As one of the few prominent women in medieval church history, Hildegard became the subject of increasing interest in the latter half of the 20th century. (64). Updates?

St. Hildegard, also called Hildegard of Bingen or Hildegard von Bingen, byname Sibyl of the Rhine, (born 1098, Böckelheim, West Franconia [Germany]—died September 17, 1179, Rupertsberg, near Bingen; canonized May 10, 2012; feast day September 17), German abbess, visionary mystic, and composer. Her earliest biographer proclaimed her a saint, and miracles were reported during her life and at her tomb. related to the Church's history); and moral or tropological (i.e. Hildegard certainly fit this paradigm of the female intellectual, distinguishing herself by her vast learning, devotion to God, and service to others. It is, in fact, the earliest known surviving musical drama that is not attached to a liturgy.

Her letter to Guibert of Gembloux, which she wrote at the age of seventy-seven, describes her experience of this light with admirable precision: From my early childhood, before my bones, nerves and veins were fully strengthened, I have always seen this vision in my soul, even to the present time when I am more than seventy years old. Hildegard tells us that Jutta taught her to read and write, but that she was unlearned and therefore incapable of teaching Hildegard sound biblical interpretation. By this time, she was a well-established visionary, renowned for her wisdom, and much sought after for counsel. And one of them called out to me, 'Eagle! And again I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, 'Cry out, therefore, and write thus! The remaining three visions of the first part introduce the famous image of a human being standing astride the spheres that make up the universe and detail the intricate relationships between the human as microcosm and the universe as macrocosm.

[47] This blessing was later construed as papal approval for all of Hildegard's wide-ranging theological activities. Though her medical writings were long neglected, and then studied without reference to their context,[98] she was the inspiration for Dr. Gottfried Hertzka's "Hildegard-Medicine", and is the namesake for June Boyce-Tillman's Hildegard Network, a healing center that focuses on a holistic approach to wellness and brings together people interested in exploring the links between spirituality, the arts, and healing.
It was only when the Abbot himself could not move Hildegard that he decided to grant the nuns their own monastery. This article was most recently revised and updated by,, The Catholic Encyclopedia - St. Hildegard, Famous Philosophers - Biography of Hildegard Of Bingen. She also invented the Lingua ignota (unknown language), her own philological construct of 23 letters which served to separate and elevate her order from the mundane world. He has taught history, writing, literature, and philosophy at the college level. Her concept of health was based on the prevailing understanding, derived from ancient Greek medicine, of a human body’s health depending on the balance of four humors of the body: sanguine/peaceful/dry (blood), choleric/angry/hot (yellow bile), phlegmatic/apathetic/moist (phlegm), melancholy/depressed/cold (black bile). In, Eadem. 2004.

Hildegard also influenced several monastic women, exchanging letters with Elisabeth of Schönau, a nearby visionary. [66], Hildegard catalogued both her theory and practice in two works. "Hildegard of Bingen and the Greening of Medieval Medicine.". In, Otto, Rita. [95] They note her reference to herself as a member of the weaker sex and her rather constant belittling of women. Karmic Relationships, Vol.

[6] One of her works, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play. Bennett, Judith M. and Hollister, Warren C. Caviness, Madeline. ", Richert-Pfau, Marianne. This disharmony reflects that introduced by Adam and Eve in the Fall, which for Hildegard marked the indelible entrance of disease and humoral imbalance into humankind. ", Davidson, Audrey Ekdahl. [35] Godfrey had died before he was able to complete his work. The first vision opens the work with a salvo of poetic and visionary images, swirling about to characterize God's dynamic activity within the scope of his work within the history of salvation. ", Fassler, Margot. ", ________. Hildegard came from an upper-class German family, the youngest of ten children. Wellcome V0002761, Beatification, canonization and recognition as a Doctor of the Church.

Even in her early eighties, Hildegard refused to be bullied or cowed by male authority figures. Hildegard's hagiography, Vita Sanctae Hildegardis, was compiled by the monk Theoderic of Echternach after Hildegard's death.
These sores and openings create a certain storm and smoky moisture in men, from which the flegmata arise and coagulate, which then introduce diverse infirmities to the human body. 2006. Nature itself was not the Divine but the natural world gave proof of, existed because of, and glorified God. Aside from her contributions to theology, philosophy, music, medicine, and the rest, Hildegard invented the constructed script of the Litterae ignotae (alternate alphabet), which she used in her hymns for concise rhyming and, possibly, to lend to her text a sense of another dimension and higher plane. Schott, H.W., Endlicher, S.F.L. La Vita domnae Juttae (XIIe siècle)", ________. Web. [62] Another feature of Hildegard's music that both reflects twelfth-century evolution of chant, and pushes that evolution further, is that it is highly melismatic, often with recurrent melodic units. When these humors were in balance, the body was in optimum health; sickness indicated imbalance. "Artist: 'To See, Hear, and Know All at Once'", in. This comes from the phlegm which is superabundant within them. See: Newman, Barbara. Hildegard was born to noble parents in Böckelheim, West Franconia (Germany). I can measure neither height, nor length, nor breadth in it; and I call it "the reflection of the living Light." ", Caviness, Madeline. Cherewatuk, Karen and Ulrike Wiethaus, eds. Whether her parents consulted physicians about her health issues is unknown, but at the age of seven, they sent her to be enrolled as a novice in the convent of Disibodenberg. The songs from the Symphonia are set to Hildegard's own text and range from antiphons, hymns, and sequences, to responsories. She claimed the Divine was as female in spirit as male and that both these elements were essential for wholeness. The depth of the passion the parents felt for each other during sex would determine the child’s character; if they were in love, then the orgasm of both would be strong and the child would be healthy and happy; if they were not, then the child would be bitter and imbalanced. Her concept of Viriditas is also explored more fully in this work. [117], The off-Broadway musical In the Green, written by Grace McLean, followed Hildegard's story. [66], Thus, the nearly three hundred chapters of the second book of Causae et Curae "explore the etiology, or causes, of disease as well as human sexuality, psychology, and physiology. "Music and Performance: Hildegard of Bingen's Ordo Virtutum.". It is uncertain when some of Hildegard's compositions were composed, though the Ordo Virtutum is thought to have been composed as early as 1151. Bender, Courtney. Mark, J. J. [78][79], Contributing to Christian European rhetorical traditions, Hildegard "authorized herself as a theologian" through alternative rhetorical arts. Baillet, Louis. Her writings were commentated on by Mélanie Lipinska, a Polish scientist. The second part (seven visions) describes the order of redemption: the coming of Christ the Redeemer, the Trinity, the Church as the Bride of Christ and the Mother of the Faithful in baptism and confirmation, the orders of the Church, Christ's sacrifice on the Cross and the Eucharist, and the fight against the devil.

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