Walter Wangerin Jr. is widely recognized as one of today's most gifted writers on the issues of faith and spirituality. He won the American Book Award for The Book of the Dun Cow. His other books include The Crying for a Vision, Pablo: Paul, Peter's First Easter, The Book of God, and many more works of fiction and non-fiction. His new book, Saint Julian, published by Zondervan has all the characteristics of a timeless classic, combining an exceptional story with Medieval historical detail and religious metaphor. He has won several Gold Medallion Book Awards, written children's books, practical theology, and devotional books. Wangerin is writer-in-residence at Valparaiso University, in Indiana.
What is it that made you feel like now is the time to tell that story?
It's a story I've told out loud decade after decade. I think so many of the saints that we look for and look toward are people who seem to be beyond our bounds who accomplish miracles that we cannot do ourselves. But Julian, although he began as the son of a lord and lady of great wealth, sins the sins that we all do. When we follow him, we follow someone who is very much like ourselves.
I think most of us feel as if we're not in the height of heroism, but we live at the common level in our suburbs and our cities. This is the same with Julian's self, that his anticipations were kind of a blood lust that he could not talk to other people about.
What is Saint Julian about?
When Julian, as a young 16-year-old, goes hunting and kills all the animals that he can see in a particular forest he finally shoots a deer that does not die when the arrow enters the deer's forehead.
The deer walks to Julian and says, "Julian, Julian, you are cursed, and because you have killed all the ...1
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