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Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen

Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen

An introduction to the life and work of Hildegard.

• Reveals the life and teachings of one of the greatest female artists and intellectuals of the Western Mystical Tradition.

• Contains 24 full-color illustrations by Hildegard of Bingen.

• Includes commentary by Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing (250,000 sold).

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was an extraordinary woman living in the Rhineland valley during most of the twelfth century. Besides being the abbess of a large and influential Benedictine abbey, she was a prominent preacher, healer, scientist, and artist. She also was a composer and theologian, writing nine books on theology, medicine, science, and physiology, as well as 70 poems and an opera. At the age of 42, she began to have visions; these were captured as 36 illuminations--24 of which are recorded in this book along with her commentaries on them. She also wrote a text describing these visions entitled Scivias (Know the Ways), now published as Hildegard of Bingen's Mystical Visions.

Author Matthew Fox has stated, "If Hildegard had been a man, she would be well known as one of the greatest artists and intellectuals the world has ever seen." It is a credit to the power of the women's movement and our times that this towering genius of Western thought is being rediscovered in her full grandeur and autonomy.

Virtually unknown for more than 800 years in Western history, Hildegard was featured as one of the women in Judy Chicago's Dinner Party in the early 1980s and published for the first time in English by Bear & Company in 1982. In addition to her mystical teachings, Hildegard's music has been performed and recorded for a new and growing audience.
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  • Bear & Company | 
  • 216 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781879181977 | 
  • December 2002
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Read an Excerpt

Pages 12-14
Hildegard, mystic and a prophet, wishes to be a practical, helping mystic and prophet. She constantly extols the virtue of “usefulness” and in the final sentence of her major work, De Operatione Dei, she tells us that the reason for her work has been “for the usefulness of believers” who are asked to receive her words with a “modest heart.”18 She writes that God “destroys uselessness.”19
Hildegard gives us a working guide to her work when she insists on usefulness. It is one thing to translate Hildegard or to be with her pictures and music--it is quite another to deeply... see more

About the Author

Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox was a member of the Dominican Order in good standing for 34 years until he was expelled by Pope Joseph Ratzinger, who was a cardinal and chief inquisitor at the time. Matthew Fox is the founder of Wisdom University (formerly the University of Creation Spirituality) and the foremost proponent of Creation Spirituality, based on the mystical teachings of early Christian visionaries such as Hildegard von Bingen, Meister Eckhart, and Saint Thomas Aquinas. He is the author of 26 books, including Original Blessing and The Coming of the Cosmic Christ.

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