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Document Details :

Title: 'The Parable of the Lord and Servant'
Subtitle: The Salvific Memory: Gracious Predestination in Augustine and Julian of Norwich
Author(s): DAVIS, Carmel Bendon , LAM CONG QUY, Joseph
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 34    Issue: 4   Date: 2009-2010   
Pages: 312-335
DOI: 10.2143/LS.34.4.2122221

Abstract :
In the Christian tradition medieval female mystics were often treated with suspicion. This does not seem to have been the case with Julian of Norwich who, in contrast to some of her female contemporaries, endeavoured to interpret her visions in the light of ecclesial faith, a process in which Augustinian theology can be demonstrated to have played an important role. This article focuses on the relationship between medieval Augustinian theology and the visions of Julian of Norwich. Moreover, it describes the impact of Augustinian theology on Julian of Norwich’s work Revelations of Divine Love, in particular on the theological connection between memory and predestination. For Augustine and Julian the memory of God is the precondition for understanding predestination. Nevertheless, Julian of Norwich was a mystical theologian in her own right. While for Augustine predestination included the idea of justification which presumes a lapsarian sinfulness in humanity, Julian of Norwich wrestled with the contradiction between the goodness of God’s creation and the very idea of sinfulness itself. For Julian, God’s memory is essentially filled with love and her explication of this view allows her to present a more accessible and simpler version of some complex theological questions. In this way, it is argued that Julian can be seen to have used Augustine’s ideas but not to have been confined, nor defined, by them.

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