A Julian Bibliography


This bibliography represents works which the Order of Julian of Norwich finds helpful; it does not represent a full scholarly bibliography

updated 2014

Editions of Julian’s work


Beer, Frances (trans.). Julian of Norwich: Revelations & Motherhood of God. Boydell & Brewer. 1998. A new translation of the Short Text.


Colledge OSA, Edmund and Walsh SJ, James (eds.), A Book of Showings to the Anchoress Julian of Norwich, 2 vols. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. 1978. For a long time considered the critical edition of Julian’s Middle English text (both the Short Text and the Long Text), with many footnotes and appendices; the editors’ claims for Julian’s education and background reading out of line with probability. The new edition by Watson and Jenkins may well supplant Colledge and Walsh but it should still be consulted.


_______________________ (trans.) Showings. (Classics of Western Spirituality series) Paulist Press. 1978. A modern English translation of Julian based on their critical edition.


del Mastro, M. L. (trans).  The Revelation of Divine Love Made to Dame Julian of Norwich. Liguori/Triumph. 1994. This translation gives a slight feminist slant to Julian; some readers find the modern idiom helps in grasping Julian’s perceptions.


Reynolds CP, Sister Anna Maria, and Holloway, Julia Bolton (eds). Julian of Norwich, Showing of Love: Extant Texts and Translation. Florence: Sismel, 2001. A diplomatic edition of all the manuscripts of Julian’s text (one of which is also translated) plus many notes, appendices and commentaries. Beautiful to look at and beautiful to use; but some of Holloway’s conclusions about Julian’s life and work are exuberant surmises.


Skinner, John (trans). Revelation of Divine Love. Image Books. 1996.


Spearing, Elizabeth (trans). Revelations of Divine Love. Penguin Books. 1999. Includes both Short and Long texts and also Margery Kempe’s account of her visit to Julian.


Swanson OJN, Fr John-Julian (trans). The Revelations of Divine Love: Julian of Norwich, edited and translated for devotional use. Paraclete Press. 2008. The presentation of this translation in “sense lines” is a great aid to the reader in understanding Julian’s complex theology. The translator's retention of some of Julian’s Middle English words heightens the sense of her presence, but in no way impedes understanding.


Watson, Nicholas and Jenkins, Jacqueline (eds). The Writings of Julian of Norwich: A Vision Showed to a Devout Woman and A Revelation of Love. University Park PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. 2006. Separate texts of both the Short and Long text, plus an analytic edition of the Short Text printed underneath the Long Text; facing page explanatory notes plus translations of difficult words and phrases, cross references and citations; textual endnotes; various appendices. Despite the compactness of the presentation, the edition is very user-friendly. Very sound and level-headed scholarship.


There are dozens of commentaries on Julian’s Revelations, many of which are out of print, but obtainable on inter-library loan.


Abbott, Christopher. Julian of Norwich: Autobiography and Theology. D. S. Brewer. 1999. Explores the relationship between Julian’s predicament as a writer who must derive her authority from experience rather than ecclesiastical office; and the precise character of her theology as it issues from that predicament.


Baker, Denise. Julian of Norwich’s Showings: From Vision to Book. Princeton University Press. 1994. The development of Julian’s theology; good study of Julian’s treatment of evil.


Bauerschmidt, Frederick C. Julian of Norwich and the Mystical Body Politic of Christ. Univ. of Notre Dame Press. 1999. A reading of Julian which brings into the foreground Julian’s images of Christ’s body and the lord and the servant parable as ways of understanding God through the human community—how can Julian’s theology be put into action.


Bradley, Ritamary. Julian’s Way: A Practical Commentary on Julian of Norwich. HarperSanFrancisco. 1992. Discusses Julian's work by "themes"—very handy, but only if you already know Julian's text well.


Hide, Kerrie. Gifted Origins to Graced Fulfillment: the Soteriology of Julian of Norwich. Liturgical Press. 2001. What Julian has to say about the relationship between God, Christ, Spirit, humanity and creation—all within the context of salvation.


Hildesley, Hugh. Journeying with Julian. Morehouse Publishing. 1993. Provides a good overview of Julian's writing and also discusses the historical context in which she lived.


Jantzen, Grace. Julian of Norwich: Mystic and Theologian. SPCK. 1999 2nd ed. A very thorough study. The introductory essay in the new edition takes up the question “what is involved in being an anchorite in modern times” and is very thought-provoking.


Krantz, M Diane. The Life and Text of Julian of Norwich: The Poetics of Enclosure. Peter Lang. 1997. A very technical (but much acclaimed) scholarly book on the power of enclosure to transform the personality. Enclosure is a vessel of transformation -- as the womb is likewise a vessel of transformation. Julian's own transformation is shown by the difference between her early Short Text and the later Long Text, as well as by her insights into motherhood.


Llewelyn, Robert. With Pity Not With Blame: The Spirituality of Julian of Norwich and the Cloud of Unknowing for Today, 3rd ed. Darton Longman & Todd. 1994. A sensitive study by the former Chaplain of the Julian Shrine.


_________, “Julian Then and Now: The Mercy and Forgiveness of God”, the 1997 Julian Day lecture. The Friends of Julian. Beautiful and simple presentation of Julian’s radical theology of Love.


