Tag: Julian of Norwich


Virgins, mothers, monsters : late-medieval readings of the female body out of bounds

This dissertation examines representations of female corporeality in three late-medieval texts: the Pseudo-Ovidian poem, De vetula (The Old Woman); a treatise on human generation erroneously attributed to Albertus Magnus, De secretis mulierum (On the Secrets of Women); and Julian of Norwich’s Showings, an autobiographical account of visions she experienced during an illness in 1373


The Paradox of Evil: a Study of Elevation Through Oppression

For medieval mystical women, the ability to maintain two opposite concepts simultaneously seems to be requisite for spiritual development. Not only were women asked to comprehend humanity’s otherness from God, as women, they were assumed subservient to men and, paradoxically, as able to receive redemption as their male counterparts; women understood their nature as both inferior and worthy, lesser than and equal to.


Through the veiled window: feminine autonomy, masculine authority, and discursive tension in anchoritic writings

Contemporary framings and traditional scholarly discussions of anchoritic women have tended to view them as powerless and silenced due to their life of permanent enclosure within their hermit’s cell. This thesis argues for a more nuanced view of the personal freedom these women enjoyed and of the awareness of that freedom possessed by anchoresses and by the male religious authorities who supervised them

Julian of Norwich - Statue of Julian on the front of Norwich Cathedral, holding the book Revelations of Divine Love

Continental Women Mystics and English Readers

In 1406 Sir Henry later Lord Fitzhugh, trusted servant of King Henry IV, visited Vadstena, the Bridgettine monastery for men and women in Sweden. Vadstena was the mother-house of the Order of the Most Holy Saviour and had been founded by the controversial continental mystic St Bridget of Sweden, who had died in 1373 and had been canonized in Fitzhugh was so impressed by what he saw that he gave one of his manors near Cambridge as the future site for an English Bridgettine foundation.