Talk:Hildegard of Bingen

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canonized ?[edit]

Brittanica insists that Hildegard was not canonized, but she definitely appears in the German regional calendar as "Heilige" (saint) and the Mass is celebrated to Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Was there a confirmation of cultus at some point after the Brittanica was published? Or is Brittanica wrong? Mpolo 12:42, Sep 24, 2004 (UTC)

If you mean "Encyclopaedia Britannica," which edition?Jclerman 22:14, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
she was never canonized, but is called "Saint Hildegard" in parts of Germany regardless. dab () 07:02, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
Correct! She is not considered a "saint" by the Catholic Church. Was never canonized. See edits. Her removal from "saints" list would be accurate. 03:19, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Her feast is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Speyer, Mainz, Trier, and Limburg, also in the Abbey of Solesmes, where a proper office is said (Brev. Monast. Tornac., 18 Sept.). She has an entry in the Roman Martyrology, and you can't get more "official" than that. Rwflammang (talk) 01:23, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

She lived at a time when formal canonizations were only just becoming the norm. Earlier people became Saints because people called tehm saints. Where she is in time, its understandable she would be called saint without having been "canonized" formally. A clearer question is; does she have a feast day in the liturgical calendar of any church. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:00, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

In parts of Germany, September 17th is celebrated as her feast day, but as she's never been official canonized, there's no official feast day for her.Flygongengar (talk) 17:13, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
17th September in ECUSA and the Church of England, too. Marnanel (talk) 20:27, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

This may become a moot point, as reports indicate that the Vatican is preparing to formally canonize Hildegard and declare her a Doctor of the Church in October, 2012. As soon as official declarations are made, the page will be edited to reflect. NathanielMCampbell (talk) 00:46, 19 December 2011 (UTC)


Many much needed additions, thank you Cwphd97. Stbalbach 17:03, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

wikiquote-could you please add a link, I dunno how to do that[edit]

Hi, could anyone please add quotation from wikiquote in the way it should be done properly? I don't know how to add a link like this. It is here: [1]

"Glance at the sun.
See the moon and the stars.
Gaze at the beauty of the earth's greenings.

I like it very much:) Thanks!

unfortunately, there is no information as to the poem's source, or the translator. dab () 20:49, 23 November 2005 (UTC)


Much of this article (for example the paragraph beginning "The 12th century was also the time of schisms and religious foment") exactly matches Who's copying whom? 21:26, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

You're right. User:Cwphd97 added it in a long time ago, and it was never caught. I've removed the copyrighted text now. It's really too bad that people insert copyrighted stuff, since a lot of people had spent time and energy copyediting it, etc. Thanks for pointing it out. Mak (talk) 23:37, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Alternative alphabet?[edit]

Well, what is it? Evertype 18:10, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

number of compositions[edit]

This section of the article could use some clarification. Right now it isn't very NPOV, and sounds like a fansite.

"Approximately eighty compositions survive, which is a far larger repertoire than almost any other medieval composer."

Unfortunately I can't seem to find any specific information right now.

RichMac 05:48, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Could you please clarify? She is an extremely important composer. What exactly do you see as POV about the section? The section that you quote seems like a statement of fact to me, not in any way POV. The reason it's approximate is that she's medieval, which means that there is sometimes a question of attribution, and it's also possible that more works will be uncovered in a library somewhere. When I get home and can use my Grove I'll try to give it an inline cite. Mak (talk) 13:28, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm not arguing against her significance, what gets me is the wording in the sentence. Particularly the second half. 'far larger than almost' it feels like it's stretching to be gratifying when it needn't be. I've reworded it, I think it sounds a little better now. RichMac 01:59, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

List of compositions (added 12/2014 Terry nyorks (talk) 14:59, 30 December 2013 (UTC))


Does anyone know anything about Volmar, Hildegard's secretary in later life? I can't find out ANYTHING about him! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sedonaarizona (talkcontribs)

There is a little information in Thomas Cahill's book, "Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe" (New York: Doubleday, 2006). The "Notes and Sources" section cites bibliography on Hildegarde in general that may be of some further use to you. One scholarly source mentioned is "Voice of the Living Light: Hildegarde of Bingen and her World," ed. Barbara Newman (California, 1998). (talk) 18:11, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Saints infobox[edit]

