Julian of Norwich and the Problem of Evil

By Richard Norton

A study of how the writings of Julian of Norwich can help unite the pastoral and systematic approaches to theodicy.

ISBN: 9780718896140


Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love grapples with the same fundamental question that has vexed philosophers and theologians since the advent of monotheistic religion, and continues as a barrier to belief for many today. Namely, if God is so good, how can natural disaster, genocide, trauma – and my present suffering – occur? Historically, there have been two apparently very different approaches to the problem: the pastoral, or practical, on the one hand and the systematic on the other.

However, Richard Norton suggests that these two lines of thought may not be as separate as they seem, and may indeed be dependent on one another for their cohesion. Drawing on Julian’s medieval experience of personal and population-wide suffering, alongside that of more recent theologians such as Dorothy Solle and Jürgen Moltmann, Norton constructs a compassionate model of theodicy that can be of use to both pastoral and systematic theologians. Throughout, he remains sensitive to the raw atrocity of evil, while preserving a vision of God as the one who ensures that all shall be well.

Additional information

Dimensions 254 × 156 mm


Trade Information LGENPOD

About the Author

Richard Norton is an independent theologian who has taught systematic theology and Church history in a variety of settings around the world. He is a member of the International Society for the Study of Mysticism, the American Academy of Religion, the Medieval Academy of America and the Royal Society of Arts. He is a Companion of Julian of Norwich and has written widely on her theology, ethics and Christology.