Hildegard 's Gender Is Of Course Not An Accident

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Hildegard’s gender is of course not an accident. Throughout history, we have claimed Hildegard as the first Christian thinkers to deal seriously and positively with feminine issues, as well as the challenges posed by and for women in a patriarchal society. She formulated her thoughts within the traditional framework of christian symbols, through the great reflection on the great feminine representations and essence of Eve, Mary, and Mother church. In our current struggles of spirituality and gender, Hildegard can be a guide. Her visionary forms fade into one another, but within all of them and behind them all, shines neither women nor man, but the living light. By using Hildegard of Bingen as a central figure in 12th century religious practice, we can then use Chritianity as an example to compare and contrast women’s experiences in religious practice in the 12th century and the 21st century. Hildegard was destined from an early age to live a life of enclosure in her cell. Rather than choosing to enter their daughter formally as a child in a covenant where she would be brought up to become a nun, Hildegard’s parents locked her in a cell of anchoress. A daughter of a local count, Jutta, undertook to instruct Hildegard in the recitation of the psalter and in other womanly occupations, such as sewing, cooking, and cleaning. It was essential in the 12th century that women were taught to perform these gendered duties so they could provide for their husbands and

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