St. Hildegard’s Life and Works on BBC Radio

hild3I highly recommend taking the time to listen to this excellent BBC production on St. Hildegard. The moderator interviews three medieval scholars who specialize in the saint’s history and works. The Catholic Church owes secular scholarship a debt of gratitude for rediscovering one of her newest Doctors of the Church.

As such, this is not coming from a Catholic perspective, but an academic one. The participants may or may not be Catholics, but either way, academics have to be able to maintain an ability to communicate on an academic level with their secular colleagues–which means any talk about the miraculous is forbidden (though one of them seems to go in that direction). Nevertheless, the respect that these three scholars have for Hildegard is truly striking.

An explanation for her prophetic visions is put forward suggesting that in her 40s she simply pieced together the sum of her very extensive Benedictine education in a series of personal revelations which she then attributed to God. This is pure sophistry, of course, of which Hildegard’s writings are too often subjected to.

After hearing this talk, you will know much more about this great saint. Pope Benedict appreciated her in the way these academics do; but moreover, he was keenly aware of her critical importance to the situation facing today’s Church.


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