Learn more about: Hildegard von Bingen

Hildegard von Bingen, a remarkable figure of the 12th century, stands as one of history’s most multifaceted intellectuals. Born in 1098 in the Rhineland region of Germany, she would come to be known  as a profound philosophical thinker. Under Jutta of Sponheim’s mentorship, Hildegard received an education steeped in theology, music, and the mystical traditions of her time.

One of the most significant contributions of Hildegard’s philosophical research lies in her holistic worldview, which integrated theology, cosmology, and natural science. In her major work, “Scivias” (Know the Ways of the Lord), she articulated her visions in vivid detail, offering profound insights into the nature of God, the universe, and humanity’s place within it.

Central to Hildegard’s philosophy was the concept of “Viriditas,” or the greenness of God, which she understood as the life-giving force permeating all creation. She saw this divine vitality reflected in the lushness of nature, the healing properties of herbs, and the flourishing of the human soul. For Hildegard, Viriditas was not merely a metaphor but a profound theological principle, highlighting the interconnectedness of the spiritual and material worlds.

Hildegard’s philosophical inquiries extended beyond the realm of theology into the natural sciences. She authored works on medicine and botany, drawing on her observations of the natural world and the medical knowledge of her time. Her “Physica” and “Causae et Curae” explored the medicinal properties of various plants and minerals, reflecting her belief in the healing power of nature and the importance of maintaining balance within the body and the environment.

Want to get learn more about Hildegard von Bingen? Check out our Directory that inlcudes a collection of sources to read. In addition we recommend the following videos (german):

or attend the upcoming talk From Body to Soul: Mental Disorders in Hildegard of Bingen’s Cause et cure by Giulia Guidara from the New Voices Talk Series Women’s Ideas in the History of Medicine. If you want to join register here: contact@historyofwomenphilosophers.org

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