The visions of Julian of Norwich came to her 650 years ago this May. Claire Gilbert's new novel, I, Julian, is a fictional autobiography about the life and visions of Julian. We'll be discussing the book today with its author and discovering why and how she would write such a boldly imaginative book from the perspective of one of Anglicanism's most beloved figures.
We'll learn a bit about the actual woman we know as Julian, and talk about what life might have looked like in her time, in an age of tight-knit community, mystery plays, and mystical texts, as well as church division, plague, and tectonic societal shifts. We'll also hear about what it's like to inhabit such a powerful voice for so many years of research and writing, and what changed in Claire's life as she wrote the book.
Before I tell you a little more about Claire, I want to thank those of you who have jumped in to support a podcast studio so we can keep bringing you conversations like this at a high quality with fantastic guests. I want to personally thank three new supporters: Sharon, Roger, and John. Join the ranks of these good folks by clicking the link in the show notes and help us bring onto the podcast people like Dr. Claire Gilbert, our guest today.
Claire is founding director of the Westminster Abbey Institute for ethics and public life. She has worked for the Archbishops' Council of the Church of England as policy advisor in medical ethics and environmental issues and is a lay Canon at St Paul's Cathedral. She co-founded the St Paul's Institute in 2003. She has authored many books. Her latest, the novel I, Julian (Hodder & Stoughton), is available now.
If you'd like to win a free copy of the book, you can enter our TLC Book Club contest. Just go to livingchurch.org and click the popup to download a free study guide and be entered to win a free copy of I, Julian.
Now hold on to your wimple. We're headed out on a beautiful and sometimes intense literary journey -- which is also a journey of the heart. We hope you enjoy the conversation.