Hildegard of Bingen: Her life and thought

Widely praised by her contemporaries for her spiritual gifts, this course will introduce you to the life and thought of the twelfth-century Benedictine nun, visionary, philosopher, composer and leader - Hildegard of Bingen. Drawing on her vast range of writings, images and musical compositions, explore her formative years and how they shaped her outlook, her visions and her self-image as a prophet.

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Teacher Date Day Time Sessions Fee Enrol
Julie Hotchin 10 October Tuesday 6-8pm 6 $250 Enrol now

Course outline

  • Week 1: Hildegard's early years, her accounts of receiving her visions and how she established spiritual authority
  • Week 2: Hildegard as a religious leader
  • Week 3: Key themes in Hildegard’s visionary works, such as her concept of 'viriditas' ('greening') 
  • Week 4: Hildegard's music and the context of its performance
  • Week 5: Hildegard on the natural world and healing
  • Week 6: Examines Hildegard as a spiritual care-giver through her extensive correspondence.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course you should have:

  • increased understanding of Hildegard's life, her writings and her activities,
  • understanding of women's lives in the medieval period,
  • greater appreciation of twelfth-century culture and society.

Who should enrol

This course is open to anyone with an interest in history.


Julie Hotchin teaches medieval history, with particular interests in the history of women, female education and religious cultures, and medieval manuscripts. She has taught medieval history at Monash University and at the Australian National University (ANU).

Julie has published widely on women’s devotional, intellectual and literary cultures in medieval Germany. She co-edited Partners in Spirit: Women, Men, and Religious Life in Germany, 1100 – 1500 (2014) and has a chapter on Hildegard and monastic leadership in The Greening of Hope: Hildegard for Australia (Melbourne, 2016). She is currently a Visiting School Fellow in the School of History, ANU.

Updated:  19 June 2017/ Responsible Officer:  CCE Manager/ Page Contact:  CCE Webmaster