Hildegard of Bingen   -     By: Columba Hart
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Hildegard of Bingen

Paulist Press / 1990 / Paperback

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Hildegard of Bingen, twelfth-century German nun, mystic, prophet and political moralist, was widely consulted as an oracle and wrote prolifically on doctrinal matters, as well as on secular matters like medicine. She publicly preached monastic reform, founded two nunneries, and was embroiled in the politics surrounding popes and anti-popes.

Scivias, her major religious work, consists of twenty-six visions, which are set down literally as she saw them, and are then explained exegetically. A few of the topics covered in the visions are the charity of Christ, the nature of the universe, the kingdom of God, the fall of man, sanctification, and the end of the world. Special emphasis is given to the sacraments of marriage and the Eucharist, in response to the Cathar doctrine. As a group the visions form a theological summa of Christian doctrine.

At the end of the Scivias are hymns of praise and a short play, probably an early draft of Ordo virtutum, the first known morality play. Hildegard is remarkable for being able to unite "vision with doctrine religion with science, charismatic jubilation with prophetic indignation, and longing for social order with the quest for social justice." This volume is especially significant for feminist historians and theologians. It elucidates the life of medieval women, and is a striking example of a special form of Christian spirituality.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 576
Vendor: Paulist Press
Publication Date: 1990
Dimensions: 6 X 9 X 1 1/2 (inches)
ISBN: 0809131307
ISBN-13: 9780809131303
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Publisher's Description

This work contains the 26 visions of Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), who was the first of the great German mystics, as well as a poet and a prophet, a physician and a political moralist.

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