Hildegard lives in these pages, not only through the superb analysis of a woman living in a turbulent and changing time, but also in an affirmation of Hildegard’s deep trust of the soul’s potential to change individuals and their culture. Through this exploration of Hildegard of Bingen, she emerges as a woman deeply immersed in a rich inner life creatively expressed in many forms. In particular, she is seen as a woman of the past, caught between a patriarchal institution and her recognition of the divinity of all creation and of the feminine. She thus anticipates by many centuries the anguish of our time. The domains of eco-feminism, spirituality (both ecclesial and secular), and the natural religiosity of the psyche are all enriched by the synthetic consciousness evident in this work.
The psychology–theology interface is a contemporary necessity, and this volume in particular will be warmly welcomed by clinicians, spiritual directors, artists and musicians, the Hildegard readership, and the general searching public.
In this revised and expanded edition, Clendenen brings the scholarship up to date and addresses the changes wrought by Hildegard being named a Doctor of the Church.
With a foreword by Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, Experiencing Hildegard is a synthesis of Hildegard of Bingen’s spirituality with insights from Jungian depth psychology, particularly regarding the unconscious and the reality of the soul. In this revised and expanded edition, Clendenen brings the scholarship up to date and addresses the changes wrought by Hildegard being named a Doctor of the Church.
“Clendenen’s updated edition offers a courageous and much-needed inquiry into the Vatican’s decision to declare Hildegard of Bingen a Doctor of the Church. Her analysis is thoughtful, moving, honest, and creative. This is dialogue between religious studies scholarship and contemplative practices at its best.”
–Ulrike Wiethaus, author of Maps of Flesh and Light: The Religious Experience of Medieval Women
“When Pope Benedict announced he would proclaim Hildegard of Bingen a Doctor of the Church, Clendenen contacted diverse scholars, analysts, clinicians, and artists, inviting new and essential dialogue for inclusion in this revised edition. She posed tough questions about gender and timing, meaning and status. The interweaving of the responses into a cohesive and sustained fabric is simply top-notch, a powerful choir which turns head and heart.”
–Therese Schroeder-Sheker, The Chalice of Repose Project
Avis Clendenen, Ph.D. and D.Min., Chicago Theological Seminary, is the Sister Irene Dugan Scholar in Spirituality and professor of religious studies at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, where she teaches courses in pastoral theology and at the intersections of spirituality and depth psychology.
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