Julian of Norwich and Eastern Orthodox Mysticism

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3 Responses to Julian of Norwich and Eastern Orthodox Mysticism

  1. Fr Aidan Kimel says:

    To download this essay, click here.


  2. Still working through the article, what jumps out at the offset is how Julian (or at least how Pelphry is arguing) is presenting her revelations on Divine love. I haven’t spent enough time in Augustine specifically to understand what motivates his psychologized love, but the effects of this are certainly felt in my own Reformed heritage. The Augustinian love kind of sounds like an affective ontology and a trap-door that leads right back into a passible morass in the Divine nature, but I haven’t read Augustine close enough to know if my sense is fair or not.

    This backs up into some of your earlier posts on Aquinas and simplicity – it is such a hard but vastly important doctrine. I think that it is a catholic difficulty in the sense that we struggle East and West to stay consistent with simplicity. I find myself coming back to it again and again. I might be remiss in saying this, but what has made me most amenable to universalism is not sentiment (as important as this has been), it has been simplicity. They seem to be related like lock and key. If God is self-identical, loving, and good, and Creator ex nihilo it is awfully hard not to throw a monkey wrench into simplicity if one insists on the everlasting torment of the damned.

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    • Matthew Hryniewicz says:

      It may be because I learned the doctrine after having already become convinced of universalism, but I too have felt that simplicity supported the larger eschatological hope. It was not uncommon in the various protestant churches I attended to hear the old line “Yes, God is love, but he is also just and (eternal) hell must exist to satisfy the demands of justice.” But simplicity would erase any such hard distinction or ‘tug-of-war’ within God. He is not love and just, He is just loving or loving justice. It reminds me of the George Macdonald quote where he says “I believe that justice and mercy are simply one and the same thing; without justice to the full there can be no mercy, and without mercy to the full there can be no justice.” It seems that if God is both, then both must be one.

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