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Revelations of Divine Love

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  6,742 ratings  ·  346 reviews
One of the first woman authors, Julian of Norwich produced in Revelations of Divine Love a remarkable work of revelatory insight, that stands alongside The Cloud of Unknowing and Piers Plowman as a classic of Medieval religious literature

After fervently praying for a greater understanding of Christ's passion, Julian of Norwich, a fourteenth-century anchorite and mystic, ex
Paperback, 193 pages
Published August 27th 1998 by Penguin Classics (first published 1393)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  6,742 ratings  ·  346 reviews

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Mar 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lady-lit, 2010, own
"And I saw quite certainly in this and in everything that God loved us before he made us; and his love has never diminished and never shall. And all of his works were done in this love; and in this love he has made everything for our profit; and in this love our life is everlasting."

I don't know what sort of criteria one should use to rate this book, so I'm not going to attempt it. I approached it from the perspective of an agnostic leaning towards atheist, and I came out of my reading experienc
From about four in the morning until nine on the eighth of May 1373, Julian of Norwich, then thirty years old, sick and believing herself to be near to death, had a series of visions of Christ. After this she had a vision of the Devil (he had tile red skin, dark freckles, red hair, white teeth and smelt terrible (view spoiler)) before seeing Christ again that night and then the Devil again (who upon departing left only his ...more
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This reading was really special, at first i was curious and I decided to read this book because I really liked the cover only, found it in my father’s bookshelves... I had no precise reason for a book with such a unique subject, as can be the mystical revelations of the Saints.
Instead, the revelations and commented words are very smooth, so the reading is likable and never verbose.
The contemplation of the Beatitude of our Lord Jesus Christ.... all the theme on which the revelations relate, and t
David Sarkies
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like Medieval Christian Spiritual literature
Recommended to David by: Bible College Lecturer
Shelves: christian
Visions of a Medieval Mystic
28 January 2012

I discovered this book when my Bible College lecturer mentioned it and then proceeded to mock it for the rest of the lecture. Once the lecture had finished I went straight to the library, located it, and borrowed it, and I must admit that I quite enjoyed it (it was a much easier read than An Imitation of Christ. Basically the book is about a series of 16 visions that a female recluse had in the 1300s and her interpretation of these visions.

The story
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a moving testimony by a woman in great pain who used her faith to get through it.
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a re-read. This time around it was for the longer text.

I like the longer text better. It elaborates more on what Julian of Norwich saw during her visions.

While I was reading this I used a copy of the Wycliffe Bible as reference work. Anytime scripture was mentioned I looked it up in that translation. For me it wasn’t that difficult to read. But, this is coming from a person who had to memorize Chaucer while in High School. So something you can try, is to have both the Wycliffe and King
Dec 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The first book known to have been written by a woman in the English language. Julian is loved by feminist theologians and Catholic conservatives alike. Out of her mystical visions of Christ, comes an exploration of the feminine aspects of God, the problem of evil and suffering, and God's love for humanity. Most known for the phrase "all shall be well", but I also love "Love was His meaning". I love this book. ...more
Julian likes lists! So do I! ☺ At another time in my life, her writings might have sounded like an old-time sermon. The recording I listened to read by Pam Ward and produced by Hovel Audio did use many quaint unfamiliar expressions. And yet, I found myself compelled to love Julian's ‘Gracious Lord’, so I might be able to claim as she did,
‘Our courteous Lord endlessly beholds us in this work, rejoicing. And we please him best by wisely and truly believing these things, and by rejoicing with him
Stephanie Ricker
Medieval Lit: sometimes you are so cool, and other times you make me want to stab my eyes out with a quill pen.

Julian of Norwich falls into the category of written dream vision, of which there seems to have been jillions in the middle ages. Nobody just had regular dreams, oh no; they had religiously significant dreams that must be recorded for all to read about and for professors today to torture their students with. Thanks, Julian. Thanks a bunch.

