Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World

Front Cover
University of California Press, 1998 - Religion - 278 pages
0 Reviews
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) would have been an extraordinary person in any age. But for a woman of the twelfth century her achievements were so exceptional that posterity has found it hard to take her measure. Barbara Newman, a premier Hildegard authority, brings major scholars together to present an accurate portrait of the Benedictine nun and her many contributions to twelfth-century religious, cultural, and intellectual life. Written by specialists in fields ranging from medieval theology to medicine to music, these essays offer an understanding of how one woman could transform so many of the traditions of the world in which she lived.

Hildegard of Bingen was the only woman of her age accepted as an authoritative voice on Christian doctrine as well as the first woman permitted by the pope to write theological books. She was the author of the first known morality play; an artist of unusual talents; the most prolific chant composer of her era; and the first woman to write extensively on natural science and medicine, including sexuality as seen from a female perspective. She was the only woman of her time to preach openly to mixed audiences of clergy and laity, and the first saint whose biography includes a first-person memoir.

Adding to the significance of this volume is the fact that Hildegard's oeuvre reflects the entire sweep of twelfth-century culture and society. Scholars and lay readers alike will find this collection a rich introduction to a remarkable figure and to her tumultuous world. With the commemoration of the 900th anniversary of Hildegard's birth in September 1998, the publication of Voice of the Living Light is especially welcome.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Mother and Teacher
30
A Frail Human Being
52
Smoke in the Vineyard
70
Blessed Is the Speech
91
To See Hear and Know All at Once
110
Behold the Human Creature
125
Melodious Singing
149
Where the Living Majesty Utters Mysteries
176
Notes
193
Bibliography
257
Index
271
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1998)

Barbara Newman is Professor of English and Religion at Northwestern University. Among her many works are Sister of Wisdom: St. Hildegard's Theology of the Feminine (California, 1987, second edition 1997) and From Virile Woman to WomanChrist: Studies in Medieval Religion and Literature (1995).

Bibliographic information