Otlewska Magdalena
PDF Print Email
48(2012)1 - Current controversies about soul

Magdalena Otlewska

Structure of human being in “Scivias” by Hildegarda from Bingen

  • language: Polish


The article presents an attempt to reconstruct the anthropology which is presented in the thought of Hildegard of Bingen. The attempt is based on her visionary trilogy "Scivias", "Liber vitae meritorum", "Liber divinorum operum". The author focuses on an aspect of the structure of the soul and on the way it is connected with the body. This perspective allows for the demonstration not only of the structure and characteristics of the selected elements of the soul, but also the connection between the soul and the body, and between selected powers of the soul. Hildegard presents five powers of the soul through which the soul reveals itself on the outside. These are: intellect, will, mind, reason and senses. The intellect (intellectus) co–works with the rest of the powers of the soul and informs what is good and what is wrong. The will (voluntas) first considers whether to do the deed or not, according to what it perceives as useful; then it decides whether to do it or not. In this way, the will encourages man to do the action. The mind (mens) gives the will the period of time of consideration whether to do deed or not. The reason (ratio) motivates man to do the deed, which was encouraged by the will and accepted by the mind. The senses (sensus) however do the action, ordered by the powers of the soul and they inform about the consequences of the action.