Hildegard von Bingen 1098 – 1179 * Winfried Wilhelmy & Ines Koring (1998)

Last year somewhere me and my girlfriend spent our holidays in the Rhein/Mosel area in Germany. Of course we visited Bingen and the local museum with its Hildegard von Bingen exposition. We were lucky, there was also a temporary exposition about Hildegard’s visions. Hildegard is one of the most famous Medieval, female mystics and the paintings based on her visions are magnificent. There is much more to say about Hildegard though and there was a book sold in the shop which speaks about all the aspects of Hildegard, but (most importantly) also had the paintings of the visions together with the texts that these visions are based on. The authors start with a biography of Hildegard, her cloisters on the Disibodenberg and the Rupertsberg and her dealings with the official church. The part about Hildegard’s work is lenghty. Hildegard wrote (about) music, (natural) medicines and theological tracts. Her visions appear to be nothing more (or less) than descriptions of what she saw. Amazing figures with two or three heads, multiple sets of wings, lion-paws for feet and eyes all over their bodies. There is nothing as of interpretation or explanation which leaves a lot for the imagination. Of course the other texts and the writings of the authors give leads.
The book is printed luxerously on heavy paper. This makes the book too heavy to read comfortly, but the images look manificent. Another thing is however I read a lot in German, but the way Hildegard tries to describe what she saw, makes it hard to follow sometimes, even in modern German. The book is completed with overviews of items from the museum, items that Hildegard made or used or that were found on the terrains where she lived. All in all a wonderfull overview of an extremly interesting Christian.
1998 Die Deutsche Bibliotheek, isbn 3805323980

One comment

  1. I love the deep spiritual writing of many contemplatives such the as John of the Cross. Teresa of Avila and others. This would also incude the theology of Hildegard of Bingen.I have studied some of the mystics and would love to know more about the writings of Hildegard of Bingen. And after reading some of her work I am also willing to write a book review. John.

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