Hildegard of Bingen and the Reformation

Three eschatological visions of Hildegard of Bingen

  1. Scivias Book 2 Vision 7, The Worm
  2. Scivias Book 3 Vision 11, The Two Figures
  3. Scivias Book 3 Vision 12, The End

The Afterlife


Is there hope for the unbaptized and unchurched?

What is the status of Jews before Christ? After Christ?

What is the most frequently stated criterion for salvation?

What ranks and distinctions become clear in the final judgment? What groups are and are not judged?

Optimism and pessimism

Does God ever abandon anyone while still alive?

The End of the World

Views of the present

What is the status of Satan in the present?

Where are we in the history of the world, as pictured in the two figures?

Has the devil infiltrated the very hierarchy and religious leaders of the Church? In what way yes or no?

What do you know about medieval (and subsequent) debates about infant baptism and real presence?

Timeline of expectations between the present and the end of time

How does Hildegard apply the Urzeit image of six days of creation followed by sabbath? What “day” are we in?

What determines when the end will come?

When Hildegard speaks of persecution and martyrdom does she mean the early church, the present, or the future?

Where does the son of perdition come from?

Why does God permit the son of perdition such power?

Are you confident you wouldn’t be fooled? That you would have recognized Christ as true and Antichrist as false?

What does Hildegard expect Enoch and Elijah to do?

What happens after the destruction of the son of perdition? What happens to the followers of the son of perdition?

The resurrection of the body

What is the relationship between the living body and the resurrected body?

Final status of creation and what that tells us about the view of the present

We have seen several views of the eschatological status of creation. In Hildegard does nature end up preserved, renewed, or destroyed?

Similarly, we have seen various degrees of the world ending. Distinguish:

Figures discussed in McDowell and Kirkland

Does the historicization of interpretation of the Apocalypse of John that McDowell and Kirkland describe in Gregory VII and Joachim also apply to Hildegard? What was the earlier alternative, and what brought about the shift?

Where did Joachim expect the antichirst to reign?

What influence did Joachim have on 20th century German National Socialism (Nazism)?

In what way was, and was not, the controversy surrounding Martin Luther about eschatology?

In what way is Julian of Norwich’s eschatology “already” and in what way “not yet”?