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ALCHIMIE ET HTRODOXIE: CRITIQUES ET MISES EN CAUSE DU CHRISTIANISMECHYMIQUE DANS LESPACE GERMANIQUE AU XVIIe SICLE C HRISTINE MAILLARD Les pages

qui suivent porteront sur les relations entre alchimie et religion et plus prcisment sur le problme du discours alchimique considr comme discours htrodoxe. Elles traiteront de la relation quentretient lalchimie avec les diverses formes de religiosit htrodoxe et les mouvements sectaires ou perus comme tels qui fleurissent dans lespace germanique dans la seconde moiti du 16 e et au 17e sicle: que ces soient les Weigeliens, les Rosicruciens, les Boehmens, tous ont partie lie avec lalchimie, voire font de conceptions alchimiques un fondement essentiel de leurs visions thologiques, cosmologiques et anthropologiques 1. Notre propos portera donc sur ce moment o, partir de 1600 environ, lalchimie oprative, sans cependant disparatre2, coexiste en Allemagne avec une alchimie dite mystique, dont les principaux reprsentants sont les Paracelsiens Oswald Croll (1560-1608) et le justement clbre Heinrich Khunrath (1560-1605), auteur de lAmphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae . Rappelons que lespace germanique constitue pour ltude de lalchimie un lieu particulier, car il est le berceau du paracelsisme, de cette rforme de lalchimie dont on saccorde dire quelle inaugure une re nouvelle dans lhistoire de celle-ci, quelle en rorganise le savoir et quelle lui assigne des buts et un statut diffrents de ceux qui taient les siens dans lespace culturel mdival3. Ce nest pourtant pas tant de Paracelse lui-mme quil sera quesCf. Marquet, Alchimie et thologie chez Jacob Boehme. Elle sera pratique intensivement encore, par exemple la Cour de Rodolphe II de Habsbourg Prague, lempereur alchimiste. 3 Sur les relations entre pense alchimique et pense religieuse chez Paracelse, cf. rcemment: Rietsch, Thorie du langage et exgse biblique chez Paracelse , 171 sqq . Sur les enjeux divers de lalchimie au Moyen Age, on verra les prcieuses tudes de Barbara Obrist, notamment: Die Alchemie in der mittelalterlichen Gesellschaft. Sur le changement de paradigme paracelsien, voir Braun, Paracelse, de lalchimie, 10 sq. et 20 sq.; et aussi Ganzenmller, Alchemie und Religion im Mittelalter, qui soulignent tous deux que Paracelse opre la synthse des conceptions mdivales tout en rorientant compltement lalchimie. En reprenant le savoir clat et divers dans lunit dune vision, Paracelse lve lalchimie au rang de concept premier (Braun, o.c., 13).
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Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2003

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tion, que dun certain nombre de suites et de consquences religieuses du mouvement quil a inaugur. Carlos Gilly a montr que des mouvements sectaires staient constitus trs tt autour de luvre de Paracelse, allant jusqu la formation dune Theophrastia sancta rosicrucienne, et quun antiparacelsisme virulent fond sur des accusations dhrsie, stait manifest ds la seconde moiti du 16 e sicle avec les mdecins Oporinus (1507-1568), Conrad Gessner (1516-1565), Crato von Krafftheim et Thomas Erastus (15241583)4. La doctrine complexe du paracelsisme avait ainsi fait lobjet de rfutations ds le milieu du 16 e sicle pour des raisons religieuses, alors mme que les crits thologiques de Paracelse circulaient encore sous le manteau 5. Mme si lalchimie en constitue lun des fondements, le paracelsisme ne peut pourtant tre rduit une doctrine alchimique. On se concentrera dans ce qui suit sur les mises en cause de lalchimie elle-mme comme vhicule de reprsentations religieuses, ce qui nous conduira nous intresser des rameaux plus tardifs de cet arbre paracelsien, et surtout au discours de ceux qui pensent quil faut les couper. Pour ce faire il faudra examiner les mises en causes de lalchimie comme christianisme chymique par des reprsentants de lorthodoxie, dans la deuxime moiti du 17e sicle, ce qui nous conduira commenter un ouvrage particulirement reprsentatif cet gard et tardif dans la priode considre, consacr au christianisme hermtico-platonicien intitul Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum (1690-1691), dont lauteur est le thologien luthrien Ehregott Daniel Colberg 6. En prlude notre propos, il faut rappeler quelle tait la situation de la pense alchimique comme forme de savoir et comme secteur de la culture dans cette priode que lon appelle Frhe Neuzeit, aube des temps modernes dans lespace germanique. Comme lont montr, pour le domaine franais, les travaux rcents de Didier Kahn et de la Socit dtude de lhistoire de lalchimie7, lalchimie nest nullement en recul en ce dbut dune nouvelle poque, elle connat au contraire un regain de vitalit et investit les domaines les plus divers. La diffusion des textes de lalchimie mdivale sous la forme des grands recueils imprims, comme le Theatrum Chemicum paru Strasbourg chez Lazare Zetzner partir de 1602 ou le Museaeum Hermeticum (Francfort 1625), est videmment lorigine de cette fortune accrue de la discipline al-

Gilly, Theophrastia sancta; Voir aussi Khlmann, Das hretische Potential. Gilly, Theophrastia sancta, 449 sq. 6 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum [] 7 Kahn, Paracelsisme et alchimie en France la fin de la Renaissance; Greiner (d.), Aspects de la tradition alchimique au XVIIe sicle.
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chimique. La forme particulire de savoir quelle reprsente peut ainsi se diffuser et devenir partie intgrante dautres discours. Loin de ne dsigner quun ensemble de techniques visant fabriquer de lor ce but tant qualifi de parergon elle est une forme de savoir complet, une vritable culture, qui se constitue la croise de divers domaines. Si le plan chimique, le plan mdical ou iatrochimique (objet principal de la rforme paracelsienne) et le plan mystique ou religieux coexistent dans cette culture alchimique, lquilibre semble basculer en faveur du plan mystique 8. En mme temps, ce changement dhorizon apporte une redfinition des possibilits et des limites de lalchimie comme forme de connaissance et dbouche invitablement sur une remise en question de sa lgitimit. Laffirmation dune forme exclusivement spculative de lalchimie, autour de 1600, avec les paracelsiens Grard Dorn 9, puis Oswald Croll10 et Henri Khunrath dj cits, est suivie dune diffusion du langage et des lments de la pense alchimique dans divers discours mystiques, ainsi chez Johann Arndt (1555-1621) qui crit son ouvrage majeur Vom wahren Christenthum (Du christianisme vritable, 1609) sous linfluence de Khunrath, dans les Noces chymiques dAndreae et chez Jacob Boehme, qui construit son trait De signatura rerum (1622) sur des reprsentations issues de lalchimie. Ainsi survient lmergence dun christianisme chymique fond sur une thoalchimie (Telle), qui fait usage de notions alchimiques des fins cosmologiques, eschatologiques et sotriologiques11, ceci par le recours un ensemble de processus de mtaphorisation dont on analysera ici quelques exemples, afin de voir comment ceux-ci sont prcisment attaqus par lorthodoxie tant comme procds rhtoriques que pour leurs contenus doctrinaux. Le fait de considrer lalchimie comme une forme htrodoxe de religiosit reste un problme dlicat dans la recherche sur lalchimie. Ce questionnement a t inaugur grce aux recherches, parfois condamnes pour leur caractre anhistorique, de Carl Gustav Jung sur les reprsentations du salut dans lalchi8 Ainsi Kahn (Paracelsisme et alchimie , 787) le constate pour lespace franais et aussi europen. Bachmeier et Hoffmann ( Geheimnisse der Alchemie , 236) mettent ces dveloppements en relation avec la Rforme. 9 Kahn (Paracelsisme et alchimie, 17) observe que Grard Dorn, fortement inspir par Jean Trithme, est le premier proposer une alchimie proprement spirituelle de faon entirement explicite. 10 Pour Croll, ceci doit tre relativis: la Basilica chymica est en grande partie consacre lalchimie oprative. 11 Ainsi, Gottfried Arnold, dans sa Unparteiische Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie, compte Paracelse au nombre des fondateurs dune nouvelle thologie, dont Boehme, Weigel et dautres auraient tir leurs conceptions (903). Sur ce sujet voir Khlmann, Biographische Methode und aufgeklrte Revision der Geschichte, 545 sqq.

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mie12 et plus prcisment dans liconographie alchimique. Sil est vident que lapproche jungienne demande aujourdhui tre rvise et complte la lumire de recherches historiques plus rcentes13, il nen demeure pas moins que cest le travail du psychologue, poursuivi pendant trente ans et reposant sur une vaste tude des sources, qui a permis que soit pose en termes hermneutiques la question de la religiosit de lalchimie. Rappelons aussi que Jung nest cependant pas le premier avoir mis en vidence limportance de ce aspect: ds le milieu du 19e sicle Sir Ethan Allen Hitchcock ( Alchemy and The Alchemist s, 1857), puis en 1914, le freudien Herbert Silberer (Probleme der Mystik und ihrer Symbolik ), avaient tent dapprhender lalchimie comme autre chose que comme une proto-chimie voue disparatre ou comme un ensemble de superstitions, ce pour quoi elle passe largement dans les recherches, fondamentales pour lhistoire de lalchimie, de Kopp, de Berthelot et de Lippmann14. Du ct de lhistoire des sciences, Wilhelm Ganzenmller avait pos le problme du discours religieux de lalchimie mdivale ds 1938, dans des travaux qui restent des rfrences 15. Il soulignait qu lexception du Livre de la Sainte Trinit (du dbut du 15e sicle), alchimie en langue allemande attribue un moine franciscain et pourvue dillustrations, lalchimie mdivale avait t en parfaite conformit avec la doctrine de lEglise, non seulement de lavis des alchimistes eux-mmes, qui proclament faire leur uvre ad maiorem Dei gloriam, mais encore parce que les rares condamnations (celle de Jean XXII, dans la bulle Spondent, quas non exhibent16, ou encore celle de lInquisiteur Nicolas Eymeric, dont le Trait contre les alchimistes a t traduit par Sylvain Matton 17) ne sattachaient quaux
12 Les thses de Jung sur les reprsentations du salut dans lalchimie ont t prsentes pour la premire fois lors des rencontres dEranos de 1936, o sa communication sintitulait Erlsungsvorstellungen in der Alchemie; (parue in Eranos-Jahrbuch, 4 (1936), 13-111, puis reprise dans Psychologie und Alchemie). Pour les travaux de Jung sur lalchimie, cf. Jung, Kommentar zu Das Geheimnis der Goldenen Blte (1929), in Jung, Gesammelte Werke (= G.W ., nous indiquons entre parenthses pour chaque volume la date de ldition consulte), vol. 13 (1982): Studien ber alchemistische Vorstellungen (runit divers textes parus entre 1929 et 1945); Psychologie und Alchemie (1944), G.W., vol. 12 (1987); Die Psychologie der bertragung (1946), G.W ., vol. 16 (1984); Praxis der Psychotherapie; Studien ber alchemistische Vorstellungen, G.W., vol. 13 (1982); Mysterium coniunctionis (1955/56), G.W ., vol. 14/1 et 14/2 (1984). Importants galement pour notre problmatique: Paracelsus als Artz (1941); Paracelsus als geistige Erscheinung (1942), G.W. , vol. 13 et vol. 15. 13 Halleux , Les Textes alchimiques; Obrist, Les dbuts de limagerie alchimique. 14 Cf. Berthelot, Les Origines de lAlchimie ; du mme, La Chimie aux Moyen Age ; Von Lippmann, Entstehung und Ausbreitung der Alchemie ; Plus ancien: Kopp, Die Alchemie in lterer und neuerer Zeit. 15 Ganzenmller, Die Alchemie im Mittelalter ; Das Buch der heiligen Dreifaltigkeit. 16 Le texte en est reproduit in: Halleux , Les Textes alchimiques, 124 sqq . 17 Cf. Matton, Le Trait Contre les alchimistes de Nicolas Eymerich.

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faux alchimistes et mettaient en question la possibilit et la ralit de la transmutation. Ainsi, une tude de lalchimie comme discours hrtique ne pourrait faire lconomie dun nouvel examen approfondi du fameux Livre de la sainte Trinit18, considr longtemps, et toujours aujourdhui en croire les travaux les plus rcents 19 comme lune des nigmes de lalchimie dans lespace germanique. Barbara Obrist en a analys la porte politique 20, Ganzenmller y dcelait la prsence de mythologmes gnostiques et de reprsentations qui devaient rmerger, pense-t-il, dans la pense de Jacob Boehme deux sicles plus tard 21. A la suite des travaux de Jung, toute une orientation de la recherche a longtemps considr lalchimie spculative comme ayant toujours constitu, depuis les origines, une forme non orthodoxe de religiosit, un courant compensatoire au christianisme, ce que rsumait encore Karl Hoheisel en 1984, en parlant de lalchimie comme voie de salut suprachrtienne et non-chrtienne22 , ceci en se fondant sur le parallle entre le Christ, pierre dangle et la Pierre philosophale, prsent depuis le 14e sicle dans de nombreux textes comme Der Wassersteyn der Weysen (LHydrolythe des sages) de Johann Ambrosius Siebmacher (Francfort 1619), parallle sur lequel nous aurons revenir. Rappelons aussi que la relation entre discours alchimique et discours religieux est fonde dans la clbre Margarita pretiosa novella (1330) de Petrus Bonus 23, tape majeure qui mne une alchimie spirituelle. Nous partirons ici du point de vue que lalchimie nentre en conflit avec la position orthodoxe que dans certaines conditions, partir dune certaine poque et dans un certain espace culturel, et dans le cas qui nous occupe, lespace germanique partir de Paracelse.
Das Buch der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit. Sur cette uvre hors du commun, alchimie en langue allemande pourvue dillustrations dont il existe divers manuscrits dans des bibliothques europennes, et qui continue dtre une nigme pour les historiens de lalchimie, voir: Ganzenmller, Das Buch der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit; Junker, Das Buch der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit; Bachmann/Hofmeier, Geheimnisse der Alchemie , 114 sqq.; sur les illustrations, cf. Obrist, Les dbuts de liconographie alchimique , 117-182. Je remercie M. Rudolf Gamper, conservateur la Bibliothque Vadiana de Saint-Gall, pour son accueil et ses prcieuses informations. 19 Bachmann/Hofmeier, Geheimnisse der Alchemie, 144 sqq. 20 Obrist , Les dbuts de limagerie alchimique, 118 sqq. 21 Ganzenmller, Das Buch der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit, 146; Quelques lments en ce sens aussi dans Buntz, Deutsche alchimistische Traktate des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts. 22 Hoheisel, Christus und der philosophische Stein. 23 Le texte de Petrus Bonus a t imprim in Theatrum chemicum. Strasbourg 1659-1661 (6 vol.), vol. IV, 507-713. Sur Petrus Bonus et la religiosit de lopus, cf. Crisciani: The Conception of Alchemy; Halleux, Les textes alchimiques , 142 sq.; Obrist: Art et nature dans lalchimie mdivale; Jung: Psychologie und Alchemie , 426 sqq. Mais rappelons que les rapports entre physique et mystique taient dj bien prsents dans lalchimie grecque. Cf.: Berthelot/ Ruelle, Collection des anciens alchimistes grecs, Vol. 1-3.
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En outre, pour examiner la question dune htrodoxie potentielle de lalchimie ou de sa condition de composante de discours htrodoxes, il faut tenir compte de lhtrognit et de la complexit de ce que lon appelle alchimie, du statut de missing link entre les disciplines qui est le sien 24, et de lambition synthtique de son discours, qui concerne les trois plans divin, naturel et humain. Lalchimie, comme savoir hors la loi (Baud) nayant pas droit de cit dans lUniversit, fonctionne paradoxalement comme lieu de convergence entre diffrents domaines du savoir dimension qui saffirme encore dans lalchimie paracelsienne, o discours mdical, anthropologique et thologique se superposent et se conditionnent mutuellement. Le potentiel htrodoxe de lalchimie se renforce autour de 1600, avec la transposition de modles alchimiques dans les discours mystiques des uvres arndtiennes, weigeliennes et boehmennes. Cette relation entre alchimie et mystique ne doit cependant pas tre vue sens unique, mais comme une relation de rciprocit, la circulation des ides soprant dans les deux sens: ainsi Oswald Croll fera-t-il son profit dides weigeliennes 25. Dans tout ce contexte, lalchimie, devenue modle global dexplication du monde en mme temps que discipline darcane, est prsent susceptible dentrer avec lorthodoxie thologique dans un rapport de concurrence: cette dernire dailleurs ne sy trompe pas, peroit le danger quelle peut reprsenter pour son intgrit sous certaines conditions, et nhsite pas la condamner parmi dautres formes dhrsie, parce que, considrant le Livre de la Nature comme le plus important, elle mettrait la Rvlation au service de la religion naturelle. Pour juger de lhtrodoxie dun discours, il convient dexaminer la position de lorthodoxie son gard puisque cest lorthodoxie qui fait lhtrodoxie , et sans que nous puissions reconstituer lhistoire des perscutions lencontre de lalchimie, nous pouvons en rappeler quelques tapes majeures, ainsi sa mise en cause par Jean XXII dans la dcrtale dj cite Spondent quas non exhibent divitias pauperes alchimistae (1317), ainsi que le Directorium Inquisitorum (Manuel des Inquisiteurs) de Nicolas Eymeric (1376 Avignon, imprim en 1563 puis, en 1578 avec un commentaire de Francisco Pegna). Ni dans lun ni dans lautre de ces deux cas reprsentatifs, lalchimie nest condamne parce quelle ferait concurrence la doctrine chrtienne, mais parce que ceux qui la pratiquent sont usurpateurs ou faussaires. Mais il

24 Sur ce statut, cf. Obrist, Les dbuts de limagerie alchimique , 55 sq.; Art et nature dans lalchimie mdivale, 226 sq.; Die Alchemie in der mittelalterlichen Gesellschaft, 46 et 54 sqq .; Ploss/Rosen-Runge/Schipperges/ Buntz, Alchimia. Ideologie und Technologie, 191 sqq; Mandosio, Lalchimie dans les classifications; Braun, Paracelse: de lalchimie, 15 sqq. 25 Cf. Khlmann, Oswald Crollius und seine Signaturenlehre, 111.

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est vrai que nous sommes ici dans lre pr-paracelsienne. Didier Kahn a montr comment le paracelsisme a fait lobjet dattaques et fut condamn par la Facult thologique de Paris en 1578, ainsi que les raisons complexes qui menrent son rejet (ainsi qu la condamnation posthume de Khunrath en 1625)26. En matire de condamnation de lalchimie, nous retiendrons quil nexiste pas de situation unitaire: tolrance ou condamnation sont dpendantes de facteurs complexes qui peuvent galement tre de nature conomique, comme Barbara Obrist la montr pour lalchimie mdivale 27. Pour rencontrer les premires rticences fortes pour des motifs explicitement religieux, il faut, outre les attaques contre Paracelse dj voques, attendre la fin du 16e sicle et la polmique de lalchimiste Andreas Libavius qui reprsente le camp rsolument antimystique et voit dans le platonisme, fondement de lalchimie mystique, lune des sources de la magie et du scepticisme religieux contre Oswald Croll et les Paracelsistes (1597)28. Dans lespace francophone, la lgitimit de lalchimie comme forme de discours religieux est mise en question par Mersenne (1588-1648), qui lui reproche dans La Vrit des Sciences (1625) de dgrader la Rvlation chrtienne en religion naturelle29. A ce reproche portant sur la doctrine sen ajoute un sur la mthode: dans un chapitre des Questions thologiques, physiques morales et mathmatiques (1634), Mersenne rpond la question Peut-on prouver, ou confirmer, les Mystres de la Religion chretienne par les oprations et les principes de lalchimie? Il y rpond la chose suivante:
[] jai expriment que plusieurs chymistes se perdent tellement dans ces caprices, quau lieu de demeurer dans la seule comparaison, ils simaginent que leur sec, leur chaud, & leur humide, cest dire le sel, le soulfre, & le mercure, doivent principalement estre entendus par le Mystere de la Trinite [] de sorte quils ont voulu donner un sens naturel lEscriture sainte, comme ont fait Kunrath dans son Amphiteatre, Flud dans tous ses livres & plusieurs autres, comme si le seul vray sens de lEscriture ne se devait entendre que de la poudre, ou de la pierre Physique, ce quils disent, & essayent avec une impit dautant plus
26 Kahn, Paracelsisme et alchimie la fin de la Renaissance; du mme, Cinquante-neuf thses de Paracelse; cf. aussi Carlos Gilly , Theophrastia sancta. 27 Obrist, Die Alchemie in der mittelalterlichen Gesellschaft, 33-59, en particulier 50 sqq. 28 Cf. Khlmann, Der vermaledeite Prometheus, 37 sqq.. 29 Mersenne, La Vrit des Sciences. Sur Mersenne et lalchimie, voir Beaulieu, Lattitude nuance de Mersenne, 395-404. Voir aussi, Vickers, Occult and scientific mentalities , 10, qui souligne dans son introduction ce volume que Mersenne rejette les sciences occultes non seulement par fidlit au point de vue de lorthodoxie, mais encore par rationalisme, condamnant la mthode analogique la polmique de Libavius contre Croll et celle de Kepler contre Fludd tant fondes sur les mmes reproches. Sur Mersenne et le contexte de son uvre, voir les tudes rcentes runies in: Etudes philosophiques, Paris: Presses universitaires de France, janvier-juin 1994: Etudes sur Marin Mersenne.

