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Turning over a new leaf

We have two libraries in the Julian Centre, one a lending library, the other a reference library, both now focused on Julian and mysticism, prayer, spirituality, and theology.

Together they’re a wonderful resource and ‘something to be proud of’ as somebody said the other day. We’ve been welcoming doctoral and post-doctoral students alongside pilgrims and other visitors. So, the word has got out and Julian and her writings are becoming even more widely known, loved, and studied.

We’ll have a regular spot in our newsletters from now on, highlighting a few of our recent additions to the libraries.

The first is Walter Rye’s Carrow Abbey, published in 1889 (ours is the first in a run of 90!), in which Carrow’s foundation, buildings, officers and inmates – yes, Rye actually uses the word ‘inmates’! – are discussed. Julian, as you probably remember, may have had connections with the Benedictine community at Carrow even, possibly, receiving some of her education there as a young woman.

Some of you will know the Classics of Western Spirituality series, published by the Paulists, founded in part by Isaac Hecker, one of the first three editors of A Revelation of Divine Love in nineteenth-century America. There are about 120 volumes of which we now have about 70 outstanding introductions and texts of spiritual writings.                

The late Sheila Tolley generously donated a number of books to both libraries. These included Buddhist, Confucian, and Hindu texts in translation, including a wonderful copy of the Bhagavadgita in Sanskrit and English. Although Julian wouldn’t have known these writings, it is fascinating to discover what was being written in another part of the world at the same time as the Revelations and to realise that there is far more that unites rather than divides.

Fr Luke CJN, ObJN

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