In all seriousness, I appreciate her sincerity a
I love those medieval mystics and Julian is one of the best--"And all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well".

There are so many beautiful things in The Showings. God as Mother and Father, the idea (and new word) of "one-ing" with God. The vision of a God incapable of anger where sin is what makes us unhappy not what angers God. A God that delights in his/her creation. A God that is trustworthy.

I'll admit I skimmed through some of the more gruesome Catholic vis
Melody Schwarting
2020 Review

Chose this again for a summer devotional read, taking it even slower this time through to savor it. Julian's focus on love and intimacy with God is always a breath of fresh air, yet her reverence for the Holy Trinity never wavers. My second reading confirmed that Revelations is a great introduction to mysticism for the novice. Love mysticism can be a bit woo-woo for us Western folk, and Teresa of Avila is not exactly in the contemporary comfort zone, either, until one is introduced to
I have never read anything like this. I love it. I will be meditating on it for a long time.
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fourteenth century mystic’s guide for the human experience written with a spiritual coherence that surpasses any other modern day book of divine appreciation.

I stumbled onto this book when I noticed that Sister Julianne from ‘Call the Midwife’ had this book as one of her few possessions. That would have been time appropriate since this book very well would have been known in 1961 or before and would had made a good companion for an Anglican nun. The series also made notice of the movie ‘Whist
Mar 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: christian-life
This books seems pretty divisive. Readers either give it five stars or 1-2 stars. For me, I suppose I had a difficult time reading it with it's original milieu in mind. I couldn't stop thinking "This would never get published today, this would never get published today".

Obviously, it is a very significant work, as the first recorded English writing by a woman; as a well-recognized anchorite bio. However, I simply didn't get much from it. Also, I am "tainted" by my rebellious protestant upbringin
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a series of essays that Julian of Norwich wrote about 16 revelations she had about God's love. This is a fascinating read with some interesting insights. Julian may not have been spot-on with her theology, but this book is well worth reading.

She is also the first known woman to write a book in English.

