Creativity as Redemption: The Visionary Life of Hildegard of Bingen
This paper addresses mystical forms of consciousness as recounted by female mystics during the Middle Ages. The life and times of Hildegard of Bingen and others such as Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, Mechtild of Magdeburg, Gertrude of Helfa and Mechtild of Hackeburn will be explored to discern individualized constructs of creativity and transpersonal experiences, as well as the expressions of these experiences as captured in sophisticated forms of imagery and iconography in relation to the geographical milieu. Further, this paper incorporates an evolving systems approach to creativity as well as case study methodology to assess key developmental, historical, societal, environmental and psychological contexts from which female mysticism emerged during the Middle Ages in Europe. Lastly, the paper examines creativity phenomenologically by presenting the experiential realities of mysticism including time, place and gender as embodied within a medieval context, and how this embodiment affected others. The paper concludes by providing a critical appraisal of female mystical experiences during the Middle Ages by applying a Jungian archetypal analysis.
Keywords: Mystical Forms of Consciousness, Constructs of Creativity, Transpersonal Experiences, Female Mysticism and Jungian Archetypal Analysis
Dr. Jana Rivers-Norton
Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Cultural and Ethnic Studies, School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Writing and Communication, National University, Sacramento Academic Center