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grande quils la cachent avec plus daccortise, & dadresse sous le voile de la piet 30.

Lusage de lanalogie est galement reproch, dans des termes semblables, par Pierre Gassendi Robert Fludd ( Fluddanae philosophieae Examen, 1658) 31. Et cest aussi labus de lanalogie par son application au domaine divin qui motive la critique formule par Athanasius Kircher en 1664:
Ils en sont parvenus un tel degr dimpit quils nont pas eu honte dappliquer la Pierre philosophale, par une audace impie, les immenses bienfaits du Christ notre Sauveur, lIncarnation, la Nativit, la Passion, la Mort, la Rsurrection et toutes les autres parties de la doctrine cleste32.

Ces polmiques contre lalchimie comme forme de pense usurpatrice eurent un retentissement particulier en Allemagne, o se dveloppa, tout au long de la seconde moiti du 16e et de la premire moiti du 17e sicle, une alchimie spculative coupe de la pratique chimique (Jacob Boehme prtendait ne rien entendre celle-ci33) et en revanche place au fondement de doctrines mystiques qui eurent elles-mmes une vaste postrit jusque dans le premier romantisme et luvre de Goethe. Un tmoignage particulirement important de ces ractions de lorthodoxie contre lalchimie est fourni par le volumineux trait en deux parties du thologien protestant Ehregott Daniel Colberg (1659-1698), professeur de thologie Greifswald puis pasteur Wismar 34 . Son trait paru 1690/1691 est intitul: Le Christianisme hermtico-platonicien, comprenant le rcit historique de son origine et de nombreuses sectes de la thologie fanatique daujourdhui, sous les noms des Paracelsistes, des Weigeliens, des Rosicruciens, des Quaker, des Boehmistes, des Anabaptistes, Bourignistes, Labadistes et Quitistes 35. Il met lalchimie (toujours voque sous les formes pjoratives de Chymisterei ou Alchymisterei) explicitement en cause, y voyant le meilleur moyen par lequel le fanatisme a vu le jour et sest propag 36. Louvrage de Colberg parat la fin de ce sicle o des mises en causes staient succd et il sappuie sur les divers lments de cette volution vers une vision critique de lalchimie: il mentionne ainsi plusieurs reprises la
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Mersenne, Les Questions thologiques, Qu. XXVIII, p. 127-135. Gassendi, Opera omnia , vol. III: Fluddanae Philosophiae Examen, 218. Kircher, Mundus subterraneus (Amsterdam 1664), cit par Baud, Le procs de lalchimie,

76. Cf. Koyr, La philosophie de Jacob Boehme , 129. On sait peu de choses sur Colberg. Voir: Faivre, Histoire de la notion moderne de tradition, 14; Id., Accs de lsotrisme occidental, vol. 2, 59; Telle, Alchemie II, 209; Khlmann, Das hretische Potential. 35 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum.
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polmique de Gassendi contre Robert Fludd, les crits de Libavius contre lalchimie mystique ou encore louvrage de Nicolaus Hunnius (1585-1643) Christliche Betrachtung der neuen paracelsischen und weigelianischen Theology (1622). Lanalyse de cet ouvrage particulirement reprsentatif, compendium des critiques formules pendant un sicle contre lalchimie spculative et sa prtention tre un discours religieux, nous permet de reprer trois lments principaux sur lesquels se fonde laccusation dhrsie: ces critiques touchent dabord au statut du savoir alchimique comme savoir philosophique cherchant investir le terrain de la thologie et comme tributaire dune tradition gnostico-platonicienne, elles concernent ensuite lusage de lanalogie et dun langage hermtique qui se soustrait la comprhension commune, enfin elles ont trait lanthropologie et la thologie mystiques ainsi qu la sotriologie imputes lalchimie, avec en particulier laccusation dautosotrisme. Ces aspects sont dvelopps dans les deux volumes de louvrage, qui se compose dune partie historique dans laquelle sont passes en revue les diffrentes doctrines dites fanatiques: numres dans son titre Paracelsiens, Quker, Labadistes, Bourignistes, Rosicruciens, Boehmens ; et dune partie systmatique37, qui passe en revue quant elle les divers points de doctrine dviants et tente de les rfuter. Il en ressort que lalchimie est considre comme lun des piliers de ce que Colberg appelle le christianisme hermtico-platonicien et quelle en constitue le fondement mme. Si elle est souponne dhtrodoxie, ce nest pas tant parce que les textes alchimiques regorgeraient de contenus non orthodoxes, mais parce quelle semble investie du pouvoir de susciter des drives htrodoxes, et ce par divers moyens que lauteur tente de dmasquer. Les distillateurs et autres disciples de Thophraste comme les appelle Colberg, devraient demeurer sur le terrain de la mdecine au lieu de saventurer sur celui de la thologie et de juger de celui-ci daprs leur entendement entnbr38.

Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 89: [] Da also die Alchymia und Nachschlagung der Hermetischen Bcher/ was von den vornehmsten Mitteln gewesen ist/ durch dessen Behuff der Fanatismus hervorgebrochen und in Wachsthum zugenommen hat. 37 La seconde partie est intitule: Des Platonisch-Hermetischen Christenthums ander Theil, darinn die Stcke der heutigen Fanatischen Theologie, nach Ordnung der Glaubens-Artickel vorgetragen/ aus den Schriften der Schwrmer grndlich untersuchet/ nach ihrem rechten Verstand und Ursprung errdert/ und aus Gottes Wort kurtz und deutlich widerlegt werden. 38 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 193.
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Colberg considre que les doctrines quil qualifie de Schwrmereyen (enthousiasmes fanatiques) ont toutes voir avec la chimisterie39. Il pense dmontrer que l alchimie et la consultation de livres hermtiques a t lun des moyens privilgis par lesquels le fanatisme a clat et sest propag40. Cest, pense-t-il, le dsir dexplorer les fondements de la chymie, laquelle daprs ses adeptes permet de sonder et de connatre le fondement vritable et la science des choses divines et naturelles, qui a pouss de nombreux novices lire les crits dHerms Trismgiste 41. 1. Un savoir usupateur: lalchimie entre mdecine, philosophie et thologie Le premier lment de cette mise en cause touche au statut de lalchimie, qui suscite une confusion entre thologie et philosophie42. Oswald Croll, lune des cibles prfres de notre dfenseur de lorthodoxie, avait en effet soulign dans sa Basilica chymica (1609), quun thologien digne de ce nom doit aussi tre philosophe, et que de mme, un vritable philosophe doit aussi tre thologien43. Cet amalgame entre thologie et philosophie est imputable, souligne Colberg, lancrage de lalchimie dans une tradition: celle du gnosticisme alexandrin, matrice dont est issue lhermtisme. Se fondant sur les hrsiologues Irne et Augustin et sur leur dnonciation des conceptions gnostiques, Colberg retrouve celles-ci dans la thologie et la sotriologie alchimiques des sectateurs quil dnonce. Si lalchimie est entache du soupon dhrsie, cest avant tout parce quelle est un produit de lhrsie gnostique 44. Puis, cest par un dtournement de sa fonction premire, par un glissement de niveau de discours que lalchimie est applique tort la sphre divine, ce qui fait delle ein heydnisch werk (une uvre impie)45 . Les chimistes, dit Colberg, ne sen tiennent pas leur propos premier, qui est la transmutation du plomb en or, considrant celui-ci comme un parergon , mais prtendent appli-

Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 118. Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 89. 41 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 89. 42 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum,1 re partie, 190. 43 Ldition en langue allemande: Basilica chymica/oder/ Alchmistische Kniglich Kleinod [] Frankfurt 1623, 71, cit par Khlmann, Oswald Crollius und seine Signaturenlehre, 111 sqq .: [] da ein rechtschaffener Theologus auch ein Philosophus, und wiederumb ein jeder rechter und wahrer Philosophus auch ein Theologus sey. 44 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 21 et 2me partie, 91 sqq. Colberg mentionne Simon le Magicien, appel par Irne de Lyon le pre de tous les hrtiques et dont les spculations ont, selon lui, introduit lamalgame entre lEcriture sainte et la philosophie platonicienne; puis Basilide, Carpocrate et leurs disciples. 45 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 282.
39 40

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quer leur savoir au domaine mdical, usant de la pierre philosophale pour obtenir des gurisons, voire limmortalit. Enfin, de lart mdical ils passent au plan thologique46 . Cest donc un double glissement que dnonce le reprsentant de lorthodoxie, qui reproche aux alchimistes dexporter leurs concepts dans des domaines o ceux-ci ne peuvent ni ne doivent sappliquer. Les Rosicruciens, pense Colberg, qui atteignent des sommets cet gard, veulent appliquer le modle alchimique de la ralisation de la pierre philosophale une rforme du monde entier et sont donc particulirement suspects dhrsie 47. Le premier reproche est donc dordre pistmologique et sadresse au statut de lalchimie comme discipline mouvante, susceptible de sappliquer divers niveaux de la ralit48. Colberg voit en lalchimie un discours usurpateur49. Lanctre de toutes ces dviations et doctrines aberrantes est bien sr Paracelse, cest lui qui le premier a ml sa philosophie (alchimique) la thologie et a ainsi infect celle-ci de nombreux termes mdicaux: ainsi lorsquil affirme que le Christ nest devenu pareil nous que par la signature cest--dire par les linaments extrieurs ou quAdam serait la quintessence de la terre50 . 2. Lalchimie comme problme linguistique et smiotique: du bon ou du mauvais usage de lanalogie alchimique Les instruments de cette usurpation sont multiples, mais cest surtout lusage danalogies qui est vis par la critique chez Colberg comme chez divers adversaires de lalchimie avant lui, le recours des images bibliques pour la description de lopus , ou linverse, lusage du langage alchimique pour exprimer des contenus religieux51. Celle-ci avait dj t dnonce par Mersenne

Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 281 sqq. Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 274 sqq. Sur ce sujet, voir Dohm, Poetische Alchimie . 48 Sur ce statut de lalchimie, cf. Obrist, Art et nature dans lalchimie mdivale, 215-286. 49 Sur ce problme de lusurpation comme caractristique du discours alchimique, voir Obrist, Les dbuts de limagerie alchimique, 48; Baud, Le procs de lalchimie , passim; Gassendi (Opera omnia , vol. III, 218) parle de lalchimie en ces termes: [] modo Creationis nomen usurpat pro operatione Alcymistica. Toutes proportions gardes et au prix dune association trs anachronique, on pense la faon dont Alan Sokal et Jean Bricmont critiquent limportation de mtaphores issues de discours scientifiques dans la pense des sciences humaines in Impostures intellectuelles ! 50 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, Cap. V, Vom Paracelsismo, 179 sqq., en particulier 190: Theophrastus Paracelsus ist ein Anfnger der heutigen Schwrmerey. 51 Sur les diffrentes formes de relations entre le discours biblique et le discours alchimique, cf. Matton, Le Cantique des Cantiques de Salomon interprt dans le sens physique de Jean Vauquelin des Yveteaux, 357-365.
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dans le passage cit prcdemment. Colberg va plus loin dans sa dnonciation de ce procd et lui trouve dautres motivations:
Il est tout fait probable que lusage abusif des saintes Ecritures trouve son origine dans lalchimisterie, laquelle ces gens pour la plupart sont adonns / comme lexpose Gassendi dans Examine Fluddianae Philosophiae. Celui-ci pense en effet que les plus intelligents parmi les alchimistes, parce quils aimeraient que leurs inventions continuent de se dvelopper ternellement/ nont pas trouv de meilleur moyen pour cela que de les dcrire au moyen des caractres ou des signes de la religion/ car la religion reste toujours ce quelle est sans que lon puisse la modifier 52

Or, et cela me semble intressant pour dcrire le contexte dans lequel intervient ce jugement svre de Colberg, Sylvain Matton a montr que lanalogie alchimique tait couramment utilise dans la littrature apologtique du 17 e sicle franais, sous la plume dauteurs qui ne peuvent tre souponns dhrsie53 . Luther lui-mme non seulement acceptait lanalogie alchimique, mais encore la pratiquait lui-mme, comme il ressort dun clbre passage des Tischreden (Propos de table), dans lequel il dit apprcier lalchimie, en ces termes et pour les raisons suivantes:
Lalchimie [] me plat beaucoup, non seulement pour lutilit quon en retire, car elle apprend fondre, sparer, affiner et traiter les mtaux; distiller et sublimer les plantes, les racines et tant dautres corps; mais aussi pour ces allgories et symboles cachs, qui sont fort beaux, en particulier cette figuration du Jugement dernier, et de la rsurrection des morts []. Tout ce quil y a de bon sen va et monte, et ce qui reste na ni odeur ni got et ressemble du bois pourri. Dieu en fera autant avec nous laide du Jugement dernier. Par le feu il sparera et partagera les Justes et les impies. Les justes et les bons chrtiens monteront en lair vers le ciel, pour y avoir la vie ternelle. Les impies et les reprouvs, tels quun fond de marmite ou une lie, resteront en enfer, y seront damns et souffriront la mort ternelle 54.

52 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 118 sqq: Und es ist sehr glaublich/ da der Mibrauch der heiligen Schrifft seinen Ursprung in der Alchymisterei habe/ der diese Leute insgemein ergeben sind/ wie solches Gassendus in Examine Fluddianae Philosophiae aufhret. Denn da meinet er, da die klgsten unter den Alchymisten, weil sie ihre Erfindung gerne wollen bis auf ewig fortgepflanzt wissen/ kein besser Mittel dazu zu gelangen geachtet/ als wenn sie es mit den Charakteren oder Zeichen der Religion beschreiben/ weil die Religion stets wrete/ und nicht ganz und gar verendert werden knte: zudemmahln noch Merckzeichen der Religion, so zu des Mercurii und Orphei Zeiten gewesen / verhanden. 53 Matton, Thmatique alchimique et littrature religieuse, 129. 54 Traduction franaise: Propos de table , traduit et prfac par Louis Nauzin. Paris: Montaigne 1932, 411-412. Texte original in Luther, Werke, Kritische Gesamtausgabe, Tischreden . Bd. 1, n 1149, 566 sq.: Der rechte Kunst der Alchimie ist wahrhaftig die Philosophia der alten Weisen, die mir sehr wol gefllet, nicht allein um ihres vielen Nutzes willen, den sie mitbringet, die Metalla zu schmelzen, zu scheiden, auszusieden und zuzureichen; item, Kruter,

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Il sagit, on le voit, chez Luther dun usage strictement allgorique de limage alchimique, et qui en tant que tel est tolrable. Dans la vision du monde paracelsienne, fonde sur les deux sources de connaissance que sont la lumire de la nature et la lumire de lEsprit saint, le recours lanalogie nest pas simple allgorie, mais cre une relation de continuit, voire didentit ou du moins dhomologie entre les deux plans, ce qui donne lanalogie une tout autre porte55 , et la rend inacceptable dans un cadre autre que celui dune philosophie hermtique. Cette critique de lusage des analogies saccompagne dune critique de lobscurit du langage alchimique 56:
Ce nest qugarement et Tour de Babel, lorsque ces esprits faux obscurcissent la thologie et en inversent le propos par lusage de termes chimiques et dautres vocables philosophiques. Ainsi parlent-ils du feu sacr/ qui est la flamme divine et lesprit ign/ dans lequel repose lhuile: et dans celle-ci , la quintessence, et dans lessence la teinture, comme mercure sulfurique et soufre mercuriel; ils parlent de llment unique, pur et clair; du Centre en Dieu; du spiritus mundi; de larche; du mysterium magnum; des ides, du nihil divinum et aeternum; du fond unique et infini [] et de mille autres choses qui nont pas leur place dans la thologie ni dans lexplication des mystres. Ce faisant ils ngarent point seulement les autres , mais galement eux-mmes et se rvlent de vritables constructeurs de la Tour de Babel 57.
Wurzel und Anders zu distilliren und zu sublimiren, sondern auch um der Allegorien und heimlichen Deutung willen, die uberaus schn ist, nehmlich die Auferstehung der Todten am jngsten Tage [] da wird das gute in die Hhe gefhrt, und was da brig bleibet, das ist ohn Geruch und Schmack, gleich wie ein faul Holz. Eben dergleichen wird Gott auch thun durch den jngsten Tag und letzte Gericht; damit wird er als durch ein Feuer, abscheiden, absondern und abtheilen die Gerechten von den Gottlosen. Die Christen und Gerechten werden uber sich in Himmel fahren, und darinnen ewig leben; aber die Gottlosen und Verdammten werden als die Grundsuppe und Hefen in der Hlle bleiben, und darinnen verdammt seyn, und im Tode ewig bleiben. Sur la position de Luther lgard de lalchimie, cf. Montgomery, Lastrologie et lalchimie luthriennes lpoque de la Rforme, 337. Un autre passage des Propos de table en revanche condamne explicitement la prtention du Grand uvre oprer la transmutation des espces: Tischreden, 5. Band, 310 sq., n 5671, p. 310 sqq.: Gaudeant genera et species! Sagt Aristoteles wider die alchimisten. Nein, es wirts keiner anders machen: Ein ochs bleibt ein ochs, ein mensch ein mensch etc.. 55 Cf. Vickers, Analogy versus identity, qui analyse ce problme de la nature et de la signification des analogies dans le contexte de la pense de la Renaissance. Sur les diffrentes formes du recours aux analogies bibliques dans la littrature alchimique, voir Sylvain Matton, Le Cantique des Cantiques de Salomon, 357-365. 56 Sur ce problme on verra: Greiner, Art du feu, art du secret, 207-231. 57 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 2 me partie, Vorrede, 9 sqq: Babel und Verwirrung ist es/ wenn die Irrgeister/ durch Chymische/ und andere philosophische terminos, die Theologie verdunckeln und verkehren. Da reden sie von heiligen Feuer/welches ist eine Gttliche Flamme und Feur-Geist/worin das Oel lieget/ und in dem Oel die Quinta Essentia, und in der essentia die Tinctur, als der sulfurische Mercurius und mercurialische Sulphur: vom eintzigen/reinen und klaren Element: Vom Centro in Gott: Vom Spiritu Mundi, Archeo, Mysterio

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Pour Colberg, le langage alchimique est ainsi un langage usurpateur et mystificateur, de mme que la connaissance alchimique est usurpatrice lorsquelle prtend sappliquer lobjet divin. Le terme de fausse alchimie58, souvent employ par les hrsiologues de lpoque, y compris par Gottfried Arnold au dbut du 18 e sicle59 , dsigne ici lalchimie spculative, dtache de son support opratif et dvoye par rapport ce qui seul, selon lorthodoxie pourrait tre son domaine lgitime: le travail sur la matire. Ce reproche dobscurit dune langue nologisante avait dj t adress Paracelse lui-mme par Johann Weyer 60 (1515-1588), et cette critique se poursuit dailleurs jusquau 18e sicle avec les attaques rationalistes contre lalchimie telles quelles apparaissent par exemple chez Gottsched61. 3. Contre la thologie, la cosmologie et la sotriologie hermtiques Enfin la troisime catgorie darguments pour dnoncer lhtrodoxie de la pense alchimique concerne divers points de doctrine et, tout en tant troitement lie aux deux premires, elle est de loin la plus importante. Colberg note des divergences fondamentales entre le point de vue de lorthodoxie et celui des crits se fondant sur une vision hermtico-alchimique du divin, de la nature et du salut. Des passages de la partie systmatique de son trait voquent la conception de Dieu comme materia chez Weigel 62, la Trinit alchimique de Jacob Boehme ou encore la sotriologie prsente chez ces auteurs, qui selon Colberg, repose sur une divinisation de lhomme. Cest la conception noplatonicienne et hermtique dun spiritus universi qui est le point commun toutes ces dviations63 et leur fondement. Colberg dnonce la thoalchimie des fanatiques adhrents de la thologie mystique et du paracelsisme, telle quelle se trouve chez Valentin Weigel,

magno: Von den Ideis: Vom Nihilo Divino & aeterno, einigem/unendlichen / Ungrunde/ und Universal-Punct: Von den cabalistischen Augen: Vom Syderischen Geist/ Evastro, der Imagination, und hundert dergleichen Dingen/ die nicht in die Theologie: noch zur Erklrung der Geheimnisse gehren. Damit verwirren sie nicht allein andere/ sondern auch sich selbst/ und beweisen sich recht als Bau-Leute des Babylonischen Thurms/ die durch Verwirrung der Sprache in Miverstand/ Zweck/ ha und Unreinigkeit geriethen. 58 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 322: falsche Chymici. 59 Arnold, Unparteiische Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie, vol. 2, 13. 60 Cf. Gunnoe, Thomas Erastus, 137 sqq. 61 Voir ce sujet Khlmann, Biographische Methode und aufgeklrte Revision der Geschichte, 548. 62 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 2 me partie, 74. 63 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 118 sqq., et en particulier 120. Sur les dbats ce sujet, cf. Darmon, Quelques enjeux pistmologiques.