The "Saints" infobox has been added to the page of this article primarily because it is currently standard form to add a infobox to all the biography articles in wikipedia. There are a number of such infoboxes available for people in various fields. Because Hildegarde is venerated in both the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church, and possibly others, it seems to me that that infobox might be the most appropriate one to use here. Also, because of the marked differences in the requirements to be called a "saint" in the various Christian churches, with the comparatively lower "thresholds" in many of the Protestant churches, it seems to me to be fairer to try to be as non-POV as possible and include all those people who have been somehow formally singled out by any Christian faith. The Roman Catholics are so far as I can tell the only faith to have grades of holiness, although almost all their "venerable" people might well qualify as "saints" in other faiths. I hope that this somewhat muddled explanation of the inclusion of the infobox is acceptable. If not, please voice any concerns or comments below. John Carter 14:45, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Why not the "composer" infobox? I know her primarily as a composer. What about the "writer" infobox? In many fields she is primarily known as an author. How about politician? She wrote to various powerful people in her time, and probably swayed their opinion. Just choosing which type of infobox to use points out why I think infoboxes are so problematic - they are redundant to the lede paragraph (yes, it's an encyclopedia and I don't think it's too much to ask for people to be asked to read a whole paragraph on the person they want to learn about) and that they take out any and all nuance. "Boxing" people is a terrible idea. At least with categories you can include all that are applicable. For infoboxes, you have to choose what goes in each field, with no explanation or nuance. This is not a problem for things which are easily taxonomised (probably a made-up word), such as plants, but I think it's a terrible idea for people. There is no "rule" policy or guideline that says that all biographies must have an infobox, except that of one or two specific projects, which I don't believe really get to dictate article content. If I get the people in the "composers" project to say "no infoboxes for people" do they get to trump every editor who disagrees with them simply because they've made up a policy? The bottom line is, infoboxes are a terrible idea for people, and I can't help what people do on all the other biographies on Wikipdia, but I can remind people why they're terrible on the articles I watch when they're added (generally by people who know nothing about the subject, and get things wrong). Mak (talk) 15:27, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Please note that the box you removed was not placed there by me, and that this is now the second time I believe that you have personally removed it. The majority of the infoboxes list the birth and death dates and whatever other relevant data is appropriate, and evidently the editors of the Biography project whose work I believe we are following disagreed with you when they instituted them. If you have objections to the placement of these biography infoboxes, I would have no objections whatsoever to your creating a discussion on the subject in the appropriate area. The fact that some individuals know Hildegarde primarily as a composer is relevant. However, it is also possible that somewhere out there someone might know Adolf Hitler primarily as a architectural draftsman. The fact that you personally think they are a bad idea, and are willing to revert the work of others, is not in and of itself just cause; consensus is required. Frankly, you aren't going to find consensus by removing the infobox from one article. I personally agree that at least some of the infoboxes for people are at best incomplete. I would have no idea which infobox to put on John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, for example, and would probably personally favor the creation of a combination infobox in such instances. The same would probably hold for this person as well. However, taking such unilateral action as you have done seemingly against the existing consensus of the community is a clear violation of the spirit of wikipedia. There probably is a good place for the discussion of such matters, probably at the biography project. However, reverting one article repeatedly because you disagree with something is not the appropriate response here. If any other project were to seek to add the relevant data from their infoboxes, if such were possible, clearly I would have no objections. However, complete and unilateral removal of infoboxes is probably not the best way to resolve the situation. John Carter 15:42, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
As a compromise, I have adding a "non-taxonomical" infobox ... it is simply the biography infobox from the template "Infobox Biography." Later, if a more specific infobox is desired, it can be changed, but there is one on the page for now. -- Pastordavid 21:24, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Saints rating[edit]

I've said this elsewhere, but I'll reiterate it here:

