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Julian's Audacious Reticence:
Perichoresis and the Showings

Daniel Pinti

Julian of Norwich’s “Showings” manifests a number of characteristics commonly held to be intrinsic to a distinctively Anglican spirituality, not least a long-recognized tendency toward reticence. Her profound Trinitarianism has also been accorded much scholarly attention. What scholarship on Julian has yet to appreciate fully is the close relationship between these two qualities. The intersection of the theological and the rhetorical in the “Showings” is itself perichoretic. Julian writes a theology that not only articulates a perichoretic understanding of God, but also enacts itself perichoretically, by means of the way Julian humbly gives herself and her text over to her reader, particularly through the reticence of her text. Julian thereby actively and intimately involves the reader in the very construction of her theology.

 
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