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les Rosicruciens et Jacob Boehme. Passant en revue, dans lavant-propos la seconde partie, quelques-unes des conceptions dviantes du divin il rsume ainsi leur teneur htrodoxe:
Si Dieu est lessence de toutes choses / et se communique elles essentiellement: soit quil communique chacune des cratures toute son essence: ou seulement une partie de celle-ci. Lune et lautre chose diminuent la dignit de Dieu. Dans le premier cas, il a autant de dieux quil y a de cratures, car chacune dentre elles a en elle tout ltre divin. Dans lautre cas, on fait de ltre parfait de Dieu chose imparfaite/ soumise au changement dans les cratures; de ltre spirituel on fait un corps/ qui peut tre partag/ et attribu chacune des cratures dans la mesure qui lui convient; de ltre ternel on fait un tre soumis au temps, qui comme essence de toutes choses leur donnant vie existe et disparat avec elles; du ToutPuissant on fait un impuissant/ qui ne peut uvrer pareillement dans toutes les cratures/ [] Et ainsi on fait de Dieu un Non-Dieu, qui ne possde plus aucune des qualits divines 64.

Il ntait gure tonnant que les spculations sur la Trinit prissent une place importante dans les conceptions que dnonce Colberg, dans la mesure o le sicle tout entier, de Paracelse Boehme, en avait produit de nombreuses, et que celles-ci taient souvent conues en lien explicite avec les trois principes alchimiques du Soufre, du Mercure et du Sel. Dans une section de louvrage consacre ce dogme, Colberg commence par attaquer la conception selon laquelle la Trinit naurait pas exist avant la Cration du monde, mais seulement lUnit65. La Trinit, surgie en mme temps que le monde cr, est ainsi immanente celui-ci et participe du devenir divin, que Colberg rcuse galement. Boehme et son Dieu-Ungrund, prima materia de toutes choses sont particulirement viss ici66. Le lien avec lalchimie est expressment tabli quant ces spculations trinitaires, ainsi dans la dmonstration de Colberg contre les

64 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 124: Wenn Gott das Wesen aller Dinge ist/ und sich ihnen wesnetlich mittheilet; so mu das geschehen/ entweder da er einer ietweden Creatur sein gantzes Wesen/ oder bur ein Stck davon mittheilet. Beydes verkleinert die Ehre Gottes. Das erste macht so viel Gtter/ als Creaturen in der Welt seynd/ weil eine jede das gantze Wesen Gottes in sich hat. Das andere machet aus dem allervollkommensten Wesen Gottes/ ein unvollkommen Ding/ welches der Vernderung in den Creaturen unterworffen; Aus dem geistlichen Wesen einen leib/ der da kan zertheilet/ und nach Mae einer jeden Creatur mitgetheilet werden; Aus dem Ewigen einen Zeitlichen/ der als das Wesen der Dinge/ dadurch sie leben und bestehen/ mit ihnen entspringet und unetrgehet; Aus dem Allmchtigen einen Ohnmchtigen/ der nicht in allen Creaturen gleich wirken kann/ []. Und auff solche Weise wird aus Gott ein Ungott gemacht/ von dem keines der gttlichen Eigenschaften mit Fug kan gesagt werden. 65 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 2 me partie, 95 sq. 66 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 2 me partie, 8 sqq.; lauteur pense trouver les mmes conceptions chez Fludd.

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trois degrs du spiritus mundi, dcrits par des catgories alchimiques 67. Luther avait avou quant lui dans les Tischreden , que le mystre de la Trinit tait lun des plus impntrables68. Les alchimistes prtendent quant eux lintgrer dans une explication du monde naturel, et voir un lien de continuit entre la Trinit divine et la triade alchimique. Spectaculaire cet gard est, dans lespace francophone qui ne fait videmment pas lobjet des investigations de Colberg, La Foy dvoile par la raison de Jean Patrocle Parisot (1681), o les parallles entre le Dieu en trois personnes et les trois principes sont constamment mis en relation69 et o le plan naturel et le plan divin sont interprts lun par lautre. Ces spculations trinitaires sont aussi en relation avec le joachimisme, ingrdient majeur de nombreuses hrsies de lpoque 70, auquel notre pourfendeur dhrsies sattaque discrtement dans un chapitre consacr leschatologie, voquant cet ge dor ou troisime ge, de lEsprit saint 71. Enfin, il sattaque lanthropologie tripartite qui dans les hrsies considres fait pendant la structure tripartite du monde naturel et sa correspondance avec les trois personnes divines 72. Cette conception dune identit de structure entre les trois mondes divin, naturel et humain a dautres implications impies encore, la principale tant la tentation de lautosotrisme, qui selon le dtracteur des doctrines fanatiques, trouve elle aussi son origine dans lalchimie. Cest l le reproche le plus

67 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 2 me partie, 120: Der uerlich und grobe Spiritus, das ist der grobe Schweffel/Saltz und Mercurius, ein Wesen der vier Elementen oder des Gestirmns/ nach den sternen Rauhigkeit Eigenschafften: Der ander Spiritus, der liegt in Oel des Schweffels/ den man die fnffte Essetz (quintam essentiam) heisset/ als eine Wurtzel der vier Elementen: Der dritte Spiritus oder Tinctur, als ein Gegnwurff des gttlichen Mysterii Magni, da alle Krffte in der Gleichheit inne liegen/ heisset recht Paradei oder gttlich Lust []. Colberg rsume ici, sa manire, des thses de Boehme. 68 D. Martin Luthers Werke, Kritische Gesamtausgabe, Weimar 1921, Tischreden, Bd. 6, N 6739, 158: Von der heiligen Dreifaltigkeit und Menschwerdung Christi, das sind die schwersten Artikel. Denn die Vernunft kann das etlicher Maen glauben, da ein Kindlein von einer Jungfrau geborn wird, weil Gott allmchtig ist; aber da will sie nicht hinan, da drei Personen in einem ewigen gttlichen Wesen seien von gleicher Gewalt und Macht usw, und da Gott selber Mensch geworden sei. Das ist ihr zu hoch! A propos de la Trinit, voir aussi: Tischreden vol. 4, N4318, 4915 et vol. 5, N 5992. 69 Cf. Mothu, Lvangile paracelsien du sieur Parisot, 360 sqq. 70 Cf. de Lubac, La postrit spirituelle de Joachim de Flore, Vol. 1, 161 sq.; sur le joachimisme de Parisot, cf. Mothu, Lvangile paracelsien du sieur Parisot, 365 sq., qui relve juste titre que le magistral ouvrage dHenri de Lubac naccorde sans doute pas assez de place linfluence du joachimisme au XVIIe sicle. 71 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 2 me partie, Caput XII: Von den letzten Dingen, 575. 72 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 2 me partie, Caput III, Vom Menschen vor und nach dem Fall, 145.

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grave adress ces doctrines fanatiques et sectaires, de viser une divinisation de lhomme, laquelle apparat dabord dans la vise limmortalit:
[] cest l le plus grand profit quils veulent tirer de la chymie, la prparation dun remde universel par lequel ils veulent se rendre immortels (car la fabrication de lor nest pour eux quun parergon). Cest l une uvre impie, rpandue surtout chez les Chinois, par laquelle les chymistes promettent au Roi, par leur art, non seulement de faire de lOr et de largent, mais aussi des remdes par lesquels il pourra vivre ternellement 73.

Cette prtention de lhomme limmortalit, Colberg la situe dans la continuit de la thologie mystique no-platonicienne, laquelle viserait cette divinisation de lhomme. Lalchimie devient ainsi la marque dune dmesure de lhumain, en mme temps quelle ramne le divin au statut de matire premire du monde. Cest cette inversion des valeurs que lhrsiologue pense dceler dans les thses quil incrimine et quil condamne. Les cibles les plus clairement identifies de son rquisitoire sont certes les fondateurs dorientations religieuses htrodoxes nes dans lespace protestant: Quker, Bourignistes Weigeliens, Rosicruciens et Boehmens, et de celui quil considre comme leur anctre tous, Paracelse. Mais les noms dalchimistes spculatifs les plus frquemment cits sont ceux des Paracelsiens Oswald Croll, Henri Noll et Heinrich Khunrath, Rulandus, lauteur du dictionnaire alchimique, et aussi Robert Fludd, tous censs avoir favoris, par leurs propres dviations, la constitution de systmes et de doctrines htrodoxes. Il ressort donc de ce trait de Colberg quune responsabilit particulirement lourde est attribue lalchimie dans la constitution et la diffusion des htrodoxies, dans lAllemagne luthrienne particulirement. Cette position de lorthodoxie luthrienne lencontre de lalchimie indique que cette dernire, avant dtre relgue au rang des superstitions ineptes par lge rationaliste, fut prouve comme un vritable danger pour la religion. Aprs des sicles de coexistence pacifique avec lEglise et ses doctrines, elle est prsent prouve comme un ferment de subversion. Si pour Mersenne elle tait simplement cense promouvoir une religion naturelle et donc mettre mal la transcendance du divin, elle est prsent accuse de pchs bien plus graves.

73 Colberg, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christenthum, 1 re partie, 282: [] Das ist der grseste Nutz/den sie aus der Chymia heben wollen/ die Bereitung einer allgemeinen Artzeney/ dadurch sich unsterblich zumachen (denn das Goldmachen halten sie nur vor ein Parergon). Das ist ein Heydnisch Werk/ und insonderheit bey den Sinesen gebruchlich/ da die Chymici durch ihre Kunst nicht allein Gold und Silber zumachen/ sondern auch Artzeney/dadurch er ewig leben solte/zu verfertigen dem Knige versprochen.

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Une histoire de lalchimie comme forme de religiosit htrodoxe devrait galement prendre en compte le jugement des alchimistes sur leur propre situation religieuse, quils soient ou non incrimins, et leur relation lorthodoxie, point que nous ne pouvons dvelopper dans le cadre de cette brve tude. Les diffrences cet gard entre les divers contextes confessionnels semblent considrables et sont capitales. Dans lespace germanique protestant, terre mme de la Rforme et de diverses doctrines qui se conoivent elles-mmes comme des rformes de la Rforme, ainsi le pitisme74, et o la conscience sectaire est un lment de la vie religieuse, la situation est ncessairement diffrente de celle de lespace catholique o il est frappant de trouver des dignitaires de lEglise se rclamant eux-mmes dune alchimie chrtienne, se dfinissant comme alchimistes chrtiens, ainsi lvque Jean Belin, ou le mdecin paracelsien Pierre Jean Fabre75. LApologie du Grand uvre de Dom Jean Belin (1659) ddie au Pape Urbain VIII, voit dans lopus alchymicum un symbole accompli des plus adorables mystres de la religion76 , et ce au moment mme o en France, lusage de mtaphores et danalogies alchimiques fleurit dans la littrature apologtique de lespace catholique, comme la montr Sylvain Matton qui ajoute que tmoins de la vulgarisation de lalchimie au 17e sicle, les crivains religieux ont contribu dvelopper lide dune alchimie spirituelle tout autant et peut-tre plus que les alchimistes euxmmes 77. Ce qui nempche pas le soupon dhrsie de peser sur dautres crits de lpoque, comme le montre Alain Mothu propos de lvangile paracelsien de Jean Patrocle Parisot: La Foy dvoile par la raison (1681) fond sur la convergence dlments paracelsiens et joachimites78. Cest donc une histoire interculturelle de lalchimie et de sa rception que nous appelons de nos vux. Celle-ci permettrait de mettre en vidence que laccueil fait cette forme du savoir et de discours particulier, la tolrance ou lintolrance son gard, est fonction de diffrences culturelles dont les diffrences doctrinales sont des aspects. Faire lapologie du grand uvre est autre chose que dintgrer des lments du savoir alchimique dans un difice mystique ou dans une thologie de lHistoire la mode joachimite. Si nous nous demandons en quoi rside le potentiel htrodoxe de lalchimie, tellement fortement repr comme tel et dnonc dans un texte comme celui de Colberg, nous pouvons en souponner lorigine dans cette propension du sa-

74 75 76 77 78

Sur les relations du pitisme et de lalchimie, voir Dohm, Poetische Alchimie . Pierre Fabre, LAlchimiste chrtien ; sur Belin, voir Noize, Le Grand Oeuvre . Noize, Le Grand uvre, 153. Matton, Thmatique alchimique et littrature religieuse, 208. Mothu, Lvangile paracelsien du sieur Parisot, 356 sqq.

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voir alchimique entrer en combinaison avec toutes sortes dautres reprsentations, elles aussi suspectes dhrsie: ainsi les chiliasmes et thologies de lhistoire dviantes telles quelles fleurissent tant dans lespace mdival qu laube des temps modernes. Il nest que de remarquer qualchimie et joachimisme font souvent bon mnage 79 . La figure dElie artiste, de ce messie de laccomplissement des temps annonc par Paracelse, nest quun des exemples les plus frappants de limbrication de reprsentations alchimiques et eschatologiques 80. Le pouvoir dintgration, dassimilation et de transformation de ce savoir lui permet de resurgir sous des visages toujours nouveaux.
Christine Maillard (1956) est professeur de littrature et de civilisation allemandes au Dpartement dEtudes Allemandes de lUniversit Marc Bloch de Strasbourg.

Bibliographie TEXTES
Alsted, Johann Heinrich, Encyclopoedia septem tomis distincta , Herborn 1630. Andreae, Johann Valentin, Fama Fraternitatis (1614). Confessio Fraternitatis (1615). Chymische Hochzeit: Christiani Rosencreutz. Anno 1459 (1616) (Richard van Dlmen, ed.), Stuttgart 1981 (3 e) 1 re d. 1973. Arnold, Gottfried, Unparteiische Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie vom Anfang des Neuen Testaments bis auf das Jahr Christi 1688 , 2 vols., Rd. Hildesheim 1967. Belin, Dom Jean-Albert, Lapologie du grand uvre, Paris 1659. Colberg, Ehregott Daniel, Das Platonisch-Hermetisches [sic] Christenthum/Begreifend die Historische Erzehlung vom Ursprung und vielerley Secten der heutigen Fanatischen Theologie unterm Namen der Paracelsisten/Weigelianer/Rosencreutzer/Qucker/ Bhmisten/Wiedertuffer/ Bourignisten/ Labadisten/ und Quietisten , Frankfurt/Leipzig 1690/91. Dorn, Grard, Schlssel der Chimischen Philosophy: Mit welchem die heimliche und verborgene Dicta und Sprch der Philosophen, erffnet und aufgelset werden, Strasbourg: Lazarus Zetzner 1602. Eymerich, Nicolau & Francisco Pena, Le Manuel des inquisiteurs (Louis Sala-Molins, d.), Paris: Albin Michel 1999.

79 Mothu (Lvangile paracelsien du sieur Parisot, 372) en dit autant du paracelsisme et du joachimisme. Il nen reste pas moins que la question est peu tudie, ce quobservait dj Halleux ( Les Textes alchimiques, 140 sq.). Sur les relations du joachimisme et de lalchimie chez Arnaud de Villeneuve, cf. Calvet, Alchimie et joachimisme, 93-108; sur les relations du joachimisme et de lalchimie au Moyen Age, cf. Obrist, Les dbuts de limagerie alchimique (notamment concernant le Livre de la Sainte Trinit). Pour la Renaissance, voir Gilly, Theophrastia sancta, 439 sq. 80 Voir ltude rcente dAntoine Faivre in Aries, Elie Artiste, ou le messie des philosophes de la nature. Voir aussi Bachmann/Hofmeier, Geheimnisse der Alchemie, 241; Priesner/Figala, Alchemie , 127 sq.

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Fabre, Pierre Jean, LAlchimiste chrtien. Traduction franaise anonyme du XVIIIe sicle, avec le fac-simil de ldition latine originale, (Frank Greiner, d.), Textes et travaux de Chrysopoeia 7, Paris/Milan: SEHA/Arch 2001 [= Pierre-Jean Fabre, Alchymista Christianus, In quo Deus rerum author omnium, & quamplurima Fides Christianae mysteria, per analogias Chymicas & Figuras explicantur, Christianorumque Orthodoxa doctrina, vita et probitas non oscitanter ex chymica arte demonstrantur, Toulouse: Pierre Bosc 1632]. Gassendi, Pierre, Examen Philosophiae Roberti Fluddi Medici , in: Opera omnia (1658), Repr. Stuttgart/Bad Cannstatt: F. Frommann 1964, vol. III, 213-268. Khunrath, Heinrich, Amphitheatrum Sapientiae aeternae, solius verae, Christiano-Kabalisticum, Divino-Magicum nec non Physico-Chemicum Tertriunum, Catholicon: instructore Henrico Khunrath Lips., Theosophiae amatore fideli, et Medicinae utriusque Doct., Hanau 1609 (1 re d. 1595) [Trad.fr. partielle: Amphithtre de la sagesse ternelle, seule, vraie, chrtienne et kabbalistique physique et chimique dans son universelle triunit (1609), Lyon: P. Derain 1957]. Kircher, Athanasius, Mundus subterraneus, Amsterdam 1664. Libavius, Andreas, Die Alchemie des Andreas Libavius: Ein Lehrbuch der Chemie aus dem Jahre 1597. Zum ersten Mal in deutscher bersetzung (Gmelin-Institut fr anorganische Chemie und Grenzgebiete in der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Frderung der Wissenschaften in Verbindung mit der Gesellschaft deutscher Chemiker), Frankfurt am Main/ Weinheim/Bergstr.: Verlag Chemie 1964. Luther, Martin, Werke, Kritische Gesamtausgabe, Tischreden. Bd. 1: Tischreden aus der ersten Hlfte der 30er Jahre, Weimar: Hermann Bhlaus Nachfolger 1912. Mersenne, Marin, Quaestiones celeberrimae in Genesim, Paris: Sbastien Cramoisy 1623. , La Vrit des sciences contre les sceptiques ou Pyrhonniens , Paris: Toussaint du Bray 1625. , Les Questions thologiques, physiques, morales et mathmatiques: O chacun trouvera du contentement ou de lexercice, Paris: Henri Guenon 1634. Musaeum hermeticum, omnes Sopho-Spagyricae Artis Discipulos fidelissime erudiens.... Frankfurt: Lukas Jennis 1625. Paracelsus, Smtliche Werke, 1. Abteilung: Medizinische, naturwissenschaftliche und philosophische Schriften (Karl Sudhoff, Hrsg.), vol. 1-14, Mnchen/Berlin 1922/1933. , Liber Paramirum, Smtliche Werke, 1. Abteilung, vol. IX. , Paragranum , Smtliche Werke, 1. Abteilung, vol. VIII. , Labyrinthus medicorum errantium , Smtliche Werke, 1. Abteilung vol. XI. , Philosophia sagax, Smtliche Werke, 1. Abteilung vol. XII. , Philosophia ad athenienses, Smtliche Werke, 1. Abteilung, vol. XIII. Rupescisssa, Jean de, Liber Lucis, in: Theatrum chemicum, 1659-1661, vol. III, p. 284-293. Siebmacher, Johann Ambrosius, Wasserstein der Weysen, das ist, ein chymisch Tracttlein, darin der Weg gezeiget, die Materia genennet, und der Process beschrieben wird, zu dem hohen geheymnuss der Universal Tinctur zukommen, vor diesem niemalen gesehen. Darbey auch zwey sehr nutzliche andere Bchlein der Gleichformigkeit und Concordantz wegen angehenckt, nemlich, 1. Iohan von Mesung. 2. Via veritatis der einigen Warheit..., Frankfurt, 1619 (rd.1661, 1703, 1704, 1709, 1710, 1743, 1760). Theatrum chemicum, praecipuos selectorum auctorum Tractatus de Chemiae et lapidis philosophici Antiquitate , Strasbourg: Lazare Zetzner 1613-1622.

