Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen (hĬl´dəgärth´, bĬng´ən), 1098–1179, German nun, mystic, composer, writer, and cultural figure, known as the Sibyl of the Rhine. An aristocrat educated in a Benedictine convent, she began experiencing mystical visions as a child. Entering religious life c.1116, she became an abbess in 1136 and founded her own convent at Rupertsberg near Bingen c.1147. Mystical and worldly, she was deeply immersed in religious life yet also involved in political and cultural affairs, maintaining a lively and wide-ranging correspondence. Her theological magnum opus, Scivias (c.1151), contains 26 visions. Today she is best known for her richly lyrical liturgical poetry set to her own innovative monophonic chants, composed mainly in the 1140s and collected in the 1150s. She also wrote a medical encyclopedia, scientific treatises, works of natural history, lives of saints, and other works. Widely proclaimed a saint, she has not been canonized; nonetheless, her feast day is celebrated on Sept. 17.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Visionary Women: Three Medieval Mystics
Rosemary Radford Ruether.
Fortress Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Hildegard of Bingen" begins on p. 6
Women Mystics in Medieval Europe
Emilie Zum Brunn; Georgette Epiney-Burgard; Sheila Hughes.
Paragon House, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Part I "Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)"
William Harmless, S.J.
Oxford University Press, 2008
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Mystic as Multimedia Artist: Hildegard of Bingen"
Dear Sister: Medieval Women and the Epistolary Genre
Karen Cherewatuk; Ulrike Wiethaus.
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: "Visions and Rhetorical Strategy in the Letters of Hildegard of Bingen" begins on p. 46
Medieval Women's Visionary Literature
Elizabeth Alvilda Petroff.
Oxford University Press, 1986
Librarian’s tip: Chap. III "Visionaries of the Early Twelfth Century: Christina of Markyate, Hildegard of Bingen, and St. Elisabeth of Schonau"
From Magic to Science: Essays on the Scientific Twilight
Charles Singer.
Boni and Liveright, 1928
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VI "The Visions of Hildegard of Bingen"
Balancing Some Tensions in the Work of Hildegard of Bingen
Maskulak, Marian.
Magistra, Vol. 16, No. 1, Summer 2010
Hildegard of Bingen and Ramon Lull: Two Approaches to Medieval Spirituality
Nolte, Claudia.
Magistra, Vol. 6, No. 2, Winter 2000
Wisdom's Voice and Women's Speech: Hrotswitha of Gandersheim, Hildegard of Bingen, and Rebecca Cox Jackson
Schroeder, Joy.
Magistra, Vol. 13, No. 1, Summer 2007
Women Writers in German-Speaking Countries: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook
Elke P. Frederiksen; Elizabeth G. Ametsbichler.
Greenwood Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) Germany" begins on p. 69
Modern Esoteric Spirituality
Antoine Faivre; Jacob Needleman; Karen Voss.
Crossroad, 1992
Librarian’s tip: "Alain de Lille, Saint Hildegard, Honorius" begins on p. 29
Sisters in Arms: Catholic Nuns through Two Millennia
Jo Ann Kay McNamara.
Harvard University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "The Alchemy of Mysticism"
Currents of Mediaeval Thought: With Special Reference to Germany
Michael Seidlmayer; D. Barker.
B. Blackwell, 1960
Librarian’s tip: "Thinkers and Reformers" begins on p. 90
Biographical Dictionary of Christian Theologians
Patrick W. Carey; Joseph T. Lienhard.
Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Hildegard of Bingen" begins on p. 247
A Reference Companion to the History of Abnormal Psychology
John G. Howells; M. Livia Osborn.
Greenwood Press, vol.1, 1984
Librarian’s tip: "Hildegard of Bingen, Saint (1098?-1179)" begins on p. 427
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