The classical expression of soteriology (salvation theology) has tended to spiritualize salvation and place it on a supernatural plane where it loses contact with the existential lives of people. In the face of this heritage, questions have risen from contemporary experience that challenge the Christian tradition. Does life have meaning? Is love at the core of all reality? In Gifted Origins to Graced Fulfillment, Kerrie Hide searches for responses to these questions.
Hide examines the soteriology presented in the Revelations of Divine Love, composed by Julian of Norwich. She analyzes the understanding of salvation expressed in the visions, or showings of Julian and expands previous theological inquiry into Julian's texts. After demonstrating how Julians theology is a trinitarian theology of love, Hide addresses each aspect of Julians soteriology within the framework of her trinitarian formula. The theological précis reveals that, for Julian, salvation is a process of oneing in a mystical, three-part journey from our origins with God to our ultimate return to God.
Hide's analysis provides a hermeneutic for examining mystical literature theologically and demonstrates the important contribution mystical theology makes to the broader field of theology. She contributes a systematic study of Julian's understanding of salvation not undertaken previously.
In Part One, Hide examines Julians visionary experience and her expression of the experience that led others to reflect on, record, and write about her texts. She also presents a hermeneutic for interpreting Julian's showings. Part Two presents Julians soteriology as a trinitarian soteriology of oneing and explores how our life is in three stages. In Part Three, Hide delves into our gifted origins. She surveys Julians creation theology and her anthropology.
Part Four focuses on Christology. This section presents Christs role in redemption through the cross, through his work as servant, and through his function as mother. Part Five inquires into graced endings. The chapters examine the present experience of graced fulfillment in the power of the Holy Spirit and the hope for fulfillment in the eschaton. Finally, in Part Six, Hide draws together Julians understanding of salvation. She appraises the relevance of these teachings for today.
Chapters are "Julian of Norwich," A Hermeneutic for Interpreting the Showings, Oneing Through the Trinity, Oneing in Being, Oneing Through the Crucifixion, Oneing Through the Servant, Oneing Through Christ, Deep Wisdom and Mother, Oneing Through the Holy Spirit, Oneing in the Eschaton, and Julians Spiritual Understanding.
Kerrie Hide is a lecturer in the School of theology at the Australian Catholic University in Canburra. She has published previously on Julian of Norwich.