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Monday
Aug122013

A Saint for our Times

Why yet another book on Hildegard of Bingen, especially by Matthew Fox who has written, lectured, and conducted workshops about her for over 25 years?

Perhaps timing is part of the story. Hildegard is a ‘come lately’ to the saints and doctors of the Catholic church being canonized in October 2012. Wryly Fox wonders if the Church knew what it was in for when admitting this strong, challenging mystic to the proclaimed saints/doctors of the church. 

This book honours a remarkably gifted woman: writer, poet, painter, musician, outspoken critic of the errors of the Church, spiritual leader and holy mystic. Further, as Fox presents Hildegard to us, he develops his belief that just as she shook the world of the 12th century, she can stir up that of the 21st.

Fox links Hildegard to Mary Oliver in terms of a Cosmic Christ; to Howard Thurman in believing in a God of life and Light; and to Einstein in her belief in the ‘marriage of science and spirituality. The context of Hildegard, that of the Rhineland mystics, speaks to the mysticism of our age while comparisons with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes link her with Wisdom, Creativity and the Holy Spirit…not to mention the Divine Feminine. Throughout, Fox presents her posing questions and stating positions that resonate with us now.

Hildegard of Bingen comes to life in this book especially if you are meeting her for the first time.  As Fox says in his subtitle, we can “unleash her power for the 21st century”.

 

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