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.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

O vos felices radices (Symphonia 32)

For the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist,
A Responsory for Patriarchs and Prophets by St. Hildegard of Bingen [1]


Scivias III.13: Symphonia in
Heaven: Choir of Patriarchs
and Prophets (detail).
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 229r
V. O vos felices radices
cum quibus opus miraculorum  
et non opus criminum
per torrens iter
perspicue umbre
plantatum est,
et o tu ruminans ignea vox,
precurrens limantem lapidem
subvertentem abyssum:

R. Gaudete in capite vestro.

V. Gaudete
in illo quem non viderunt
in terris multi
qui ipsum ardenter vocaverunt.

R. Gaudete in capite vestro.
V. O merry roots,
with whom the work of miracles—
but not the work of crimes—
was planted by a journey
rushing, tearing forth,
a path of shade perlucid;
and you, O voice of ruminating fire,
forerunner of the Rock that grinds
to polish and to topple the abyss:

R. Rejoice in him, your captain!

V. Rejoice
in him whom most on earth
have never seen—
yet ardently have called upon.

R. Rejoice in him, your captain!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

An Explanation of the Athanasian Creed

Explanatio Symboli Sancti Athanasii by St. Hildegard of Bingen

This treatise can also be viewed and downloaded as a PDF here.

Introduction

Scivias II.2: The Trinity.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 47r.
Hildegard composed this commentary on the Pseudo-Athanasian Creed as part of a series of shorter works written in the early 1170’s in response to a letter from her secretary and provost, Volmar, expressing on behalf of her community of nuns their anxiety that, as the Visionary Doctor entered her seventies, she would not be long for the earth. The letter draws a particularly striking contrast between the vanities of scholastic disputes and the truly divine teaching with which Hildegard had been inspired. Hildegard’s response to this letter is preserved in the manuscripts as the preface to her Explanatio Symboli Sancti Athanasii.[1] She likely chose to write a commentary on this standard liturgical text because its treatment of “the catholic faith” offered her a structure on which to provide her community a summary of her most characteristic thoughts about the relationship between the triune divinity and its work of creation, with humankind at its center.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

O ignis Spiritus Paracliti (Symphonia 28)

For Pentecost, a Sequence for the Holy Spirit by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Pentecost, from the
Ingeborg Psalter, ca. 1195
(Web Gallery of Art)
1a. O ignis Spiritus Paracliti,    
vita vite omnis creature,
sanctus es vivificando
     formas.

1b. Sanctus es ungendo
      periculose
fractos, sanctus es
      tergendo
fetida vulnera.
1a. O fire of the Spirit and Defender,
the life of every life created:
Holy are you—giving life
     to all the forms.

1b. Holy are you—anointing to heal
      those danger
has broken. Holy are you—cleansing
      to clean
the festering wounds.