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Hildegard of Bingen: A Saint for our Times

Namaste Publishing 2012

RRP $22.99

Reviewed by Bob Warrick.

The name Hildegard probably does not come up very often in our conversations, however Fox brings this 12th century "mover and shaker" fresh into our times, showing how her voice speaks to the issues of today, and offering us the opportunity of getting to know this remarkable woman.

Fox uses five of his ten chapters to connect aspects of Hildegard's life and thinking to a number of people of more recent times – contemporary American poet Mary Oliver, mystic Howard Thurmond, Einstein, Jungian psychologist Clarissa Estes, and German theologian Dorothy Soelle.

Another chapter presents Hildegard as an "eco-warrior" and another looks at her belonging to the "creation spiritualty" tradition.

While there is a thread through Fox's work that is critical of the current Roman Catholic hierarchy, many of the aspects of Hildegard's life and thinking are relevant to our church and to us. She praises the use of intellect and rationality, and she affirms feminine wisdom.

We read that this prophet wrote letters, composed music, had a passion for justice, was devoted to healing, and saw the church not as a noun but as a verb, on a journey.

There is a list of 35 "practices adapted in the spirit of Hildegard" that Fox recommends which include resisting "couchpotatoitis".

Using the words of Hildegard to challenge our faith and our discipleship, Fox has given us a very readable book.