How it all began...

The foundation of the "Scivias Institute for Art and Spirituality" is based on a vision by Dr. Annette Esser.  After having successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on feminist spirituality at Radboud University, The Netherlands, in 2007, she was desperately searching for a meaningful job. Therefore, she went back to New York where she had studied at Union Theological Seminary ten years before. It was when her friend Dr. Joy Carol reminded her of her presentation on Hildegard of Bingen in class that she suddenly envisoned the "Scivias Institute" in which theologians artists and therapists should work together. It was the American perspective that gave her the audacity to think that instead of looking for a paid job, she should better found her own institution. Back in Germany, she shared her vision in a Christmas letter to her friends. Art Historian Dr. Manja Seelen joined her, and both of them invited for a foundational meeting of the Scivias Institue in Cologne on April 4, 2009. Happily 20 people from the various fields of theology, art, music, therapy, physical sciences, law and economics, and of media attended the meeting.

Since then, there were many meetings - mainly in Cologne - in which the concept of the Scivias Institute was discussed and further devoloped. After Annettes move to Bad Kreuznach, near Bingen, annual conferences, meetings and other events mainly took place in the "land of Hildegard". Yet in 2010, the first "Scivias-Basiskurs" for and with teachers took place in Cologne again. In 2011, the Scivias Institute was officially registered as a non-profit organisation ("Gemeinnütziger eingetragener Verein") at the "Amtsgericht" of Bad Kreuznach. 

Early 2012, there were rumors that Pope Benedict planned to canonize and even more to promote Hildegard of Bingen as Doctor of the Church. Without knowing the exact date, the Scivias Institute started to plan and to organize its first International Conference "Saint Hildegard Doctor of the Church" for October 25-28, 2012.

It was and it is for the overwhelming positive feed back, that we are now going on to develop the Scivias Institute and its work on an international level, especially in the English language (besides the German language!).

So, there will be Hildegard Pilgrimages in 2014 and 2015. And there will be a next International Conference on the theme of "Viriditas - Grünkraft - Green Power of Life" in October 8-11, 2015.