What’s all the buzz about the 14th century Christian mystic, Julian of Norwich? If you’ve been hearing more about her lately, it’s likely because in the 14th century, she lived through a pandemic like us. Julian lived through three iterations of the Black plague in which up to 50% of the European population died. There was much tumult in 14th century England and Julian saw an abundance of sickness, suffering and death from the time she was a child throughout her entire life. When Julian was 30 years of age, she received 16 revelations from God about which she wrote in quite optimistic terms and with great hope. People today are turning to Julian and her words to lean on her wisdom, comfort, support and hope.
Hi, my name is Ramona Harris & I will be your course instructor. You can read more about my education and experience to be able to teach this class near the end of this course description.
This course on Julian of Norwich is designed to share with you the major themes of Julian’s extraordinary visions as we go through each of her 16 revelations. Her visions came to her as she went through what some people call a near-death experience. Jesus came to her and spoke to her from his place on the cross. They carried on conversations as one would with a close friend. Even though Jesus’ crucifixion was heart-rending, he comforted Julian and brought her joy as he gave her deep insight into the Godhead and specifically God’s relationship with and desire for humanity. Through this divine experience, God gave Julian a profound understanding of the major themes of life in her times and this transcends to our times as well.
In this course, you will hear about and dive into these major themes, some of which are: the Trinity, the renowned Hazelnut vision, Oneness, Love, Bliss, Consolation and Desolation, Compassion, Sin, Jesus’ Passion, Suffering, Mercy, Prayer, Mother God, and Julian’s reflective Lord and the Servant parable. You will hear the expressive imagery and language Julian utilizes to describe her visions, using the familiar scenes in which she lived.
The course structure begins with an introduction to Julian and to the times in which she lived. There will be reflections on her major themes along the way. The reflections in this course are meant to help you relate Julian’s experiences and concepts to your own life. It is my hope that you will find inspiration as you ponder her words and her spiritual direction, for she has written these things for not only herself but for you and me. After reading Julian, you may find a transformation taking place within yourself while on your own spiritual path.
As I mentioned, we will go through each of her visions. I will provide handouts that point out her main themes and her sixteen visions. In each vision, we will hear Julian’s words, that is, her conversation with Jesus and the life-giving advice and knowledge he shared with her which was not only for her but for all seekers. It was Christ who insisted that Julian write her book revealing and explicating the sixteen visions. Julian has something to share with virtually all people who read her book. This course will give you a solid foundation of Julian’s expository, yet it is not a substitute for reading her entire book, Revelations of Divine Love also known as Showings.
Now, a little bit about me, your instructor. I have a Master’s degree in Education with a focus on school counseling and was a community college counselor for several years. However, I began my interest in Christian mysticism as an adult in my 40s, when I attended a class about Julian of Norwich, medieval Christian mystic. In that class, I heard for the first time the term, Mother God, one of Julian’s expressions, and I almost fell off my chair. It was new & exciting for me to hear such language, even though Julian was 700 years my senior. After that the opportunity came up for me to study the Christian mystics as I began pursuing a Master’s degree in Pastoral Studies thru Loyola University. I really fell in love with the mystics and knew I had to do more with them. I have since authored a book, a motivational card deck on the mystics, along with a journal article highlighting the Christian mystic Hildegard of Bingen. Additionally, I have been doing spiritual direction for over 15 years and have been giving presentations on Christian mystics for several years as well. I look forward to sharing what I know about Julian with you.
With that, I invite you to join the class. If you’re not sure, you’re welcome to take a look at the preview of this class. If you do decide to take the class, please rest assured I am here to answer any questions you may have. My contact information is within the class format. I hope to see you in class. I wish you all the best in your life journey.