Dr. Jonathan Juilfs

Associate Professor of English

Phone: (905) 648-2139   Ext:4272

Email: jjuilfs@redeemer.ca

Office: 208B

Programs: English Literature, English Writing


Ph.D. (2011), Medieval Studies, The Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame
Dissertation: Creative and Daring Spaces in Speculative Theology: Literary Strategies for Doctrinal Self-Authorization in Julian of Norwich’s A Revelation of Love and Marguerite Porete’s The Mirror of Simple Souls

M.M.S. (2003), Medieval Studies, The Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame

M.A.R. (2001), Yale Divinity School and The Institute of Sacred Music

B.A. (1996), English Literature, University of Puget Sound

Diplome d’Etudes Françaises, Deuxième Degré (1994), Centre International d’Etudes Françaises, Université de Bourgogne


  • Ways of Reading: Poetry and Drama (ENG-104)
  • Introduction to Classical Western Mythology (ENG-215)
  • Medieval English Literature (ENG-341)
  • The Fiction of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien (ENG-446)
  • Western Culture & Tradition I (HUM-110)


As a medieval literature specialist, Juilfs focuses on religious writings (poetry, visionary and mystical literature) in English, Latin, and Old French covering the years 1100-1485. His doctoral dissertation and publications focus principally on Marguerite Porete, a French woman executed for her book in 1310, and on Julian of Norwich, the first named woman writer in the English language (c. 1343-1416). He has presented papers most recently at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan (May 2015) on the Middle English translation of the thirteenth-century Life of Marie of Oignies , and at the biannual conference of the Early Book Society in Oxford, UK (July 2015) on a pair of thirteenth-century medieval women’s devotional books in British library collections. Juilfs’s courses at Redeemer focus on English and other medieval European literatures (c. 800-1500) and their influences on the later major texts of Early-Modern English literature through to the Restoration of the monarchy (1660). He also teaches courses in the History of Language, Classical Mythology, and a 400-level seminar on the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, courses which supplement the more traditional historical survey courses and deepen students’ awareness of the broad historical developments of English as a literary language.

Research Interests

  • Medieval visionary and mystical texts, especially those by women
  • Medieval English, Latin, and Medieval French languages and literature
  • The material and hermeneutical legacy of the Bible in pre-modern European literature

Current Research

  • Aspects of (biblical) literacy in late-medieval women writers such as Julian of Norwich and Marguerite Porete
  • The problem of determining a “best text” among the surviving manuscripts of Marguerite Porete’s The Mirror of Simple Souls
  • The dissemination and circulation of religious books by and for women in the later Middle Ages
  • “Parable” and allegory as a theological, rhetorical, and pedagogical device in provocative or controversial medieval texts

Recent Publications

Co-Edited Volume

Something Fearful: Medievalist Scholars on the Religious Turn. Ed. Kathryn Kerby-Fulton and Jonathan Juilfs. Special Issue of Religion & Literature 42.1-2 (2011).

Book Chapters

“Mirrors on the Wall: Which One Is Fairest of Them All?” In A Companion to Marguerite Porete and The Mirror of Simple Souls. Ed. Robert Stauffer and Wendy R. Terry. Boston: Brill, 2017.

“‘Reading the Bible Differently’: Appropriations of Biblical Authority in an Heretical Mystical Text, Marguerite Porete’s The Mirror of Simple Souls.” Something Fearful: Medievalist Scholars on the Religious Turn. Ed. Kathryn Kerby-Fulton and Jonathan Juilfs. Religion & Literature 42.1-2 (2011).

“’This boke is begonne…but it is nott yett performyd’: Compilations of Julian of Norwich’s A Revelation of Love, 1413-1670.” Women and the Divine in Literature Before 1700: Essays in Memory of Margot Louis.Ed. Kathryn Kerby-Fulton. Victoria: University of Victoria Department of English, 2009. 153-166.