Julian of Norwich as Preacher
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Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of Pages: 156
Width: 16.1 cm
Height: 22.9 cm
Few have consoled the church as ably as the fourteenth-century mystic Julian of Norwich. However, her prophetic gifts have received little scholarly attention. Drawing on contemporary homiletical theory and the history of Christian spirituality, Donyelle C. McCray presents Julian as a preacher, examining the apostolic dimensions of Julian's vocation as an anchoress and highlighting the steps she took to align herself with renowned preachers like Saint Cecelia, Mary Magdalene, and the apostle Paul. Like Paul, Julian saw Jesus' body as her primary text, placed human weakness at the center of her theology, and used her own confined body as a rhetorical tool. Yet she navigated a web of censorship that threatened to silence her. To voice her convictions, Julian developed a novel approach to authority and exploited the fluidity of the medieval English sermon genre. McCray charts this process, revealing Julian as a central personality in the history of preaching whose best contemporary parallels operate outside the pulpit in august figures like retreat leader Evelyn Underhill, gospel singer Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith, and street preacher Reverend Billy.