Three Medieval Mystics
In Visionary Women, influential feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether glimpses into the souls of three medieval mystics. Hildegard of Bingen, a self-taught theologian who developed a mystical secret language used in her community of mystics, became a traveling preacher and author. At the age of forty, Mechthild of Magdeburg was commanded by God to write down her visions, which resulted in seven books. Julian of Norwich prayed as a young child that she would see Christ's passion, that she would get deathly ill, and that she would long for God--all in her desire to focus her life solely on God--and He answered all three.
Ruether describes the women as prophets with a God-given message for the church and society of their time. Her sympathetic overview evokes the new religious horizons they envisioned for Christianity. She discusses the three women's beliefs about God, theology, and their identity. Though they faced adversity, they challenged these notions as bold women in the faith, secure in their strong relationship with God.
Visionary Women is an adaption from Ruether's award-winning book, Women and Redemption: A Theological History. Readers will join in the long tradition of keeping the mystics' messages alive and relevant.