Julian of Norwich and the Problem of Evil - book launch and conversation between two Companions of Julian

Father Bruce Batstone, founder member of the Companions of Julian, and fellow Companion and author, Richard Norton, discuss this issue as it arises from Richard's latest book. 

Discussion and refreshments will form part of this lunchtime event which is part of the May Festival Week 2024.

Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love grapples with the same fundamental question that has vexed philosophers and theologians since the advent of monotheistic religion, and continues as a barrier to belief for many today. Namely, if God is so good, how can natural disaster, genocide, trauma – and my present suffering – occur? Historically, there have been two apparently very different approaches to the problem: the pastoral, or practical, on the one hand and the systematic on the other.

However, Richard Norton suggests that these two lines of thought may not be as separate as they seem, and may indeed be dependent on one another for their cohesion. Drawing on Julian’s medieval experience of personal and population-wide suffering, alongside that of more recent theologians such as Dorothy Solle and Jürgen Moltmann, Norton constructs a compassionate model of theodicy that can be of use to both pastoral and systematic theologians. Throughout, he remains sensitive to the raw atrocity of evil, while preserving a vision of God as the one who ensures that all shall be well.

 Space is limited but for more details and for tickets to attend, please click here.

"With persuasive argument, Richard Norton presents the heated debate between theoretical and pastoral theodicy and argues for a more integral approach to the problems of evil, sin and suffering, based on the theology of divine mercy and unconditional love in the Revelations of Julian of Norwich.

A most compelling contribution!"

Veronica Mary Rolf, Author of Julian’s Gospel and An Explorer’s Guide to Julian of Norwich

The Author

Richard Norton is an independent theologian who has taught systematic theology and Church history in a variety of settings around the world. He’s a member of the International Society for the Study of Mysticism, the American Academy of Religion, the Medieval Academy of America and the Royal Society of Arts. He is a Companion of Julian of Norwich and has written widely on her theology, ethics and Christology.


  • Thank you Luke, Yes, it will be open then for the JM.

  • Will the Julian Cell be open for the next Julian Meeting from 10.30 ’til 11.00, on May 10th please?

  • Thank you Gill.
    It will take place in the Julian Centre at 12 noon. More details on page 10 of the Easter newsletter.

  • What time is this event happening, please?

    Gill Butterworth

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