L ITTRATURE SECONDAIRE
Bachmann, Manuel & Thomas Hofmeier (Eds.), Geheimnisse der Alchemie , Basel: Schwabe 1999. Baud, Jean-Pierre, Le procs de lalchimie, Strasbourg: Cerdic Publications 1983.

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Beaulieu, Armand, Lattitude nuance de Mersenne envers la chymie, in: Jean-Claude Margolin & Sylvain Matton (eds.), Alchimie et philosophie la Renaissance , Paris: Vrin 1995, 395-404. Berthelot, Marcelin, Les Origines de lalchimie, Paris 1885. Bonardel, Franoise, Philosophie de lalchimie: Grand uvre et modernit, Paris 1993. Braun, Lucien, Paracelse: De lAlchimie (Lucien Braun, d.), Strasbourg: Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg 2000. Buck, August (Ed.), Die okkulten Wissenschaften in der Renaissance (Wolfenbtteler Abhandlungen zur Renaissanceforschung 12), Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 1992. Calvet, Antoine, Alchimie et joachimisme dans les alchimica pseudo-arnaldiens, in: Margolin & Matton, Alchimie et philosophie la Renaissance , 93-108. Clericuzio, Antonio, Alchimia vetus et vera: Les thories sur lorigine de lalchimie en Angleterre au XVIIe sicle, in: Kahn & Matton (ds.), Alchimie: arts, histoire et mythes, Actes du 1er colloque international de la Socit dEtude de lHistoire de lAlchimie , Paris/ Milano: S.E.H.A/Arch 1995, 737-748. Crisciani, Chiara, The Conception of Alchemy as Expressed in the Pretiosa Margarita Novella of Petrus Bonus of Ferrara, Ambix 20 (1973), 165-181. Darmon, Jean-Charles, Quelques enjeux pistmologiques de la querelle entre Gassendi et Fludd: les clairs-obscurs de lme du Monde, in: Greiner, Aspects de la tradition alchimique au XVIIe sicle, 63-84. Debus, Allen G., Chemistry, Alchemy and the New Philosophy, 1550-1700, Variorum Repr.: London 1987. Dohm, Burckhard, Poetische Alchimie: ffnung zur Sinnlichkeit in der Hohelied- und Bibeldichtung von der protestantischen Barockmystik bis zum Pietismus, Tbingen: Niemeyer 2000. Eliade, Mircea, Forgerons et alchimistes, Paris: Flammarion 1956. Faivre, Antoine, Accs de lsotrisme occidental, 2 vol., Paris: Gallimard 1998 (2 me d.). , Histoire de la notion moderne de Tradition dans ses rapports avec les courants sotriques (XV e-XX e sicles), in: Symboles et mythes dans les mouvements initiatiques et sotriques (XVIIe-XXe sicles): Filiations et emprunts, ARIES (1999), 7-47. , Elie Artiste, ou la messie des philosophes de la nature, Aries 2: 2 (2002) & 3: 1 (2003). Faivre, Antoine & Frdric Tristan (ds), Alchimie (Cahiers de lHermtisme), Paris: Albin Michel 1996, 2 me d. [1 re d.: 1978]. Ganzenmller, Wilhelm, Die Alchemie im Mittelalter , Paderborn: Verl. der BonifaciusDruckerei 1938. , Das Buch der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit, Archiv fr Kulturgeschichte 29 (1939), 93-141. , Wilhelm Ganzenmller: Alchemie und Religion im Mittelalter, Deutsches Archiv fr Geschichte des Mittelalters 5. Jahrgang.Weimar 1942, 329-346. Gilly, Carlos, Theophrastia sancta: Der Paracelsismus als Religion im Streit mit den offiziellen Kirchen, in: Joachim Telle (ed.), Analecta Paracelsica : Studien zum Nachleben Theophrast von Hohenheims im deutschen Kulturgebiet der frhen Neuzeit, Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag 1994, 425-488. Greiner, Frank (d.), Aspects de la tradition alchimique au XVIIe sicle: Actes du colloque international de lUniversit de Reims-Champagne-Ardenne (Reims 28 et 29 novembre 1996) , Paris/Milan: SEHA/Arch 1998. , Art du feu, art du secret: obscurit et sotrisme dans les crits alchimiques de lge baroque, in: Greiner, Aspects de la tradition alchimique , 207-231 Gunnoe, Charles D. Jr, Thomas Erastus and his Circle of Anti-Paracelsians, in: Telle, Analecta paracelsica, 127-148. Haage, Bernhard Dietrich, Alchemie im Mittelalter. Ideen und Bilder von Zosimos bis Paracelsus, Zrich/Dsseldorf: Artemis und Winkler 1996.

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Halleux, Robert, Les Textes alchimiques (Typologie des sources du Moyen Age occidental, fasc. 32), Turnhout: Brepols 1979. Hoheisel, Karl, Christus und der philosophische Stein. Alchemie als ber- und nichtchristlicher Heilsweg, in: Christoph Meinel (Ed.), Die Alchemie in der europischen Kultur- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte (Wolfenbtteler Forschungen. Herausgegeben von der Herzog August Bibliothek Bd. 32), Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 1986, 61-84. Jung, Carl Gustav, Psychologie und Alchemie (1944), in: Gesammelte Werke, vol. 12, Olten/ Freiburg i. Br.: Walter. , Mysterium coniunctionis (1955/1956), in: Gesammelte Werke, vol. 14/1 et 14/2. , Die Psychologie der bertragung (1946), in: Gesammelte Werke, vol. 16: Praxis der Psychotherapie. ,Paracelsus als Arzt (1941), in: Gesammelte Werke, vol. 15. ,Paracelsus als geistige Erscheinung (1942), in: Gesammelte Werke, vol. 13: Studien ber alchemistische Vorstellungen. Junker, Uwe, Das Buch der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit in seiner zweiten, alchemistischen Fassung (Kadolzburg 1433) (Arbeiten der Forschungsstelle des Instituts fr Geschichte der Medizin der Universitt zu Kln), Kln 1986. Kahn, Didier, Paracelsisme et alchimie en France la fin de la Renaissance (1567-1625) , Thse Paris Sorbonne 1998. , Cinquante-neuf thses de Paracelse censures par la Facult thologique de Paris, le 9 octobre 1578, in: Matton, Documents oublis, 161-178. Kahn, Didier & Sylvain Matton (ds.), Alchimie: arts, histoire et mythes, Actes du 1er colloque international de la Socit dEtude de lHistoire de lAlchimie , Paris: S.E.H.A/ Mila: Arch 1995. Kirsop, Wallace, Lexgse alchimique des textes littraires la fin du XVIe sicle, XVIIe sicle 120 (juillet-septembre 1978), 30 me anne, N3: Littrature et alchimie, 145-156. Kopp, Hermann, Die Alchemie in lterer und neuerer Zeit: Ein Beitrag zur Kulturgeschichte, 2 Bde., Winter, Heidelberg 1886 (Rd. Hildesheim: Olms 1962). Koyr, Alexandre, Mystiques, spirituels, alchimistes du XVIe sicle allemand , Paris: Gallimard 1955. , La philosophie de Jacob Boehme , Paris: Vrin 1929. Khlmann, Wilhelm, Oswald Crollius und seine Signaturenlehre: Zum Profil hermetischer Naturlehre in der ra Rudolph II, in: Buck, Die okkulten Wissenschaften in der Renaissance, 103-123. , Biographische Methode und aufgeklrte Revision der Geschichte: Johann Christoph Adelungs Paracelsusbiographie, in: Telle, Analecta Paracelsica , 541-556. , Der Hermetismus als literarische Formation. Grundzge seiner Rezeption in Deutschland, in: Scientia poetica: Jahrbuch fr Geschichte der Literatur und der Wissenschaften, Bd. 3, Tbingen: Niemeyer 1999, 145-157. , Der vermaledeite Prometheus: Die antiparacelsistische Lyrik des Andreas Libavius und ihr historischer Kontext, in: Scientia poetica. Jahrbuch fr Geschichte der Literatur und der Wissenschaften, Bd. 4, Tbingen: Niemeyer 2000, 30-59. , Das hretische Potential des Paracelsismus: Gesehen im Licht seiner Gegner, in: Hartmut Laufhtte & Michael Titzmann, Beter, Ketzer, und Propheten, Heterodoxe Religiositt in der Frhen Neuzeit, Tbingen: Niemeyer 2003 ( paratre). Le Goff, Jacques (d.), Hrsies et socits dans lEurope pr-industrielle (11e-18e sicles) (Coll. Civilisations et socits 10), Paris/La Haye: Mouton 1968. Lippmann, Edmund O. von, Entstehung und Ausbreitung der Alchimie , Vol. I. Berlin: Springer 1919. Lubac, Henri de, La postrit spirituelle de Joachim de Flore, Vol 1: De Joachim Schelling, Louvain 1980.

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Margolin, Jean-Claude & Sylvain Matton (eds.), Alchimie et philosophie la Renaissance . Paris: Vrin 1993. Mandosio, Jean-Marc, Lalchimie dans les classifications des sciences et des arts la Renaissance, in Margolin & Matton, Alchimie et philosophie la Renaissance, 11-42. , Quelques aspects de lalchimie dans les classifications des sciences et des arts au XVIIe sicle, in: Greiner, Aspects de la tradition alchimique au XVIIe sicle. Marquet, Jean-Franois, Philosophie et alchimie chez Gerhard Dorn, in: Margolin/Matton, Alchimie et philosophie la Renaissance , 215-222. , Alchimie et thologie chez Jacob Bhme, in: Didier Kahn & Sylvain Matton, Alchimie: arts, histoire, mythes , 665-690. Matton, Sylvain, Le Trait Contre les alchimistes de Nicolas Eymerich, texte dit et traduit par Sylvain Matton, Chrysopoeia 1 (1987), 93-136. , Thmatique alchimique et littrature religieuse dans la France du XVIIe sicle, Chrysopoeia 2:2 (avril/juin 1988), 129-207. , Les thologiens de la Compagnie de Jsus et lalchimie in: Greiner, Aspects de la tradition alchimique, 383-428. , Le Cantique des Cantiques de Salomon interprt dans le sens physique de Jean Vauquelin des Yveteaux, in: Matton, Documents oublis, 357-438. Matton, Sylvain (d.), Documents oublis sur lalchimie, la kabbale et Guillaume Postel, offerts Franois Secret pour son 90me anniversaire par ses lves et amis , Genve: Droz 2001. Meinel, Christoph (Ed.), Die Alchemie in der europischen Kultur- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte (Wolfenbtteler Forschungen. Herausgegeben von der Herzog August Bibliothek 32), Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz1 1986. Montgomery, John Warwick, Lastrologie et lalchimie luthriennes lpoque de la Rforme, Revue dHistoire et de Philosophie religieuses XLVI (1966), 323-345. Mothu, Alain, Lvangile paracelsien du sieur Parisot in Greiner, Aspects de la tradition alchimique, 347-382. Noize, Michel, Le Grand uvre, liturgie de lalchimie chrtienne, Revue dHistoire des Religions, octobre 1974, 149-183. , Thorie et pratique de lalchimie chrtienne , Thse EPHE, Ve section: Paris 1973. Obrist, Barbara, Les dbuts de limagerie alchimique (XIVe-XVe sicles), Paris: Le Sycomore 1982. , Die Alchemie in der mittelalterlichen Gesellschaft, in: Meinel, Die Alchemie in der europischen Kultur- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte, 33-62. , Les rapports danalogie entre philosophie et alchimie mdivales, in: Margolin & Matton, Alchimie et philosophie la Renaissance , 43-64. , Art et nature dans lalchimie mdivale, Revue dhistoire des sciences 49 (1996), 215-286. Ploss, Ernst Emil, Heinz Rosen-Runge, Heinrich Schipperges & Herwig Buntz (Eds.), Alchimia: Ideologie und Technologie, Mnchen: Heinz Moos 1970. Priesner, Klaus & Karin Figala, Alchemie: Lexikon einer hermetischen Wissenschaft. Mnchen: Beck 1998. Quade, Randolf, Literatur als hermetische Tradition. Eine rezeptionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung frhneuzeitlicher Texte zur Erschlieung des Welt- und Menschenbildes in der Literatur des 17. Jahrhunderts, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang 2001. Rietsch, Jean-Michel, Thorie du langage et exgse biblique chez Paracelse (1493-1541) (Deutsche Literatur von den Anfngen bis 1700: 39), Bern etc.: Peter Lang 2002. Secret, Franois, Rforme et alchimie, Socit de lHistoire du Protestantisme franais CXXIV (1978), 173-186. , Situation de la littrature alchimique en Europe, la fin du XVIe sicle, XVIIe sicle 120, juillet-septembre 1978, 30 me anne, N3: Littrature et alchimie, 135-144.

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Telle, Joachim, Alchemie II. In: Theologische Realenzyklopdie Vol. II., Berlin/New York 1978, 199-227. , Analecta Paracelsica: Studien zum Nachleben Theophrast von Hohenheims im deutschen Kulturgebiet der frhen Neuzeit, Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag 1994. Vickers, Brian (ed.), Occult ans Scientific Mentalities in the Renaissance , Cambridge etc.: Cambridge University Press 1984. , Analogy versus Identity: The Rejection of Occult Symbolism 1580-1680 in: Vickers: Occult and scientific mentalities , 95-164. Eine Wissensform unter Heterodoxieverdacht: die spekulative Alchemie nach 1600 Der Beitrag befat sich mit den Beziehungen der Alchemie zu mystischen bzw. heterodoxen religisen Strmungen der frhen Neuzeit, wie sie etwa in den Werken von Gerhard Dorn, Oswald Croll, Heinrich Khunrath oder aber bei Jacob Bhme erscheinen, dessen Theo- und Kosmologie, sowie Anthropologie zum Groteil auf alchemistischen Prmissen beruht. Alchemie, die in diesem Zeitraum keinen homogenen Bereich, sondern ein komplexes, allerdings durch die paracelsische Reform vereinheitlichtes Gefge heterogener Lehren bezeichnet, ist ein wesentlicher Bestandteil von verschiedenen als heterodox geltenden Lehren im gesamten europischen Raum, sowohl in katholischem als auch in protestantischem Rahmen, die hier in interkultureller Perspektive verglichen werden. Der Beitrag untersucht neben der Alchemie-Kritik eines Marin Mersenne oder Athanasius Kircher insbesondere Ehregott Daniel Colbergs umfangreiches und reprsentatives Werk Das Platonisch-Hermetisches Christhentum (1690/ 1691) und versucht dabei, die Rolle der spekulativen Alchemie nach 1600 in der Herausbildung von Heterodoxien nher zu bestimmen. Dabei werden insbesondere der Status von Alchemie als zwischen mehreren Disziplinen angesiedelter Wissensform untersucht, sowie die Kritik am Gebrauch von Gleichnissen und Analogien; schlielich die Infragestellung der hermetischen Theo- und Anthropologie, sowie der in alchemistischen Texten vorhandenen Selbsterlsungslehre. Abschlieend wird die Frage nach der Eigenart alchemistisch-geprgter Heterodoxien errtert.

ELIE ARTISTE, OU LE MESSIE DES PHILOSOPHES DE LA NATURE (seconde partie*) ANTOINE FAIVRE
Introduction. 1. Paracelse et cet Helias, qui viendra. 2. Cet Helias qui peut-tre est dj l, ou les premiers paracelsiens. 3. LHelias Tertiusdes Rose-Croix et des thosophes. 4. Artis Salia et Artis Elias entre utopie messianique et mythe scularis. 5. Du Matre cachau Nouveau Cyrus, ou les faces contrastes de lIlluminisme. 6. Ange de la Rose-Croixet Matre de lArt Royal, ou Elie Artiste dans le courant occultiste. 7. De la chane invisible larchtype constell, ou rsurgences et permanences contemporaines. Considrations dordre gnrale. Bibliographie.

6. Ange de la Rose-Croixet Matre de lArt Royal, ou Elie Artiste dans le courant occultiste La priode qui va de la fin du 18me sicle celle du 19me parat pauvre en rfrences Elie Artiste constatation videmment sous bnfice dinventaire. Aprs la Rvolution, Johann Daniel Mller lui-mme a cess de dfrayer la chronique, encore quon le rencontre occasionnellement. Ainsi, en 1839 un article de revue parle de cet Elie Ariste(sic) qui fut un des disciples de Swedenborg: Cet Ariste tait un homme du peuple, n pauvre et obscur, enrichi par lindustrie, et devenu possesseur dune fortune colossale. Swedenborg fut le thoricien, Ariste le praticien 1 . On voit que la lgende sest bien cristallise. Et dans son gros ouvrage consacr lhistoire de lalchimie (1886), lhistorien Hermann Kopp prsente un petit inventaire des publications (huit environ) quil a pu trouver, parmi lesquelles le nom du personnage apparat2. Mais revenons la littrature sotrique. Elie Artiste y fait sa rapparition dans le courant dit occultiste, et cela en France surtout ( cf. infra), la faveur du

La premire partie de cet article a paru dans Aries 2:2 (2002). Revue Britannique 4:19 (janvier-fvrier 1839), 323-324, cit par Breymayer, Elias Artista: Johann Daniel Mller, 349 nt 65. 2 Elias in der Alchemie, in: Kopp, Die Alchemie I, 250-252. Les auteurs quil cite sont: Eglin, Helvetius, Glauber, Kerenhappuch (sic pour Keren Happuch), Bruxius, ainsi que les
* 1

Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2003

Aries Vol. 3, no. 1

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renouveau rosicrucien qui sinscrit dans ce courant. En Angleterre, Johann Frederick Charles Fuller, dans son livre The Star in the West paru en 1907 et consacr au clbre mage Aleister Crowley qu ce moment il porte encore aux nues (Fuller participera peu aprs, en 1909, la cration de la revue crowleyienne The Equinox), cite deux des passages dans lesquels Paracelse annonce la venue du Messie de la Nature, et ajoute:
Et quant moi, je tiens que la prophtie est maintenant accomplie. Aleister Crowley est lartiste Elias, ltre merveilleux qui Dieu a permis de faire une dcouverte de la plus haute importance, avec son illuminative philosophie de Crowleyanit, dans la lumire blouissante et clatante de laquelle il ny a rien de cach qui ne doive tre dcouvert 3.

En 1921, Elie Artiste a droit une entre dans la Nouvelle Encyclopdie de la Franc-Maonnerie4 de Arthur Edward Waite, sotriste britannique parmi les plus lus et les plus influents, sotrologue dont les travaux auront contribu dblayer un terrain buissonneux, ouvrir des voies nouvelles la recherche historiographique en matire dalchimie, de thosophie, de socits initiatiques occidentales modernes. Waite a dj, bien auparavant, en 1887, mentionn le personnage dans une tude sur les Rose-Croix, propos de la prophtiede Paracelse: il estimait alors, avec sagesse, quil fallait voir l lexpression dun dsir, gnralement ressenti alors, de rforme et dattente dun sauveur de la socit plutt quune inspiration individuelle 5. Celui dont Paracelse avait annonc la venue ntait pas, dit plus tard Waite dans son Encyclopdie de la Franc-Maonnerie, cens tre porteur dun message religieux, sinon indirectement, mais ressortissait une matrise de la science telle quon comprenait celle-ci lpoque, et une sagesse lie cette science. Le personnage qui plus tard rendit visite Helvetius et qui pourrait avoir t Eirenaeus Philalethes na rien produit quune transmutation, mais

anonymes: Elias Artista Hermetica (1770), et Elias Artista, d. i. Wohlmeindtliches Urtheil von der neuen Bruderschaft der R. C. (1619). Nous avons cit ces crits au cours des dveloppements prcdents . 3 And I for one take it that the prophecy has now been fulfilled: Aleister Crowley is the artist Elias, the marvellous being whom God has permitted to make a discovery of the highest importance in his illuminative philosophy of Crowleyanity, in the dazzling and flashing light of which there is nothing concealed which shall not be discovered (Fuller, dans son texte intitul Crowleyanity, in Fuller, The Star, 210 s. Je remercie Marco Pasi davoir attir mon attention sur ce passage). 4 Waite, New Encyclopaedia, 252-254. 5 [] prophecies of this character are usually the outcome of a general desire rather than of an individual inspiration, they are interesting evidence that then as now many thoughtful people were looking for another saviour of society (Waite, The Real History of the Rosicrucians, 34). Je remercie Marco Pasi davoir attir mon attention sur ce passage.

