Julian of Norwich is considered to be the first woman to write a book in English. Her text “Revelations of Divine Love” written in the late 1300s to early 1400s presents a vision of God that came to her on what she thought was her deathbed. And her version of God is different from what the Catholic Church preached at the time. Instead of a doctrine of strict hierarchy and fear, Julian’s God preached love, joy and equality for all.
The message resonated deeply with scholar Amy Laura Hall who has spent the past 20 years studying and teaching Julian’s writing. In her new book “Laughing at the Devil: Seeing the World with Julian of Norwich” (Duke University Press/2018) Hall, a professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School, presents an irreverent and empathetic reading of the boundary-breaking woman and connects Julian’s teachings to modern-day life. Hall will read from her book at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham on September 11.