"Top" priority in Bio is limited to 200 people, which it is doubtful would include Hildegard. However, in my changing her to "Top" under the Saints project, I did so because the guidelines state (for Top level Saints): "Subject is a 'core' or 'key' topic for Saints, or is generally notable to people other than students of Saints." (emphasis added) By these criteria, Hildegard of Bingen cleary falls under the "Top" category in the Saints project. Outside of Hagiography, she is much better known, for example, than Anthony of Padua or Columba. She is well known in the Linguistics and Music communities. The Jade Knight 03:42, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I think the key words which are probably omitted in the quote you made above would change the phrase to or is generally notable to people other than students of Saints as saints (emphasis added). I acknowledge up front that Hildegarde is notable for her contributions to linguistics and music. Her contributions as a Christian religious figure/saint, however, are not quite so obvious, and her importance to the Saints project, which is what the banner relates to, I believe takes her out of top importance on that basis. I believe Columba is included in the top importance field because of his status as a core biography. Please see the Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Core biographies#Criteria section for their definition of how someone qualifies as a "top" importance article to their project. I believe that it would be difficult to make the case that Hildegarde qualifies as top to their project on that basis. Granted, the same could be said for Columba, were it not for the fact that he is a, if not the, pivotal figure in the idea of How The Irish Saved Civilization, even if he isn't mentioned specifically in that article yet. However, I acknowledge the point that Hildegarde is notable to other projects, and have added the banners of the Catholicism, Composers, Languages, and Writing Systems projects to the page as well, so that the members of those projects, who are much more informed on her contributions in those fields, will hopefully add and/or monitor the content with which they are most familiar to the article. I believe that it would be more than presumptuous for the comparatively small and limited focus Saints projects to take responsibility for content in fields as broadly disparate as those. I hope that this attempt at compromise proves acceptable. Regarding Anthony of Padua, I agree that he probably doesn't qualify in that category either, and have said as much here. It is my hope that the project soon attempts a more systemic analysis of what qualifies an article as being of top-importance. Also, I have unofficially heard that there may now be a more objective way of determining general "importance" in development, based on number of links to other articles, etc. Clearly, I think the project will have to seriously consider abiding by whatever conclusions are reached there if and when that system is finalized. John Carter 14:41, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure where you found that quote you're using, but it isn't at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Saints/Assessment#Importance_scale. The sentence there describing "top" priority Saints, which I have quoted, ends in a period, not in "as saints." I'm not going to press the issue that she be assessed higher if consensus is against it, but as the guideline is currently phrased, she deserves "Top" priority within the Saints project. The Jade Knight 22:56, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
The quote I used comes was original, as I thought it was assumed that any individual project can really only rank any article relative to its importance to that particular subject. I believe that the original quote you originally used was "borrowed", probably without adjustment, from the original Version 1.0 Assessments, and that few if any projects have adjusted the phrasing as they would rationally have to to reflect their own interests. Also, you have yet to establish explicitly why your knowing her as a composer (leaving alone the rarely-used writing system she set up) explicitly qualifes her as "top" importance. I would note that her compositions, as I remember, were only recently "rediscovered" and that, on that basis, they may at some point in the future fade into comparative obscurity once again, which would dramatically lower her importance were that to happen. Also, were we, or any other project, to rank any articles we deal with as being of "top" importance based on their importance beyond the project, I think that you would agree that Johann Sebastian Bach, Albrecht Dürer, Leonhard Euler, Søren Kierkegaard, Martin Luther King, Jr. (all core biographies) as well as several other individuals, probably including John Donne, Christina Rossetti, Dag Hammarskjöld, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, George Frideric Handel, the Romanov saints, Victor Hugo, Sun Yat-Sen, John F. Kennedy, and any number of other people who are recognized as saints by one or another church who achieved recognition for reasons not clearly and directly related to their religious conduct were to be articles that we would be, in effect, required to rank as of great importance within our own project, even if their contributions in our area were minimal, that we would, in effect, both have the number of "top" importance articles rapidly escalate to an ungovernable size and lose any control whatever over our own project, as we would then be governed by forces outside the project itself. Lastly, as we do not yet possess the importance rankings from the other projects whose scope she falls under, we would be making an assumption based upon data that has not yet been collected, which would probably qualify as original research. As is stated on the Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Work via Wikiprojects#Bot-assisted article selection page, there is currently a bot in development which may rank articles based on their importance (based on number of links) within wikipedia, the number of hits the article receives, and the number of pages the subject has in foreign language wikipedias. If and when that bot is developed and is enacted, then I as a member of the Version 1.0 Editorial Team will certainly try to encourage all projects, including the Saints project, to take that into account. Also, as Version 1.0 now has its own banner, I think it will be a simple matter to ensure that all "top" importance articles as determined by Version 1.0 will have that ranking displayed on that banner, which would probably be the top on any given page. As stated, however, the article has not yet been ranked for importance by the other banners recently applied to it, nor has the proposed bot yet been created. Also, as noted, you have not yet explicitly indicated that her importance as a composer, taken with her importance to "religious life" (our project's basic scope) would inherently make her top importance to the project. I would think that she would probably have to qualify as at least "high" importance to Composers (or some other music project) for us to combine the importances to make her "top". Without that required info, we would be making a decision based on information we don't yet have, which strikes me as being completely against the spirit of wikipedia. Sorry for rambling on so long, by the way. John Carter 17:02, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Talking of which, Albrecht Durer is a Lutheran saint (along with Cranach and Matthias Grunwald), but has rightly been given a "low" priority by the Lutheranism project and a "mid" one by the Saints project, whilst equally rightly he is top priority for the Germany and Visual Arts projects. No complaints on that talk page, or from me as writer of most of the current form of the article. Johnbod 23:33, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not particularly insistant that she be given "top" priority. But if she isn't, the stated guideline clearly needs to be rephrased. I, personally, can provide no hard and fast statistics for her fame (other than that a Google search provides nearly 300,000 hits, followed by nearly another million for "Hildegard von Bingen"), but she is not at all obscure in Medieval Music or Linguistics, and she is iconic among conlangers. The other day, while walking through the Humanities building of my local university, I chanced to hear some students studying about her. It is unlikely that they were students of music or hagiography (though quite possible that they were studying the Humanities or Linguistics). This is anecdotal, but I'm trying to illustrate a point. Garmarna, a fairly well-known Swedish rock band, has released an entire CD (and went on tour extensively) covering music written by Hildegard of Bingen (not to mention the many classical recordings which exist). Again, I'm not saying that she needs to be "top" priority, but IMO she is very well-known in a variety of fields—it is possible (though I find this hard to believe) that she is better-known in Music and Linguistics than she is in Hagiography! The Jade Knight 19:49, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I believe that probably is the case, as her impact on religion seems to me to be rather limited. I am an old student of church history, by the way, and can scarcely remember encountering her name at all in that context. Also, I believe elsewhere on the assessment page it states that any member of the Saints Project is free to make assessments, indicating by omission that non-members of the project should not do so. I think that may have been so that such discussions as these can take place centrally and internally, probably on the project pages, not on the individual article talk pages. Certainly, if and when we get the rankings from the other projects (Version 1.0 will shortly be trying to "encourage" all the projects to complete their assessments) we will then have a bit more data to work with particularly regarding the music and linguistics rankings with which to operate with. Also, I'm fairly sure that 1.0 will be seeking additional articles for the various release versions, and any article with a top or high importance ranking from any major project (some of them are rather limited scope which might disqualify them, Wikipedia:WikiProject The Smashing Pumpkins for instance) will very likely be at least considered for inclusion in them. I can't say for certain when that will happen, but I am fairly sure announcements will be made everywhere to let people know. And I am leaving a message on the WikiProject Council talk page to tell all the other project members there that this discrepancy exists on at least some of the project pages, and that they might like to correct it to avoid any complications. John Carter 14:21, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

