Quiet Day

Knot, Hazelnut, Mother and Child: The Symbols of Julian of Norwich

Coming in August 2021 (Thursday 9:00–4:00)

Donyelle McCray, ThD

Program fee $80 (includes lunch)
Program check-in: 8:30 am Thursday

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Julian of Norwich’s teachings about living in the flow of God’s love inspired visionaries like Pauli Murray, Thomas Merton, and Evelyn Underhill, and her symbols about spiritual life continue to resonate. In our day together, we will explore twelve core symbols in Revelations of Divine Love that express Julian’s understandings of divine presence, the human condition, and the natural world. The knot, hazelnut, mother and child are explicit symbols, but we will consider her implicit symbols as well. Given our distressing historical context, we will give special attention to consoling symbols for times of upheaval. Our format will consist of meditations, discussions, and use of material objects. Hopefully, our exploration will illumine the depth of intimacy between God and the human soul.


Donyelle McCray, ThD serves as Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Yale Divinity School where her research focuses on preaching, Christian spirituality, and lived theology. Donyelle’s new book, The Censored Pulpit: Julian of Norwich as Preacher is with Lexington/Fortress Academic Press. She is currently writing The Apostle Pauli: Preaching as the Invitation to Freedom which examines turning points in Pauli Murray’s prayer life and vocation. Before entering academia, Donyelle worked as an attorney and as a hospice chaplain; she brings insights from these experiences to her teaching and scholarship.



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