Julian of Norwich: Motherhood of God

Saturday 13 May 2023
A day of learning, discussion, and reflection
10am to 4pm at Sacrista Prebend Retreat House

Image from Kettle's Yard Cambridge courtesy of Adrian Chatfield
Image from Kettle’s Yard Cambridge courtesy of Adrian Chatfield

The Revelations of this fourteenth century woman are the earliest writings in English by a woman that survive and are theologically very rich.

We shall look at her key ideas on the nature of sin, the hope of universal salvation and especially her writings on Christ as mother, through learning, discussion and reflection. These will lead to a broader discussion about the maternal nature of God in the medieval period and what we might learn from it today.

No knowledge of the text is assumed but you may wish to prepare by reading the Elizabeth Spearing translation in the Penguin edition, which is easy to read. The longer text has more about the theological ideas. Our Eucharist, while following canon law in all respects, will experiment with female imagery.

Alison Milbank is Professor of Theology and Literature at the University of Nottingham and Canon Theologian at Southwell Minster. She works on many aspects of the relation of faith and the arts from Dante to Harry Potter, with a particular expertise in Gothic and horror fiction. She is currently writing on divine indwelling and the agency of nature in natural philosophy, poetry and art and a sequel to For the Parish, which she co-wrote with Andrew Davison in 2010: The Once and Future Parish.

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  • Venue: Sacrista Prebend Retreat House