A solution for the large book list[edit]

Joan of Arc bibliography this page was quite successful as an aside to Joan of Arc, it kept the original page tidy and is a useful reference in its own right.

I propose a move of the book and discography list to Hildegard of Bingen bibliography, this way it can avoid any issues of the original page being held back from Good Article status (which it would never get with such a large list), plus make it more navigable and useful. The book list is useful in its own right so would be too much of a shame to lose entirely. It also means that we can make menu entries for each section, which the current list can't have or the contents page would be too long: My sandbox

As to whether this would be considered a spam list - Durova has already proven that it isn't with the Joan of Arc page, or it'd have been deleted by now :-) Lethe 11:34, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

No posts = no contest, new article is here: Hildegard of Bingen bibliography and discography Lethe 20:37, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Carnal Pleasure[edit]

It seems to me that this page places undue space to Hildegard's views on sex, which represents only a miniscule percentage of her writings. Such views have always been commonplace within convents. In my humble opinion, the fact that there are 5 quotes on sex and 0 on Hildegard's works in art and science says far more about the trends of modern scholarship than it does concerning an unbiased presentation of a very brilliant woman. Can somebody please fix this? Davidsafford 01:53, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Hildegard - Abbess or not?[edit]

According to the Lesser Feasts & Fasts 2003 book (ISBN 0898694108), Hildegard became Abbess of Bingen at age 38. I find this cited in several websites as well. Sarum blue 01:09, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

this is a technical point surrounding the title "abbess". At 38, Hildegard became the leader of Jutta's nunnery, which was not an independent monastery, and did not have an abbess. At 52, she founded the Saint Rupertsberg nunnery, which was more like an independent monastery, but apparently the move was so controversial that she did forgo assuming the title of "abbess", which would no doubt have stirred further controversy. The point is that she was, for all practical purposes, an abbes, only she did not call herself that. --dab (𒁳) 08:33, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Excellent. Thank you for the information. Sarum blue 22:43, 22 September 2007 (UTC)


Where does that orgasm quote come from? Adam Bishop 02:56, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I referenced it, but I could not find its source online. Srnec 04:14, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Name of article?[edit]

I was a bit surprised to find, after typing in Hildegard von Bingen, that it was redirected to Hildegard of Bingen. There doesn't appear to have been any discussion on this point, and the article seems to have had this name from the start (the redirect page was created several months later.) Shouldn't it follow the usual practice and use her name as it has come down to us through history?

