Woman Mystic: Selections from Saint Hildegard of Bingen’s Scivias

Woman Mystic: Selections from Saint Hildegard of Bingen’s Scivias

by Elizabeth Ruth Obbard

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Overview

Celebrating the 2012 declaration of Hildegard of Bingen (1098 - 1179) as a Doctor of the Church, Elizabeth Obbard, OCD, interprets selections from Hildegard’s first and major work, Scivias. Obbard includes her own drawings, done in the Benedictine tradition, to illuminate the prophetic visions put forth by the German mystic. Hildegard is concerned with the whole panorama of the story of salvation. Reason is paramount. Order is necessary. She writes on creation, the Trinity, baptism and confirmation, lay people, the Eucharist, the history of salvation, virtues, angels, and “The Symphony of the Blessed.” Obbard’s lucid rendering of the English text is an excellent way to access Hildegard’s wisdom.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940015671926
Publisher: New City Press NY
Publication date: 09/13/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 78
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Elizabeth Ruth Obbard was educated in England and Germany. After completing her schooling, she entered the Carmelite Order where she has been a contemplative nun for many years. She has written and illustrated several books, including Medieval Women Mystics and Teresa of Avila’s ‘Way of Perfection.’

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Woman Mystic: Selections from Saint Hildegard of Bingen’s Scivias 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
CarolBlank More than 1 year ago
A hallmark of Elizabeth Ruth Obbard’s work is her ability to present spiritual classics in more modern language while remaining true to the original. Her earlier works include Teresa of Avila’s Way of Perfection and Therese of Lisieux’s Little Way. In Woman Mystic, she breaks open selections from the “Scivias,” in which Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 1179) describes a lifetime of religious visions she experienced. As always, Obbard, a Carmelite nun, provides a work worthy of contemplation. Woman Mystic begins with a brief discussion on women Doctors of the Church, a designation conveyed on Hildegard in 2012, several months after she was canonized. As she introduces Hildegard, she draws comparisons with the other women Doctors (teachers), Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Therese of Lisieux. The basis for Obbard’s Woman Mystic is Hildegard’s first book, “Scivias,” which means “know the ways.” Obbard has chosen only parts of the Scivias, which features Hildegard’s visions in minute detail. Each section of Woman Mystic begins with a few words from Hildegard’s written description of what she saw and heard. Obbard then offers her own treatment of Hildegard’s extensive narrative on the vision and its meaning. A brief example from Hildegard’s vision of the Trinity: “Then I saw a bright light, and in the light the figure of a man the color of sapphire which was all blessing with a gentle flowing fire...” (Hildegard). Obbard relates the words Hildegard heard and the symbolism she attached to the vision, such as the sapphire light’s standing for the Son, the fire standing for the Holy Spirit, and “the bright light, the flowing fire, bathe each other in brightness and flow over the human figure, so that the three are one light in one power of potential.” In the section on the zeal of God, Obbard’s selection is more mundane, containing narratives as “Let each person perform works of justice in the joy of the Holy Spirit, not hesitating or grumbling,” and “Avoid evil, and thus avoid the resulting tearful laments that surely follow.”