Language and rhetoric in 'Revelations of Divine Love'

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Language and rhetoric in 'Revelations of Divine Love'

Post by Necia van Vuuren on Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:48 pm

In her Revelations of Divine Love, Julian of Norwich often struggles to explain heavenly concepts, as well as intense parts of her visions, in earthly terms. As such, it often comes across as if she is contradicting herself. Julian describes Christ as the parents of all humankind, but in the same breath identifies Him as the Bridegroom who seeks union with His bride, the church and those who belong to the church. Julian initially wrote down all her visions in a short text, after which she spent 20 years meditating over her visions and experiences. She then wrote her revelations into a longer text, turning it into a theology. In this essay, I will closely examine Julian’s use of language. Images of the homely, and language that is ‘simpler’ than the languages in which the ‘learned’ scholars and theologians of the 14th-century wrote, forms the core of Revelations of Divine Love. I shall also argue that these revelations can be seen as a form of rhetoric not very different from that which Dave Tell (2010) argues Augustine uses in his Confessions.
 
Key words: Language, theology, rhetoric, divinity, revelations, 14th century, mystics
 
Key Texts:
Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love. Translated by John Ockerbloom
St. Augustine, The Confessions. Translated and edited by Albert C. Outler
Tell, Dave. "Augustine and the "Chair of Lies": Rhetoric in The Confessions." Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric. 28.4 (2010): 384-407. Web.

Necia van Vuuren

Posts : 9
Join date : 2018-07-10

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