Archives For Hildegard of Bingen



Tomorrow (Sept. 17) is the Feast Day of Hildegard of Bingen.

St. Hildegard was not only a prominent mystic and theologian, she also was a composer.  Her works are reminiscent of the tradition of Gregorian chant, and will appeal to those who appreciate medieval chants.

Here are four albums that introduce her music:

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”110″ identifier=”B000TGZKIM” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”109″]VISION

*** [easyazon_link identifier=”B000TGZKIM” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]DOWNLOAD from Amazon [/easyazon_link]

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Best Books (and music and films) on Hildegard of Bingen
ERB Playlist #6
Compiled by Caitlin Michelle Desjardins

This is the sixth in an on-going series of “playlists,” in which we recommend books around a particular theme.


“Making a mixtape (or playlist) is the opposite of indifferent. It’s heartfelt, purposeful — often a subtle form of flirtation. … [The playlist] is a way of making yourself known, an interpersonal form of show business, of making news, of replicating sounds and words you find important. It’s like poetry, because poetry is what you can’t say in any other way.”
– David Dark, The Sacredness of Questioning Everything
(Our 2009 Book of the Year. Read our Review…)


*** A Recent essay by ERB editor Chris Smith on a theology of the playlist

[ Previous Playlist – #5 Favorite Madeleine L’Engle Books ]


*** Watch for more ERB playlists in the coming weeks and months…



We have just passed through a seminal year for women, monastics, mystics and healers with the canonization of Hildegard von Bingen, followed by her being named a Doctor of the Church—one of only three women to hold that distinction. Hildegard, for me, has always been, first, a fascinating story and figure and, secondly, an inspiration for writing and all kinds of singing. Below are some of the works by or about Hildegard that have been most formative and delightful for me as I’ve explored her life and legacy.
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The Greenest Branch

A Feature Review of Two New Books on Hildegard of Bingen

[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0547567847″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”” width=”106″ alt=”Hildegard of Bingen” ]Illumination:

A Novel of Hildegard of Bingen

Mary Sharratt

Hardback: HMH Books, 2012.
Buy now:
[ [easyazon-link asin=”0547567847″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link] ]  [ [easyazon-link asin=”B006R8PHWU” locale=”us”]Kindle[/easyazon-link] ]

– and –


[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”1565484630″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”” width=”103″]Woman Mystic:

Selections from Saint Hildegard of Bingen’s Scivias

Elizabeth Ruth Obbard

Paperback: New City Press, 2012
Buy now:
[ [easyazon-link asin=”1565484630″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link] ]  [ [easyazon-link asin=”B009AHSHZO” locale=”us”]Kindle[/easyazon-link] ]


Reviewed by Caitlin Michelle Desjardins


I first encountered the name of Hildegard von Bingen during my years as a music student, in a class on Music before 1600. It was early in the first semester of my Freshman year, so I don’t remember much—saving the recollection of a pristine woman’s voice singing a few lines of Latin that had a remarkably rich melody.


Hildegard von Bingen has not been a stranger to me this year, however, as I’ve encountered her name, music, writings and person in a variety of ways, most particularly owing to this being the “Year of Hildegard” to correspond with her canonization in the Catholic Church. My first thought, of course, when I heard she was being canonized was to remember I’d encountered her in that “Music before 1600” class and wonder: why were they just canonizing her now? That question, I’m afraid, I have yet to find a satisfactory answer to, for the more I’ve encountered Hildegard, the more I’ve seen her as embodying the very definition of Saint in the sureness of her call and visions, the magnificence of the music she gifted to the church and the powerful theology she left in writing. But, like many visionaries (both those that, like Hildegard, literally saw heavenly visions, and those who foresaw the future or saw the now clairvoyantly), she was remarkably ahead of her time. So much so, perhaps, that we are only now catching up to her…and even then, there’s so much power here, I’m not sure we are even yet fully prepared.


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