Gender and Text in the Later Middle Ages

By Jane Chance | Go to book overview

10
"God fulfylled my bodye": Body, Self, and God in Julian of Norwich

Maria R. Lichtmann

Sometime after she received a series of sixteen "showings" or revelations during the course of a nearly fatal illness, Julian of Norwich became an anchoress, walling herself up in a cell attached to a church in Norwich, England. In such a state of isolation, Julian would seem an odd choice for a visionary with special insight into the nature of the self, of God, and especially of reality. Yet, with her emphasis on neglected aspects of these psychological, theological, and ontological realms, Julian offers us a new, fuller vision than much of the Western tradition to date. This essay argues that the thoroughly embodied character of her experience of Christ and of herself opens her to a more holistic relationship to God, on the basis of which she can originate an actual theology of the body, of God informing her "sensuality." In her consistently positive valuation of the body, Julian manages to overcome centuries of a Neoplatonic-Augustinian dualism of body and soul, matter and spirit, which is pervasive of the Western religious tradition. Julian, in her isolation from social structures of family, church, and even religious community, became liberated from some of their confining implications. Her anchorite existence freed her to accept uncommon insights into the spiritual significance of the body. Further, her trust in her own experience, sometimes at odds with the received authority of the Church, enabled her to unshackle herself from the exclusively patriarchal tradition.

Embodied modes of consciousness affect every aspect of Julian's thought, from her epistemology with its grounding in experiences of the body, to her vocabulary of the self, with its insistence on the sensuality of the self, to her theology of the motherhood of God. Julian's anthropology is radically and consistently incarnational, for it incorporates the spirit left disembodied in

-263-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Gender and Text in the Later Middle Ages
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 342

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.