History KS3 / GCSE: Women and the battle for equality in the church

Dr. Amanda Foreman analyses Hildegard of Bingen, and he role in furthering female rights in the Medieval church.

The context of her work and its nature are examined and assessed.

The male domination of the twelfth century Christian faith is first established to give context for Hildegard’s challenges.

From this premise we visit the monastery Hildegard founded in Eibingen, and we follow studies of her writing in conversation with nuns today.

Hildegard’s use of language and letters to campaign was a key feature of her work and her aims are also assessed with some humour by Amanda and a nun today.

This short film is from the BBC Two series, The Ascent of Woman.

Teacher Notes

After viewing this short film students could discuss and consider how far Hildegard’s ideas and aims have been fulfilled in modern Britain in both a secular and religious context.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching history at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Fourth Level and National 4 and 5 in Scotland.

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