Obviously, there are differing views on this. So, with apologies to the Bard von Avon: "To be of, or not to be of -- that is the question." Cgingold 00:05, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

PS - A brief followup to an earlier discussion: Not only is she much better known in modern times for her music, but in the last few decades she has become an iconic figure in Women's Studies, etc. Cgingold 00:14, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree--for what it's worth, whenever I've seen her name on sheet music or whatnot, it's been 'Hildegard von Bingen', not 'of Bingen'. (talk) 06:52, 30 July 2008 (UTC)


The references given to not appear to support the extreme claim "One of her works, the Ordo Virtutum, has been called the first form, and possibly the origin, of opera." The same can be said for the unreferenced use of "oratorio" for the same work lower down. Johnbod (talk) 01:30, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Image Credits[edit]

I feed the need to raise an issue that may involve other Wiki articles. While it is true that copyrights on the manuscript images pictured on this site are not in effect (they are, after all, 12th-century images), it seems to me that even where scholarly "fair use" applies, credit may still be due with reference to the photographs that have been taken of them. In the case of the "Universal Man" image, for example, the photography credit for it that I found in a recent book is given to Scala/Art Resource, two affiliated fine-art image archives located in Italy and New York that provide many of the illustrations for books and articles on art and architectural history. Such publications always provide the appropriate credits. I don't know where the individual who added the image to this article found it, but it may originally have come from the Scala/Art Resource archives. If not, perhaps an attempt to identify the source should be made. I might also add that the location of a work of art should be given if at all possible, something else that is standard practice in published books and articles that illustrate art and architecture. I believe that the manuscript in which the "Universal Man" appears is in the Biblioteca Statale in Lucca, Italy. (talk) 18:11, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Composer project review[edit]

I've reviewed this article as part of the Composers project review of its B-class articles. I find that this article does not merit a B rating, for a variety of reasons listed in my more detailed review on the comments page. The principal reason is that some very basic factual information is missing (that has nothing to do with whether or not she was a composer): what is known about the circumstances of her death, and the circumstances surrounding why she is called Saint or Blessed, even if she (as is asserted further up this page) has not been canonized by the Catholic Church. The lack of this material strikes me as notable for a person of her stature; I have lowered the article's rating to Start. Magic♪piano 00:51, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

anti-semitic and not really a scientist[edit]

I read somewhere that she was extremely anti-semitic. Nothing is said here. In fact a lot what's written here seems almost too reverential for words. As someone else said, a "fansite". In addition, it's a little hard to believe that she was a "scientist" the 11th century? Not any evidence is given for it in the entire description. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:33, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

"Evidence" that she's a scientist?...Can you "prove" that she was anti-semitic? Hyacinth (talk) 07:29, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Are you seriously shocked that a nun in the 11th century was anti-semetic? And I think the scientist claim has to do with the fact that she was an herbalist. (talk) 22:50, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

The "she was just a creature of her times" excuse doesn't cut it. Various others of her time (e.g., Abelard, Peter the Venerable), while not exactly tolerant of Jews, criticized the riots and pogroms against them. It's a documented fact, rarely mentioned by her enthusiasts, that Hildegarde not only acquiesced in the murder of Jews, but actively preached against them during the Second Crusade, inspiring murderous mob violence. Of course, this doesn't mean she did no good, but a saint? No way! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:00, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

There are two problems here: (1) There's no actual evidence that Hildegard preached against the Jews. Saying that it's "documented" doesn't actually mean that it is. She didn't undertake her first preaching tour until 1158/59 (several other tours were in the early 1160's, and her last was c. 1170), a full decade after the Second Crusade -- are you perhaps confusing her with Bernard of Clairvaux, who did preach the Second Crusade in the 1140's? Furthermore, in all of her extant sermons (as recorded in her letter collection), there is not a single one against the Jews. Hildegard's target was corruption within the Church itself, as well as heretics like the Cathars. (2) Even if there were evidence for your claims--which there isn't--that doesn't change the fact that she is a canonized saint and soon-to-be Doctor of the Church. Just because you don't like her doesn't mean that you get to rewrite history. NathanielMCampbell (talk) 15:36, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

