Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

‘Have we any mother Juliana’s among us?’: The multiple identities of Julian of Norwich in Restoration England

  • Liam Temple (a1)
Abstract

The true identity of the fourteenth-century anchoress Julian of Norwich has been lost to history. Yet in the seventeenth century Catholic and Protestant polemicists created different ‘Julians’ to construct and contrast their own confessional positions. This article traces the different identities prescribed to Julian and argues that they allow us fresh insight into some of the most prevalent religious and political issues of Restoration England. It begins by tracing the positive reception of Julian’s theology among the Benedictine nuns of Paris and Cambrai, including the role of Augustine Baker in editing Julian’s text. It then explores how the Benedictine Serenus Cressy and the Anglican Edward Stillingfleet created different identities for Julian in their ongoing polemical battles in the Restoration period. For Cressy, Julian was proof of the strength of Catholic devotional and spiritual traditions, while Stillingfleet believed she was evidence of the religious melancholy encouraged by monasticism. By exploring these identities, this article offers new perspective on issues of Catholic loyalty, enthusiasm, sectarianism and doctrinal authority.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All
*

I am grateful to Gaby Mahlberg and Neil Murphy for reading a draft version of this article. I am also indebted to Howard Wickes for introducing me to Julian of Norwich many moons ago when I was an eager undergraduate. My thanks also to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback and pertinent remarks.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Alexandra Barratt , ‘Julian of Norwich and Her Children Today: Editions, Translations, and Versions of her Revelations’, in Sarah Salih and Denise N. Baker, eds. Julian of Norwich’s Legacy: Medieval Mysticism and Post-Medieval Reception (New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2009), 1327

Nicholas Watson , ‘The Composition of Julian of Norwich’s Revelation of Love ’, Speculum 68 (1993): 637683

Robin Clifton , ‘Fear of Popery’, in Conrad Russell, ed. The Origins of the English Civil War (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1973), 144167

John Miller , Popery & Politics in England, 1660–1688 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973)

Anthony Milton , Catholic and Reformed: The Roman and Protestant Churches in English Protestant Thought, 1600–1640 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)

Jeffrey R. Collins , ‘Thomas Hobbes and the Blackloist Conspiracy of 1649’, The Historical Journal 45 (2002): 305331

Kendra Packham , ‘Praising Catholics “Of Low Degree”: Literary Exemplarity, Popular Royalism, and Pro-Catholic Representations, 1660–1725’, Review of English Studies 65 (2014): 5877

Claire Walker , ‘Prayer, Patronage, and Political Conspiracy: English Nuns and the Restoration’, The Historical Journal 43 (2000): 123

Gabriel Glickman , ‘Christian Reunion, the Anglo-French Alliance and the English Catholic Imagination, 1660–72’, English Historical Review 128 (2013): 263291

J.P.H Clark , ‘Augustine Baker, O.S.B: Towards a Re-Assessment’, Studies in Spirituality 14 (2004): 209224

David Lunn , ‘Augustine Baker (1575–1641) and the English Mystical Tradition’, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 26 (1975): 267277

Michael Heyd , ‘Robert Burton’s Sources on Enthusiasm and Melancholy: From a Medical Tradition to Religious Controversy’, History of European Ideas 5 (1984): 1744

Clark Lawlor , ‘Fashionable Melancholy’, in Allan Ingram, Stuart Sim, Clark Lawlor, Richard Terry, John Baker and Leigh Wetherall-Dickson, eds. Melancholy Experience in Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century: Before Depression, 1660-1800 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 2551

Katharine Hodgkin , ‘Scurvy Vapors and the Devil’s Claw: Religion and the Body in Seventeenth-Century Women’s Melancholy’, Studies in the Literary Imagination 44 (2011): 121

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Catholic History
  • ISSN: 2055-7973
  • EISSN: 2055-7981
  • URL: /core/journals/british-catholic-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 17 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 174 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 30th March 2017 - 26th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.