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This page last updated 19 April 2007  

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to Canadian orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

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Letters from 9 to 15 April 2007

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

All manner of things

In the late 1970's there was a sudden explosion of interest in the work of Julian of Norwich – much of it fueled by the Paulist Press publication of her "Showings". (Curiously, in their first brochure advertising their exhaustive "Classics of Western Spirituality" series, they listed Julian as a Protestant mystic, so closely had she come to be seen as "Anglican".)

A few years later, also taken by the optimism and loving gentleness of her writing, I fell quite in love with the 14th century anchoress – so much so that in 1982 I founded the Order of Julian of Norwich as the only religious order in the Episcopal Church which (a) was a statedly "contemplative" order, and (b) had both monks and nuns in the same order, under the same vows, and with equal status.

For several years, interest in Julian's unique work rose world-wide. Dozens – even hundreds – of books and articles appeared, new translations of her Middle English were made (including my own: "A Lesson of Love"). And then interest seemed to level off for awhile.

Now, suddenly, in very high-profile locales, she has begun once more to appear: in the Presiding Bishop's address's mention of "our Mother Jesus", in Dean Jeffrey John's controversial BBC address, and now on Anglicans Online.

I am convinced (as are several others, apparently) that this single small voice of a 14th century English recluse can speak very convincingly to many of the conflicting issues in today's Church (as she spoke to a torn and conflicted Church and world in her day). My deep hope is that she will now be read by any who have not known her, and re-read by those who have.

And I would be happy to show her way to any who have interest.

And all SHALL be well!

John-Julian Swanson, OJN
The Order of Julian of Norwich
Hartland, Wisconsin, USA
9 April 2007


Happy Easter. While being in Iraq has its ups and downs, it is comforting, even in this land where the evil is palpable, to be able to know and say - The Lord is risen indeed.

May you and all of your readers feel the blessings of a Risen Saviour throughout the year.

Ch Steven Rindahl
Camp Liberty Anglican Community
Camp Liberty (Baghdad), IRAQ
10 April 2007

(Ed: and a Happy Easter to you, too, Steven)

Definite article

Your essay this week wisely states that, "The way, the truth, and the life: if we hold to that, then surely whatever separates us from each other, from other Anglicans, from other Christians, can be put aside for a time." I completely agree. So long as we (as Anglicans of whatever stripe) hold to that, we can work through the other stuff. But what happens when we don't hold to that? I dare say that the Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church would not hold to that statement at all - unless you change "the" to "a."

Greg Smith
The Church of the Apostles
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
10 April 2007

(Ed: why don't you ask her? She seems to make herself quite accessible. Her contact information is on this page.)

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We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.


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