A Companion to Hildegard of Bingen


This volume provides an introduction to Hildegard and her works, with a focus on the historical, literary, and religious context of the seer’s writings and music. Its essays explore the cultural milieu that informs Hildegard’s life and various compositions, and examine understudied aspects of the magistra’s oeuvre, such as the interconnections among her works.
A Companion to Hildegard of Bingen builds on earlier studies and presents to an English-speaking audience various facets of the seer’s historical persona and her cultural significance, so that the reader can grasp and appreciate the scope of the unparalleled life and contributions of Hildegard, who was declared to be a saint and a doctor of the Church in 2012.

Contributors include: Michael Embach, Margot E. Fassler, Franz J. Felten, George Ferzoco, William T. Flynn, Felix Heinzer, Beverly Mayne Kienzle, Tova Leigh-Choate, Constant J. Mews, Susanne Ruge, Travis A. Stevens, Debra L. Stoudt, and Justin A. Stover.

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Beverly Mayne Kienzle, John H. Morison Professor of the Practice in Latin and Romance Languages, Harvard Divinity School, has published widely on medieval sermons and preaching, and has edited (with Carolyn Muessig) and translated Hildegard’s Expositiones euangeliorum.

Debra L. Stoudt is Professor of German and Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech. She has published on the medieval German mystics and magic and medicine in the Middle Ages.

George Ferzoco, Research Fellow at University of Bristol’s Department of Religion and Theology, works on late medieval verbal and visual propaganda. He recently co-edited A Companion to Catherine of Siena with Beverly Mayne Kienzle and Carolyn Muessig (Brill, 2012).
“The essays collected here situate the Sibyl of the Rhineland thoughtfully; all are careful and detailed; and several significantly enhance our knowledge of Hildegard and her historical context. […] The volume is a welcome addition to current Hildegardian scholarship. It is carefully edited, contains a wealth of bibliographical information, and achieves an impressively high level of scholarly sophistication.”
Caroline Walker Bynum, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. In: The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 66, No. 1 (January 2015), pp. 176-177.
Notes on Contributors, Abbreviations, Acknowledgments
Timeline: Hildegard’s Life and Works
Map: Hildegard’s Region


Beverly Mayne Kienzle and Debra L. Stoudt
What Do We Know About the Life of Jutta and Hildegard at Disibodenberg and Rupertsberg?

Franz J. Felten
St Disibod and the History of the Disibodenberg up to the Beginning of the 12th Century

Franz J. Felten
Hildegard of Bingen and the Hirsau Reform in Germany 1080–1180

Constant J. Mews
Unequal Twins: Visionary Attitude and Monastic Culture in Elisabeth of Schonau and Hildegard of Bingen

Felix Heinzer
Hildegard, the Schools, and their Critics

Justin A. Stover
Intertextuality in Hildegard’s Works: Ezekiel and the Claim to Prophetic Authority

Beverly Mayne Kienzle and Travis A. Stevens
Hearing the Heavenly Symphony: An Overview of Hildegard’s Musical Oeuvre with Case Studies

Tova Leigh-Choate, William T. Flynn, and Margot E. Fassler
Hildegard as Musical Hagiographer: Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek Ms. 103 and Her Songs for Saints Disibod and Ursula

Tova Leigh-Choate, William T. Flynn, and Margot E. Fassler
The Theology of Repentance: Observations on the Liber vite meritorum

Susanne Ruge
The Medical, the Magical, and the Miraculous in the Healing Arts of Hildegard of Bingen

Debra L. Stoudt
Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179): A History of Reception

George Ferzoco
The Canonization and Doctorization of Hildegard of Bingen

George Ferzoco
Notes on Hildegard’s “Unknown” Language and Writing

Bibliography, Index

All those interested in Saint Hildegard of Bingen, medieval theology and music, church history, monastic history and culture, reform movements, visionary experiences, and reception history, from students to scholars.