ERIC Number: EJ874750
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Reference Count: 5
Channeling Hildegard of Bingen: Transcending Time and Fanning the Flame
Sobehart, Helen C.
Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, v5 n4 p223-233 Oct 2007
Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), mystic, writer, theologian, poet, and musician lived the majority of her life in an incredibly cloistered setting. She was often very ill, and had little formal education (even by the standard of the day), yet she composed music, lyrics and poetry. She described (dictated) exquisite visions in language which showed depth of understanding far beyond that of her peers. She wrote three major books, "Scivias" ("Ways of Knowing"), "Liber vitaemeritorum" ("Book of Life's Merits"), and "Liber divinorum operum" ("Book of the Divine Works"), as well as numerous pieces of correspondence, treatises, and biographical works. Though her descriptions were grounded in her religious life, she wrote about topics that today we would call medicine, environmentalism, theology, and most important to this discussion, feminism. She often rebuked those in the male power structure for their abuse of the gift of leadership, yet popes and kings called her friend, counsel, and even saint. In this essay, Sobehart explains why Saint Hildegard made such an impact, why there is a renewed interest today in her feminist thinking, and why some find her so compelling. Sobehart illustrates, by way of an imaginary conversation with Hildegard, how Hildegard's life and writings may help us to understand and mediate the lives of medieval and modern women within patriarchal frameworks.
Descriptors: Philosophy, Poetry, Females, Leadership, Authors, Religion, Feminism, Power Structure, Social Attitudes, World History
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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