Scivias PDF Ú Paperback

Scivias I feel the need to write on this book based on the reviews I have been reading, some of which show an essential misunderstanding of who the author was or what she was writing about, which results in a complete muddling of the purpose and value of the book.First, if you don t know about Hildegard, you owe it to yourself to seek out some info her life was remarkable and it is notable that she is honored as a Doctor of the Church as a medieval woman and is one of the earliest identified compose I feel the need to write on this book based on the reviews I have been reading, some of which show an essential misunderstanding of who the author was or what she was writing about, which results in a complete muddling of the purpose and value of the book.First, if you don t know about Hildegard, you owe it to yourself to seek out some info her life was remarkable and it is notable that she is honored as a Doctor of the Church as a medieval woman and is one of the earliest identified composers in ages when most music was anonymous However, there is an essential thread that many reviewers are either overlooking or ignoring Hildegard was Catholic At the time 11th century , every Christian was Catholic There were no Protestants, there were no Muslims, there were no hippies or New Age gurus There was no Quran, there was no King James Bible There was no Evangelicalism or Enlightenment philosophy More to the point, there was not self help, self empowering personal philosophy People of her time knew the Church was the sole truth and that was it You can debate whether or not you think that s a valid view of the world, but you can t try to make a philosophy born from that view of the world into something it s not and then get upset when it doesn t live up to your expectations Medieval Christian philosophy did not hope it lived up to your expectations, you were to live up to its own If that sounds harsh to modern ears, it s simply an illustration of how much times have changed, but this book itself aside from being translated has not The discomfort of those who take issue with this book seems to arise from their muscular efforts to put her writings, philosophy, and theology into one or another shape which it did not originally hold In fact, the elements, movements, and philosophies that so many are trying to use as a lens through which to view this work gets it exactly backward, and is as incoherent as trying to explain how Shakespeare might have been influenced by Sartre You have to approach this work at face value, and take what it has to offer to heart for what it is granted learning about Catholicism, Medieval life and philosophy, monastic life, and visionary history can help put some of its mystical elements in better focus, but the work is its own context Trying to put it in any other is missing the point, and I believe, missing out of the best of what this work offers An amazing visionary woman who wrote on so many subjects This book is focussed on her spiritual visions There is much truth in them and beauty showing that the Spirit has spoken to the children of God throughout all history I didn t read the whole book but what I did read was very interesting and well written. Beautiful book An inspiring classic.If you enjoy Hildegard, please visit you.God bless, Beautiful book An inspiring classic.If you enjoy Hildegard, please visit you.God bless, TheI read and learn, theI realize what an incredible figure Hildegard of Bingen was She founded two abbeys, went on two preaching tours, wrote Popes and Kings, composed music, wrote theology and medical and medicinal piecesall in Medieval Germany as a woman This is her first work, which I tackled after reading an edited selection of her many works On the positive side, this is biblical exegesis and theology couched in her explication of her mystic visions She is a powerful Med TheI read and learn, theI realize what an incredible figure Hildegard of Bingen was She founded two abbeys, went on two preaching tours, wrote Popes and Kings, composed music, wrote theology and medical and medicinal piecesall in Medieval Germany as a woman This is her first work, which I tackled after reading an edited selection of her many works On the positive side, this is biblical exegesis and theology couched in her explication of her mystic visions She is a powerful Medieval theologian in a time where women were often silenced It s not difficult to see why she was the first woman to be honored with the title Doctor of the Church in Roman Catholicism On the negative sideshe is a medieval theologian There isn t a lot that reflects how I see theology There is an excessive honoring of virginity that makes Evangelicals look sex positive Shaming in many ways in many places But there are places where she soars, and it is in her hymns and prayers I think I will look for a collection like that I wasinterested in her life and history than her actual visions I enjoyed this book though It was still worth reading I feel very connected to her experience in a way She was an amazing woman, especially for her time 1200 s. Worth mentioning at the outset I have a hunch that many of the 4 or 5 star reviewers here haven t actually read this book or at least not in its entirety.Hildegard von Bingen s Scivias short for Scito vias Domini, or Know the Ways of the Lord is, as the title suggests, mostly comprised of various divinely ordained rules for life In a manner reminiscent of the Book of Revelation or even the Quran , Hildegard describes a particular vision remarkable for their unusually abstract nature Worth mentioning at the outset I have a hunch that many of the 4 or 5 star reviewers here haven t actually read this book or at least not in its entirety.Hildegard von Bingen s Scivias short for Scito vias Domini, or Know the Ways of the Lord is, as the title suggests, mostly comprised of various divinely ordained rules for life In a manner reminiscent of the Book of Revelation or even the Quran , Hildegard describes a particular vision remarkable for their unusually abstract nature , and then recounts the words of God s direct speech explaining the meanings of each vision to Hildegard This is especially fascinating since I m not aware of similarly lengthy medieval texts purported to contain God s direct speech that were accepted by both Papal and political authority Her visions are depicted by illuminations the making of which she oversaw that are arguably the most beautiful and haunting artwork to be produced anywhere in Europe during this period.I should be clear that this is not the actual edition I read mine was a 1954 German copy of the illuminated manuscript.To give a sense of Hildegard s visions, here is the text accompanying Vision 1 I saw a great mountain the color of iron, and enthroned on it One of such great glory that it blinded my sight On each side of him there extended a soft shadow, like a wing of wondrous breadth and length Before him, at the foot of the mountain, stood an image full of eyes on all sides, in which, because of those eyes, I could discern no human form In front of this image stood another, a child wearing a tunic of subdued color but white shoes, upon whose head such glory descended from the One enthroned upon that mountain that I could not look at its face But from the One who sat enthroned upon that mountain many living sparks sprang forth, which flew very sweetly around the images Also, I perceived in this mountain many little windows, in which appeared human