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cela contribua rpandre une rumeur6. Ses rapports avec Swedenborg, lequel se serait enrichi grce lui, et ce que les Illumins dAvignon pensaient son sujet, ne sont quune invention romantique. Rien nest plus incertain que le succs du travail alchimique, soit sur le plan pratique, soit sur un autre plan, toutefois cette figure vnrable est comme limage dune attente et dun but justifis aujourdhui comme jadis:
Nous ne pouvons que comprendre trop bien les Fils dHerms dans lattente de leur Elias. Nous aussi, en Maonnerie, nous attendons un Matre de lArt Royal, bien que certains dentre nous soient des Grands Matres, des Princes Parfaits, de Trs Sages Souverains, et des Grands Prtres. Plus grands sont nos titres, plus leve est notre position, rien nest davantage certain que notre besoin de lElie Artiste7.

Ferdinand Maack, figure intresssante du courant occultiste en Allemagne, fonde en 1923, Hambourg, un petit Ordre rosicrucien8 aprs avoir publi divers ouvrages, notamment sur le spiritisme. Son trait Das Wesen der Alchemie (Berlin, 1920) est prcd, en 1912, dune traduction et prsentation, par Maack, des premiers textes rosicruciens, ainsi quen 1913, dune tude sur leSelalchimique et les sels chimiques: Elias Artista redivivus, ou le Livre du Sel et de lEspace. De fait, cette tude contient un chapitre assez court consacr Elie Artiste9, chapitre qui nest gure, en fait, quune petite bibliographie10, accompagne de deux extraits prsents en allemand, lun tir

6 Elias Artista came and went subsequently in the world of rumor (Waite, New Encyclopeadia, 253). 7 We can understand but too well how the Sons of Hermes awaited their Elias. We are waiting also in Masonry for a Master of the Royal Art, though some of us are Grand Masters, Perfect Princes, Most Wise Sovereigns, Pontiffs and High Priests. The greater our titles and the more exalted our eminence, there is nothing more certain than our need of the Elias Artista (Waite, New Encyclopaedia , 253-254. Le texte de Waite se termine sur ces lignes). 8 Cf. la notice, accompagne dune bibliographie, que lui a consacre Miers, Lexicon, 393. 9 Maack, Elias Artista. Louvrage comporte VII + 198 pp., et le chapitre en question, intitul Elias der Artista, occupe seulement les pages 39-46. Le reste est consacr, dune part, des considrations chimiques et alchimiques sur le sel, mises en rapport avec des spculations dordre mtaphysique et occultiste sur la notion despace; dautre part, un expos gnral sur Paracelse, dans lequel il traite notamment du Lion du Septentrion (sur celui-ci, cf. supra, chapitre 3). Cet ouvrage sinscrit dans la srie Geheime Wissenschaften, qui venait de publier lannre prcdente les deux Manifestes rosicruciens, ainsi que la Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rosencreutz, tous trois introduits et dits par Maack lui-mme ( cf. la publicit de la p. 2 de couverture, de Elias Artista redivivus). 10 Y figurent Paracelse, Alexander von Suchten, Eglin (sous le nom de Nicolaus Niger Happelius, dition de 1613), Bruxius, Glauber, Helvetius, Herenhapuch(sic pour Keren Happuch), les trois anonymes: Saturni Trismegisti seu fratris Eliae dAssisio libellus, Francfort 1685 (qui ne parat pas avoir de lien vident avec Elie Artiste), Elias der Artist. Erluterung etlicher Schriften vom Weisenstein, et Elias Artista. Hermetica: Das Geheimnis von dem Salz ,

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de la Disquisitio dEglin, lautre du De Elia Artista de Glauber11. Lintrt de Maack pour Elie Artiste a t suscit surtout par la lecture de Glauber, thoricien du sel chimique et qui, on la vu, croyait reconnatre dans le nom de ce personnage des anagrammes connotations salines. De fait, si lon a pu voir, crit Maack, dans linterprtation magique [de Glauber] une rclame pour le sel de Glauber, il nen reste pas moins que ce tournant dramatique du problme Elias, inaugur par Glauber, nous conduit au cur mme de lachimie, tant il est vrai que, comme le dit Jean de Roquetaillade, tout le secret rside dans le Sel de la Nature12. Dans la France des annes 1880/1890, le retour de flamme du rosicrucienne saccompagne de celui dElie Artiste, qui retient dabord lattention de Guata et de Sdir13. Luvre majeure de Stanislas de Guata, le fondateur (en 1889) de lOrdre Kabbalistique de la Rose-Croix, commence paratre en 1886 et porte le titre Essais de sciences maudites. Dans la troisime dition (1895) du premier volume, sous-titr Au seuil du mystre, Guata fait figurer la Prface (traduite, semble-t-il, par Guata lui-mme) que Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton avait donne en 1853 son propre roman initiatique et no-rosicrucien, Zanoni (paru dabord en 1842)14. Et Guata fait suivre cette traduction de la Prface par des Remarques (de vritables commentaires) de son cru15 . Or,
s. l., 1770. Nous avons cit ces crits ( lexception des trois anonymes) au cours des dveloppements prcdents. Comme Maack cite aussi louvrage de Kopp, Die Alchemie , on peut supposer quil connat par celui-ci lexistence de ces anonymes, et de certains des autres ouvrages dont il ne prsente pas dextraits. 11 Lextrait du texte dEglin reproduit (41-44) est celui qui figure dans la Neue alchymistische Bibliothek de 1772. Lextrait du texte de Glauber (44-46) reproduit un extrait de son De Elia Artista de 1668. Lun et lautre passages ont fait lobjet dun commentaire au cours de nos dveloppements prcdents. 12 Darnach liefe also die magische Interpretation von Elias auf eine Reklame fr das Glaubersalz hinaus./ Doch, wie dem auch sei, uns fhrt diese dramatische Wendung des EliasProblems jedenfalls hin zum Kern der Alchemie. Denn das ganze Geheimnis besteht im Salz der Natur (Johannes de Roquetaillade) (Maack, Elias Artista redivivus, 3). Sur Glauber, cf. supra, chapitre 4. 13 Je nai pas rencontr Elie Artiste dans les crits dEliphas Lvi, ni dans ceux des auteurs de ce courant occultiste (inaugur par Lvi au milieu du 19me sicle) qui prcdent Guata et Sdir. Il serait nanmoins surprenant quil napparaisse pas ici ou l chez certains de ceux-ci. 14 La Prface de Bulwer-Lytton est prsente dans les deux des ditions franaises du roman connues de moi: Zanoni le Matre Rose-Croix, traduit et adapt par Alexandre Labzine, Paris: Aryana 1971; et Zanoni , Paris: La Colombe (Editions du Vieux Colombier) 1961, qui reproduit la traduction de Labzine. La traduction de cette prface est fort loigne de celle que Guata avait donne. 15 Guata, Remarques sur la Prface de Zanoni, qui font partie du volume Au Seuil du Mystre, dont jutilise ici la quatrime dition (Paris: Chamuel et Carr 1896 identique la troisime, de 1895), fac-simil de 1982 (cf. infra). Ces Remarques se trouvent 199-224. Au seuil du mystre devait constituer, selon lintention de Guata, lavant-propos de ses Essais de sciences maudites, diviss en trois parties (intitules globalement Le Serpent de la Gense) de sept

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ces commentaires sont maills de passages consacrs Elie Artiste 16. Le lyrisme dvotionnel, le ton grandiloquent, le style incantatoire de ces passages, sapparentent au langage esthtisant des Mages par lequel maints fervents sotristes de cette poque symboliste se laissent si volontiers charmer. Cest commettre une erreur manifeste, affirme-t-il, que de croire lOrdre rosicrucien aussi rcent que les textes de J.V. Andreae. Et Guata davancer lide contestable que les quelques textes de Paracelse traitant dElie Artiste (il les cite en partie) apporteraient les preuves dcisives dune Rose-Croix latente au seizime sicle. Puis il laisse son enthousiasmespancher:
Elias Artista ! Gnie recteur des Rose-Croix, personnification symbolique de lOrdre, ambassadeur du saint Paraclet! Paracelse le Grand prdit ta venue, Souffle collectif des gnreuses revendications, Esprit de libert, de science et damour qui doit rgnrer le monde! 17

Les temps viendront, lheure sonnera, il viendra. Qui donc doit venir? Lui, lEsprit radiant de lenseignement intgral des Rose-Croix: Elie-Artiste !18.
chapitres chacune (les septaines). Cela tait en corrlation avec le Tarot, selon un procd assez classique chez les occultistes de lpoque et dj t utilis (sinon inaugur) par Eliphas Lvi. Au seuil du mystre se prsente, en fait, comme une histoire de la magie et de lsotrisme selon la perspective occultiste propre de Guata; son nombre de pages est identique dans toutes les ditions partir de la troisime. Les passages concernant Elie Artiste apparaissent tous dans ces Remarques de Guata relatives la prface de Zanoni, rajoutes pour cette troisime dition. De fait, il semble que dans les deux premires ditions (1886 et 1890) de Au seuil du mystre, il ne soit nulle part question dElie Artiste. Dans lavis pour la troisime dition (sign par lditeur L. Chamuel), date de 1895, on lit, 2: M. Stanislas de Guaita na pas seulement remani le texte principal; il a encore transform l Appendice , en laguant une partie des matires, pour faire place dimportantes additions. Il sagit de quelques Notes sur lExtase (dont tous les adeptes de la magie pratique apprcieront la porte) et, ajoute Chamuel, dune traduction de la Prface (encore inconnue en France) de Zanoni, le grand roman sotrique de Sir Bulwer Lytton. Le fait davoir omis cette prface, en tte de lexcellente traduction publie par la librairie Hachette (2 vol. in-12), a paru dautant plus regrettable, que ces quelques feuillets ne prsentent rien moins que la clef requise pour pntrer lintelligence occulte du chef- duvre de Bulwer. De curieuses annotations marginales, dues la plume de M. de Guaita, soulignent encore le mrite et lintrt de cette page essentielle (3-4). Signalons encore ldition de 1915, dont lexistence aura elle aussi contribu faire connatre Elie Artiste: Essais de sciences maudites Au seuil du mystre - Cinquime dition corrige, avec [...] un appendice entirement remani - Prface de Maurice Barrs de lAcadmie Franaise, Paris: Hector et Henri Durville 1915 (236 pp., comme cest le cas de toutes les rditions de la troisime dition). Je remercie Marco Pasi pour les informations figurant dans la prsente note, et Robert Vanloo pour les documents quil ma communiqus. Ajoutons enfin que les quatre volumes de Essais de sciences maudites ont t rdits en fac-simil. En 1994 et 1995: Le Temple de Satan , La Clef de la magie noire, et Le problme du Mal , Paris: Guy Trdaniel. En 1982: Au Seuil du Mystre. Plan de la Tour: Les Editions dAujourdhui; cf. supra. 16 Guata, Au Seuil du Mystre, 202, 205, 210-212. 17 Guata, Au Seuil du Mystre, 200-202. 18 Guata, Au Seuil du Mystre, 203.

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ANTOINE FAIVRE

Pour Guata, qui ny voit pas moins que lexpression humaine du saint Paraclet, le damon de la Science et de la Libert, de la Sagesse et de la Justice intgrales19, Elie Artiste nest pas un humain, mais il existe pourtant comme entit personnelle. Cest un tre inaccessible toute souillure, un verbe suprieur toujours en attente de sincarner dans ceux qui le mritent pour faire entendre linspiration dEn Haut. Notre occultiste va jusqu paraphraser lEvangile, affirmant que si ce mystrieux dmiurge nest pas lui-mme la Lumire, sa mission est pourtant de rendre tmoignage la Lumire de gloire pour prparer un nouveau ciel et une nouvelle terre. Et comme on pouvait sy attendre sous la plume de ce mage anti-clrical quest Guata, Elie Artiste, nouveau Jean Baptiste, est lentit attendue capable daider les hommes dbarrasser les saintes traditions du fatras inutile qui pendant vingt sicles, les a peu peu dfigures, car il est Esprit non seulement de lumire mais aussi de progrs. A lavnement du Christ glorieux, alors seulement, Elie Artiste, qui aura ouvert la voie de Seigneur, se retirera20. Entre-temps il aura jou un bon tour la Compagnie de Jsus. Les jsuites en effet, selon Guata qui se fait ici lcho dune lgende tenace, auraient t les crateurs du 18me degr du Rite Ecossais, pour accaparer en mode indirect les forces vives de la Franc-Maonnerie hauts grades. Mais ces tentatives furent vaines et firent place lagnosticisme matrialiste dune partie de la Maonnerie actuelle:

Guata, Au Seuil du Mystre, 211-212. Elie-Artiste est infaillible, immortel, inacessible par surcrot aux imperfections comme aux souillures et aux ridicules des hommes de chair qui soffrent Le manifester. Esprit de lumire et de progrs, il sincarne dans les tres de bonne volont qui Lvoquent. Ceux-ci viennent-ils trbucher sur la voie? Dj lartiste Elie nest plus en eux. / Faire mentir ce Verbe sprieur est chose impossible, encore que lon puisse mentir en Son nom. Car tt ou tard Il trouve un organe digne de lui (ne ft-ce quune minute), une bouche fidle et loyale (ne ft-ce que le temps de prononcer une parole). Par cet organe dlection, ou par cette bouche de rencontre quimporte? Sa voix se fait entendre, puissante et vibrant de cette autorit sereine et dcisive qui prte au verbe humain linspiration dEn-Haut. Ainsi sont dmentis sur la terre ceux-l que Sa justice avait condamns dans labstrait. / Gardons-nous de fausser lesprit traditionnel de lOrdre; rprouvs l-haut sur lheure mme, tt ou tard nous serions renis ici-bas du mystrieux dmiurge que lOrdre salue de ce nom: Elias Artista . / Il nest pas la Lumire; mais, comme saint Jean-Baptiste, Sa mission est de rendre tmoignage la Lumire de gloire, qui doit rayonner dun nouveau ciel sur une terre rajeunie. QuIl se manifeste par des conseils de force et quIl dblaie la pyramide des saintes traditions, dfigure par ces couches htroclites de dtritus et de pltras que vingt sicles ont accumules sur elle. Et quenfin, par Lui, les voies soient ouvertes lavnement du Christ glorieux, dans le nimbe majeur de qui svanouira Son uvre tant accomplie le prcurseur des temps venir, lexpression humaine du saint Paracelet, le damon de la Science et de la Libert, de la Sagesse et de la justice intgrales: Elie Artiste(Guata, Au Seuil du Mystre, 210-212). Reproduit inextenso in Sdir, Histoire et doctrine des Rose-Croix , dition de 1932, 303.
19 20

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Sans le savoir, les Jsuites avaient voqu le fantme lointain d Elie-Artiste. Elie-Artiste parut un instant, retourna leur institution comme on retourne un gant, puis disparut aussitt, laissant luvre de ces fanatiques en proie lenvahissement du fanatisme contraire 21.

Sdir, de son vrai nom Yvon Leloup 22, ne sest pas content de reproduire ces passages. Li Guata, Papus (mais plus proche du Matre Philippe de Lyon) et lOrdre Martiniste, plus gnralement une bonne partie du milieu occultisant franais, il a cr le groupe dit des Amitis Spirituelles. Parmi les ouvrages les plus connus de cet sotriste chrtien figure son Histoiredes Rose-Croix (1910), qui tmoigne dune rudition assez vaste, quoique brouillonne, et fourmille dinterprtations fantaisistes mais son succs sera durable. Ses ditions successives, commencer par la seconde (1932), contribueront faire connatre limage que Sdir donne dElie Artiste, et du mme coup celle quen donne Guata, puisque Sdir y recopie les passages y relatifs du livre de Guata23.

Sdir, Histoire et doctrine des Rose-Croix, 205 nt 1. Cf. une bonne prsentation succinte de Sdir in Laurant, Lsotrisme chrtien , 181-183. 23 Il fait suivre le texte de Guata par ceci: Cest ce quentendaient les Rose-Croix quand ils disaient quau jour C ils se runiront en un lieu qui sappelle le Temple du Saint-Esprit. Mais o est ce lieu ? Eux-mmes ne le savent pas, parce que, disent-ils, il est invisible (Sdir se rfre ici, 162 nt 22, un texte que je nai pu consulter: Chr. Steph. Katzauer, rponse J. Ludwig Wolf, Disputatio historica de Rosaecrucianis, Wittenberg 1715). Une Note de lditeur de la deuxime dition, celle de 1932 (Histoire et doctrine des Rose-Croix, Bihorel-ls-Rouen: Bibliothque des Amitis spirituelles 1932, XX + 359 p.) indique que ldition originale de 1910 (Paris: Librairie du XXme sicle 1910; XVI + 215 pp.) constituait seulement une premire bauche du livre que, faute de temps, Sdir ncrivit pas. La diffrence entre ces deux premires ditions consiste, pour lessentiel, en la prsence, dans la seconde, dune partie consacre aux Doctrines des Rose-Croix (cela justifie la modification du titre, celui de la seconde dition devenant ainsi en 1932 Histoire et doctrine des Rose-Croix). Le contenu de ldition de 1910 se retrouve intgralement dans la premire partie de celle de 1932. Il ny a donc quun seul passage sur Elie Artiste dans celle de 1910, par rapport aux trois qui apparaissent dans celle de 1932, et cest videmment celui qui, dans celle-ci, se trouve dans la premire partie, chapitre II. Il ne parat pas y avoir de diffrences ou de corrections majeures entre ldition de 1910 et la premire partie de ldition de 1932. Lordre des chapitres et leur contenu nont mme pas t modifis; le chapitre II de ldition de 1910 est ainsi pratiquement identique au chapitre II (intitul Origine des Rose-Croix) de ldition de. 1932. Le passage sur Elie Artiste contenu dans ce chapitre, et repris de louvrage de Guaita, se trouve, dans ldition de 1910, aux pp. 43-46 (35-37 dans ld. 1932). Quant ldition de 1953 ( Les Rose-Croix, Paris: Bibliothque des Amitis Spirituelles 1953, 174 p.), elle est prsente par Les Editeurs (p. 8) comme une version abrge de ldition de 1932. Cette dition de 1953 a servi ltablissement de celle de 1972 ( Les Rose-Croix , Paris: Bibliothque des Amitis Spirituelles, 175 p.) qui, pour lessentiel, reprend celle de 1953 en en modifiant la prsentation des chapitres. Je remercie Richard Caron et Marco Pasi de mavoir fourni la plupart des prcisions prsentes dans la prsente note, et Robert Vanloo pour les documents quil ma communiqus.
21 22

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Les Editeurs font tat, aprs la mort de Sdir, de plusieurs tudes (de Sdir) qui, elles, ne seront pas publies, mais ils nous rvlent une note contenue dans lune delles:
Ce quil ma t permis de savoir concernant Helias Artista et ses rapports avec les membres de son centre [la Rose-Croix] est tel quil faudra des sicles avant que nous puissions, non pas mme le comprendre, mais nous en faire seulement une ide. Si on le disait actuellement, on aurait tort. Tout ce que je puis affirmer, encore que le moment ne soit pas venu de lexpliquer, cest que lEvangile contient toute linitiation des Rose-Croix 24.

