Monday, November 11, 2013

Mini Review: Hildegard of Bingen: A Spiritual Reader by Carmen Acevedo Butcher


“Humanity, take a good look at yourself. Inside, you’ve got heaven and earth, and all of creation. You’re a world – everything is hidden in you.” –Hildegard of Bingen

She was a Benedictine abbess, artist, composer, dietician, naturalist, poet, traveling preacher, mystic, and political consultant. She was a self-doubter with acute certainty in a merciful and mysterious God; a gifted healer who suffered from illness her whole life. Meet the incomparable Hildegard of Bingen. Nourishing, challenging, and idea-bursting, her writings will stir and awaken your soul.

This essential reader captures the vibrant spirit and intelligence of Hildegard with selections from her songs, theological texts, liturgical music, and letters. Combined with an introduction to Hildegard’s life and era, a map of Hildegard’s Germany, chronology, and a thorough bibliography/discography, Hildegard of Bingen provides the ideal introduction to the thought of this fascinating medieval mystic.


I've been reading a lot of books on saints, but this one stands our because of the great love the author shows for St. Hildegard.  Butcher brings poetry and a mystical quality to the biography, which is fitting as Hildegard was a mystic and a poet as well as an abbess.  Most of the book is dedicated to St. Hildegard's writings translated into English.  Butcher puts the same effort in translating the saint's works as she does in the narrative.  Good reading all around.

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1 comment:

Nissa Annakindt said...

I first learned of her as the creator of Lingua Ignota, a very early constructed language. She's kind of the unofficial patron saint of conlangers (weird people who make up languages).