The Astonishing Hildegard of Bingen

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss one of the most remarkable figures of the Middle Ages, Hildegard of Bingen. The abbess of a Benedictine convent, Hildegard experienced a series of mystical visions which she documented in her writings. She was an influential person in the religious world and much of her extensive correspondence with popes, monarchs and other important figures survives. Hildegard was also celebrated for her wide-ranging scholarship, which as well as theology covered the natural world, science and medicine.

Officially recognised as a saint by the Catholic Church in 2012, Hildegard is also one of the earliest known composers. Since their rediscovery in recent decades her compositions have been widely recorded and performed.

With: Miri Rubin Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History and Head of the School of History at Queen Mary, University of London William Flynn Lecturer in Medieval Latin at the Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds Almut Suerbaum Professor of Medieval German and Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford.

In May, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI formally declared 12th century Benedictine nun Hildegard of Bingen a canonized saint, with the canonization ceremony scheduled for October. He regards her as one of the great thinkers who has helped shape the thought of the Catholic Church.”

Mystic of Creation, Mystic of the Redemption

Listen to discussion here:

— Those Awful Middle Ages!

Selected Writings