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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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Crisis and Withdrawal: The Programme Undermined and Retracted, 1612–25

Crisis and Withdrawal: The Programme Undermined and Retracted, 1612–25

(p.95) 3 Crisis and Withdrawal: The Programme Undermined and Retracted, 1612–25
Johann Heinrich Alsted 1588–1638

Howard Hotson

Oxford University Press

In the years after his return to Herborn, Johann Heinrich Alsted's commitment to Ramon Lull and the art of memory sustained a series of assaults from near and far. Five years and ten publications later, his commitment seems if anything to have grown and to be extending itself from logic and mnemonics into cosmology and physics, from the ‘alchemical logic’ of Lull to alchemy itself. Of the four systems of physics which the work proposes to harmonize, chemical physics is declared to be ‘by far the most ancient of all except the Mosaic’. The origins of the Rosicrucian uproar have long been shrouded in mystery. The authorship of the first of the Rosicrucian manifestos, the Fama fraternitatis, was attributed to Tobias Hess. The publication of the Rosicrucian manifestos was not an isolated event. No other centre in the Reformed world seems to have matched either the intense preoccupation with occultism or the immediate participation in the clamour surrounding the Rosicrucians.

Keywords:   Johann Heinrich Alsted, Ramon Lull, alchemy, chemical physics, Rosicrucians, Tobias Hess, occultism, Rosicrucian manifestos, Synod of Dort, orthodoxy

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