Hildegard of Bingen: visions of divinity. A history of pantheism* and panentheism by Paul Harrison. Featured, Dec. 12, 1996. Are you a pantheist? Find out now at Scientific Pantheism.
I, the fiery life of divine essence, am aflame beyond the beauty of the meadows, I gleam in the waters, and I burn in the sun, moon, and stars. Vision of the earth. Miniature by Hildegard (seated at bottom). Hildegard of Bingen was born in 1098, to a family of minor German nobility. As the tenth child, she was dedicated to the church, and sent to an anchoress, Jutta, for education. When Jutta died in 1136, Hildegard was elected head of the small convent at Disibodenberg. She moved to Bingen on the banks of the Rhine in 1150, where she administered a convent and a monastery. She died in 1179 at the age of 81. Throughout her life, beginning as a young child, Hildegard had visions. But it was not till her early forties that she began to have the symbolic and didactic visions for which she became famous. At first she wrote nothing down, but when she fell seriously ill, she blamed this on the decision not to reveal her visions. After consulting with the pope and St Bernard of Clairvaux, she began to write the visions down and publish them. She wrote several books, including The Book of Life's Merits (1150-63); The Book of Subtleties of the Diverse Nature of Things (1150); and (most famously) The Book of Divine Works (1163).