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Julian of Norwich (c.1342–1415)

  1. Dale M. Coulter

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0741

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Coulter, D. M. 2011. Julian of Norwich (c.1342–1415). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


There are only a few details about Julian's life. She indicates that she experienced her first vision when she was thirty and a half years old during the month of May, 1373. This would put her birth at 1342. She was also visited by Margery Kempe in 1415 during the latter's travels around England. While it is unclear as to when she embraced this vocation, from at least 1373 Julian was an anchoress at the Church of St. Julian in Norwich, which is most likely where her name stems from. As an anchoress, Julian would have lived in a small house (an anchorhold) with two or four rooms attached to the church. After entering this residence by means of a ceremony that included last rites, the anchoress would never leave. A servant would aid with domestic tasks as well as securing food for the anchoress. The anchorhold would also have a window through which Julian could give spiritual advice to others who, like Margery Kempe, sought it.


  • Julian of Norwich (c.1342–1415);
  • experiencing her first vision;
  • God's willingness to enter, into human suffering;
  • God, as mother, and compassion