De fait, Sdir consacre plusieurs pages Elie Artiste 25, dont quatre intitules Hlias Artista. Nous apprenons que celui-ci est lange de la Rose-Croix et rside dans ce soleil rouge qui gouverne la morphologie gnrale26. Puis il cite, dans une traduction un peu fantaisiste, certains des passages dans lesquels Paracelse stait exprim sur le sujet27, mentionne le texte dEglin et daprs le Theatrum Chemicum , cite une partie du tmoignage de lami de Montanus (sur celui-ci, cf. supra ), et nous instruit du fait que selon Roger Bacon la rforme de Helias Artista portera sur lunit religieuse par la conversion des Juifs, labondance et la richesse, et la perfection de la science et de la morale, pour que lhomme retrouve son tat davant la chute. Cest dire, ajoute-t-il, que tous les membres de lhumanit auraient alors conquis ltat et les privilges des Rose-Croix 28. Puis, aprs avoir cit un petit extrait des Instructions de Naud ( cf. supra ) et donn le texte de Guata en prcisant que le tmoignage de celui-ci concerne le mode daction de la vritable Rose-Croix, Sdir avance lide que Helias Artista serait une adaptation de lElie biblique, lequel doit revenir avec Hnoch pour tmoigner dans le binaire universel autre expression qui fait partie du vocabulaire occultiste dalors. Il conseille ceux qui veulent pousser plus fond ltude de ce type mystrieux, de mditer

Sdir, Les Rose-Croix , dition de 1953, 7. Sdir, Histoire et doctrine des Rose-Croix , dition de 1932, 36-37, 242-245 (pages intitules Hlias Artista), 303, et (dans la Conclusion) 332-333. Mme texte dans ldition de 1953 (Histoire des Rose-Croix ), mais avec des variantes dans la prsentation et la place des paragraphes: 11, 40-41, 50-53 (pages intitules Helias Artista). Presque la moiti de ces pages sont occupes par la citation, que fait Sdir, des passages consacrs par Guata Elie Artiste. 26 Sdir, dition de 1953, 50. On reconnat l le jargon occultiste de lpoque. 27 Une de ces citations quil fait de Paracelse est prsente comme la traduction franaise dune traduction allemande (sic). Cf. Sdir, dition de 1953, 50; dition de 1932, 242-247. 28 Sdir, dition de 1932, 244. Edition de 1953, 51. Le Roger Bacon du moyen ge na pu, pour des raisons de chronologie, parler dElie Artiste; en fait, Sdir, qui renvoie au texte de Roger Bacon paru dans le T. V du Theatrum Chemicum,confond ici ce Roger Bacon avec lami de Montanus (cf. supra, propos de celui-ci), lequel est lauteur de lptre ddicatoire, et non pas du texte de Bacon.
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lhistoire dHnoch29. Et dans un autre passage, o il est question des sept soleils qui font vivre la terre, Sdir nous entretient du soleil rouge:
[Le soleil rouge] rgit la morphologie, les affinits physiques et chimiques. Ce soleil rouge est lhabitat du gnie, de lange, du dieu directeur de lInstitut des Rose-Croix: Elias Artiste. / Nul homme ne peut dfinir Elias Artiste, mme ceux sur lesquels il repose. Tout ce quon peut dire, cest que cest un courant attractif, agglomrant, harmonisant et quil tend runir tous les individus en un seul corps homogne. Il appartient la hirarchie dont les pierres sont ici-bas lchelon infrieur 30.

Victor-Emile Michelet, qui fait partie de cette mouvance 31, reprsente ce quon pourrait appeler le versant esthtisant du courant occultiste franais. Ecrivain talenteux, pote et auteur de plusieurs ouvrages dont LEsotrisme dans lArt (1890), il intitule Les inspirs dElie Artiste un court article paru en 1927. Ces inspirs sont les Rose-Croix, car Elie Artiste sait reconnatre les siens et rcompenser dune illumination leurs rudes tudes, leur pnible poursuite de la connaissance royale 32. Les socits rosicruciennes furent-el29 Sdir, dition de 1932, 245. Edition de 1953, 53. On lit encore les passages suivants. Quant la Rose-Croix essentielle, elle existe depuis quil y a des hommes ici-bas, car elle est une fonction immatrielle de lme de la terre (d. 1932, 332). Dans ldition de 1932, Sdir mentionne Joachim de Flore; il nen subiste pas trace dans les deux ditions ultrieures. 30 Sdir, dition de 1932, 332. Et dans ld. de 1972, 25: En dehors du soleil jaune qui nous claire, il y a six autres soleils encore invisibles qui font vivre la terre. Notre soleil jaune est prpos lassimilation des fonctions vitales. Un autre soleil, le soleil rouge, a pour office la construction des corps terrestres; il rgit la morphologie, les affinits physiques, chimiques, chimiques, intellectuelles, sociales. Ce soleil rouge est la rsidence de ltre que Paracelse, le premier ici-bas, a nomm Elias Artista. Notons enfin que plusieurs extraits de ces dclarations de Guaita et de Sdir sur Elie Artiste sont reproduits dans un texte (en grande partie dirig contre lOrdre rosicrucien de Josephin Pladan) sign: Par ordre: La commission excutive: S. de Guaita. Papus. - F. Ch. Barlet. Il a t publi dans LInitiation 1981: 2 , sous le titre Notes sur la Rose + Croix, et fait partie (selon les diteurs de la revue LInitiation ) des Archives Philippe Encausse(le fils de Papus, qui succda celui-ci la tte de lOrdre Martiniste). Les diteurs de LInitiation nont malheureusement accompagn ce pamphlet daucun commentaire historique. Cf. aussi ibid. , 1984:4. 31 On a pu dire de lui quil fut lhomme de liaison de tous les potes et prosateurs de son temps: Villiers de lIsle Adam, S. de Guata, Barrs et Mallarm le reconnaissaient comme leur pair (Claude Boumendil, Introduction ldition de 1977 de Michelet, Les compagnons de la hrophanie, II) Cette apprciation vient en cho ce que Gaston Bachelard crit dans sa Prface Knowles, Victor-Emile Michelet , VIII: Quelle surprise pour moi quand mon jeune ami [Knowles] mapportait (sic) des lettres de lautre sicle, toute une correspondance o les Villiers de lIsle Adam [sic pour lomission du tiret], les Stanislas de Guaita, les Barrs, les Mallarm, reconnaissant Michelet comme leur pair, se rvlaient comme les volontaires de la posie conqurante!. Pour ce qui concerne le courant occultiste franais, selon Bayard (entre Elie, Elie Artiste, in Grande Encyclopdie Maonnique, 154), non seulement Victor-Emile Michelet, mais aussi Albert Poisson voquent souvent Elias artista, lAbstrait, lartiste, le Philosophe du Feu et de la Pierre rouge. Jignore dans quels crits de Poisson se trouvent les passages y relatifs 32 Michelet, Les inspirs dElie Artiste, 557.

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les toutes inspires dElie Artiste?. Michelet en doute, et pense que lOrdre de la Rose+Croix Catholique fond par Pladan, schisme qui fut fort bruyant [] neut jamais de rosicrucien que le nom. Enfin, il nhsite pas ranger Dante parmi les inspirs dElie Artiste 33. En 1937, dans une sorte dalbum de souvenirs o il voque les figures de Guata, Papus, Pladan, Paul Adam, Barlet, Sdir, et dautres, il mentionne encore notre personnage, quil identifie, cette fois, un principe abstrait trs de beaut artistique, entendue dans un sens trs gnral34. Comme en cho ces accents esthtisants, Antoine Rougier, proche des milieux martinistes, dans une Viole dAmour date de mai 1923 voque Elie Artiste propos dune des planches de lAmphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae (1609) de Heinrich Khunrath:
Et linvisible inspirateur des R + C, le gnie tutlaire dont le geste fait fleurir la rose au bras de la croix, nest-il pas assez clairement dsign sous le nom dElieArtiste; Elie-Artiste rpond lappel des vrais R + C; cest dire quil sintresse tous les hommes dont le cur aspire la lumire et quil peut rendre ternelle luvre dun humble potier qui sut atteindre au secret dharmonie cratrice en modelant son amphore sur un idal de beaut pure 35.

Un autre rosicrucien, le Belge Fr. Wittemans, sexprime plus sobrement. Dans son Histoire des Rose-Croix parue en 1919, il se contente de penser que Francis Bacon peut certainement tre considr, par son travail scientifique, comme ayant accompli la prophtie de Paracelse relative lartiste mystrieux36.

Michelet, Les inspirs dElie Artiste, 558. Labstrait quinvoque la tradition rosicrucienne fut nomm par les adeptes Elie-Artiste, Elias artista. Liniti qui tche au Grand uvre, selon tel mode que ce soit, est un artiste, un crateur, un pote. Quil tente, saint le salut collectif, yoghi de lInde la rintgration immdiate, philosophe du Feu la pierre rouge, magicien la corporisation de son vouloir, mtaphysicien la connaissance relle, pote la beaut; il est un artiste. Sa prose nombreuse et belle de mtaphysicien atteste ses dons heureux (Michelet, Les compagnons de la hirophanie, 12 [d. de 1977]). Plus loin il crit aussi, rptant en partie ses propos tenus dans Les inspirs dElie Artiste ( cf. supra): LAbstrait que [ ] les Rose-Croix invoquent, leur matre symbolique, Elie Artiste, sait reconnatre les siens et rcompenser dune illumination leurs rudes tudes et leur pnible poursuite de la connaissance royale (Michelet, Les compagnons de la hirophanie, 22). Ces deux passages son extraits du chapitre que Michelet consacre Guata. Accents comparables dans son livre Les secrets de la chevalerie, 75, o il critque les hommes sinscrivant dans la tradition rosicrucienne sont pars dans le temps et lespace, ns dans des sicles distants, dans des patries spares, et [que] le mystrieux Grand Matre Elias Artiste sait reconnatre les siens (je remercie Richard Caron pour cette dernire rfrence). 35 Antoine Rougier, La viole damour, mai 1923. 36 Wittemans, Histoire des Rose-Croix, 72. Cette fois, il sagit bien entendu du Francis Bacon du XVIIme sicle.
33 34

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35

7. De la chane invisible larchtype constell, ou rsurgences et permanences contemporaines Il est certain que lon trouverait, ailleurs aussi que dans lEncyclopdie de Waite, dautres crits maonniques et para-maonniques traitant dElie Artiste. Et cela, dautant que cet ouvrage dun auteur assez prestigieux pas seulement dans les Loges a connu plusieurs rditions et probablement contribu rpandre le mythe dans la littrature produite par des Maons. Aussi bien Elie Artiste se montre-t-il sur la scne de la para-maonnerie franaise no-occultiste, que linfluence de Waite sur elle ait t, cet gard, directe ou indirecte. Ce no-occultisme est notamment celui des Martinistes franais de la seconde moiti du 20me sicle, dont le corpus rfrentiel reste aujourdhui encore, pour lessentiel, les uvres de leurs Matres passs, savoir les Guaa, les Sdir, les Papus, les Matre Philippe, etc. derrire lesquels se profilent toujours, il est vrai, dillustres devanciers comme Jacob Boehme, Martins de Pasqually, Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin, Saint-Yves dAlveydre, et dautres. Figure assez typique du para-maonnisme occultisant franais, Robert Ambelain 37 appartient ce Martinisme contemporain, du moins se rattache-t-il sa voie oprative, magique (diffrente de la voie dite cardiaque, celle de Matre Philippe par exemple, plus intrieure, plus mystique). Par certains cts on serait tent de le considrer comme un petit Aleister Crowley franais. Auteur prolifique douvrages de thurgie, de magie pratique, de traits de mancies (astrologie, gomancie, Tarot, etc.), il a aussi des prtentions dhistorien, surtout en matire dOrdres initiatiques. Mais la diffrence de certains occultistes, tel Arthur Edward Waite, qui ont jet les fondements dune historiographie respectable consacre aux courants sotriques modernes, Ambelain, lui, est un historien peu fiable. Il reste que la production dauteurs tels que lui fait souvent figure, dans ces milieux, de rfrence oblige, qui vient sajouter aux crits du pass dj reus, et enrichir son tour un vaste corpus rfrentiel. A la faveur dun tel processus, le prestige dElie Artiste se trouve ractiv par Ambelain. Notons dabord que dans un texte de 1948 il fait intervenir notre personnage propos dune crmonie dinitiation martiniste caractre thurgique, laquelle il a particip Paris sous lOccupation, en dcembre 1940. Lauteur ne manque pas de style, qui sait dcrire la neige couvrant Paris, noter quen cette fin de soire, lheure o le soleil ple dcline et se meurt

37

Sur lui, cf. larticle bien document de Caillet, Robert Ambelain (1907-1997).

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lhorizon rougi, tandis que partout, larme allemande est victorieuse, dans la chambre dopration, en revanche, cest un autre monde. Suit une description du lent office thurgique au cours duquel une extraordinaire angoisse treint le cur de tous les assistants. Et voici que les Matres Passs sont maitenant tout proches. Mieux, ils sont l, les Khunrath, Agrippa, Christian Rosenkreutz, Boehme, Fludd, Francis Bacon, Pasqually, Saint-Martin, Willermoz. Et se manifeste alors lombre de celui qui parat les surplomber tous:
Et, dominant toutes ces ombres, voici quune autre se lve, faisant passer dans lOratoire, comme un grand souffle venu des rgions o plane lEsprit, lAme mme de toutes les Fraternits! Voici que, mystrieuse mais inspiratrice, inhumaine mais divine, incognescible mais illuminatrice, voici que passe lombre dElie Artiste 38

Dans un de ses livres les plus lus (Templiers et Rose-Croix , 1954), Ambelain revient sur le sujet dont Guata et Sdir avaient dj trait, savoir la RoseCroix, quil tient absolument rattacher au templarisme, propos inscrit dans le titre mme. A Elie Artiste, en qui il voit le Conducteur des Rose-Croix, il consacre un chapitre en deux parties39. La premire est le compte rendu dtaill dune vocation thurgique laquelle sest livr Aurifer (nom de guerre dAmbelain lui-mme) en 1944. Ce compte rendu ne parat contenir aucune rfrence explicite notre personnage, mais comme il est plac dans ce chapitre on peut penser que la rfrence est implicite. Dans la seconde partie, lauteur nest pas en peine dinspiration; il louvre en citant une lgende chrtienne selon laquelle le chant clbre lHosannah entendu dans la nuit de Bethlem lors de la Nativit aurait t chant par les Malakim. Et Ambelain dajouter: Seraient-ce ceux qui rvlrent la venue du Messie aux Mages, premiers disciples dElie Artiste ?40 Si lon se tourne vers les Rose-Croix du 16me sicle pour leur demander le nom de leur Matre, ils nous rpondront tous: Elie Artiste, ou Hlios Artista. Quant aux rose-croix maonniques(18e degr)actuels, mme si la plupart sont loin davoir atteint le niveau spirituel des premiers, ils leur sont tout de mme rattachs par filiation initiatique et ont un mot hbreu spcial pour dsigner le prsident de leurs chapitres. Ils lui donnent, avec lpithte de Trs Sage, le nom dAthirsatha ou Ather-

38 Ambelain, Le Martinisme , 11-13. Ces pages ont t reprises sous le titre Une initiation martiniste sous lOccupation, in: Ambelain, LInitiation , 1953:2, 56-59. 39 Ambelain, Templiers et Rose-Croix, 99-117, chapitre intitul LEnigme dElie Artiste, Conducteur des Rose-Croix, en deux parties: Lvocation dHariel, suivie de Le mystrieux Elias Artista. 40 Ambelain, Templiers et Rose-Croix , 109 nt 1.

ELIE ARTISTE

37

satha 41. Ce mystrieux chef de la grande fraternit rosicrucienne nest pas un homme, mais une entit. Certes, on peut suivre Ambelain sur ce dernier point, mais ensuite il semploie rendre obscur ce qui avait pu paraitre clair. Au lieu de reconnatre comme sans doute on lavait toujours fait dans artiste, artista lalchimiste, ou mme et plus gnralement tout homme adonn un art, il saventure bien au-del:
Elie Artiste, Helias Artista, barbarisme sans signification correcte, ne sont que des dformations inhrentes la transmission verbale dfectueuse, des mots hbreux Eliaz Athirsatha: Prodigieux Fondeur de Dieu Fort . Il est, en effet, dans la mtaphysique de la Kabbale et mme du Judasme orthodoxe une figure cleste qui voque ce Fondeur de Dieu; cest le cleste architecte du Temple idal, dcrit par Ezchiel en sa formidable vision42.

Puis, aprs une brve rfrence au De Mineralibus de Paracelse, il reproduit une bonne partie des passages, cits supra , consacrs Elie Artiste par Sdir et par Guata43. Il nest pas, au demeurant, le seul Maon franais occultisant invoquer notre figure paracelsienne. En 1945, donc peu avant la parution du livre dAmbelain, un autre initi, Georges Lagrze, crivait un de ses Frres:
Vois-tu Jean, cest justement parce que jai reu le don, il y a 33 ans dj [], que je suis rest maon. Il faut que dans les organisations initiatiques lesprit dElie Artiste demeure, et cest nous, dpositaires de ses pouvoirs, qui devons servir de support. La Cne du XVIIIe [degr] prend avec nous toute sa signification puisque nous avons rites, gestes, intentions et pouvoirs de succession. Et de cette faon une chane invisible continue de circuler dans les ordres que nous frquentons44.

Quel que soit le sens que Lagrze donne cet espritqui doit demeurer, le nom, lui, demeure, encore susceptible dinterprtations diverses et plus ou moins inattendues. Un autre contemporain dAmbelain, Jules Boucher, auteur maonnique de renom (surtout pour La symbolique maonnique, 1948), comme dautres maons no-occultistes soccupe dalchimie. Dans son commentaire dun texte alchimique de 1731, qui au demeurant ne parat pas mentionner le nom dElie Artiste, Boucher dit voir dans celui-ci une manire de
41 Ambelain, Templiers et Rose-Croix, 110. Sans doute faut-il un peu dimagination pour retrouver Elie Artiste dans ces deux noms. Il nen serait pas moins intressant denquter sur leur origine, savoir sur le contexte rdactionnel de ce 18 me degr. Bayard ( Grande encyclopdie Maonnique, 476), sous lentre Trs Sage, crit que le Prsident dune loge travaillant au 18me degr (Chevalier Rose-Croix) est dit Trs Sage, mais aussi Athirsata ou Elias Athrisata, ou Elie Artiste, ce qui signifierait en hbreu celui qui assume la fonction royale. 42 Ambelain, Templiers et Rose-Croix , 110. 43 Ambelain, Templiers et Rose-Croix , 112-113. 44 Lettre de Georges Lagrze Jean Chaboseau, en date du 4 juin 1945. Cite par Serge Caillet, in La Franc-Maonnerie gyptienne , 123.

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dsigner la substance secrte des Adeptes de lArt hermtique, substance qui joue, dans luvre, le rle dagent, terme correspondant au mystrieux Artiste Solaire (Elios) ou Feu secret45. Parcourons les quelque trente dernires annes. Comme on pouvait sy attendre, le nom dElie Artiste continue apparatre, comme par le pass, en des contextes rosicruciens, notamment dans des Ordres de ce type et dont on trouvera plus bas quelques exemples propos de la prsence de notre personnage sur linternet. LInitiation, la revue de lOrdre Martiniste fond par Papus, publie frquemment des articles consacrs au rosicrucisme; ainsi, dans un numro de lanne 1973 se trouve la communication (A propos de la Rose + Croix), dun fidisme exalt, prsente un Groupe de cet Ordre par un Frre qui signe Amien, et qui en quelques lignes nous fournit les informations stupfiantesque voici:
Voil donc la Croix, issue de la Rose de Vrit: cest le sang dont leffusion volontaire peut seule vaincre le pch et tracer le chemin qui nous propulse jamais vers la Lumire du Monde, vers la Rintgration, cette aspiration de tout notre Etre vers Helios Aristos, cest--dire vers le Meilleur Soleilou le Soleil Parfait. Cest toute la cl de la Grande Voie Christique dAmour / [ Note:] Au sujet dHelios Aristos, dbarrassons-nous une fois pour toutes du barbarisme traditionnel qui consiste le traduire par Elie Artiste, ce qui ne veut rien dire, car le vieux prophte juif na jamais eu aucune prtention artistique et reste tranger tout ce qui est Rose + Croix46.

Peut-tre navait-on jamais encore pouss aussi loin la fantaisie interprtative. De manire plus traditionnelle, lrudit Jean-Pierre Bayard, quant lui, auteur de nombreux ouvrages dont plusieurs sont dorientation nettement norosicrucienne, se demande en 1971: Quel tait ce mystrieux personnage?, pour rpondre: Le chef rel de lOrdre [des Rose-Croix dOr du 18e sicle, semble dire le contexte], intermdiaire oblig entre les initis terrestres et les puissances dEn-Haut47 . Et Bayard dcrire dans son livre La symbolique de la Rose-Croix :
Mais nest-il pas encore plus surprenant de noter quElie Artiste, la Sagesse, est souvent reprsente [sic] sous lapparence dun vieillard peau verte? Or si le mot Kabbaleveut dire rception, cest donner la possibilit de constater que le

Commentaires de Jules Boucher ( la) Science crite de tout lArt Hermtique (1935), sur lInternet: www.ghc.be/-alchymie/articles/science_art_herm.htm 46 Amien, A propos de la Rose + Croix. Rappelons que cest cette mme revue qui a publi (1981:2) le texte dont il est question plus haut, sign Guaita, Papus, et Barlet. Cf. aussi ibid. , 1984:4. 47 Cit par Flubacher, A propos de la Croix, 8, daprs Montloin et Bayard, Les Rose-Croix, nr. de page non indiqu.
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39

visage dElie Artiste est vert. Gustav Meyrink, dans son admirable roman Le visage vert, a bien montr toute lampleur et la puissance de cette tradition, o nous voyons vouer Elie Artiste, matre de lart alchimique et matre de la RoseCroix48.

