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Johann Heinrich Alsted 1588–1638Between Renaissance, Reformation, and Universal Reform$
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Howard Hotson

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208280

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208280.001.0001

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Panacea philosophica: The Young Alsted's Public Programme, 1610–20

Panacea philosophica: The Young Alsted's Public Programme, 1610–20

2 (p.66) Panacea philosophica: The Young Alsted's Public Programme, 1610–20
Johann Heinrich Alsted 1588–1638

Howard Hotson

Oxford University Press

Johann Heinrich Alsted was heavily indebted to Bartholomäus Keckermann for the systematic form of his Encyclopaedia. But in the construction of Keckermann's systema, form had followed function. Keckermann's method was designed with a specific goal in mind, a goal broader than the purely philosophical one of combining the best features of Ramism and Peripateticism. The systema had been developed in Heidelberg, in the Collegium sapientiae. In function as well as form, the young Alsted's plans were closely modelled on those of Keckermann. In order to understand both the ultimate shared purpose underlying their encyclopedism and the source of their greatest disagreements, this chapter examines both men's account of two ideas astonishingly central to their encyclopedic programme: the original perfection of human nature, which they called the imago Dei; and the means by which that perfection might be restored, which they conceived as the instauratio imaginis Dei ad hominem, the restoration of the image of God to man.

Keywords:   Johann Heinrich Alsted, Bartholomäus Keckermann, Encyclopaedia, systema, Ramism, Heidelberg, encyclopedism, human nature, image of God

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