Search This Blog

Friday, April 24, 2015

Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen - commentary by Matthew Fox

Hildegard of Bingen was born the 10th child to a noble family. Like many late children in a royal family, she was entrusted to a nunnery for her upbringing and later dedicated herself to the life of a Nun. Nobody could have guessed that the sickly child would eventually become an Abbess, a songwriter, a healer, a theologian, and even an influential force on royalty and the church.

This book collects 24 of her colorful and detailed visions on large full color plates for the reader to admire and study. Unfortunately, the text collects only a limited portion of Hildegard's words to accompany the visions. Each vision is accompanied by two to four pages of commentary, most of which is by editor Fox or notations about other philosophers with similar ideas, such as Carl Jung, Mircea Eliade, and Meister Eckhart.

While I would typically appreciate these comparisons between ideas, I felt that due to the short-length of the book it only served to muddle the voice of Hildegard herself.

The format of the text is also strange. In order to fit 3 pages of text per illustration the two columns the text is shaped into are inconsistent, leaving large blank spaces. Considering Hildegard herself had written long pages explaining the symbolism of each of her visions this is exceptional strange to me, as he had plenty of material for inclusion.

The only reason I would recommend this book is to see the full-color pictures of her visions. The commentary is sometimes misleading, the formatting is awful, and the text itself contains very little of Hildegard's original words.

Recommended Reading:
Hildegard of Bingen's Book of Divine Works: With Letters and Songs - commentary Matthew Fox
Revelations of Divine Love - Julian of Norwich

Monday, April 20, 2015

As my readers may have noticed my posting has not been as consistent as it was in the past. There are lots of reasons for this, including a changing work schedule and spending more time in the garden. But I'd be remiss if I didn't admit I've been busy playing Bloodborne on PS4. This is a ridiculously difficult (and fun) game that is easily sucking up my hours of free time.

With that in mind, I'm changing my schedule to updating every Friday. That may change once I finish the game or work slows down, but for now changing to every Friday will work best.