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) -- Criticism and interpretation, Saint Hildegard (1098-1179) -- Appreciation -- History, Paradox

Abstract

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.

Notes

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

Rights

© Copyright the author(s)

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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.