The Voice of Hidegard von Bingen, Musician and Mystic

 
One the the great rediscoveries of the late twentieth century has been the music and writing of the visionary mystic. Hidegard of Bingen, twelfth-century composer, writer, and Abbess. 

In one sense, we can look at her as the first '' liberated woman''. She is the first composer of monophonic chant whose name we know. 

She wrote the music and liberatto to the first known opera, a morality play entitled Ordo Virtutem; she wrote scientific treaties, and corresponded with the great minds of her day, both religious and secular. 

However, as a nun, her life was restricted by many ascetic practices, including the discipline of praying the daily Offices. How can a medieval woman whose life was devoted to God continue to speak to us today with authority and power? 

This presentation uses the voice of Hildegard of Bingen to initiate a discussion of the larger issues of religious conviction and calling at this cusp of a new age. We listen to Hidgerad's compositional voice, prophetic writing, and mystical visions, and look at monastic life and ascetic discipline as providing the framework for creative inspiration. 

Do people continue to experience God's presence today? As an Episcopal priest, Victoria Sirota shares briefly her own experience of ''calling'' and her journey from teaching at Yale Divinity School to being the Vicar of an urban mission church in a tough neighorhood of Baltimore.

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