Augsburg News

News Archives - 1996

"Norway: The Edge of Light," photographs by Nancy Bundt at Augsburg College Sept. 23-Oct. 17

Aug. 08, 1996

The life and work of the medieval abbess Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) will be celebrated Sept. 15-20 during Augsburg College's 1996 Christensen Symposium, titled "The Liberating Arts: Hildegard of Bingen."

Hildegard was a mystical visionary, musician, writer, theologian, philosopher, naturalist and healer. Her own work, as well as contemporary work that she has inspired, will be the focus of the performances, lectures, exhibits and other symposium activities.

Although she lived more than 800 years ago, Hildegard's life and work continues to influence today's society, said Douglas E. Green of the Augsburg English faculty.

"She exemplifies what we, in an age of narrow specialization and rigid categorization, recognize as the fully, liberally educated person," Green said. "Her life and her works remind us that worldly matters and concerns of the spirit need not be opposed. It is no surprise that she has lately become a source of inspiration to the women's movement, to religious thinkers, and to contemporary writers, musicians and artists."

The tenth child of a noble family, Hildegard was sent to a Benedictine monastery at the age of eight. She entered the order of St. Benedict in her midteens and in her late 30s became head of her monastery's cloister of nuns.

In her early 40s, Hildegard began writing her book of visions--"Scivias"--which included visions that had come to her since she was three. Among her other works were a Gospel commentary, a morality play, "Ordo Virtutum," and a practical handbook on diseases and remedies. She also composed music and advised popes, bishops and kings.

The annual Christensen Symposium--first held in 1990--is made possible through the Christensen Endowment, which was established by alumni and friends of Augsburg to honor Bernhard M. Christensen, who served as the college's president from 1938 to 1962. It is designed to reflect and reinforce Christensen's commitment to academic integrity, the Christian Gospel and a mutually supportive relationship with the church community.

The Christensen Symposium Year-by-Year

1990 Our Calling: A Symposium on Christian Life and Faith

1991 The Inward Journey

1992 Christian Faith and Public Life

1993 How Can a Christian College be Diverse?

1994 Discipleship and Life: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

1995 Surprised by Faith: The Spiritual Journey of C.S. Lewis

1996 The Liberating Arts: Hildegard of Bingen

1996 Christensen Symposium Calendar of Public Events Sunday, Sept. 15

Music Department Faculty Recital with music by and inspired by Hildegard. Features works by Frank Ferko and Minneapolis composer Jan Vandervelde. 7:30 p.m.--Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center.

Monday, Sept. 16 "The Sources of Hildegard of Bingen's Inspiration and Creativity." Public Lecture by Dr. Anne King-Lenzmeier, University of St. Thomas. 7:30 p.m.--Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center.

Tuesday, Sept. 17 "'Sine tactu viri': Hildegard's Musical Somatics." Talk by Bruce Wood Holsinger, University of Colorado. Public Convocation, 11 a.m.--Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center.

Friday, Sept. 20 Visions from Hildegard, work by composer Stephen Paulus of St. Paul. Public Concert by Augsburg Masterworks Chorale, conducted by Peter Hendrickson. 8 p.m.--Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center. Tickets are $10 and available at door or can be reserved by calling 612/330-1265.

Continuous Public Events

Aug.15-Sept. 20 "Visions: Mystical and Meditative."Invitational Art Exhibit. Augsburg Alumni Gallery, Christensen Center.

Sept. 14-20 "Hildegard Pilgrimage: A Journey of Music, Words, and Images." Self-guided tour, Tjornhom-Nelson Theatre, Foss Center. Displays an herbal garden, recorded excerpts of Hildegard's music, quotations from her mystical writings, video clips about her life and slides of her illuminated manuscripts. The "Hildegard Pilgrimage" will be open: Saturday, Sept 14, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept 15, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Sept 16, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept 20, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.