Online Book Club - Showing Of Love By Julian Of Norwich - Questions

Posted at 02:44am on 5th December 2011

The questions below were compiled by members of the real-time Book Club I lead at church.

  1. A member of the clergy, retired through mental ill health, asked on the Association of Christian Writers' Facebook wall today whether we should be writing to be published, and pointed out that much of Julian's writing was printed posthumously.  Given that she had to revise Showing of Love "on pain of death" in 1413, how should we view the gifts God gives us? (bottom of page xiv)
  2. Julian's translation of Shalom as "all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well" is cited as far more than a "truce amidst war" or a "fleeting rainbow amidst storms".  In what ways have you experienced the "totalising of wellness, goodness, oneness, creation and Creator in harmony"? (halfway down page xviii)
  3. Julian says all through the book that God does not blame us for our sin but pities us. Why do you think we have such a 'blame culture' in the Church? How has it come about that society thinks of Christianity in terms of 'Do not'?
  4. In The Shack God is portrayed as 'a large beaming Afro Caribbean woman'. Julian sees the second Person in the Trinity as our Mother and writes of Mother Christ and Jesus our Mother. What do you think of this 'modern idea' of a female part of the Trinity being propounded in the fourteenth century?
  5. What is the difference between nuns/monks and Christians who do not live in monasteries and convents?   Are nuns simply escapists or is their way of life special?
  6. "God wills we understand and believe that we are more truly in heaven than on earth" (p82).  How can we come to this point, living in the realities of the world in 2011?
  7. Julian says on p77 "it is readier to us, and more easy to come to the knowing of God, than to know our own soul".  Is this comment on p78 a contradiction?  "We may never come to full knowing of God till we first know clearly our own soul". Why is it so difficult to "know our own soul"?
  8. What insights about suffering does Julian give in these chapters (eg in Ch 35)?
  9. How does Julian understand the gospel from her thoughts in Ch 40?
  10. What practical advice about prayer may be gathered from Chaps 41–43?

 The Discussion Summary will follow in a day or two.

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