I never said I was shocked that she was anti-semitic. Does it say "I'm shocked"? I can't prove it either; I didnt' know her. That's what I've read in other bios about her. So if Wikipedia is as non-POV as it says it is maybe it deserves mentioning. BTW..... she wasn't a scientist. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:53, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

still no reference for the anti-semitic claim85.195.69.112 (talk) 20:50, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Without carrying out some experiments of some sort she cannot be be described as a scientist, more of a philosopher and a herbalist. Also, she was not "and a polymath", it was the fact she knew so much in many fields, so perhaps "making her a polymath" would be a better way to phrase it, although she just seems to have taken an interest in the world around her.

Do we need to buy into the belief that only those who follow the scientific method are scientists. I say "No." Carptrash (talk) 07:23, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Because you're not a scientist.

Our (wikipedia) definition of scientist is "A scientist, in the broadest sense, refers to any person who engages in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge or an individual that engages in such practices and traditions that are linked to schools of thought or philosophy.."" It says nothing about "experiments."" I think this definition does, or at least could, include Hildie. Carptrash (talk) 07:33, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

so what? who says Wikipedia is the ultimatum on all definitions?

you do understand we are on wikipedia, right? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:09, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
I think that there is no place here to have such harsh and subjective arguments. The point that Hildegard von Bingen was antisemitic is a well-known "fact," which can be studied by her correspondence with Frederick Barbarossa. You can insert a quotation, if you like to mention it.
It seems that she was not that tolerant as a mystic in comparison to Ramon Llull or Jelal od-Din Rumi (the article already makes it evident that she refused herself to be recognised as a "scientist," because science was the mathematic subject of the quadrivium, and it was based on a solid education in the trivium – too "litterate" for a visionary like her, despite the ambitious project of "her scriptorium"). She collected herbs as many monks and nuns do until today. The fact that this kind of medecine might be characterised as rural or as "female," does not say that this knowledge (sometimes fixed in a herbarium) should be underestimated. But medecine as a science was a new discovery of the Seldjuks, who invented the hospital and the systematic research of infections, in order to find a medecine as an antidot against them. To a certain degree, crusaders imitated this new science and built hospitals (which belonged to the church like the Seldjukide hospitals belonged to a mosque). They even translated Arabic treatises into Latin, because Arabic was the language of this science shared by Muslim and Jewish authors, at least in some lesser parts.
Unfortunately, many clerics had been antisemitic, especially in this period of the later crusades which is the 12th, not the 11th century. Earlier crusaders even condemned the intolerant attitude of the current crusaders who left a trace of pogroms behind, but this behaviour does not always prove, that they were uneducated. Concerning the current research we have also to take into account, that a secretary like Guibert de Gembloux could have added his own resentments (though it seems rather unlikely to me).
The same is true for this odd, but precise statement by one of the article's authors:
"She believed that her monastery should exclude novices who were not from the nobility because she did not want her community to be divided on the basis of social status."
Especially during the 12th century, monasteries had been a domaine of aristocrats (as well as Sufi brotherhoods which clearly belonged to the privileged within Muslim society). If they were greater abbeys, they just accepted people of the lower classes to work as peasants on the estates and to feed the noble community. Nevertheless, they were clearly excluded within the architecture of the monastery, this includes even the church and its divine services as well as the cloister (sometimes it had 2 floors). I doubt that Hildegard ever thought about it or mentioned it in any of her letters or visions. It became soon a subject for hermits like Saint Francis, who refused monasticism for exactly this reason. Platonykiss (talk) 10:30, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Two points:
1. I just reviewed the correspondence between Hildegard and Barbarossa (Letters 312-316 in the modern editions), and there is not a single anti-semitic reference in the bunch. I've said this before and I will say it again: this myth about Hildegard's rampant anti-semitism isn't actually backed up by any real evidence in her writings and activities.
2. The "odd, but precise statement" is, in fact, very well attested in a very famous epistolary exchange between Hildegard and Tengswich (Tenxwind) of Andernach (Letters 52 and 52r in the modern editions), in which Hildegard writes:
"God also keeps a watchful eye on every person, so that a lower order will not gain ascendancy over a higher one, as Satan and the first man did, who wanted to fly higher than they had been placed. And who would gather all his livestock indiscriminately into one barn--the cattle, the asses, the sheep, the kids? Thus it is clear that differentiation must be maintained in these matters, lest people of varying status, herded all together, be dispersed through the pride of their elevation, on the one hand, or the disgrace of their decline, on the other, and especially lest the nobility of their character be torn asunder when they slaughter one another out of hatred. Such destruction naturally results when the higher order falls upon the lower, and the lower rises above the higher. For God establishes ranks on earth, just as in heaven with angels, archangels, thrones, dominions, cherubim, and seraphim. And they are all loved by God, although they are no equal in rank. Pride loves princes and nobles because of their illusions of grandeur, but hates them when they destroy that illusion."
(Letter 52r, Hildegard to the Congregation of Nuns at Andernach, in The Letters of Hildegard of Bingen, Vol. 1, trans. Baird and Ehrman {Oxford, 1994}, p. 129)
N.B. I will add the letter reference, as well as the discussions by Haverkamp and Dronke, in a reference in the article. NathanielMCampbell (talk) 15:00, 7 August 2013 (UTC)


