About Me

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I am a medievalist and an adjunct college instructor in the humanities at Union College. My research includes medieval theologies of history, text/image relationships in visionary and mystical texts, and the writings of the twelfth-century Doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen. I am also a translator of medieval Latin and German texts, especially as relate to my research. I completed a Master's in Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2010, a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany in 2008, and a B.A. in Classics and German at Boston College in 2007.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Doctor Viriditatis? St. Hildegard of Bingen’s Doctor of the Church Name

Hildegard of Bingen's portrait.
Rupertsberg Scivias (facs.), fol. 1r.

In commemoration of the Feast of St. Hildegard of Bingen, who died on this day (September 17) in 1179, and in consideration of Pope Benedict XVI’s upcoming declaration of her as the thirty-fifth Doctor of the Church, one thing we might wonder about is what her doctoral “nickname” will be.  While not all Doctors of the Church have such monikers, many—especially the medieval and early modern thinkers—are lovingly referred to by these unofficial titles.  For example, the thirteenth-century mendicant-scholastics St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure are known as the Doctor Angelicus (Angelic Doctor) and Doctor Seraphicus (Seraphic Doctor), respectively.