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Jana Trajtelová

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ABSTRACT

This paper presents mostly phenomenological reflections on spiritual experience of Julian of Norwich (1342-1416). I investigate mutual relations among immediate divine experience, conceptual understanding of sin and guilt, self-transcendence, and transformation of mental images. I first describe antinomical character of reality to depict a basic ontological situation in which phenomenon of sin may appear; for its better philosophical articulation, I implement Karl Jaspers’ philosophical observations. I point out the deep experiential discrepancy between essentially unlimited divine nature of a man and existential limitedness that he or she normally experiences. In this particular context, I elaborate the notion of sin from Julian’s revelations: I qualify it as pain, discordance, clash of intentions, isolation, delusion, and having no essence. Next, I show how (religious) images and correlated concepts must be transformed within the authentic process of spiritual transformation. In this way, Julian invites us to transcend the limited existential situation of antinomies and step toward unbound possibilities of divine goodness which may be found and activated in one’s own inmost being.

KEYWORDS

spiritual experience, sin, antinomies, transformation, mental images, transcendence

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