EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR | “The Notorious HVB: The Mystical and Medical World of Hildegard von Bingen”
Presented by Dr. Jeremy Wasser
with Additional Commentary by Dr. Rocky Ruggiero
On September 16 in the year 1098, Mechthild of Merxheim was delivered of her 10th child. As was the custom, the little girl was given to the Church at the age of eight as an “oblate”, destined to become a nun and live a life of service to God. Thus began the saga of one of the most famous and fascinating women in Church history, Hildegard von Bingen.
Hildegard was one of a number of medieval women visionaries and mystics, women who received visions they believed came directly from God. Her recounting of them left us with three extraordinary, illuminated manuscripts known as the Scivias (The Way), the Liber Vitae Meritorum (the Book of Life’s Merits), and the Liber Divinorum Operum (the Book of Divine Works). But Hildegard was far more than just another mystic. She was a composer of exquisite music set for both instruments and voice. She was a preacher and traveled throughout the Rhineland even meeting with the Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa whom she chastised or his lack of sufficient piety. She was a natural historian, a biologist, botanist, geologist, and also a healer. Hildegard wrote two books on physiology and medicine, the Causae et Curae and the Physica, leaving us with profound insights into the medieval understanding of the human body and medicine.
Hildegard’s work soon began to appear outside of Germany and by the year she died, a contemporaneous copy of the Liber Divinorum Operum arrived in Lucca and is now in the Biblioteca Statale. Scholars have suggested that the frescoes on the Camposanto Monumentale in Pisa (painted in 1391) share features with the illuminations of Hildegard’s visionary works as do some of the motifs on the baptismal font in the Basilica di San Frediano in Lucca. It has even been suggested that Hubert and Jan van Ecyk were deeply influenced by her Scivias in their painting of the Ghent Altarpiece.
Join physiologist and medical historian, Dr. Jeremy Wasser, on a trip back in time to medieval Bingen. Get to know the “Sibyl of the Rhine”, Hildegard von Bingen, saint, and Doctor of the Church. We will also look at what we know of Hildegard’s personal medical history along with that of several other medieval mystics and visionaries. Come along as we trace Hildegard’s influence in theology, music, science, and medicine from Germany to Italy and beyond.
The webinar will include a 45-minute lecture followed by 15-minutes of Q&A.
- Your participation is confirmed once you have purchased your ticket. You will receive the Zoom link to join the presentation circa 30 minutes before the start time.
- VIDEO RECORDING of the webinar will be available for unlimited streaming at your convenience for 7 days after the event.