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by Julian of Norwich

Julian, an anchoress who lived in solitude in Norwich, England in the late 14th century, received the 16 showings” or revelations of God’s love in a series of experienced visions. The first version was a short text. The second, longer version was apparently written some years after the first, when she had had time to pray and reflect about the teachings God had given her. 

In the light of their thirteen years of work on the critical edition of Showings, Colledge and Walsh give us this first modern English rendering from the place of Julian’s teaching in Catholic Spirituality. The editors present Julian as a skilled theologian and master of rhetorical style. Jean Leclercz, the noted monk, writer, and medievalist, in his preface addresses himself to the question, Why is this an important work today?”

Showings reveals a Julian who experienced God directly and not self-consciously as our mother.” Her revelations of the feminine side of God represent a significant contribution to the tradition. Her graphic visions of the humanity of Christ are marked by vivid imagery and detail. But the special appeal of Julian lies in her theology of the all- embracing fullness of divine love. Julian is certainly a warm and approachable companion for the mystical journey.

This book is the Renovaré selection for the fourth session of the 2014 – 15 Book Club.



The editors, Edmund Colledge, O.S.A., and James Walsh, S.J., worked for 13 years on this beautiful edition. Including a detailed analysis of the text in the introduction, the book also contains an insightful preface from Jean Leclercq, who explores the relevance of Julian's work for today. All of this, however, is in service to these astonishing visions, given to a woman whose single desire was to surrender all to God.
Doug Thorpe

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