Hildegard of Bingen: Scivias by Mother Columba Hart
...these translations thus supersede former ones...if the introductions, translations, and other apparatus of the rest of the series are of the same high quality, the series will be indispensable for most libraries. Library Journal Hildegard of Bingen: Scivias translated by Mother Columbia Hart and Jane Bishop introduced by Barbara J. Newman prefaced by Caroline Walker Bynum 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. Hildegard of Bingen(1098-1179) Hildegard of Bingen, twelfth-century German nun, mystic, prophet and political moralist, was widely consulted as an oracle and wrote prolifically on doctrinal matters, as well as on secular matters like medicine, She publicly preached monastic reform, founded two nunneries, and was embroiled in the politics surrounding popes and anti-popes. Scivias, her major religious work, consists of twenty-six visions, which are first se down literally as she saw them, and are the explained exegetically. A few of the topic covered in the visions are the charity of Christ, the nature of the universe, the kingdom of God, the fall of man, sanctification, and the end of the world. Special emphasis is given to the sacraments of marriage and the Eucharist, in response to the Cathar heresy. As a group the visions form a theological summa of Christian doctrine. At the end of the Scivias are hymns of praise and a short play, probably an early draft of Ordo virtutum, the first known morality play. Hildegard is remarkable for being able to unite vision with doctrine, religion with science, charismatic jubilation with prophetic indignation, and longing for social order with quest for social justice. This volume elucidates the life of medieval women, and is a striking example of a special form of Christian spirituality.