Julian of Norwich: A Mystic with a Vaccine for Our Time with Fr. Matthew Fox, Ph.D.

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The Mystic Julian of Norwich lived in the Middle Ages from 1342 to 1415. For the most part, she lived in a small cell that was attached to a church in Norwich, England. She lived in the time when the black plague decimated one half of the European population but she never lost hope in humanity or her joy in Divine Presence. Even though she didn't leave her small and simple enclosure, she was very much in touch with the comings and goings of the community. Her simple room had a window that faced the street and a busy river beyond. Community members would ask her for advice and spiritual sustenance. She wrote passionately and contemplated what lies deep in the human soul; what might come after the darkness. She was a feminist 700 years before the word was coined in the 20th century. Fox tells us “She talked in depth about God as mother, and even Jesus as mother, and the Holy Spirit, as well, as mother and feminine. She deconstructs patriarchy and is a major figure. I think, in a way, we weren't ready for her until the year 2021.” This deep dialogue explores the spiritual vaccine she has to offer to us in these challenging times of fear and uncertainty. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms) 


Father Matthew Fox is a priest and was a member of the Dominican Order of the Catholic Church for thirty-four years and was silenced for a year and later expelled from the Dominican Order under the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He then joined the Episcopal Church to work with young people to create postmodern forms of ritual and worship known as the "Cosmic Mass". He is the co-founder of the Order of the Sacred Earth.  

Fr. Matthew Fox, Ph.D. is the author of many books including: 

  • Original Blessing (Tarcher 2000)
  • Hildegard of Bingen: A Saint for Our Times (Nameste Publishing 2012)
  • Letters to Pope Francis (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2013)
  • Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times (New World Library 2014)
  • Confessions: The Making of a Post-Denominational Priest (HarperSanFrancisco 2015)
  • A Way to God: Thomas Merton's Creation Spirituality Journey (New World Library 2016)
  • Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action (coauthors Skylar Wilson, and Jennifer Listug) (Monkfish 2018)
  • Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality (Ixia 2020)
  • The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times (iUniverse 2020)
  • Julian of Norwich: Wisdom In A Time Of Pandemic And Beyond (iUniverse 2020) 

To find out more about the work of Matthew Fox go to www.matthewfox.org

And www.dailymeditationswithmatthewfox.org 

Topics Explored in This Dialogue  

  • How Julian lived through the bubonic plague that killed one out of three humans in Europe
  • Why Julian did not deny suffering but found goodness in all things
  • How Julian was a feminist 700 years before the current movement and held God as Mother
  • How she deconstructed patriarchy and pulled the rug out from under dualism
  • How the basis of patriarchy is a war between the body and soul
  • How Julian’s theology begins with the sacredness and goodness of creation
  • How the Motherhood of God is about compassion
  • The Bible uses the Hebrew word, rachem, which means womb and signals the Motherhood of God in the trinity
  • Why Fox consulted the translation of Julian’s work by Mirabai Starr
  • What does the poem by Rilke, Pushing Through, say about the darkness of the soul
  • Why Julian’s take on Jesus is much closer to creation centered tradition like Judaism
  • She invented the word “oneing”, our relationship with matter and spirit is one
  • How Julian brings soul into the body
  • Julian talks of evil in terms of despair, a spiritual sadness, and lack of energy
  • How the Dominicans kept the work of Thomas Aquinas alive despite the Vatican
  • What the eco-theologian, Thomas Berry, said about recovering a sense of the sacred
  • How Julian embraced nature as sacred
  • How Thomas Aquinas said there are two resurrections and the first is waking up in this lifetime 

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 7/2/2021   Program Number: 3736

Music Playlist

From Album:  Hildegard von Bingen - O Eterne Deus
Artist: Karen R. Clark
Music & Arts CD-1291 (2016)

Opening Essay: Track 03 - Ave generosa
Music Break 1: Track 01 - Quia ergo femina
Music Break 2: Track 08 - Laus Trinitati
Music Break 3: Track 09 - O Eterne Deus