Jeff Sanders' Blog

Return to

Home > June 2017 > Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

As I am reading more and more in Medieval and Renaissance history, I continue to have my pre-conceived ideas overturned.  I am still reading (and re-reading) Thomas Cahill's "Mysteries of the Middle Ages" (2006).  I have been fascinated with some characters who just are not talked about much in popular knowledge of the Medieval World.  Like Hildegard, for example.  This German lady was born in 1098 at the very beginning of a true blossoming of culture, science, and the arts. 

She entered a monastery at the age of eight, but certainly was not sheltered.  As she matured and later became the abbess of a convent, she became a composer and musician, a writer of a musical play (some say it was the world's first opera), a writer of some 400 letters to the notables of her day, an author of several volumes of scientific natural history, a reformer against the religious corruption of her day, AND an itinerant evangelist who preached in Roman Catholic churches in the Holy Roman Empire!  (I'm almost worn out just listing her accomplishments, and I still haven't listed them all!)

Although I would probably not agree with some of her theological conclusions, the people of her day (like the venerable Bernard of Clairvaux) so enjoyed her books about her visions and insight that he sent the material to Pope Eugene III, who then gave his blessing.  As I study her life, I simply cannot find any woman who compares with her in the Islamic or Chinese or Hindu cultures of that time period.  It is amazing to me that there was this much freedom and admiration for this lady at that time.  Maybe I shouldn't be so surprised....

Hildegard died on September 17th, 1179.  She was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 and officially made a "Doctor of the Church" (along with such luminaries as Augustine and Aquinas).  Fascinating life.  I think I'll just keep on reading about these surprising people from 1000 years ago.

Thursday, June 22, 2017, 09:56 PM

Email to a Friend  |  Printer Friendly Page  |  Permalink | Comments

Bookmark and Share

Jeff Sanders' Bio


Past Posts

Joan of Arc
The Suffering and Triumph of Boethius
Hildegard of Bingen
Western Europe's Deadly Paralysis
Nations That Do Not Fight
Introducing, Dr. Ryan Reeves
A Prayer From the Medieval World
The History Erasers
Giovanni Francesco Bernardone

June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009

Search this blog:

Copyright 2008 American Policy Roundtable