History of Art Lectures
Janina Ramirez, Oxford Art Historian, BBC Broadcaster and Honorary Fellow at the Department for History of Art at York, will explore a world of Medieval English Christian mysticism - a subject that can seem trapped in a superstitious and fantastical past. Yet, there were a group of fourteenth and fifteenth-century writers that created texts which have stood the test of time, despite being written in one of the most turbulent, bloody and conservative periods in this nation's history. The mystics, Richard Rolle, 'The Cloud of Unknowing' author, and Julian of Norwich, looked beyond contemporary events like the Black Death and Papal Schism, to a world of spiritual enlightenment and communion with God. Julian in particular broke the mold, seeing God as both mother and father, sin as necessary, and the universe in a hazelnut. Building on the research for her new book, Janina will reveal how these mystics are now more relevant and worthy of study than ever.