Rabi'a Al-Adawiya (ca. 717–801) and Julian of Norwich (ca. 1343–1416) offer fertile ground for comparative study, but they have yet to be studied together in depth. This article is the first sustained comparative analysis of these two crucial voices, each dominant in research on Islamic and Christian love respectively. There are powerful correspondences between the contemplatives' approaches to divine love. Both Julian and Rabi'a seek an apprehension of the ineffable Beloved in their prose and poetry respectively. Attention will rest primarily on these women's approaches to divine familiarity and indwelling; these approaches are enshrined in their prayer practice and in their imaged enclosures.
Encompassment in love: Rabi'a of Basra in dialogue with Julian of Norwich