In caelesti gaudio. Hildegard of Bingen’s Auditory Contemplation of the Universe

Quaestio 15:393-401 (2015)
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Abstract

Hildegard of Bingen’s mystical and cognitive experience uniquely combines the visual and auditory dimensions of the knowledge, in her own account, revealed to her by divine wisdom. According to Hildegard, the hidden meaning of her visions was communicated to her by a voice from the sky; thus the auditio allows her to understand the uisio, while the uisio allows her to remember the message of the auditio. Moreover, as we shall see, the Rhenish magistra apparently finds pleasure in the knowledge of the natural world, an intellectual pleasure about which she does not speak directly but which is clearly shown in her works. In this paper, on the basis of Hildegard’s definition of scientia, I will try to determine what she understands by ‘knowledge’ and use her notion of praescientia Dei as a measure for the analysis of the distinct visions of the universe set out in two of her works, the Sciuias and the Liber diuinorum operum. There we can see that, despite the divine inspiration to which she attributes her wo...

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