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Revelations of Divine Love

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  5,144 ratings  ·  279 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, 240 pages
Published August 27th 1998 by Penguin Classics (first published 1393)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Mar 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 2010, lady-lit
"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.
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.
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
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
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
I have never read anything like this. I love it. I will be meditating on it for a long time.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
Garrett Haynes
Feb 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: christian, spiritual
Many of her thoughts and ideas in this book are Biblical, but there is just enough in here to be heretical. At the very end of the book she basically equates her writing to be the same as scripture because these were direct revelations from God, which to me is not OK at all to equate your own personal experience to being scripture. If you hear anyone say things like this, warning bells should be going off in your head. Dangerous!

I am also not Catholic, so I don’t believe her visions of Jesus ta
(classic) Fever dreams can be some crazy shit. Sometimes you think God is talking to you and delivering a whole new theology. Less skeptically, Revelations of Divine Love is a kind of mystical manifesto, laying out a more kind and liberal version of Christian theology in which love and mercy become the central aspects of the faith. It's a fascinating primary source, even if actually reading through it is a bit of a slog. I'm an angry atheist, but this is a more palatable (if not neccesarily more ...more
A beautiful book. If I could give it more than five stars I would. It is is one I keep coming back to.

"He did not say, 'You shall not be tormented, you shall not be troubled, you shall not be grieved', but he said, 'You shall not be overcome.' God wants us to pay attention to these words and wants our trust always to be sure and strong, in weal and woe; for he loves and is pleased with us, and so he wishes us to love and be pleased with him and put great trust in him; and all shall be well."

Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible read. That a woman who was born over 600 years before me shares her Christian faith with words that resonate with my Christian faith is simply awe-inspiring. I once read in a Bible study that, “True Christian unity cuts across time and space” and I found this so true while reading Revelations of Divine Love. I highlighted so many passages (50 to be exact!) and I wish I could share them all here but I’ll just include this one… “For He loveth and enjoyeth us, and so willeth He t ...more
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The translator here worked to create a text faithful enough to educate students in medieval anchorite texts and readable enough for devotion. While I enjoy the text in middle english as well--and look forward to showing it to students--I found her hope met, as the text was particularly fine as a devotional read. I am excited about the wonderful lines that i hope will continue to run round in my head. I want to read it again and again.
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review is MUCH longer than my usual reviews because there is so much richness in this text that spoke to me, so I highlight several passages.

I recently joined an online yoga community and each month, we focus on the life and teachings of a mystic; May's was Julian of Norwich so I was drawn to read the book this woman wrote whose most famous quote perhaps is "All manner of things shall be well."

From the introduction:
"Julian's transcendence is NOT a repudiation of pain, suffering, and turmo
Joseph R.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julian of Norwich was an anchoress, a woman who lived in a small room attached to a church in Norwich, England, in the 1300s. Early in her life, she prayed for three graces. First was to have a vivid recollection of Christ's Passion. Second was to experience a severe bodily sickness at age 30, as if she were to die. Third was to have three wounds--"the wound of true contrition, the wound of loving compassion and the wound of longing with my will for God." [p. 179] In her thirtieth year, she did ...more
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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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