Hildegard of Bingen: A Feminist Ontology

European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (2):155--167 (2014)
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Abstract

Two major lines of argument support the notion that Hildegard of Bingen’s metaphysics is peculiarly gynocentric. Contra the standard commentary on her work, the focus is not on the notion of viriditas; rather, the first line of argument presents a specific delineation of her ontology, demonstrating that it is a graded hierarchy of beings, many of which present feminine aspects of the divine, and all of which establish the metaphysical notion of interpenetrability. The second line of argument specifically contrasts her thought to that of Aquinas and Meister Eckhart, noting areas of similarity and difference. It is concluded that the visionary origins of Hildegard’s work may have to some extent precluded our understanding of it, and that her work merits consideration not only philosophically and theologically but from the standpoint of its early presentation of a gynocentric worldview.

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