The Sacrificial Body And the Day of Doom: Alchemy And by Urszula Szulakowska

By Urszula Szulakowska

This examine positions Paracelsian alchemy, medication and clinical body structure in the apocalyptic discourse of the Protestant Reformation. A comparability is made among alchemical conception about the perfectibility of best topic and Christian eschatological doctrine referring to human salvation via Christ's sacrifice in common historical past and within the ritual of the mass. an in depth research is made from the engraved illustrations constituting an essential component of the alchemical drugs and body structure of Heinrich Khunrath, Stefan Michelspacher, Jacob Boehme, Abraham von Franckenberg and Robert Fludd. the current study might be of curiosity to students of the background of western paintings, pop culture, medication, alchemy and theology, in particular these operating within the context of the overdue Renaissance and Reformation within the 16th and early 17th centuries.

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73 His system was based on the model of Paracelsian cosmology which was a monistic construct in which the world and the human being formed a single entity. Consequently, the alchemist through his empathetic contact with the heavenly spheres could transform physicality. Paracelsus believed that a human being consisted of two bodies, one physical and the other astral. It was by means of the imagination located in the astral body (cosmic Anthropos) that a person could attain to “gnosis” and thereby learn to control physical manifestation through the “astra” present in all things.

If any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ( John 6: 50–51) The religious strife of sixteenth century Europe was reflected in German books of alchemy which were equally concerned with theology and politics in addition to chemistry and medicine. It was not a simple matter of Catholic versus Protestant, however. 3 Luther had not wanted the laity to take over the Church completely, since he feared that it would lead to anarchy in religious belief, as well as to political disorder.

5 portraits of famous alchemists. 14 other folios are illustrated with large diagrams of alchemical symbols or abstractions of the chemical process. , Alchimie: art, histoire et mythes. Actes du 1er colloque international de la Societe d’Etude de l’Histoire de l’Alchimie, conference papers, Paris, College de France, 14–16 mars, 1991 (Paris/Milan, 1995), 249–63. 33 Carl Gustav Jung, Psychology and Alchemy (second edition London: Routledge, 1968), 281. 34 Obrist, Les debuts de l’Imagerie Alchimique (1982), 251–56.

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