Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard: Prophetic Symbols of Modern Society Paperback – December 4, 2014
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
St. Hildegard saw five beasts in a strange vision, so that "'my seeing, hearing, and knowing are simultaneous, so that I learn and know at the same instant'" (p 2). These were her prophecies of the five beasts, which represent five tightly tied together eras, with each era known for particular sins.
And by the way, although St. Hildegard died in 1179, she was recently made a Doctor of the church by Pope Benedict. Which adds a level of credibility to her revelations.
The first phase is called 'The Fiery Dog', an animal which seems to be burning like fire for justice, but without the desire for the justice of God. Turner wrote that this corresponds with the time period of 1870-1914. It was the time when beliefs in socialism and communism consumed intellectuals, so that they blazed with fury against the rich, without asking how to solve problems by the justice God demands.
All of western civilization was under assault, especially the church. In Germany, the Kulturkampf led the imprisonment of 2,000 priests, while in France secularists were taking over the formerly Catholic education system. Before the outbreak of World War I, "Europe had 30 reigning monarchs, but by the war's conclusion there were 3 left" (p 10).
Next was the era of the 'The Yellow Lion', a warlike people who eventually begin to to tire. Turner puts this down to the era between 1914 to 1945, a period which saw the horrors of both World War I and World War II.
Turner points out that "By the mid-1930s eighteen countries, covering two-thirds of Europe were totalitarian, predominately military dictatorships ruling by the exercise of terror" ( 28). A bellicose Germany, under Hitler, would drag much of the world into an ugly war. Perhaps significantly, the illustration of the era in St. Hildegard's book shows the lion colored in a reddish tint. The lion only becomes yellow, with fear, at the end of the era, perhaps suggesting how the Nazi and imperial Japanese armies finally gave up.
The vision of 'The Pale Horse' encompasses the era from 1945-1991. This time, according to St. Hildegard, would produce people who "drown themselves in sin, and in their licentious and swift moving pleasures neglect all virtuous activities" (p 33). Drowning themselves in licentious pleasures! What a perfect description of the period.
"From a traditional Catholic perspective,it would be difficult to find an historical period in modern history where a common understanding of sexual morality underwent such dramatic change than what occurred during the Cold War era, particularly the 1960s and 1970s" (p 35).
Although St Hildegard refers to a 'Pale Horse', the illustration for the era doesn't show a pale colored horse, but one colored green. From a spiritual perspective, the Catholic church was under attack not just by intellectuals outside of the church, but by those who were within the church, but arguing a new dogma, that of "the appeal to one's conscience as a guide" (p 39) instead of the age old teachings of the church.
There are two other eras seen by St. Hildegard, "The Black Pig', which we are living through today, and 'The Grey Wolf". Turner gives incredible suggestions about these periods - but you will need to buy the book to read them.
But as much as I appreciated the author's take on today's societal trends, I remain unconvinced that Saint Hildegard was referring to our times in her visions. One can all too easily read into fanciful apocalyptic imagery such as St. Hildegard's almost anything one wishes (just look at what people have done with the Book of Revelations over the past 2000 years), and it seems that the author has done precisely that. But it does not detract from the undeniable value of his commentary. I think Turner would have done better to use St. Hildegard's visions as a narrative framework for his otherwise worthwhile commentary, rather than claiming any sort of prophetic nature to them.
The book appears to be self-published - not that there's anything wrong with that! I myself have three self-published books to my name, so I salute the author for getting his word out.