Julian Of Norwich's Allegory

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In “Julian of Norwich’s Allegory and the Mediation of Salvation,”1 Jennifer Garrison convincingly argues that Julian of Norwich, unlike her medieval female mystic counterparts and contrary to traditional readings, explores and understands the Eucharist through allegorical language in her Revelations of Divine Love (Showings).2 Many of Julian’s fellow 14th century female mystics, Margery Kempe, for example, believed that they could become one with the divine through their visions, as well as see and identify with the sufferings of Christ. Most scholars have written that Julian’s work follows the same style of traditional English female mysticism: that is, mainly literal in their desire for affective union with Christ. However, Garrison challenges…show more content…
However, Garrison asserts that Julian views the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist, very differently from her fellow mystics. While most considered the Eucharist (partaking of the body and blood of Christ) as a means to achieve temporary union with God, Julian knows there is a gap between the human and the divine that cannot meld until the afterlife. We see this in her reaction to a vision of Christ on the cross. At first, she first compares her suffering over sin to His suffering (in the style of the traditional affective mysticism), but then she realizes that as He is both human and divine, her sufferings are different and could never come close to His. “...the oning of the godhed gave strength to the manhed for love to suffer more than alle men might” (Chapter 20). The Eucharist is significant because it provides Believers with the opportunity to identify with the sufferings of Christ while also serving as a reminder of the chasm between humanity and God and heightening their desire for perfect
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