Research Repository

University Crest

'An Arduous and Worrisome Duty': Hildegard and Monastic Leadership

Hotchin, Julie (2016) 'An Arduous and Worrisome Duty': Hildegard and Monastic Leadership. In: The Greening of Hope: Hildegard for Australia. Morning Star Press, Melbourne, pp. 71-90. ISBN 9780995381506


Download (302kB) | Preview


Monastic superiors - men and women, who, like Hildegard, were entrusted with responsibility for the spiritual and practical care of the souls entrusted to them - feature in large numbers among her correspondents. Their petitions to the seer express the frailties and doubts besetting men and women struggling to live up to the demands of office, offering a revealing insight into the psychological and spiritual landscape of monastic leadership in the twelfth century.

Analysis of Hildegard’s epistolary exchanges with monastic superiors of both sexes illustrates the extent to which men and women shared similar experiences as they negotiated the complexities of providing spiritual instruction to, and exercising authority over, their communities. The teaching conveyed in Hildegard’s responses stresses the authority and obligations inherent in the role of superior, irrespective of gender – expanding our understanding of how female leadership in institutional settings was perceived.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Repository Version: Proofs
Keywords: Hildegard of Bingen, monasticism,leadership, gender
Fields of Research: 16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169901 Gender Specific Studies
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: C - Church History
A - Humanities, general
D - Spirituality and Spiritual Direction
College/Association with University of Divinity: YTU: Yarra Theological Union
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Mr Mark Carey
Date Deposited: 18 May 2017 00:40
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2017 04:13
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/2848

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...