Although Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy and Julian of Norwich’s Showings are associated with different visionary traditions of the Middle Ages, the shared metaphors of sight, sickness, and space in these works suggest that they in fact may be read within the same textual community. Using the vision form, Boethius and Julian demonstrate how personal transformation and spiritual illumination depend upon spaces of seemingly restrictive confinement. These authors similarly stress the idea of vision as a metaphor for spiritual insight and sickness as the opportunity for recuperation, as they pluralize the meaning of their physical cells. The attention to spatial orientation and physical circumstance emphasizes the cataphatic articulation of both authors’ visionary experiences and undermines traditional Augustinian attitudes toward the division of body and soul.

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