We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

Julian of Norwich and the Mystical Body Politic of Christ

Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt

Publication Year: 1999

In May 1373, the English mystic Julian of Norwich was healed of a serious illness after experiencing a series of visions of the Blessed Virgin and of Christ’s suffering. Her account, A Revelation of Love, is considered one of the most remarkable documents of medieval religious experience. In Julian of Norwich and the Mystical Body Politic of Christ, Frederick Bauerschmidt provides a close and historically sensitive reading of Julian’s Revelation of Love that addresses the relationship between our understanding of God and our vision of human community. By locating Julian’s images of Christ’s body within the context of late medieval debates over the nature and extent of divine power, Bauerschmidt argues that Julian presents an alternative account of divine power in which the crucified body of Christ becomes the locus and shape of divine omnipotence. For Julian, divine power serves as the norm of all human exercise of power, rendering the possibility of the “mystical body politic of Christ” as the exemplary form of human community. In this reading, the theological is irreducibly political and the political is irreducibly theological. As such, Bauerschmidt shows Julian to be both a theologian of the first rank and one who “imagines the political.”

Published by: University of Notre Dame Press

Front Matter

pdf iconDownload PDF (85.6 KB)
pp. i-v

CONTENTS

pdf iconDownload PDF (76.6 KB)
pp. vii-viii

read more

INTRODUCTION AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

pdf iconDownload PDF (241.4 KB)
pp. ix-xii

This book consists of an argument for a single claim-that Julian of Norwich may fruitfully be read as one who "imagines the political." However, the argument is rather obliquely made, because the explication of what that claim means and the evidence to support it require...

read more

1. IMAGINING THE POLITICAL

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.6 MB)
pp. 1-31

Julian of Norwich's day was a long time in coming. The modern popularity of the fourteenth-century anchoress and the author of A Revelation of Love2 follows upon several centuries of neglect, during which copies of her book were rare, and there was little scholarly or popular...

read more

2. "I DESYRED A BODELY SIGHT"

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.6 MB)
pp. 33-62

Julian's Revelation of Love speaks of the divine nature in a way that stands in stark contrast both to the feudal account of order and to the nominalist account of freedom, for it discerns God's nature from the divine wisdom and love displayed in Jesus Christ. God's power is neither enshrined...

read more

3. "A FEYER AND DELECTABLE PLACE"

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.6 MB)
pp. 63-123

The human flesh of Jesus is central both to Julian's revelation and to her understanding of the nature of God. In contrast to the nominalist emphasis on God's omnipotence as the formal capacity to do anything that does not involve logical contradiction, Julian presents us with a picture of divine power...

read more

4. "A CONTYNUANT LABORER AND AN HARD TRAVELER"

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.9 MB)
pp. 125-190

The question of how it could be true that there was no wrath in God, nor blame for sinners, when the church taught that we are, as sinners, deserving of both wrath and blame, poses for Julian a great dilemma. This specific question must be understood within the context of Julian's bodily...

read more

Conclusion: PERFORMING THE BOOK

pdf iconDownload PDF (604.0 KB)
pp. 191-201

At the beginning of the final chapter of A Revelation of Love, Julian writes, "This boke is begonne by goddys gyfte and his grace, but it is nott yett performyd, as to my syght [This book is begun by God's gift and grace, but it is not yet performed, as I see it]" (86.2-3). What Julian means...

Appendix

pdf iconDownload PDF (676.3 KB)
pp. 203-212

NOTES

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.8 MB)
pp. 213-265

BIBLIOGRAPHY

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.2 MB)
pp. 267-281

INDEX

pdf iconDownload PDF (480.5 KB)
pp. 283-290

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

pdf iconDownload PDF (29.9 KB)
pp. 291-


E-ISBN-13: 9780268075712
E-ISBN-10: 0268075719
Print-ISBN-13: 9780268011949
Print-ISBN-10: 026801194X

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 1999

Series Title: Studies in Spirituality and Theology

Research Areas

Recommend

UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Jesus Christ -- Mystical body -- History of doctrines -- Middle Ages, 600-1500.
  • Julian, of Norwich, b. 1343.
  • Christianity and politics -- History of doctrines -- Middle Ages, 600-1500.
  • Mysticism -- England -- History -- Middle Ages, 600-1500.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access