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Finding Hildegard: Healing Through Medieval Wisdom
Gregg Koskela. Gregg Koskela, $11.99 trade paper (180p) ISBN 978-1-70561-639-0
Former Quaker pastor Koskela meditates on spiritual lessons from 12th-century saint Hildegard of Bingen in this eloquent debut. When the community Koskela pastored split, he ended 27 years of ministry and turned to studying Hildegard to cope with his feelings of failure and uncertainty. He explores her life and visions in thematic chapters, weaving together snippets from her writings, an account of his pilgrimage to Germany, and his own roiling emotions. He argues that the need for community challenges modern individualistic faith, works through Hildegard’s medieval fixation on human depravity and sin to understand limits and humility, and wraps up with chapters on openness and obedience that highlight the potential of these sidelined virtues. Koskela shares vulnerable moments, including his seeking to speak in tongues, and surprising revelations, such as finding value in participating in foreign language liturgy at Hildegard’s abbey. This soul-searching account provides both a taste of Hildegard’s philosophy and a moving story of finding value and comfort in largely overlooked Christian thinker. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 06/05/2020

Release date 11/01/2019