Yuen, Wai Man
Religious Experience and Interpretation
Memory as the Path to the Knowledge of God in Julian of Norwich's Showings
Year of Publication: 2003
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., Oxford, Wien, 2003. 242 pp.
ISBN 978-0-8204-5832-8 hardback (Hardcover)
Weight: 0.480 kg, 1.058 lbs
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Religious Experience and Interpretation uses Augustine's theory of memory to illuminate the differences between the two versions of Julian of Norwich's Showings and to demonstrate that Julian's experience of the sixteen showings and their theological understanding are the result of her active memory. This comparative study of the two texts shows how the triune mind - memory, understanding and will - works interactively in the process of recollection so as to actualize the memory-images of the visions as the knowledge of God. Based on Julian's work, this book shows how human memory unites religious experience and interpretation and reveals the redeemability of time in religious experience.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
The Author: Wai Man Yuen received her Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston University, taught at Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary, and is currently the Reichelt Associate Professor of Spirituality and Systematic Theology at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Hong Kong. She teaches and does research in the areas of systematic theology, spiritual theology, medieval women's studies, religious experience, and religious dialogue.
«This book by Wai Man Yuen is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the great Christian fourteenth-century mystic Julian of Norwich. Scholars have long puzzled over the twenty years separating her 'short' and 'long' versions (both entitled 'Showings') of her mystical vision. Utilizing St. Augustine's theory of memory, Yuen shows that such was the force of her vision that it required twenty years of mnemonic process for her to draw forth from the deep well of memory the poignancy and effects of that vision. In this book we have a superb example of the power of theory to help in the description and explanation of mystical experience.» (Ray L. Hart, Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology, Boston University)
«Wai Man Yuen has given us a profound new understanding of an important strain of medieval Christian experience. Historically detailed, theologically acute, and philosophically sensitive, this book opens a window on the past through which can be seen a piety that introduces new categories for us today. I applaud this practical scholarly contribution to our knowledge.» (Robert C. Neville, Dean of the School of Theology, Boston University)
Feminist Critical Studies in Religion and Culture. Vol. 1
General Editor: Marsha Hewitt