the planet that merits punishment, even everlasting punishment. delivering a clean and chic account of Julian's reaction to this conflict—one that finds its nuances, systematic personality, and originality—this e-book marks a brand new level within the century-long rediscovery of 1 of the English language's maximum theological thinkers.

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70 For Bonaventure, then, as for Julian, the shape of the Trinity is cruciform, and the mystery of the Trinity is the mystery of the Cross, which is the mystery of divine love. And as that transitus through death is the theological heart of Julian’s Revelation, so, as we have seen, is it the ascetical and spiritual meaning of her anchoritic way of life. Moreover, it is only in virtue of that inner connection between the Cross and the Trinity that her Revelation is appropriately called A Revelation of Love at all: the meaning of that love which is the Trinity, insofar as it is made present within history, is contained in the mystery of the Cross.

Hence it seems right to connect all three—the demotic, her theological betweenness, and her apophaticism—with one another. And what connects all three is the Cross. The Cross for Julian is no mere topos of her Revelation. It is not even as little as its most important topos. It is the embodiment of her theological epistemology as such; for Julian theological knowledge itself is cruciform, and the tensions between love and death that meet in the Cross are exactly replicated in the conflicted experience of her evencristen.

We know that God creates and sustains all things, including our free, sinful actions. We know that there are truly sinful actions. And we know that God cannot sin. What we cannot do is occupy the standpoint from which we could see the consistency of these propositions. Her position seems to be the theological equivalent of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem concerning number theory—or perhaps both are special cases of a general restriction on the completability of any fundamental theoretical system.

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