Anchorhold is a unique collection of letters concerning Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love, addressed to the writer herself. Through them, Kirsten Pinto Gfroerer explores the meaning of her own life and the transformation that studying and teaching this remarkable text can bring.
Julian makes extreme claims about the love of God revealed in the crucified Christ. Her assertion that in love the human self can truly flourish and that in the end ‘all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well’ is a hope-filled contradiction of much modern thought. Central to her theology are a series of meditations on the face and body of Christ, which both point to God’s love and reveal something of the nature of human vocation. Gfroerer’s search for meaning in Julian’s text, eloquently expressed in this series of letters, involves the participation of her whole self, learning to inhabit the vision given to Julian. It is this search and participation that we are invited to join.
I. Looking for Life: Longing
II. Losing Your Life: Threshold
III. The Face of Love: Revelation
IV. A Cruciform Heaven: Vocation
V. Welcomed into the Wound: Initiation
VI. Suffering Remains, Sin Is Befitting, and All Shall Be Well: Formation
VII. Fast-Bound to the Will: Adherence
VIII. The Paradox of Judgement: Struggle
IX. The Parable: Illumination
X. The Self Enclosed in Christ: Realization
XI. The Motherhood of Christ: Sanctuary
XII. The City of the Soul: Inherence
XIII. The Pilgrimage of God to God: Walk
XIV. Life, Love, Light: Sustenance
XV. Finding a Life: Anchorhold
Endorsements and Reviews
‘Your work is open’ writes Kirsten Pinto Gfroerer in one of the letters to Julian that form this astonishing work. And as the crucified Christ in Julian’s Revelations invites us into his wounds, so Julian’s text becomes a permeable site to which the reader is invited to be nourished and sustained in dark times. This is a brilliantly insightful theological reflection in which Julian’s rich writings are set against the author’s own experiences and often highly original reinterpretations.
Alison Grant Milbank, University of Nottingham
Kirsten Pinto Gfroerer has offered something truly rare and life-giving: a present and living conversation with the ghost of a familiar friend. In these pages the thought and presence of Dame Julian of Norwich come to life afresh through the gentle power of Pinto Gfroerer’s subtle and beautiful writing. This is not a work of theological scholarship. It is much more, it is an urgent and vital work of the human spirit. A must-read.
Aaron Riches, author of Ecce Homo: On the Divine Unity of Christ