Start Date

18-4-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

18-4-2018 10:15 AM

Disciplines

History of Religion

Subjects

Saint Hildegard (1098-1179)

Description

The first women granted Papal permission to teach and preach on theological matters, Hildegard of Bingen (AD 1098-1179) was a revered spiritual teacher who accumulated a sphere of influence far beyond most medieval women. However, Hildegard’s power derived from a paradox: the only way in which Hildegard was able to gain power was by deliberately diminishing herself as a paupercula femina forma (a poor little form of a woman). This paper explores the paradoxical cultivation of Hildegard's self-image, of a weak woman unwillingly receiving the word of God through debilitating visions, as a means to authenticate Hildegard's work and gain influence within the medieval world.

Description

2nd place winner of the Karen E. Hoppes Young Historians Award for Outstanding Research and Writing.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/24768

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Apr 18th, 9:00 AM Apr 18th, 10:15 AM

The Supreme and Fiery Force of a Poor Little Form of a Woman: The Development of the Prophetic Voice of Hildegard of Bingen

The first women granted Papal permission to teach and preach on theological matters, Hildegard of Bingen (AD 1098-1179) was a revered spiritual teacher who accumulated a sphere of influence far beyond most medieval women. However, Hildegard’s power derived from a paradox: the only way in which Hildegard was able to gain power was by deliberately diminishing herself as a paupercula femina forma (a poor little form of a woman). This paper explores the paradoxical cultivation of Hildegard's self-image, of a weak woman unwillingly receiving the word of God through debilitating visions, as a means to authenticate Hildegard's work and gain influence within the medieval world.