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The History of Spirituality II

Voute Hall, the dorm I stayed in

Voute Hall, the dorm I stayed in

Continuing my Boston College experience, our class went on to study Julian of Norwich. A 12th century figure, Julian gave images of hidden things and expressed the inexpressible through language. In the book, Julian of Norwich, we read what can be classified as “revelatory texts” rather than “illuminating text.” Often referred to as a mystic, Julian tells about her 16 visions and because truth can’t be pinned down, her prose meanders. Personally, I had to laugh because it reminded me of Mary Baker Eddy’s writing which can also meander.

Within two class period however, we broke down and analyzed Julian’s thoughts and came up with insightful facts. Julian glimpsed the nothingness of sin. She was optimistic and encouraged readers not to be obsessed with sin. Don’t live your life in a sense of failure. Contrary to the desert fathers who seemed depressed all the time.

By time the 12th century rolled around, the Catholic Church had grown some fairly straggly and bushy church creeds. A couple of Popes were fighting for the throne. Julian ran counterculture to the church, but yet didn’t condemn the church. She knew her visions came from God, not hierarchy in a church.

Her imagery of God highlighted the characteristics of: Father, mother, powerful, loving, courteous, willing, forgiving, devoted, and all-aware. She brings out a dynamic, rather than structural concept of God and church.

Next is my weekend venture.

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