Hildegard of Bingen: A Saint for Our Times ~ Matthew Fox [updated July 27, 2013]


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 thinker who has helped shape the thought of the Catholic Church.

Today there are many websites and Hildegard groups that celebrate and honor Hildegard’s teachings, philosophy, art, and music. Author Matthew Fox writes in Hildegard of Bingen about this amazing woman and what we can learn from her.

In an era when women were marginalized, Hildegard was an outspoken, controversial figure. Yet so visionary was her insight that she was sought out by kings, popes, abbots, and bishops for advice. A sixteenth century follower of Martin Luther called her “the first Protestant” because of her appeals to reform the church.

As a writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, healer, artist, feminist, and student of science, Hildegard was a pioneer in many fields in her day.

For many centuries after her death Hildegard was ignored or even ridiculed but today is finally being recognized for her immense contribution to so many areas, including our understanding of our spiritual relationship to the earth—a contribution that touches on key issues faced by our planet in the 21st century, particularly with regard to the environment and ecology.

In the pages of this book, Hildegard’s teachings – and warnings – live again. By pointing out the injustices of her time, we recognize them as the same injustices of our time – only magnified.

She warns us of the consequences of the mistreatment and marginalizing of women, oppression of the poor and powerless, destruction of our environment, and the dangers of a patriarchal system run wild.

Demanding reform of society’s institutions and social structures, Hildegard implores all of us to live in integrity with our espoused principles. She especially implores our leaders to wield their influence “wisely.”

Hildegard also tells us how to bring light to the dark places in our lives, and thus our world. She urges us to “be useful,” to nurture nature, to speak up against injustice wherever we find it. But she also reminds us to sing, to dance, to be creative, and to celebrate life.

Matthew Fox wields his pen passionately, putting us in touch with the animating and reforming power of Hildegard as she urges us to “wake up.” Dare we ignore her plea?

Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox (born 1940) is an American priest and theologian.[1] Formerly a member of the Dominican Order within the Roman Catholic Church, he is now a member of the Episcopal Church. Fox was an early and influential exponent of a movement that came to be known as Creation Spirituality.

The movement draws inspiration from the mystical philosophies of such medieval Catholic visionaries as Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Aquinas, Saint Francis of Assisi, Julian of Norwich, Dante Alighieri, Meister Eckhart and Nicholas of Cusa, as well as the wisdom traditions of Christian scriptures. Creation Spirituality is also strongly aligned with ecological and environmental movements of the late 20th century and embraces numerous spiritual traditions around the world, including Buddhism, Judaism, Sufism, and Native American spirituality, with a focus on “deep ecumenism”.

Fox has written 30 books that have sold millions of copies and by the mid-1990s had attracted a “huge and diverse following”.[2] He was likened by academic theologians in one New York Times article[citation needed] to the controversial and influential 20th century Jesuit priest, philosopher and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, particularly for his interpretations of issues such as the doctrine of original sin and the Cosmic Christ and for the resulting conflicts with church authorities.


Listen here Bob Hieronimus of 21st Century Radio interviews Matthew Fox The Divine Feminine and Sacred Masculine, Hildegard, Pope Francis, the Cosmic Christ .

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