Things that stood out to me:
At one point Julian of Norwich had a vision in which God showed her a hazelnut, and from that very simple ordinary thing she learned three lessons. 1) God
Since the late 1970s, thanks to the series Classics of Western Spirituality, English readers have had access to an excellent text in modern English of the Book of Revelations by Julian of Norwich, both in its short and long versions. Mirabai Starr thought time had come for a much more daring translation, theologically speaking, of the mystic’s sixteen visions (in its long version). She states doing so on the basis of what she thinks are Julian’s ideas. This leads her to move quite far away from ...more
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
medieval mysticism and the movement towards becoming one with divinity, losing the self in god and finding god in the self, is something both fascinating and unsettling; these are works of vast intimacy, calling upon god as father in his divine creation, and mother in christ's self-sacrificing nurture of humankind, as son in the images of the virgin mary's pain, and as lover in the burning, all-consuming nature of his love, as teacher, as brother, as spouse. this is a vast, all-encompassing year ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With grace and poetry the English mystic known as Julian of Norwich offers a view of God that is unique for her time. Born out of an era of disease and religious terror, Julian's words offer an image of a Divine Mother who made, loves, and keeps all things. With great depth of tenderness we see the desire for God met in abundant visions that comfort and reassure Julian. Reading Revelations of Divine Love one can't help but be drawn and enclosed within a God who will make all things well. ...more
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was just what I needed just when I needed it.
Joy Matteson
Mirabai Starr's translation of Julian of Norwich's Showings are simply stunning. Modern language doesn't detract from the beautiful and poignant words of Julian's visions. It's also surprisingly practical, which on my second time reading the Showings I had forgotten about. I think every evangelical Christian needs to read and fully understand how Julian calls Christ "God the Mother", and how he mothers us and births us into new life. It is not heresy, it is a a beautiful metaphor that challenges ...more
Jan 27, 2021 rated it liked it
I don't know about you but sometimes I wonder if the problem is that I haven't read enough medieval mystics. Is there some great secret hidden in some semi-obscure text that'll make everything make sense for me?? Probably not, but how will I know unless I read every single book ever written! Julian of Norwich was a 14th century anchorite, probably now most well known for her phrase "but all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well." This book, REVELATIONS OF DIV ...more
Rendi Hahn
It's hard to encapsulate this book in a brief review, but let me say this: if you want to have your heart and thinking stretched about the love of God, read this book! It's unlike any other book I've ever read. Written around 1395, it is the first published book in the English language known to have been written by a woman ... a woman who was both humble and bold in her approach to God. You may find some parts make you uncomfortable, and some you don't feel you can agree with, but if you'll read ...more
Mar 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Hearing a book described as “theologically bold” is a tried-and-true way to get my guard up. However, there were bright spots to this book—Julian’s description of the love of God is maternal, overflowing, infinitely tender. Sadly, for every pop-out good sentence, there were many more times I caught myself rereading a sentence with my heresy Kill Bill sirens starting up in the back of my head. Yes, God is love. No, that is not all he is. While Julian’s revelations helpfully extrapolated on aspect ...more
Mattea Gernentz
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I'm speechless after finishing and am tempted to immediately pick the book up once more. I would so love to have a cup of tea with Julian. What a woman. Her abundant wisdom and humility are evident on every page. These are the most beautiful, soul-comforting words I have read in a long time—a reminder that we are never not held in God's love and that Christ is our true Mother. Wow. ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
I’m more of a Simone Weil stan. My rating reflects that this book wasn’t written for wretches such as myself
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Not a terrible book to read while the world's burning down around you, quite frankly. ...more
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow! The parts I understood were brilliant, beautiful, sometimes edgy, and very thought provoking. I may read this one again.
Oct 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: georgetown
In chapter 51 of Julian of Norwich’s Showings, she introduces a parable of a lord and a servant (267ff). The servant falls into a dell while serving his lord and Julian then perceives the situation from both the perspective of the lord and the servant. Although the lord and servant are later revealed to be God and Adam respectively, Julian’s account of and the reasoning behind the fall of Adam differ greatly from the traditional story and interpretation.
Traditionally the fall of man comes from
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Mystics (especially female mystics) are often dismissed as enthusiasts; they are not taken as seriously as academic theologians. But Julian of Norwich's Revelation of Love is as theologically sophisticated as anything the Scholastics wrote in the late Middle Ages. Dame Julian's visions lead her to comment on all of the great metaphysical questions (sin, Grace, predestination, salvation, etc). Unlike the Scholastics, however, Julian insists that many of these questions just cannot be answered and ...more
This is one of those classic works of spirituality I got for like a dollar on my Kindle a decade ago. I’ve long said the best thing about e-readers is the accessibility to classics, from Dickens and Dostoyevsky to the early church fathers and medieval mystics such as Theresa of Avila and Julian.

That said, beware. Some of those free or cheap versions are poorly formatted. I liked Julian of Norwich on my first read, but this translations is much cleaner. Perhaps translation is not the correct term
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Week four "Showings" 1 2 Mar 25, 2015 12:47PM  

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Julian of Norwich was the most important English mystic of the 14th century. Her spirituality is strongly Trinitarian and basically Neoplatonic.

In her Revelations of Divine Love Julian relates that in May 1373, when she was 30 years old, she suffered a serious illness. After she had been administered extreme unction, she received 16 revelations within the span of a few hours. When she wrote her Re

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  Here’s some trivia for your next book club meeting: The first book written in English by a woman was titled Revelations of Divine Love,...
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“He said not 'Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased'; but he said, 'Thou shalt not be overcome.” 179 likes
“Truth sees God, and wisdom contemplates God, and from these two comes a third, a holy and wonderful delight in God, who is love.” 70 likes
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