Hildegard of Bingen

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Hildegard of Bingen

Lady of the Light, Woman for the World

In breathtaking prose, Joan Ohanneson has crafted an unforgettable encounter with Hildegard, the astonishing medieval nun, visionary and prophet, artist and healer, counselor of kings and popes, composer of divine music still on the charts nearly 1000 years later.

In 2012 Hildegard was elevated to a "Doctor of the Church", a title awarded only 34 persons in 2000 years and only four women. With intricate knowledge of the time and place of the story, weaving into her text Hildegard's own vivid accounts of "the Living Light", this novel makes palpable the life of the "feather of God", Hildegard of Bingen, who shattered stereotypes of women, scholars, saints, and of God for all time.

Reviews and endorsements

"Ohanneson has dramatized the life of 12th-century Hildegard of Bingen in this fascinating novel. Highly recommended."

—Library Journal


Hildegard of Bingen will rivet the modern reader with its masterly evocation of times and peoples past, of saints and sinners, abbots and popes, and the shadows of great monasteries spreading across the landscape. Joan Ohanneson breathes life into the statued choirs of the Middle Ages, so that they stand vividly before us debating far more seriously than we the questions we think of as our own bold inventions. Soon the pages and binding fall away and we find ourselves eavesdropping on all that is human in Hildegard, and all that is divine as well. ... an episode of Masterpiece Theatre at its most arresting and enlightening."
Eugene Kennedy, author of Queen Bee and On Becoming a Counselor

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"Joan Ohanneson succeeds in revealing more of the woman behind the mystic, the visionary, and the prophet -- a woman who saw herself as 'weak', but who could make corrupt clergy and kings tremble, a woman who suffered severe bouts of illness, but who could expend her energies in monumental accomplishments. We see the strength and weakness of her human attachments, her anxieties and her fears, but also her daunting courage and her compassion for ordinary folk. Hildegard of Bingen is an admiring, sensitive and richly detailed walk through the life and times in the footsteps of Hildegard of Bingen."
Madonna Kolbenschlag, author of Kiss Sleeping Beauty Goodbye

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"In this fictional biography Ohanneson firmly anchors Hildegard of Bingen's life and prophetic witness in the historical events both religious and secular of twelfth-century Europe, yet weaves for us a remarkable portrayal of a woman, deeply steeped through her visionary insights and mystic experience into the numinous feminine divine which expresses itself as Wisdom and Love. With creative imagination and profound insight into the mind and heart of Hildegard of Bingen, Ohanneson evokes for us an intriguing, yet deeply moving characterization."
Miriam Schmitt, co-editor of Medieval Women Monastics: Wisdom's Wellsprings

9780824520182
Paperback / 288 pages
Dimensions: 5.75 x 8.25
CROSSROAD, 2014