Some joker changed her nickname in the box to "Bulldyke of the Rhine". Duly restored to "Sybil". (talk) 18:52, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

A seriously worrying thought[edit]

Could it be that Hildegard - though presently apparently very much celebrated - is as much an invented phantom as many other holy people doing wonderful and incredible things, which are in fact nothing more than catholic (perhaps feministic influenced?) inventions - somewhat like the virgin mother of Christ - (skillfully - some would say cunningly - elaborated with plenty of colourful details of course). The fact, that all references mentioned here execpt for three of them (from 1911, 1913 and 1925 out of which at least one is catholic) are from 1984 and later has made me rather suspicious. I myself have studied several (quite comprehensive) encyclopedias from before 1984 (including my own), and in neither of those, she is mentioned with a single word. Quite Strange, isn't it, considering her postulated great and unique importance? (talk) 21:23, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Are you only studying English encyclopedias? Try some written in German which are old. They are far more likely to have information! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:12, 1 August 2011 (UTC)


I read somewhere that Oliver Sachs believes H's visions as she describes them are exactly symptomatic of migraines. Was this possibility left out of the article for a reason? — Preceding unsigned comment added by CuriouslyAlberta (talkcontribs) 11:43, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

I've had migraines and they're definitely not visions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:51, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

See Also[edit]

"The 2013 film Goddess Exhaling..." I can find no reference to such a film, and as I write this it is still (barely) 2011. Is this a joke? Mcswell (talk) 04:18, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

NPOV - Beliefs on sexuality[edit]

The section under the headings Writings and Beliefs on sexuality refers to sex (i.e., the act of sex) with religious euphemisms, without indicating this fact. As a reader, I wonder: What is "carnal knowledge"? What is "the marital act"? Possible solutions: Precede the euphemism with standard language and encase the euphemisms in quotation marks to indicate these terms are Hildegard's language (e.g., '... sexual intercourse, or "carnal knowledge"' ), and/or couch the religious euphemisms in something like "Adherents of the faith ..." (as per Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#Religion). — Preceding unsigned comment added by MarkZettlemoyer (talkcontribs) 20:02, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Her "beliefs on sexuality" are not the least bit notable or unusual. The whole section could be replaced by a hatnote linked to Catholic teachings on sexual morality. Or it could just be deleted. In either case, this discussion should be moved there. Rwflammang (talk) 23:31, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Rwflammang. It's a really dumb section, has no point, and should be deleted wholesale. I kept it in when I was organizing and subheading the article so that I wouldn't be accused of slash and burn, but really, it needs to go in my opinion. It sticks out like a sore thumb. Hildegard wrote a lot more important stuff that isn't even in the article yet; her regurgitating traditional Catholic nuns' views on sexuality is in no way notable. Doesn't even need a hatnote. I have no idea who originally added the material to the article or why. I vote delete completely. Softlavender (talk) 05:02, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Anyway, I deleted it. This is also in keeping with the complaints much further up on this Talk page. Softlavender (talk) 03:55, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Material deleted in 2006[edit]

A large amount of the article was deleted in 2006: [2]. I understand it was deleted because it was copyrighted material, but I think it deserves to be looked at again because it's valuable information, and the article as it stands now has huge gaping holes. I think if some of this information could be added back in, either in a paraphrased form, or re-cited form, or etc., the article would benefit greatly. Softlavender (talk) 04:14, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