heads, some of subdued colors and some white This vision is only Hildegard s first introduction to what are purported to be God s insights, which are transmitted to her through especially unique and often jarring visual symbolism such as described above Hildegard s theological exegesis unfolds in numbered lists that follow each vision after a brief recounting of Lucifer s fall, an affirmation of the reality of damnation the pre King James Gehenna, distinct from modern popular conceptions of hell , and original sin Because the Devil knew that the susceptibility of the woman would beeasily conquered than the strength of the man and he saw that Adam burned so vehemently in his holy love for Eve that if he, the Devil, conquered Eve, Adam would do whatever she said to him , Hildegard deftly transitions directly from Eve s transgression in Eden to What things are to be observed and avoided in marriage In proscribing specific behaviors, there is unsurprisingly a particular focus on sexual intercourse, marriage, and proper gender roles For example, Book I Vision 2.22 Those who have intercourse with the pregnant are murderers The woman is subject to the man in that he sows his seed in her, as he works the earth to make it bear fruit Does a man work the earth that it may bring forth thorns and thistles Never, but that it may give worthy fruit So also this endeavor should be for the love of children and not for the wantonness of lust Therefore, O humans, weep and howl to your God, Whom you so often despise in your sinning, when you sow your seed in the worst fornication and thereby become not only fornicators but murderers for you cast aside the mirror of God and sate your lust at will God forbids women from the priesthood Book II Vision 6.76 Women should not approach the office of the altar So too those of female sex should not approach the office of My altar for they are an infirm and weak habitation, appointed to bear children and diligently nurture them A woman conceives a child not by herself but through a man, as the ground is plowed not by itself but by a farmer In another illustrative example, God forbids straying from gender restrictions on clothing Book II Vision 6.77 Men and women should not wear each other s clothes except in necessity A man should never put on feminine dress or a woman use male attire, so that their roles may remain distinct, the man displaying manly strength and the woman womanly weakness for this was so ordered by Me when the human race began Unless a man s life or a woman s chastity is in danger in such an hour a man may change his dress for a woman s or a woman for a man s, if they do it humbly in fear of death And when they seek My mercy for this deed they shall find it, because they did it not in boldness but in danger of their safety, But as a woman should not wear a man s clothes, she should also not approach the office of My altar, for she should not take on a masculine role either in her hair or in her attireHildegard s words on this subject aren t trivial nearly 300 years later, the only heresy charge of which Joan of Arc would be convicted was cross dressing It was enough to warrant her being burned alive at the stake.Most of the text reads like this, though Hildegard through what are purportedly God s direct words also seeks to expound and justify existing church doctrine, as well as to address apparent contradictions This is aided by judicious use of excerpts from the Old Testament.Hildegard s final vision is prophetic rather than prescriptive The church is depicted as a woman the bride of God , and interestingly, the antichrist is depicted as a monstrous face where the woman s genitalia should be Book II Vision 11 The Last Days and the Fall of the Antichrist And I saw again the figure of a woman whom I had previously seen in front of the altar that stands before the eyes of God she stood in the same place, but now I saw her from the waist down And from her waist to the place that denotes the female, she had various scaly blemishes and in that latter place was a black and monstrous head It had fiery eyes, and ears like an ass , and nostrils and mouth like a lion s it opened wide its jowls and terribly clashed its horrible iron colored teeth Also, Book II Vision 11.14 Antichrist will horribly rend the faithful and cruelly tear humanity And thus in the place where the female is recognized is a black and monstrous head For the son of perdition will come raging with the arts he first used to seduce, in monstrous shamefulness and blackest wickedness It has fiery eyes, and ears like an ass , and nostrils and mouth like a lion s for he runs wild in acts of vile lust and shameful blasphemy, causing people to deny God and tainting their minds and tearing the Church with the greed of rapine It opens wide its jowls and terribly clashes its horrible iron colored teeth for with his voracious and gaping jaws he evilly infuses those who consent to him with his strong vices and mordant madness Recent decades have seen a resurgence of popular interest in Hildegard von Bingen, perhaps due mostly to the modern New Age movement I humbly suggest that anyone who thinks Hildegard s brand of mysticism fits neatly into the New Age pastiche might be disabused of this notion if they took the time to read Hildegard s actual literary works written in her own words.Hildegard was a woman who was arguably one of the most creative and productive intellectuals of her time her creative output includes decades worth of books, letters, poems, and songs , a period in which a deeply, unabashedly patriarchal society held women to be something almost less than human Yet, whatever her value as an inspirational feminist figure, those looking for an anti patriarchal hero will find little to admire in Hildegard s plainly abhorrent and backward views of women and gender roles Like almost everyone that s ever lived, she was a person firmly embedded in the culture of her time and place.When appreciated for historical rather than spiritual insight, when taken on her terms rather than ours, the value of Hildegard s work nevertheless remains for those interested in the past They ll find that, beyond the beautiful, hypnotic illuminations, Scivias offers a relatively concise and readable glimpse into the prevailing cultural and spiritual religious values of medieval Western Europe She is being proclaimed a doctor of the Church this weekend I ve sung her music and have read her visions I am intrigued to read the reasons she is being named a DoC. A biography of this incredible woman s life would be muchinteresting to most readers than this collection of her visions. Hildegard, you didn t see shit. This work contains thevisions of Hildegard of Bingen , who was the first of the great German mystics, as well as a poet and a prophet, a physician and a political moralist


About the Author: Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen 1098 1179 , also known as Saint Hildegard and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, German Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath Elected a magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136, she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165 One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama.She wrote theological, botanical and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, poems, and arguably the oldest surviving morality play, while supervising brilliant miniature Illuminations.


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