Want to Learn More About Julian of Norwich? Start Here


Next month — May 2023 — marks the 650th anniversary of the visionary “showings” of the great 14th century English mystic, Julian of Norwich! To make the occasion, for the patrons of this blog I’m currently leading a course on the contemplative study of Julian of Norwich. Twice a month I publish PDF documents in which I offer my commentary on her writings, curate my favorite quotations of hers, and offer a spiritual exercise based on her wisdom. I also host a Zoom call, what I affectionately call a “contemplative salon” where patrons join me for some time devoted to silent prayer and then shared reflection on conversation on Julian’s Wisdom.

Last month, for one of the Zoom calls, I shared a list of some of my favorite books about Julian, along with a few I hadn’t read yet but that looked really promising. I promised the participants of that call that I would post the list of books online… so here it is. The first book in this list is the translation of Julian that we are currently reading (by Mirabai Starr). All the others are books that can help you to grow deeper in your own knowledge of, and appreciation for, this great but reclusive medieval mystic (if you don’t mind shopping at Amazon, the links take you to each book’s page there).

A few disclaimers. I have not read some of these books, but the ones I haven’t read are either by authors I respect or they have been well reviewed online. A couple of the books (specifically Julian’s Gospel and Extant Texts and Translations) feature scholarly theories about Julian that may not be universally accepted among academics. I read Julian as a contemplative, not as an academic, and so I tend to prefer books about Julian that I find support my prayer life. But I encourage you to use your own common sense and discernment when choosing these or any books to read. Scholarship can really make an ancient text come alive, but it can also be its own little labyrinth of competing theories and speculation. Just something to keep in mind.

Finally, if you are interested in taking a closer look at what I have to say about Julian (both in written form and in recorded Zoom meetings), then I hope you will consider becoming a patron of this blog by joining Patreon. When I finish the Julian course, I’ll move on to another mystic to explore, but all my previous courses will remain available to patrons.

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About the author

Carl McColman

Soul Friend and Storyteller. Lay Cistercian, Centering Prayer Presenter, Author, Blogger, Podcaster, Speaker, Teacher, Retreat Leader.

By Carl McColman

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