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Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen

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Written by Fiona MaddockAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Fiona Maddock

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 352 pages
  •  
  • Publisher: Image
  • On Sale: May 20, 2003
  • Price: $19.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-385-49868-5 (0-385-49868-3)
about this book

Set against the rich backdrop of the crusades, the flowering of monasticism, and the first stirrings of the Renaissance, this vivid portrait of Hildegard's life—from her entry into a male monastery at the age of eight through her establishment of a thriving convent as a young woman to her admission to the canon of saints—is a meticulously researched and scholarly look at one of the most remarkable women of the Middle Ages.

The twelfth-century German abbess Hildegard of Bingen would have been remarkable in any age. Today, her growing reputation as a composer of religious music has overshadowed the astonishing variety of her accomplishments and her part in the scientific, cultural, and theological revolution of the pre-Renaissance, from religion and mysticism to medicine and sex. Scivias, her book of apocalyptic visions, with its extraordinary and compelling illustrations, would alone have been enough to endure her lasting fame.

The forceful character that emerges in Maddock's Hildegard of Bingen challenges any image of demurely subjugated womanhood associated with the period. Hildegard's story is as fascinating as that of any figure in the Middle Ages, and she and her musical legacy continue to be the subject of debate a thousand years later.

"Of all the Western mystics being recovered today by spiritual seekers, Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) occupies first place....Maddocks...adeptly shows why Hildegard continues to fascinate seekers.... Maddocks weaves excerpts from all these writings into the biographical narrative so that, despite plodding and workmanlike prose, the saint of Bingen comes alive for the modern world."--Publishers Weekly

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Preface Acknowledgements Biographical Sources People and Places Chronology Maps PROLOGUE: Habeas corpus; CHAPTER ONE: Birth of Hildegard; CHAPTER TWO: Childhood and Cloister; CHAPTER THREE: Disibodenberg; CHAPTER FOUR: Visions; CHAPTER FIVE: Papal Approval; CHAPTER SIX: The Move to Rupertsberg; CHAPTER SEVEN: The Richardis Affair; CHAPTER EIGHT: Imperial and Papal Approval; CHAPTER NINE: Correspondence and Friendship; CHAPTER TEN: Physician and Healer; CHAPTER ELEVEN: On Sexuality; CHAPTER TWELVE: Harp of God; CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Rhine Travels; CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Last Journey; CHAPTER FIFTEEN Final Crisis; CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Relighting the Flame; CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Shrines and Icons. Appendix I: Hildegard: principal works Appendix II: Sister Ancilla Notes and Sources Bibliography Index