____________(ed). Julian, Woman of Our Day. Darton, Longman, & Todd. 1985. Articles by several scholars and religious on aspects of Julian and her work.


McEntire, Sandra (ed). Julian of Norwich. A Book of Essays. Garland. 1998.This book is a collection of eleven essays on Julian's narrative technique, her theological complexity, and how she was influenced by the literary and intellectual contexts of the time during which she wrote. It is an unusual and interesting book, but more a book by academics for academics than for the general reader.


Molinari, Paul. Julian of Norwich: The Teaching of a 14th Century Mystic. Longmans. 1959. Particularly good on relating Julian’s intuitions as a mystic to the formulated doctrines of the Church.


Mountney, John Michael. Sin Shall Be A Glory. Darton, Longman, & Todd. 1992.In his introduction, the author (at that time the keeper of the Julian Shrine) writes wryly of his desire to add yet "another Julian book" to the growing heap. But his discourses on the topic of Julian's treatment of sin are serious, with ample quotations from her text. This graceful book is a good preparation for reading Denys Turner's treatment of "sin is behovabil".


Nuth, Joan. Wisdom’s Daughter: The Theology of Julian of Norwich. Crossroad. 1991. A feminist slant on Julian’s writing.


Obbard, Elizabeth Ruth. Introducing Julian, Woman of Norwich. New City Press. 1995. A lovely and gentle beginner's introduction to Julian, her vocation, writings, and world, with excerpts from a translation by Josef Pichler.


____________, Through Julian's Windows. Canterbury Press. 1997. A reflective study that uses Julian's three windows as an illustration of spiritual balance, for the deepening of self-awareness and growth in compassionate love. Written by a Solitary for modern-day Solitaries and Hermits, non-solitaries might find the book strengthening for their own quest of inner silence.


Palliser OP, Margaret. Christ Our Mother of Mercy: Divine Mercy and Compassion in the Theology of the Showings of Julian of Norwich. de Gruyter. 1993. Very detailed scholarly treatment; but which also captures the devotional content of Julian’s work, and gracefully written.


Pelphrey, Brant. Love Was His Meaning: The Theology and Mysticism of Julian of Norwich. Salzburg: Institüt für Anglistik und Americanistik, 1982. Julian’s theme—the nature of salvation in Jesus Christ—channeled through her Revelation of human growth in love. With extensive quotations both in Middle and contemporary English. Pelphrey presents the historical and biblical influences on Julian's work, her deep similarities to Eastern Orthodox spirituality, and practical implications for modern readers.


______________, Christ Our Mother: Julian of Norwich. Michael Glazier. 1989. A study of Julian's mysticism and theology of compassion, especially in regard to motherhood in God. Pelphrey breaks down the Showings into discrete elements, also looking at number groupings in the Revelations as a whole.


_____________, Lo How I Love Thee: Divine Love in Julian of Norwich. Julian Bolton Holloway, Ed. Spring Deer Studio. 2012. A revised reissue of Love Was His Meaning.


Tinsley OSB, Ambrose. A Neighbour — Kind & Known: The Spirituality of Julian of Norwich. The Columba Press. 1997. This book is simple, gentle, and unassuming in tone but backed up with solid Julian scholarship. Especially enlightening are the short quotations from Julian's work side-by-side with scriptural texts which her words reflect.


Upjohn, Sheila. Why Julian Now? Eerdmans. 1997. A searching commentary on the applicability of Julian’s writing to our times; an excellent preliminary to reading the text itself.


__________, In Search of Julian. Darton, Longman, & Todd, 1989. A beginner's guide to Julian, presenting her world and sifting the evidence.


Vinje OP, Sister Patricia Mary. An Understanding of Love according to the Anchoress Julian of Norwich. Salzburg: Institüt für Anglistik und Amerikanistik. 1983. Julian’s classical theology of love incorporates an understanding of her own heart in simple untechnical terms, revealing the eternal mystery of God and man’s enfolding love for each other.


Julian was an Anchoress, a form of the solitary vowed life which no longer exists in our time—yet the modern vocation of the “Solitary” is increasing in popularity today. Therefore, it is salutary to understand what was involved in keeping the earlier version of this special calling.


Savage, Anne and Watson, Nicholas (trans.). Anchoritic Spirituality: Ancrene Wisse and Associated Works. Paulist Press, 1991. The Ancrene Wisse (or Ancrene Riwle) was most likely the Rule which Julian herself followed. The general introduction to this book is very valuable.


And what did it “feel like” to be an anchoress; how did people react to the anchoress as she progressed through the spiritual stages of “naughting the self”?

Dinnis, Enid. The Anchorhold. Sands & Company. 1923. This early twentieth-century novel is a spiritual classic in its own right and the fictional heroine is modeled on Julian. The book is well worth searching for!


Finally, and very important: do take the time (in all your busy research) to read Julian herself and to think about what she says to you yourself. She writes so simply and straightforwardly and yet so profoundly—and her message is vital to us today.


Prepared by

The Order of Julian of Norwich

2812 Summit Avenue

Waukesha  WI 53188