Ailleurs, Bayard nous signale que les Frres de la Rose-Croix dOr (il sagit, semble-t-il, de lOrdre para-maonnique germanique de la fin du 18me sicle) honoraient Elie Artiste:
La rose-croix dor honore Elie Artiste; ange de la Rose-Croix, il existe de toute ternit. Elias Artista est-il Elie qui, comme Hnoch, doit revenir la fn des temps? Ils sont esprit, prcurseurs du Temple du Saint-Esprit et lon peut aussi songer Melchisdech qui, par son sacrifice, prfigure le mystre de lEucharistie49.

Nous percevons un autre cho du no-rosicrucisme contemporain en lisant Roger Facon, lequel intitule Qui est-tu Elie Artiste? un chapitre de son livre Le grand secret des Rose-Croix (1979). Pour lui, la Rose-Croix est toujours l. Curieusement. Infatigablement. Obstinment l. / Elle nest pas du tout essouffle. Elle semble mme passer la vitesse suprieure. Avec la venue du mystrieux Elie Artiste. Facon donne ensuite des citations tires de Sdir, mais oublie vite notre personnage et, consacrant tout le reste du chapitre la situation mondiale, traite plus longuement des apparitions dOV.N.I.50 . Toutefois, dans la Conclusion du livre il lvoque de nouveau:
sur son soleil rouge. Bien labri des pollutions terrestres. / Son retour est-il proche? [ ] Daucuns affirment mme quElie Artiste en lequel ils voient tantt un mouvement initiatique, tantt la rincarnation du prophte Elie est dj parmi nous [ Note:] Les deux hypothses ne sont pas incompatibles. Elie

48 Jean-Pierre Bayard, La symbolique de la Rose-Croix , 111. Lauteur reprend ce texte, presque dans les mmes termes, larticle Elie et Elie Artiste (il assemble les deux personnages en une mme entre) de sa Grande Encyclopdie Maonnique, 154. Je nai pas trouv le nom dElie Artiste dans Meyrink, Le visage vert ( Das Grne Gesicht, 1916), et ne connais pas de texte dans lequel notre personnage aurait t reprsent avec la peau verte. En revanche, le prophte Elie est voqu dans ce roman. Au chapitre X, Lazarus Eidotter raconte Sephardi que le prophte Elie quil identifie implicitement Chidher le Vert (Chidher Grn) lui a rendu visite dans sa propre demeure, et que ce personnage de lau-del ne cesse de demeurer toujours invisiblement auprs de lui. Au demeurant, on sait que Chidher le Vert est reprsent tout au long du roman comme ayant un visage vert. Sur le relation entre Elie et Chidher le Vert, cf. notamment JeanJacques Math, Le symbolisme hermtique, 146-147 (je remercie Richard Caron davoir attir mon attention sur cet article). 49 Bayard, La spiritualit de la Rose-Croix, 131. Nous navons pas rencontr Elie Artiste dans la littrature des Gold- und Rosenkreutzer du 18 e sicle (si cest bien ce Ordre que Bayard fait allusion), mais la piste est intressante; on peut regretter que lauteur, ici, ne cite pas ses sources. 50 Facon, Le Grand Secret des Rose + Croix, 257-258.

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ayant certainement besoin de sappuyer sur un groupe solide pour mener terme son action 51.

Nous avons trouv une seconde occurrence de rapprochement entre Elie Artiste et les O.V.N.I., dans un autre ouvrage populaire (1997), sous la plume de Jean dArgoun:
[ ] une dernire chance va tre donne cette gnration avant la fn du cycle. Elle vient lheure o la rose refleurira sur la croix. A cette heure cruciale qui va connatre aussi une trs forte recrudescence du phnomne OVNI dans le monde et surtout le retour dElias Artista, le grand instructeur du monde, le lion vert de lapocalypse, conformment aux prophties des oracles de la Rose + Croix52.

La mme anne, dans une revue essentiellement consacre un Rite maonnique ainsi quau symbolisme rosicrucien, Narcisse Flubacher se livre une petite enqute non critique sur Elie Artiste, dans laquelle il cite indiffremment des historiens proprement dits et des sotristes; il reprend, notamment, tant le texte de Jean-Pierre Bayard concernant le visage vert, quune bonne partie du texte de Robert Ambelain, vers lequel parat se porter sa prfrence 53. Il cite aussi Facon, mais en faisant dire celui-ci ce quil navait point dit, savoir que ce serait Paracelse, qui le premier aurait nomm Elias Artista dans les termes suivants: Elias Artista est lange de la Rose-Croix, nul ne peut savoir qui il est. Tout ce quon peut dire, cest quil a une force attractive, harmonisante et quil tend runir les individus en un seul corps homogne54. En reproduisant, au dbut de cette tude, le passage pseudo-paracelsien dans lequel apparat pour la premire fois le nom de notre personnage, nous avions rappel son caractre apocryphe. Sobstiner le considrer comme authentique revient commettre une erreur somme toute vnielle; mais mlanger les citations, aller, comme le fait Flubacher, jusqu attribuer Paracelse des propos tenus en ralit, comme on la vu plus haut, par Sdir, voil qui conduit un imbroglio de confusionsheureusement non dpourvu de sel. Enfin, Franois Brousse, auteur franais rcemment disparu, luvre abondante, pote qui fut proche des surralistes, romancier, astrologue et
51 Facon, Le Grand Secret des Rose-Croix, 263. Dans Les Roses-Croix vont-ils en enfer? (1989), 245-246, et 251-252, Facon revient sur Elie Artiste, peu prs dans les mmes termes, mais cette fois sans voquer les O.V.N.I. Je remercie Marc Lalve davoir attir mon attention sur cette rfrence. 52 DArgoun, Issah. La lumire qui vient, 25. Je remercie Marc Lalve davoir attir mon attention sur cette rfrence. 53 Flubacher, A propos de la Croix, partie intitule Qui est Elie Artiste?, 7-12. Autres auteurs cits: Ren Gunon ( propos dElie), Johanny Bricaud ( propos des Illumins dAvignon), Auguste Viatte (passage rfr supra, quil cite avec une interpolation), et des travaux de Paul Arnold sur le premier rosicrucisme. 54 Flubacher, A propos de la Croix, 9, qui cite (mal) Facon.

ELIE ARTISTE

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astrosophe, auteur de centaines de confrences publies, a laiss des vocations dElie Artiste, sous la forme dune confrence prononce en 197755, et dun court essai paru titre posthume en 2000 dans La Licorne aile, revue principalement destine faire connatre ses propres uvres. Lessai est digne dintrt plus dun titre. Malgr la rfrence aux Rose-Croix (Elias Artista reprsente lesprance messianique des Rose-Croix), le Messie dune connaissance de la Nature et de la vie fait place ici un Messie de lArt et de la Connaissance mais de lArt compris comme la science de la Beaut, et de la Connaissance comprise comme lIntelligence solaire 56. Brousse ne voit pas dans ce prophte une figure ayant un rapport avec les sciences de la Nature. Il le considre plutt comme celui qui explore deux des quatre routes, savoir la Connaissance et la Beaut, les deux autres, la Justice et lAmour, tant reprsentes respectivement par le judasmeet par le christianisme 57. Il le met en rapport avec lArcane I du Tarot58. Enfin, il tablit une relation entre Elie Artiste et le comte de Saint-Germain, quon peut classer au nombre des Grands Initis de la Rose-Croix mais qui, contrairement Elie Artiste, il manque, semble-t-il, la grce divine de la cration esthtique 59 . Le fait quun auteur fasse le rapprochement entre ces deux personnages na rien de surprenant, vu que lun et lautre sont, en quelque sorte, des immortels. Sans doute peut-on stonner de ne pas avoir rencontr jusquici dautres exemples dun tel rapprochement, bien que Saint-Germain nait jamais t, semble-t-il, considr comme enlev au Ciel, contrairement lElie de la Bi-

55 Selon une lettre date du 30 janvier 2002, adresse par Jean-Marc Lalo (lditeur de La Licorne aile) lauteur du prsent article, cette confrence du 7 juin 1977, intitule Le comte de Saint-Germain, Elie Artiste et la Rose-Croix, est en cours de publication pour figurer dans un recueil (qui sera intitul Grands Initis) dcrits indits de Brousse. Elle fait partie de celles dont la liste est prsente sur le site internet ( cf. note suivante) de La Licorne aile. 56 Elias, cest--dire, kabbalistiquement, Hlios, le conducteur du char solaire, celui qui apporte lillumination. Artista, lartiste, le pote, le crateur dune beaut vivante et nouvelle qui parle aux sens, au cur, lme frmissante, lesprit plein de ravissements []. Elias Artista est lincarnation de la Lumire infinie. Il doit apporter llixir des religions et des philosophies, la subtile liqueur o se fondent en un got succulent toutes les vrits dcouvertes par les gnies de la sainte humanit. Et plus loin: Il apporte des uvres artistiques dune prodigieuse splendeur. Son cerveau droit contient les secrets du monde; son cerveau gauche exhale les parfums de la beaut (Brousse, Elias Artista, non pagin). 57 Tel est le Messie des Rosicruciens, qui diffre du Messie des Juifs, car il apporte les chemins de la magie et de la joie esthtique. Le Messie des Juifs brandit surtout le glaive ardent de la Justice. Le Messie des Chrtiens agite la torche odorante de lAmour (Brousse, Elias Artista, non pagin). 58 Artista se mire dans larcane premier, le Mage, dont le pouvoir stend sur larbre, lor, la coupe, lpe et sceptre resplendissant (Brousse, Elias Artista, non pagin). 59 Ce nest pas la premire fois, que Brousse associe Elie Artiste et Saint-Germain; cf. supra, propos de sa confrence du 7 juin 1977.

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ble avec lequel Elie Artiste entretient le rapport que lon sait. A propos de ces immortels enlevs au Ciel, et pour clore notre numration, certainement point exhaustive, dexemples de la prsence dElie Artiste dans des textes imprims, ajoutons quen dehors du champ de la littrature sotrique proprement dite Carl Gustav Jung sest lui aussi intress Elie Artiste. Jung voque ce personnage dans deux lettres, en 195360 . Et cela, propos de lElie de la Bible, de Paracelse et de Grard Dorn lalchimiste prfr de Jung. Etant donn limportance de la tradition dElie dans limaginaire chrtien au moyen ge, il nest plus inou, dit Jung dans la premire lettre, quElie soit devenu le Helyas Artistadans lalchimie mdivale []; par exemple (chez) Dorneus 61. On peut tre surpris de voir quil situe Dorn au moyen ge moins de considrer que celui-ci se termine plus tard quon ladmet gnralement. Dans la seconde lettre il crit:
Quant auHelias des Alchimistes , je vous rappelle le texte de Gerardus Dorneus (De transmutatione metallorum , Thatr. Chem. 1602, t. I, p. 610): ...usque ad adventum Heliae Artistae, quo tempore nihil tam occultum quod non revelabitur. Au lieu de dire usque ad adventum Christi, cet alchimiste prfre une forme antrieure de lAnthropos, cest--dire Elie qui est un des quatre personnages levs au ciel avec son corps: Enoch, Elie, Christ et Marie. / La raison pour laquelle lalchimiste prfre Elie, une figure ou un tat antrieurs au Christ, sexplique probablement par le fait quElie comme Enoch appartient chez Paracelse au nombre des Enochdiani et Heliezati, cest--dire ceux qui ont un corps soit capable de longvit (jusqu 1000 ans), soit incorruptible comme celui dEnoch ou dElie; la prolongation de la vie tant un intrt tout particulier du matre (Paracelse), tandis que la mort prmature du Christ ne lui semblait pas intressante. (Paracelse est bien laube du matrialisme scientifique du 18me sicle! Cf. Theophrasti Paracelsi, Tract. De Vita Longa , d. par Adam v. Bodenstein, 1562) 62.

Ici, Jung attribue Dorn le mot de Paracelse, semblant ainsi oublier que le disciple navait fait que citer son matre. Il pense dceler un choix psychologi-

60 Dans deux lettres au Pre Bruno O.C.D., dates lune du 5 novembre 1953, lautre du 22 dcembre 1953. Publies in Jung et Bruno, Puissance de larchtype, 13-18. Traduction allemande de ces deux lettres par Elisabeth Rf, in Jung, Gesammelte Werke, 18/II, 721-727. Je nai pas connaissance dautres passages de son uvre dans lesquels il serait question dElie Artiste, bien quen de nombreux endroits de celle-ci il traite dElie le prophte. 61 Jung et Bruno, Puissance de larchtype, 15 nt 2. 62 Jung et Bruno, Puissance de larchtype, 17-18. Les mots Enochdianiet Heliezati (que Jung commente ailleurs aussi, notamment dans Paracelsus als geistige Erscheinung, in Gesammelte Werke, T. 13, 149 et 154) dsignent les humains favoriss par une exceptionnelle longvit, et se trouvent dans le trait De vita longa dans ldition cite supra par Jung, trait compos partir de notes prises durant des cours professs par Paracelse ( cf. Edighoffer, Lnigme paracelsienne, 245, daprs Jung, Gesammelte Werke XIII, 149).

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quement rvlateur dans ce quil prend pour une substitution dentit de la part de Dorn. Egalement, il sagit pour lui de montrer que Elie est un archtype vivant; plus prcisment un archtype constell , cest--dire plus ou moins gnralement actif, donnant naissance de nouvelles formes de rception63. Notre Elie Artiste ne serait quun des avatars de cet archtype et reprsenterait en outre une figure rivale de celle du Christ. Certes, le psychologue Jung se montre ici, comme souvent, Kulturphilosoph . Ce qui lintresse, toutefois, cest moins de reprer dans leurs contextes historiques respectifs la varit de discours spcifiques variables selon les poques, que de montrer la permanence dune figure archtypale dans lOccident chrtien considr dans sa totalit. Sur linternet aussi, Elie Artiste est toujours vivant, non seulement dans des sites qui reproduisent des textes sotriques imprims 64, mais aussi dans des discours nouveaux. Il y apparat parfois en tant que Matre paradigmatique du rosicrucisme. Cest ainsi quun Bulletin manant dune branche italienne du Rosicrucian Fellowship (Californie), Ordre initiatique cr par Max Heindel, nous apprend que Paracelse lui-mme salua Elie Artisteen ces termes: gnie recteur de la Rose-Croix, personnification symbolique de lOrdre, ambassadeur du saint Paraclet. Le personnage annonc par Paracelse est un souffle collectif de revendications gnreuses, desprit de libert, de science et damour, qui doit rgnrer le monde65. Semblablement, une loge (dorientation New Age, en loccurrence) de lOrdre Rosacruz, Las Palmas (Canaries et Espagne), sappelle Elias Artista et prtend, dans le cycle actuel de manifestation de cet Ordre, sinspirer des idaux transmis par notre guide Elias Artista, Instructeur de la Rose-Croix 66. Lautorit du personnage se trouve revendique dans un contexte diffrent, mais lui aussi de type New Age, sur le site Nova-Cuidado , o nous apprenons que le Verbe illuminant le Nouvel Age est salu comme Brahima en Orient, et Elias Artista en Occident 67. Sur le site

Jung, in Elie le Prophte, 15-16. Cf. par exemple, supra, Boucher, Commentaires; Ambelain, Une loge martiniste sous lOccupation;Brousse, Elias Artista. 65 Elias artista, genio reggitore della Rosa-Croce, personificazione simbolica dellordine, ambasciatore del santo Paracleto, Paracelso il grande predice la tua venuta, o soffio collettivo di generose rivendicazioni, spirito di libert, di scienza e di amore che devi rigenerare il mondo (s.d.), consultable sur linternet (www.viveremeglio.org/studirc/testi/articoli/rosacro_2). 66 Consultable sur le site: http://members.es.tripod.de/logiaelias . Cet Ordre se dit fraternit initiatique, sotrique, traditionnelle, consacre ltude et au dveloppement des facults physiques, mentales et spirituelles des tres humains. 67 A aao decisiva que descobra este venervel mestre, saudado come Brahima no Oriente e Elias Artista no Occidente, verbo iluminator da Nova Era []. In: NovaCuidado , Texto 01 ( www.boanova.hpg.ig.com).
63 64

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Aquarius Le Nouvel Age, lIllustre Matre Kwang Hsih entreprend de nous apprendre comment lhumanit pourrait sortir de sa crise aux formes multiples:
Le monde a donc besoin, pour sveiller de cette stupeur de dfaitisme et de strili pessimiste [], dun suscitateur-Matre, dun agitateur gigantesque, dun animateur suprme si lon prfre, dun Hitler, dun Mussolini dpurs (sic) de la parade thtrale, dun Mahomet qui synthtiserait la fois la justifice dun Bolivar et lascse Bouddhiste dun Aoka, enfin un Bouddha ayant la dcision dun Lnine et le zle dun Ignace de Loyola. Un esprit synthtique fort, et en mme temps sublime, juste sans tre sanguinaire, lincarnation dun Mose audacieux la sublimit dun Manou, ou un Christ aussi puissant quun National City Bank Il faudra un Elie Artiste, Verbe mystique inbranlable, intransigeant, absolu, qui lvera lhomme sa puissance humaine transcendantale, au degr divin68.

Un ouvrage diffus en 1999 par la mme voie sous le titre Le Livre vident , auquel les spculations du gnosticisme ancien nont rien envier en matire de complications cosmologiques et cosmogoniques, fait notre personnage une place de choix dans son schma ontologique:
Le Verbe ne cre pas le monde, il en spare les lments jusque l souds, divise landrogyne primordial, en fait deux parts, mle et femelle. Dans la hirarchie des principes, le Sparateur se tient au-desous du Modeleur [] Et pour maintenir la cohsion et assurer la Rdemption de luvre accomplie par un autre, il suscite un Lgislateur (Elias-Artista, etc.), des Messies, des incarnations diverses 69.

Enfin, le nom dElie Artiste a servi rcemment de titre pour une composition musicale thrique russe, diffuse en CD en 199770 . Le fait est doublement intressant. Dune part, cette composition parat relever dune inspiration plus ou moins tributaire du New Age, linstar de certains des discours dont nous venons de citer des extraits. Dautre part, si aucune reprsentation iconographique du personnage ne nous est connue, on peut dire en revanche quil existe au moins une uvre artistique portant le nom dElie Artiste.

