HSTAM 111 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Hildegard Of Bingen, Disibodenberg, Scivias

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Lecture Notes 12
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
- Female mystic (visionary), German abbess, medieval writer, preacher
o Wrote on theology, music, drama, natural science
- Grew up in Mainz; had visions starting at age of 5
- Sickly child; exhibited a calling, so parents dedicated her to God
o Age 8 becomes anchoress at monastery of Disibodenberg
o Entrusted to Jutta’s care (Jutta is already a Eucharist/anchoress)
Taught Hildegard to read and write
Hildegard was unlearned (in theology)
o Spent time in prayer, study, doing manual labor
- Volmar of Disibodenberg monk who becomes friend to Hildegard
o Jutta’s cell like a convent attached to the Disibodenberg monastery
- When Jutta dies, Hildegard becomes leader of the cell (convent)
- Has another vision “blinding light of exceptional brilliance” that gives her a
supernatural understanding of the scripture
o Ordered her to write down what she saw and heard
o Doesn’t follow this order until stricken with illness (sign that God was upset w
her)
- Works
o Scivias (Sci Vias Domini) Know the Ways of the Lord
o Physica (natural history)
o Causae et curae (causes and cures)
o Liber vitae meritorum (Book of Life’s Merits)
o Liber divinorum operum (Book of Divine Works)
- Her works are charge with transmitting divine knowledge to other people, rather than
only for herself
o Pope sends commission to examine her writing to make sure her writing is
orthodox
o Commission deems her writing to be authentic + allows her to continue
- Hildegard receives another vision, telling her to move her nuns to convent at Rupertsberg
(1150)
o Monks don’t want to let them go b/c people visiting Hildegard bring many gifts;
would have to give up the gifts
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