The next few posts will be about Hildegard of Bingen and the parables, more contributions to the recent series of posts about people whose interpretations of the parables of Jesus have not received enough attention.
This series of posts will probably continue until the Society of Biblical Literature meeting. Shortly after that meeting, I probably will write about Thomas Hart Benton and his lithograph of the prodigal son parable, which is the subject of my paper at SBL.
But, first, Hildegard of Bingen, and I will start with some biographical context of this fascinating mystic:
The above picture is an illumination from a manuscript of Scivias. It portrays showing Hildegard receiving a vision (the red "five fingers" that reach from above and are around her head). She dictates to Volmar, her scribe/secretary/editor (Note that only his head is portrayed as being inside the inner sanctum where Hildegard receives the vision).
In that same [experience of] vision I understood the writings of the prophets, the Gospels, the works of other holy men, and those of certain philosophers, without any human instruction, and I expounded certain things based on these, though I scarcely had literary understanding, inasmuch as a woman who was not learned had been my teacher (Dronke 1984: 145).