Hildegard of Bingen—visionary, abbess, composer, dramatist, poet and healer—was the brilliant and passionate precursor of many of the great women mystics of the Middle Ages. Her body of work is unusually expansive in terms of genre and subject matter for any theologian of her time, and includes powerful descriptions of her visions, advice to influential nobles and royalty, theological correspondence with fellow monastics, liturgical songs, and medical and scientific works.
Hildegard’s strong personality and vivid spiritual experiences still speak to readers within the church as well as those who are not formally religious but who have an interest in mysticism, the spiritual life, and feminist and eco-spiritualities, or who are drawn to Hildegard through the arts, particularly her music.
This unique introduction to Hildegard’s world and writings presents a wide range of her texts grouped by theme, providing a deeper understanding of this influential spiritual figure than those found in single-themed collections. Insightful and instructive annotations provide historical background and place selections within the wider context of Hildegard’s understanding of the spiritual life and the natural world.
A lively, faithful and widely accessible translation for which those familiar with the visionary’s work will be grateful and which will invite new readers into an amazing body of luminous mystical wisdom.
—Elizabeth Drescher, PhD, author, Choosing Our Religion: The Spiritual Lives of America’s Nones
Well-chosen thematic selections. . . [The] introduction and concise annotations provide just enough historical background for any reader who desires to hear Hildegard’s voice as a fresh and inspiring testimony to the Living Light.
—Arthur Holder, PhD, professor of Christian spirituality and dean, Graduate Theological Union
Splendid. . . Each page overflows with faith and beauty, hope and love, as well as illuminating insights.
—Mary Ford-Grabowsky, author, Spiritual Writings on Mary: Annotated & Explained; featured on the BBC CD Hildegard von Bingen in Portrait
A rich overview of Hildegard’s wide-ranging work. . . reveal[s] the depth and subtlety of her insight.
—Carl McColman, author, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism and Befriending Silence
Dr. Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook, an Episcopal priest, is a popular teacher, speaker and retreat leader on topics related to Christian spirituality, mysticism, social activism and interreligious encounter. A professor of practical theology at Claremont School of Theology, Claremont Lincoln University, and professor of Anglican studies at Bloy House, the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont, she is author of Hildegard of Bingen: Essential Writings and Chants of a Christian Mystic—Annotated & Explained and Pilgrimage—The Sacred Art: Journey to the Center of the Heart, among other books.