'The parable of the Lord and servant' the salvific memory: Gracious predestination in Augustine and Julian of Norwich

Journal article

Davis, Carmel Bendon and Lam Cong Quy, Joseph. (2010). 'The parable of the Lord and servant' the salvific memory: Gracious predestination in Augustine and Julian of Norwich. Louvain Studies. 34(4), pp. 312 - 335. https://doi.org/10.2143/LS.34.4.2122221
AuthorsDavis, Carmel Bendon and Lam Cong Quy, Joseph

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.

JournalLouvain Studies
Journal citation34 (4), pp. 312 - 335
PublisherPeeters Publishers
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.2143/LS.34.4.2122221
Page range312 - 335
Research GroupSchool of Theology
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Place of publicationBelgium
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