Throughout time, but especially in the Middle Ages, individuals have been graced with visions, i.e., personal experiences with God or other saintly beings. Since the twelfth century, European mystics (especially women), reported about out-of-body experiences in which their souls were graced with a direct, personal encounter with the Godhead, which granted them unique and unheard-of authority. This talk will explore the meaning/history of mysticism and present its salient features through music and images, reflecting on individuals such as Hildegard of Bingen oder Catherine of Siena. This talk addresses both religious phenomena and also highlights unique aspects in women’s lives.
Albrecht Classen is University Distinguished Professor of German Studies at The University of Arizona. He has researched and taught a wide variety of topics focusing on the European Middle Ages, the history of the Southwest (history of German-Speaking Jesuits), and the culture and history of Germany/Austria/Switzerland. He has published close to 80 books and close to 600 articles. He is the editor of two journals, Mediaevistik and Humanities Open Access.