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Unequal Twins: Visionary Attitude and Monastic Culture in Elisabeth of Schönau and Hildegard of Bingen

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the systematically liturgy-based type of vision. The case of the Palm Sunday procession, presented at the beginning of the chapter, is symptomatic of this attitude. The matrix of this kind of visionary experience is constituted by monastic community life, and more particularly by monastic liturgy. The dynamics of the interaction between vision and liturgy is illustrated by following Elisabeth of Schönau on her itinerary through the Passion Week. Although points of contact between Elisabeth and Hildegard of Bingen have been outlined frequently, one aspect has attracted relatively little attention: their common roots in the monastic reform movement of the 11th and 12th centuries, more precisely in the current of Hirsau. Like her Schönau counterpart, Hildegard was originally shaped by the traditions of Hirsau reform monasticism. The liturgical practice that marked Hildegard's monastic life throughout was fundamentally identical to that of Elisabeth.

Keywords: Bingen; Elisabeth; Hildegard; Hirsau reform; monastic liturgy; Palm Sunday; Schönau



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