Julian today

Julian is a unique writer and theologian in many ways. This year, each of us brought to the feast one or two things that struck us as particularly important about her or her writing:

  • • The revelation that there is no wrath in God. It changes everything: our understanding of creation, God’s intention for creation, how God speaks to creation, why God saved us, how, and what he thinks of us, where we are going. It changes the traditional picture of salvation, the reason for the Incarnation, and the nature of our response.
  • • Julian’s radical continuity with the witness of the ancient church, both East and West, is very important and overlooked—that atonement is not about satisfying God’s justice but the reconciliation of all things. In many respects she speaks with the voice of the ancient church.
  • • Julian’s way of writing in triads is important; it is one way her theology “seeps through” and makes it accessible.
  • • Julian engages the world by backing away from it. Only by separating herself from the hustle and bustle can she truly bless her world. We all pay attention to her words, but we should also look more closely at her lifeitself.
  • • Julian’s ability to carry what seem like opposite things in perfect tension and leave them there, without anxiety and without needing to resolve everything; her willingness to trust God with the resolution of what she knows is impossible for her to understand.
  • • That Julian was a woman is important, both because it gave her a perspective that made many of her insights and much of her theology possible, and because today it gives her an authority and receptivity she might not have otherwise.
  • • What is most important in Julian is the absolute primacy of God’s love for us as the first and last reason for everything. So often, not willing to believe this, we make other things more important.

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