Jessica will be our guide in this reading, one that questions the disparity between the revolutionary visual manifestation of Hildegard’s Apocalyptic vision of the Antichrist and her more traditional explanation of that vision. Here are a few questions to begin the discussion.
1. How does the author interpret Hildegard’s visionary experience? Does he find textual evidence to privilege the visual over the textual in his interpretation?
2. In Hildegard’s vision of the Last Days, what are the “traditional” symbols? What parts of the vision are peculiar to Hildegard’s vision?
3. What are the implications of the inclusion of corruption within the image of Ecclesia? Was Hildegard the bad girl of the 12thc.? How does her Ecclesia differ from Herrad’s image in the Hortus D.?
4. Why was Simon Magus compared to the Antichrist?
5. What is simony?
6. Why are the explanations for this vision so “according to the book” in Emmerson’s view?
7. How do the presence of Enoch and Elijah alter the impression of the Salem Scivias vis a vis the Rupertsberg manuscript? Which one would have been preferred by the Church?
8. How do you interpret the relationship between Hildegard and Volmar?
9. How do we in the last analysis assess Hildegard’s Apocalyptic vision of the Last Days?
Here are Jessica’s questions!
1.This article deals with the complex relationship between image and word. Do you see this as a recurring theme in any other women artists’ works?
2.Katherine Kerby-Fulton calls Hildegard a “ spiritual meliorist,” McGinn labels it “essentially conservative and pessimistic,” and Emmerson thinks she’s somewhere in between. What do you think?
3.We have heard/seen a lot about Hildegard in this class. What do you think her significance is in art herstory?