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Book of Divine Works and Letters Paperback – 1 May 1992


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Frequently Bought Together

Book of Divine Works and Letters + The Book of the Rewards of Life: Liber Vitae Meritorum + Hildegard of Bingen (CWS): Scivias (Classics of Western Spirituality Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bear & Company; New edition edition (1 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939680351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939680351
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,101,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

With letters & songs edited by Matthew Fox. 1987

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Amazon.com: 14 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Decent Book 11 Aug. 2005
By Chase Sweeney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was looking for a book on Christian mystics when I bought this, but it isn't for anyone who isn't a die-hard St. Hildegard fan (which, luckily, I happen to be). Her descriptions of her visions are confusing and vague at best, but if you are willing to put a great deal of time and energy into the book, you will be rewarded for it. But I do feel it prudent to say that this is not for the faint of heart - or someone looking for a light read.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Partial Translation 20 Jun. 2013
By Mark D. Merlino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This edition of Hildegard of Bingen's "Book of Divine Wisdom" (published in 1987) Edited by Matthew Fox is selective translation of fascinating works by a great saint, who was recognized as a Doctor of the Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XVI.

This translation however does not deserve more than three stars for several reasons.

The bulk of this book in an English translation of Heinrich Schippergee's German translation of Saint Hildegard's masterpiece, "De operatione Dei" written in Latin. I was very disappointed to discover that many sections of Hildegard's work were omitted from this present translation. Also, there are very few citations and references that assist the reader. Whatever references are given are presented in such a way that makes it difficult to distinguish between Hildegard's words and the editor's comments. As well, there is no bibliography and no index.

In addition to "De operatione Dei" this volume includes Ronald Miller's translation of forty-two letters written by Saint Hildegard. This letter have simple introductions but lack a thorough historical analysis to help the reader put them in context.

Finally, this volume includes the music, original Latin text and an English translation for twelve songs composed by Saint Hildegard. The presentation of these songs is actually quite attractive, despite the absence of a historical introduction or citations for the sources used by the translators.

Anyone who is looking for a serious academic translation of "De operatione Dei" the letters of Saint Hildegard or songs of Saint Hildegard will be frustrated with this book. The editor has not provided readers with detailed citations about sources used and there are no serious critical historical introductions for the texts provided. I would recommend this volume to people who are curious about Saint Hildegard's writings and and want to read something in English translation. If you want a serious critical edition of these works, you would be advised to look elsewhere and you may wish to use this book only for comparative English readings of the text.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A MODERN EDITION OF THE FAMOUS 12TH CENTURY MYSTIC 1 Jun. 2012
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was a German nun, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, and Benedictine abbess. In his Introduction, Matthew Fox (the former Dominican priest who founded the "Creation Spirituality" movement) notes, "Hildegard offers western civilization a deep and healing medicine for what may well be its number-one disease of the past few centuries: anthropocentrism... Hildegard brings together the three essential elements essential elements of a living cosmology. The first element is science... The second element... is a healthy mysticism... The third element... is art. Neither science nor theology is enough to awaken a people."

She asks, "Since God is Reason, how could it be that God, who causes all divine actions to come to fruition through human beings, is not active?" (Pg. 10) She observes, "As long as we are in this world, we cannot know the soul and its merits." (Pg. 169) She predicts, "Foreigners will invade Christendom and destroy Church institutions by taking advantage of the Christians' lack of weapons. All this is an indication of the coming of the Antichrist. These days will be saturated with filth..." (Pg. 247)

In one of her letters, she states, "I am but a poor woman who listens to the instruction of the masters." (Pg. 331) She adds in another letter, "I am but a poor creature and fragile vessel; yet what I speak to you comes not from me but from the clear light. Human beings are vessels God has made and filled with the Spirit so that the divine work might come to perfection in them." (Pg. 338)

She wonders, "What about those in the Church who through an interdict impose silence on the singing of God's praise? If on earth they have committed the wrong of robbing God of the honor of the praise which is God's due, then they can have no fellowship with the praise of the angels in heaven." (Pg. 359)

While as with other translations supported by Matthew Fox (e.g., Sheer Joy, Breakthrough: Meister Eckhart's Creation Spirituality in New Transition), scholars might debate its accuracy, this is still a very lively translation of a work that richly deserves modern readership.
36 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Giving your soul a chance. 11 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What Fox illustrated for me is that we are all blessed and that if we learn the mythologizing process of creating that sacred place,- music, art, meditation, adventure - by following our deepest instincts and intuitions, we can actually evolve ourselves to become our true selves which is in its own way a miracle and magic. We can have inspiration! and we can receive gifts and guidance and assistance from the Unknown and the Ineffible Creator/Creatrix. It is a part of our capacity to become whole and genuine and full of grace. Work. Study. Take risks.
One of the first ladies in power. 13 Jan. 2013
By T. Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hildegard was outspoken, learned and strong enough to stand up to the leaders of her time (Popes, Bishops, Emperors, Kings and the local Lords) in a time ehen women were viewed as property. I found the ideas and history to be interesting. Thanks for the translation into English!
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