Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179) is increasingly recognized as one of the most noteworthy and interesting theologians of the Middle Ages. Translated here for the first time from Latin into English, Hildegard’s Homilies on the Gospels is essential for comprehending this twelfth-century mystic’s coherent theological vision. It establishes her as the only known female systematic exegete of the Middle Ages.
Hildegard’s sisters recorded and preserved her informal preaching in this collection of homilies on twenty-seven gospel pericopes. As teacher and superior to her sisters, Hildegard probably spoke to them in the chapter house, with the scriptural text either before her or recited from memory, according to Benedictine liturgical practice. Among her topics here are the themes of salvation history, the drama of the individual soul, the struggle of virtues against vices, and the life-giving and animating force of greenness (uiriditas).
Beverly Mayne Kienzle, John H. Morison Professor of the Practice in Latin and Romance Languages, Harvard Divinity School, has published several books on medieval sermons and preaching, including Hildegard of Bingen and Her Gospel Homilies (2009); Hildegard of Bingen, Expositiones euangeliorum, coedited with Carolyn Muessig (2007); and The Sermon: Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental, fasc. 81–83 (2000).
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