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Chapter 1 - The Life of Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179)

from Part I - Life and Monastic Context

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 October 2021

Jennifer Bain
Affiliation:
Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia
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Summary

This chapter, translated from German by Florian Hild, examines the principal sources for Hildegard’s biography and discusses conflicting evidence and gaps in information that pose difficulties for the modern researcher. The author presents Hildegard’s life chronologically, including her family history, birth, and early years enclosed at Disibodenberg with Jutta of Sponheim; her visions, writings, and other early activities; her founding of the convent at Rupertsberg; her travels, preaching, healing, and miracles; and her final years and death. Additionally, the reception of her written works both toward the end of her life and after her death are considered, including the approval of her three books of visions – Scivias, Liber divinorum operum, and Liber vitae meritorum – by thirteenth-century academic theologians of Paris. Finally, this chapter describes the rise of her status as ‘popular saint’ juxtaposed with the challenges/setbacks in early canonization attempts, culminating with her elevation to sainthood and Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

Primary Sources

Acta Inquisitionis de virtutibus et miraculis sanctae Hildegardis.” In Silvas, Anna, ed. and trans., Jutta and Hildegard: The Biographical Sources. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999, 258272.Google Scholar
Benedict XVI, Pope. “Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.” May 10, 2012. VIS. Vatican Information Service. Holy See Press Office. http://visnews-en.blogspot.com/2012/05/decrees-of-congregation-for-causes-of_11.html.Google Scholar
Benedict XVI, Pope. “Apostolic Letter Proclaiming Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Professed Nun of the Order of Saint Benedict, a Doctor of the Universal Church.” October 7, 2012. www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/apost_letters/documents/hf_ben-xvi_apl_20121007_ildegarda-bingen.html.Google Scholar
Hildegard of Bingen. Explanation of the Rule of Benedict, trans. Feiss, Hugh. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2005.Google Scholar
Feiss, Hugh The Letters of Hildegard of Bingen, ed. Baird, Joseph L. and Ehrman, Radd K.. 3 vols. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994–2004.Google Scholar
Feiss, Hugh Two Hagiographies: Vita sancti Rupperti confessoris. Vita sancti Dysibodi episcopi, ed. and English trans. Feiss, Hugh; Latin ed. Evans, Christopher P.. Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations 11. Paris: Peeters, 2010.Google Scholar
Silvas, Anna, ed. and trans., Jutta and Hildegard: The Biographical Sources. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999.Google Scholar
Vita sanctae Hildegardis, ed. Klaes, Monika. Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 126. Turnhout: Brepols, 1993.Google Scholar

Secondary Sources

Embach, Michael. “Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179): A History of Reception.” In Kienzle, Beverly Mayne, Stoudt, Debra L., and Ferzoco, George, eds., A Companion to Hildegard of Bingen. Leiden: Brill, 2014, 273304.Google Scholar
Embach, Michael and Wallner, Martina. Conspectus der Handschriften Hildegards von Bingen. Münster: Aschendorff, 2013.Google Scholar
Felten, Franz J.What Do We Know About the Life of Jutta and Hildegard at Disibodenberg and Rupertsberg?” In Kienzle, Beverly Mayne, Stoudt, Debra L., and Ferzoco, George, eds., A Companion to Hildegard of Bingen. Leiden: Brill, 2014, 1538.Google Scholar
Kotzur, Hans-Jürgen, ed., Hildegard von Bingen, 1098–1179. Mainz: P. von Zabern, 1998.Google Scholar
Schmandt, Matthias. “Hildegard von Bingen und das Kloster Eibingen: Revision einer historischen Überlieferung.” Nassauische Annalen 125 (2014): 2952.Google Scholar

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