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Saturday, February 03, 2007
A woman for our times?

I was just researching Celtic Christian prayers online, which led me to the Order of the Holy Rose web site, which led me to reading more about an extraordinary woman - Hildegard von Bingen. I thought her story might be an inspiration to the emerging women here:

"Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was a remarkable woman, a "first" in many fields. At a time when few women wrote, Hildegard, known as "Sybil of the Rhine", produced major works of theology and visionary writings. When few women were accorded respect, she was consulted by and advised bishops, popes, and kings.
She used the curative powers of natural objects for healing, and wrote treatises about natural history and medicinal uses of plants, animals, trees and stones. She is the first composer whose biography is known. She founded a vibrant convent, where her musical plays were performed. Although not yet canonized, Hildegard has been beatified, and is frequently referred to as St. Hildegard. Revival of interest in this extraordinary woman of the middle ages was initiated by musicologists and historians of science and religion. Less fortunately, Hildegard's visions and music had been hijacked by the New Age movement, whose music bears some resemblance to Hildegard's ethereal airs. Her story is important to all students of medieval history and culture and an inspirational account of an irresistible spirit and vibrant intellect overcoming social, physical, cultural, gender barriers to achieve timeless transcendence. "


Some of her artwork and healing chants are online here: http://www.healingchants.com/hvb_links.html
posted by Anne at 7:39 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 2/04/2007 12:45:00 AM, Anonymous Rachael Kenoyer

    Paul Halsall is one of my favorite historians with a strong online presence. His websites are always full of treasures.

  • At 2/04/2007 07:27:00 AM, Blogger anne

    Rachael, I hadn't heard of him before. I'll bookmark his site, despite the fact that he chastized me via a subdirectory page when I tried to delete the html file name and see what else was in that category:

    "If you get this file, you are trying to poke around my directory indexes!
    Naughty, naughty!

    Anything you should be able to see, is accessible via top level HTML pages.

    Go to http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/index.html for access to all my top level HTML pages.

    Paul Halsall"


  • At 2/04/2007 11:05:00 AM, Blogger Lydia

    I watched a biography of Hildegard's life in a literature class I took in college a few years ago. The biography included samples of the music she composed, if I recall correctly.

    I wish I could remember the name of the video, as it was a well done piece.

  • At 2/04/2007 02:49:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    I need to find out more about her. I recently read Thomas Cahill's Mysteries of the Middle Ages and she was one of the people profiled there. He didn't have a very high opinion of her though. He painted her as a pawn of the powers that be who served to promote some very messed up views of women (as in her "virgins" could wear as much finery as thy liked because chaste women are the most beautiful in God's eyes...). Anyway, I should get more perspectives on her.

  • At 2/04/2007 05:52:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Monroe

    Seems to me no one is all amazing or all poopy -- we are all both. We can learn much both from the gifts of Hildegard and others, as well as from their weaknesses and messiness.

  • At 2/04/2007 06:29:00 PM, Blogger anne

    Julie, interesting to hear about Cahill's perspective about her; certainly the biographies I've read from the Catholic church are going to differ. Jemila had a good point - none of us came here perfect and we can learn from the gifts as well as the stubbed toes along the way.

  • At 2/06/2007 08:21:00 PM, Blogger Shawna

    Hildegard is one of my favorites. I'll have to bookmark these sites. Thanks.

  • At 2/07/2007 10:04:00 AM, Blogger Deb

    Ah... Hildegard. I 'met' her through the music of anonymous 4 and have made it one of my favorite selections for "studying music" ever since...

    Their CD "11000 virgins" is a keeper, as are their newer ones...

    Funny, isn't it, how FINALLY the rest of the world is hearing God speak through her??

  • At 2/07/2007 10:48:00 AM, Blogger L.L. Barkat

    What an incredible piece of art... love it


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