I was hoping to tackle this project sometime this summer (I'm teaching right now and don't have the time). Basically, much of the article needs to be rewritten to save it from the hodgepodge of whatever's been thrown in over the years (e.g. the comments on "viriditas" just hang there without being connected to any explanation of Hildegard's complex theology). The article tilts heavily towards the music and severely under-represents Hildegard's theological works, which were far more important both in her own time and up until about a half-century ago. That also means, of course, that the whole "Significance" section needs massive overhaul. So much to do.... What I figured I'd do was work each section up at a time and post drafts from my sandbox to Talk so that others can weigh in before we start slicing and dicing the article. NathanielMCampbell (talk) 18:32, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Article : Hildegard Von Bingen as Mystic[edit]

A newly created article, Hildegard Von Bingen as Mystic, which I marked for possible speedy deletion due to potential overlap with this article, had some text entered by User:Drfurman that might be worth saving in some form :

  • Life as a Mystic In an account of one of her visions found in her writing the Scivias she states that God has told her that he has made her ill and has made her feel pain so that she would not become vain or arrogant; “I heard a voice from Heaven saying, ‘I am the Living Light, Who illuminates the darkness…I have laid her low on the earth, that she might not set herself up in arrogance of mind…. She is distressed in mind and sense and endures great pain of body” [1]Despite this infirmity and her own claims of being uneducated, Hildegard claimed to have a special relationship with God, receiving explicit visions similar to the phenomenon that would later on be widely described as Mysticism during the later Middle Ages.

I'm not familiar enough with this subject to determine for myself whether it is worth keeping, though. -- ArglebargleIV (talk) 17:33, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

It is certainly possible, and I think likely, that at least some of the subject's individual works are themselves individually notable. And an article on "the Philosophy of Hildegard Von Bingen" or something similar would also I think very likely meet notability and other requirements. But it might make sense to establish those articles first. Hildegard Von Bingen as a Mystic or similar has the double problems of asserting her and the relevant content as "Mystic," and that assertion would have to be supported by multiple sources to meet WP:WEIGHT, WP:NPOV, and other requirements. Articles on books or a general "Philosophy of HVB" article would probably not encounter as many or as serious problems. John Carter (talk) 15:51, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
The quoted text from User:Drfurman does not add substantively to the present state of the article. User:John Carter is also correct in that the descriptor "mystic" is problematic; it is often a popular term to describe Hildegard, but scholars of mysticism and of Hildegard (e.g. Bernard McGinn and Barbara Newman) are careful to distinguish Hildegard's visionary experiences from traditional mysticism. Much more discussion of both her visionary experiences/theology and her "philosophy" needs to be added to the current article, which is in a woeful state of disarray. As I've mentioned above, I am hoping to undertake a major revision this summer, ahead of the scheduled canonization proceedings in October.NathanielMCampbell (talk) 19:06, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

vandalism! vandalism! front image makes no sense.[edit]

Hi everyone. The front image, at the time that I type this, makes no sense. It shows the twin towers during the 9/11 attacks. It is 6:33 pm, Central Time in the USA, 10 October 2012. I have no idea how to fix this, I am new to wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:34, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Should "reincarnation" be included?[edit]

User:Hvbresearch (contribs) has recently readded the section in 3.3 Modern Interest concerning information about Hildegard's supposed "reincarnation" in the twentieth century, as per this revision from Jan. 10. On the one hand, the work of Rudolf Steiner was indeed influential on certain early 20th-cen. Hildegard scholars, including Hiltgart Keller, whose dissertation on the Rupertsberg Scivias mannuscript is a crucial witness to the manuscript before its loss after WWII. On the other hand, even Keller didn't include such marginal notions as Hildegard's reincarnation in her scholarship; and although User:Hvbresearch has included references, they are not to any major scholarship on Hildegard -- rather, they are to scholarship on specifically modern spiritual practices that may be more appropriately included in a wiki article devoted to them specifically. Thoughts? NathanielMCampbell (talk) 16:21, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks NathanielMCampbell. I found the entry relevant under Modern Interest in Hildegard because it's not so much about reincarnation as the continuing legacy of Hildegard's theology, one studied area being among those who explain its recurrences by the posited phenomenon of reincarnation. Granted this view is not found in mainstream academic research, but I believe that providing a collection point for the alternative sincere schools of thought on a subject, especially when they are deeply rooted as indicated by abundant historical and scholarly footnotes, is one of the great strengths and benefits of Wikipedia. Hvbresearch (talk) 19:23, 11 September 2014 (UTC)