This unit explores the life, thought and spirituality of the twelfth-century Benedictine nun, visionary, philosopher, composer and religious leader, Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 1179). Drawing on her extensive writings, images and musical compositions, we will examine her formative years and how they shaped her outlook, her visions and her self-image as prophet, the major themes and concerns of her works, and her role as a spiritual leader. An important focus of this unit will be to explore critical issues associated with the interpretation of Hildegard’s life and her writings, which we will examine within the religious, political and social context of the twelfth century. We will also trace how Hildegard and her image have been interpreted historically and the continued relevance of her thought and spirituality in contemporary society.

Unit Code: DS3040P

Points: 18.0

Unit Level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit Discipline: Spirituality

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning Outcomes


Identify and evaluate the major influences that shaped Hildegard of Bingen’s outlook and spirituality


Appraise the critical issues associated with the interpretation of sources about Hildegard’s life and her writings


Analyse Hildegard’s writings in their social, religious and political contexts


Interpret the major theological and ethical themes in Hildegard’s writing and their contemporary significance


Formulate a sustained argument on an aspect of Hildegard’s life or thought


Lectures, seminars or workshops


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Source Analysis, 1000 words

20 20.0

Topic Essay, 2000 words

2000 40.0

Research Exercise, 2000 words

2000 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit Record last updated: 2019-05-09 13:45:15 +1000