Cit par le Vn. Dorgen Lama, in La Vritable spiritualit comme fonction sociale. Site internet: www.iis.com.br/newage/franc/242-1457.htm 69 Le Livre Evident (1999), 7. www.livre-evident.com 70 Composition musicale de treize minutes, intitule Elias Artista, enregistre parmi dautres morceaux annoncs comme une ethereal music, et figurant dans le CD Moon Far Away Sator (Editions Projet Gothique Russe). Rfrence: www.gothic.ru/mfa/releases.htm4K .
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Considrations dordre gnral Les lments de cette compilation appellent quelques rflexions sur les divers emplois du nom Elie Artiste, sur les fonctions de ces emplois, ainsi que sur la place de ces emplois et de ces fonctions dans lhistoire des courants sotriques occidentaux modernes. Les sens que ce nom revt ont t dclins fort diversement, sans pour autant sexclure les uns les autres lintrieur dun mme discours. Il a dsign dabord (Figulus, Croll, Haslmayer, Franckenberg) une figure vocation messianique appele instaurer un renouveau des sciences de la Nature li une re spirituelle nouvelle, bien que de bonne heure certains (Eglin) laient employ plutt comme terme abstrait pour voquer ce renouveau ou cette instauration. Plus tard, dautres (Glauber, Boucher) entendirent par l une substance matrielle gnralement un Sel , le prirent (le visiteur dHelvetius; Sldner; J.D. Mller) comme pseudonyme quand ils voulurent se faire passer pour Elie Artiste, ladoptrent comme nom dauteur (Elias der Artist; Elias Artista Hermetica), le choisirent comme titre douvrage ( Elias Artista), ou en firent lobjet de jeux linguistiques rappelant ceux de la langue des oiseaux (Glauber, Ambelain). A linverse, il a tendu de plus en plus revtir aussi une dimension mta-empirique: Matre cach dans linvisible (Ambelain), entit mta-humaine ou mme non-humaine, comme ange de la Rose-Croix (Bayard), gnie tutlaire (Rougier), principe cosmique(Guata, Sdir) ou esthtique (Michelet, Brousse), Verbe mystique(Kwang Hsih; Le Livre vident). Chacun des emplois numrs ci-dessus a toujours rempli deux fonctions insparables et complmentaires, lune lemportant sur lautre ou inversement. Lune de ces deux fonctions a t dexprimer une attente et/ou une nostalgie, lautre a t de lgitimation. Historiquement, le rle jou par Elie Artiste a dabord consist remplir la premire fonction, videmment lie au caractre messianique toujours implicite de cette figure. Il sagissait de projeter sur son nom une esprance, dans le climat des bouleversements qui marquaient la Rforme, la Renaissance tardive et le dbut de la rvolution scientifique. Ds lors que toute autre priode de lhistoire est elle aussi problmatique, Elie Artiste a continu jouer le mme rle par la suite moins souvent cependant, car laccent sest peu eu dplac vers la nostalgie. Ce dplacement sest effectu au fur et mesure que les premiers auteurs ayant parl de lui (16me et 17me sicles) reculaient dans un pass de plus en plus lointain, jusqu pouvoir tre considrs (par Eckartshausen, ensuite par Guata, Sdir, et plus gnralement par les norosicruciens) comme des dtenteurs de trsors de connaissance alors quen

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fait, ces auteurs avaient vcu surtout dans lespoir ou dans lattente den dtenir eux-mmes. Exhiber ce nom devenu prestigieux revenait, comme cest encore parfois le cas, les prendre pour ple rfrentiel de vrits et de valeurs ractualisables. Quant la seconde fonction, celle de lgitimation, elle na sans doute jamais cess dtre lie la premire. Sitt n, Elie Artiste a servi dimage-cl de logo, en quelque sorte des entreprises de justification portant sur un programme philosophique, scientifique ou politique, ou tout cela la fois. De fait, les reprsentants des courants sotriques modernes se fondent volontiers sur des autorits, relles ou imaginaires, pour faire valider leurs discours ou assurer la raison dtre de lOrdre dont ils sont membres. Ces autorits peuvent appartenir un pass lointain (Herms Trismgiste); ou tout rcent (Christian Rosenkreutz); voire un avenir imminent, lequel peut alors se confondre avec un prsent voil, comme cest le cas dElie Artiste dont, pour asseoir leurs prtentions, nombre des premiers amateurs de rosicrucisme invoquaient la rputation au mme titre que celle de Christian Rosenkreutz. Faute de pouvoir dire o Elie Artiste se tenait rellement, certains sen considrrent, dans les premiers temps, le prcurseur (Starkey), ou tentrent de faire croire que ctait un contemporain (Arndt, en loccurrence). A partir de laube des Lumires, une fois nimb dune aura patine par les ans et dautant plus pourvoyeuse de rve, Elie Artiste cessa, aux yeux de beaucoup, dappartenir une poque. Certes, il continua remplir de ici et l les mmes fonctions que depuis sa naissance, et on vit perdurer certains des sens originels, voqus plus haut, du vocable Elie Artiste (pseudonyme destin valoriser lautorit dun individu, bon de garantie pour un produit de laboratoire ou pour des livres, figure cosmique pour acrditer des programmes mtaphysiques). Mais ce vocable assumait des fonctions lgitimantes nouvelles, plus ou moins complmentaires de premires: allgeance un Matre (Fuller, Wittemans), modle danti-clricalisme (Guata), allgorie de ce que devrait tre le parfait FrancMaon (Waite, Lagrze), archtype pour les besoins dune antropologie (Jung), voire ple rfrentiel lintrieur de productions proches de lesprit New Age. Elie Artiste appartient essentiellement aux courants sotriques occidentaux modernes, et comme eux cest un produit de la modernit. On rcolte toujours quelques fruits revisiter ces courants en vue dune enqute portant sur une telle figure, comme au demeurant sur une notion (le secret, le corps subtil), sur la fortune dun texte (la Table dEmeraude ), sur la prsence rcurrente dun thme mythologique (la Toison dOr). Outre quelles nous font relire des auteurs et nous en font dcouvrir dautres, semblables incursions prsentent au moins deux autres intrts. Le premier est daider dgager les

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discontinuits de cet sotrisme, insparables des discontinuits de lhistoire gnrale dans laquelle il sinscrit, une histoire marque par de profondes ruptures et, en loccurrence, par un processus de scularisation. Le second intrt de ces incursions nest pas moins essentiel que le premier. Elles aident mesurer quel point une figure, une notion, la fortune dun texte ou dun thme, peuvent tre ingalement prsentes selon quil sagit de tel courant ou de tel autre. Ainsi, Elie Artiste apparat souvent dans la littrature alchimique, rosicrucienne et no-rosicrucienne, dans celle du courant occultiste (principalement franais, semble-t-il). Il ne semble pas gure hanter la littrature hermtique no-alexandrine et kabbaliste chrtienne, et on ne limaginerait pas vraiment chez lui dans la littrature prennialiste, de type gunonien ou no-gunonien. Rien de surprenant cela, mais on peut stonner, en revanche, de sa relative absence dans la thosophie franaise, et dans la Naturphilosophie allemande lpoque pr-romantique et romantique. Aussi bien convient-il de ne pas exagrer son importance dans lsotrisme ocidental moderne. Mais linverse, sinterroger sur les raisons des absences de cette figure contribuerait marquer la spcificit de chaque courant par rapport celle de chacun des autres. Tel pourrait tre le programme dune tude complmentaire de celle-ci.
Antoine Faivre est Directeur dtudes lcole Pratique des Hautes tudes (Sorbonne, Paris) o il est titulaire de la chaire Histoire des courants sotriques et mystiques dans lEurope moderne et contemporaine.

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kerman, Susanna, Rose Cross over the Baltic: The Spread of Rosicrucianism in Northern Europe, Leyde: E. J. Brill 1998. Aletophilus, Glckliche Erober- und Demolirung des durch den Schall einer thnernen EliasPosaune, auf Befehl eines chymischen Papsts angekndigten Fegefeuers der Scheidekunst, Leipzig 1705. Ambelain, Robert, Le Martinisme: Histoire et Doctrine, Paris: Niclaus 1946. , Une initiation martiniste sous lOccupation, in: LInitiation: Cahiers de documentation sotrique traditionnelle 2 (1953), 56-59. , Templiers et Rose-Croix: Documents pour servir lhistoire de lIlluminisme, Paris: Adyar 1954. Amien, A propos de la Rose + Croix, LInitiation. Cahiers de documentation sotrique traditionnelle 2 (1973), 94-95. Andreae, Johann Valentin, De Christiani Cosmoxeni genitura judicium (1615). Traduction et annotations de R. Edighoffer in: J.V. Andreae, Gesammelte Schriften (F. Bhling & R. Edighoffer, ds.), t. II, Stuttgart/Bad-Cannstadt: Frommann-Holzboog 1995. Argoun, Jean d, Issah. La lumire qui vient, Paris: G. Trdaniel 1997. Bayard, Jean-Pierre, La symbolique de la Rose-Croix, Paris, Payot 1976. , La spiritualit de la Rose-Croix: Histoire, tradition et valeur initiatique, Paris: Dangles 1990.

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, Grande Encyclopdie Maonnique des Symboles , Paris: Editions Maonniques de France 2000. Basilius Valentinus, Chymische Schrifften alle, so viel derer vorhanden, Hambourg 1677. Becher, Johann Joachim, Moral-Discurs von den eigentlichen Ursachen des Glcks und Unglcks, Francfort 1669. Benedictus Figulus, cf. Figulus, Benedictus. Boucher, Jules, Commentaires ( la) Science crite de tout lArt Hermtique , Consolation (1935), consultables sur le site: www.ghc.be/-alchymie/articles/science_art_herm.htm Breckling, Friedrich, Christliche Erinnerung und Warnung an alle Menschen [] , Amsterdam 1682. Breger, Herbert, Elias Artista A Precursor of the Messiah in Natural Science, in: E. Mendelsohn & H. Nowotny (ds.), Nineteen-Eighty-Four: Science between Utopia and Dystopia (Sociology of the Sciences, A Yearbook, vol. 8), Dordrecht, Boston & Lancaster: D. Reidl 1984, 49-72. Breymayer, Reinhart, Ein unbekannter Gegner Gotthold Ephraim Lessings: Der ehemalige Frankfurter Konzertdirektor Johann Daniel Mller aus Wissenbach/Nassau (1716-bis nach 1785), in: Pietismus-Hernnhutertum-Erweckungsbewegung: Festschrift fr Erich Beyreuther, Cologne: Rheinland 1982, 109-146. , Ein radikaler Pietist im Umkreis des jungen Goethe: Der Frankfurter Konzertdirektor Johann Daniel Mller alias Elias/Elias Artista (1716 bis nach 1785), in: Pietismus und Neuzeit: Ein Jahrbuch zur Geschichte des neueren Protestantismus 9, Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1983, 180-237. , Elie Artiste: Johann Daniel Mller de Wissenbach/Nassau (1716 jusquaprs 1785): Un aventurier entre le Pitisme radical et lIlluminisme, in: M. Matucci (d.), Actes du Colloque international Lumires et Illuminisme(Cortone, 3-6 octobre 1983) , Pise: Pacini 1984, 75-84. , Von Swedenborg zu Elias Artista: Der ProphetJohann Daniel Mller aus Wissenbach/ Nassau (1716 bis nach 1785): Gegner Moses Mendelssohn und Lessings, kritischer Freund Emanuel Swedenborgs, in: Emanuel Swedenborg. Naturforscher und Kundiger der Ueberwelt (Begleitbuch zur Ausstellung Mrz 1988 ), Stuttgart: Wrttenbergische Landesbibliothek 1988, 89-92. , Elias Artista: Johann Daniel Mller aus Wissenbach/Nassau (1716 bis nach 1785), ein Autodidakt aus der Unterschicht als Leser und Autor religiser Schriften, in: H.E. Bdeker & P. Veit (ds.), Le Livre religieux et ses pratiques: Etudes sur lhistoire du livre religieux en Allemagne et en France lpoque moderne, Gttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht 1991,45-72. , Mller, (Johann) Daniel, auch: Daniel, Elias, Elias Artista, Messias, D. S., S., in: F.W. Bautz, dann T. Bautz (ds.), Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon VI, Herzberg [am Harz]: Verlag Traugott Bautz 1993, 255-267. , Elias Artista:Johann Daniel Mller aus Wissenbach/Nassau, ein kritischer Freund Swedenborgs, und seine Wirkung auf die schwbischen Pietisten F. C. Oetinger und P. M. Hahn, Chloe: Beihefte zum Daphnis 22 (1995), 329-371. , Ein Dillenburger bei Johann Sebastian Bach: Johann Daniel Mller aus Wissenbach/ Nassau (geb. 1716), Jahrbuch der Bachwoche Dillenburg (1997), 9-10. , Mller, Johann Daniel (Mller, Daniel) (Ps.. Daniel, Elias, Elias Artista, Messia [], in: Neue Deutsche Biographie XVIII, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot 1997, 351-152. , Exkurse zu bibliographischen Fragen, in: Friedrich Christoph Oetinger, Biblisches und emblematisches Wrterbuch (G.Schfer, O.Betz, R.Breymayer etc. (ds.), II: Anmerkungen , Berlin/New York: Walter de Guyter 1999, 305-341. Brousse, Franois, Elias Artista, Revue mensuelle de la Licorne ale, 9 (2000). Non pagin. Consultable sur linternet: www.licorne-aile.com . Liste de ses confrences sur: www.licorne-ailee.com/K7/Liste-K7.pdf

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Bruxius, Adam, Helias tertius, Das ist: Urtheil oder Meynung von dem Hochlblichen Orden der Brderschafft des R. C. (publi anonymement), Leipzig 1616. Caillet, Serge, La Franc-Maonnerie gyptienne de Memphis-Misram I: Histoire, Paris: Cariscript 1988. , Robert Ambelain (1907-1997), explorateur des sciences secrtes, LInitiation. Cahiers de documentation sotrique traditionnelle 4 (2000), 227-240. Croll, Oswald, Basilica Chymica , (s. l.?), 1609, plusieurs rditions. Deutsches Theatrum Chemicum, auf welchem der berhmtesten Philosophen und Alchymisten Schrifften [] vorgestellet werden (Friedrich Roth-Scholtz, d.), 3 vols., Nuremberg 1728-1732. Eckartshausen, Karl von, Blicke in die Zukunft oder Prognostikon des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts , Leipzig 1799. , ber de Zauberkrfte der Natur , Munich 1819. , ber die wichtigsten Mysterien der Religion , Munich 1823. Edighoffer, Roland, Rose-Croix et socit idale selon Johann Valentin Andreae, 2 vols., Neuilly/Seine: Arma Artis 1982 & 1987. , Le Lion du Septentrion, Etudes Germaniques 2 (1967), 161-189. Rdit sous le titre Les Rose-Croix et le retour dElie, in: R. Edighoffer, Les Rose-Croix et la conscience europenne au XVIIIme sicle, Paris: Dervy 1998, 211-247. , LEnigme paracelsienne dans les Noces Chymiques de Christian Rosenkreuz, in: H. Schott & I. Zinguer (ds.), Paracelsus und seine internationale Rezeption in der Frhen Neuzeit, Leyde: Brill 1998, 230-271. Rdit sous le titre Lalchimie de lHomme Total in: R. Edighoffer, Les Rose-Croix et la conscience europenne au XVIIIme sicle, Paris: Dervy 1998, 281-302. Eglin, Rafael Iconius (pseudonymes: Nicolaus Niger Hapelius, et Heliophilus a Percis), Disquisitio Heliana de metallorum transformatione [], Leipzig 1606, Marbourg 1608. Repris dans Cheiragogia Heliana De auro philosophico necdum cognito (du mme auteur), Marbourg 1612 Plusieurs autres rditions, dont Disquisitio de Helia Artium ad illustrissimum principe Mauritium, Hassiae Landgravium [], Leipzig 1616. Elias Artista Hermetica, Das Geheimni von dem Salz, als dem edelsten Wesen der [] hchsten Wohltat Gottes in dem Reich der Natur, beides in seinem Wesen und in seinen Eigenschaften aus eigener Bemhung untersucht. Gttlicher Weissheit zum Lobe und den begierigen Forschern zum Vortheil geschrieben von Elias Artista Hermetica , s. l., 1770. Elias Artista mit dem Stein der Weisen, cf. Mller, Johann Daniel. Elias der Artist, Erluterung etlicher Schriften vom Wasserstein, Hambourg 1692. Fabricius, Johann Albrecht, Codex pseudepigraphus Veteris Testamentis, Hambourg et Leipzig 1713. Fabry, Jacques, Le Bernois Friedrich Herbort et lsotrisme chrtien en Suisse lpoque romantique , Berne, Francfort/Main etc.: Peter Lang 1983. Facon, Roger, Le grand secret des Rose-Croix , Paris: A. Lefeuvre,1979. , Les Rose-Croix vont-ils en enfer?, Paris: H. Veyrier 1989. Faivre, Antoine, Eckartshausen et la thosophie chrtienne, Paris: Klincksieck 1969. , Un familier des socits sotriques au dix-huitime sicle: Bourre de Corberon, in: A. Faivre, Mystiques, Thosophes et Illumins du XVIII sicle, Hildesheim/New York: G. Olms 1974, 146-174 (Reprint de loriginal paru in Revue des Sciences Humaines, avril 1967). Ferguson, John, Bibliotheca Chemica: A Bibliography of Books on Alchemy, Chemistry and Pharmaceutics, Londres: D. Verschoyle 1954, 2 vol., 1906. Figulus [Tpfer], Benedictus, Rosarium Novum Olympicum et Judicium. Das ist: Ein neuwer Gebenedeyter Philosophischer Rosengart [], Pars Altera , Ble 1608. , Thesaurinella Olympica aurea tripartita. Das ist: Ein himmlisch gldenes Schatzkmmerlein [], Francfort/Main 1608.

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Flubacher, Narcisse, A propos de la Croix des Rose-Croix et dElie Artiste, Les Cahiers du Plican: Revue indpendante traitant du Rite Ecossais Ancien et Accept et du Symbolisme des Rose-Croix 36 (1997), 3-12. Franckenberg, Abraham von, Gemma Magica oder Magisches Edelgestein, Amsterdam 1688. , Briefwechsel (Joachim Telle, d.), Stuttgart-Bad Cannstadt: F. Fromann 1995. Fuller, John Frederick Charles, The Star in the West: A Critical Essay upon the Works of Aleister Crowley. Londres: Walter Scott Publishing 1907. Gilly, Carlos, Adam Haslmayer: Der erste Verknder der Manifeste der Rosenkreuzer, Amsterdam: In de Pelikaan 1994. , Johann Arndt und die dritte Reformation im Zeichen des Paracelsus, Nova Acta Paracelsica: Beitrge zur Paracelsus-Forschung , Neue Folge II (1997), 60-77. , Der Lwe von Mitternacht, der Adler und der Endchrist: Die politische, religise und chiliastische Publizistik in den Flugschriften, illustrieten Flugblttern und Volksliedern des Dreissigjhrigen Krieges, Das Rosenkreutz als historisches Phnomen im 17. Jahrhundert, Amsterdam: In de Pelikaan 2002, 234-268 . Glauber, Johann Rudolf, Teutschlands Wohlfahrt. Darinnen grndlich und ausfhrlich tractiret, was Alchymia sey , 6 parties, Amsterdam 1656-1661. , Miraculi Mundi. Ander Theil. Oder Dessen Vorlngst Geprophezeiten Eliae Artistae Trumphirlicher Ein Ritt. Und auch Was der Elias Artista fr einer sey? Nemlich: der Weisen ihr Sal Artis Mirificum, als aller Vegetabilien, Animalien, und Mineralien hchst Medicin [] Also ein Herrlicher, Glorioser, und Triumphierender Monarch ist, // Elias Artista, wenigen bekant, // Et Artis Salia vielen genant, Amsterdam 1660 (Edition latine: Miraculi Mundi pars altera in qua Adventus jam dudum Eliae Artistae praedicti magnificus describitur. Adeoque ipsum Sal Artis mirificum philosophorum esse, Vegetabilium Animalium, Mineraliumve, Medicinam praestantissimam [], Amsterdam 1669 (Grande Bibliothque de Paris, BNF, cote R 12531). , De Elia Artista, Oder wass Elias Artista fr einer sey, und wass er der Welt reformiren oder verbessern werde, wenn er kommt? nemlich: die wahre Spagirische Medicin der alten gyptischen Phiosophen, welche mehr als tausend Jahr verlohren gewest, und Er wiederum herfrziehen, sondern renoviren und durch neue inventiones herrlich illustriren, viel untchtiges Sudelwerck abschaffen, und einen nheren und besseren Weg, dadurch viel leichter, und auch unkstlicher als bishero geschehen, zu guter Medicin zu gelangen. Er mit sich bringen und solcher der jetzigen und verwirrten Welt zeigen wird. Der Edlen und unbesudelten Reinen Spagyrischen Medicin Liebhaberin zu gefalen beschrieben und an den tag gelegt, Amsterdam 1668. (BNF, cote R 12558). , Kurtze Erklhrung ber die Hllische Gttin Proserpinam, Amsterdam 1667. Guata, Stanislas de, Essais de sciences maudites Au seuil du mystre Troisime dition corrige et augmente nouveau, avec [...] un appendice entirement remani, Paris: Chamuel et Carr 1895. , Papus, Barlet F.-Ch., Notes sur la Rose + Croix: I. Elias Artista. II: Sar Pladan, LInitiation. Cahiers de documentatoin sotrique traditionnelle 2(1981), 79-87. Gugel, Kurt F., Johann Rudolf Glauber. Leben und Werk, Wrzburg 1955. Habrich, Christa, Alchemie und Chemie in der pietistischen Tradition, in: H.G. Kemper & H. Schneider (d.), Goethe und der Pietismus (Verlag der Franckeschen Stiftungen Halle 6), Tbingen: Max Niemeyer 2001, 45-77. Haslmayer, Adam, Antwort an die lobwrdige Brderschafft der Theosophen von Rosenkreutz, s. l., 1612 (reprint in: Carlos Gilly, Adam Haslmayer). Heer, Martin, Introductio in Archivum Archei, Lauban 1702. Helias Artista. Das ist: Wohlmeyndtliches Urtheil von der newen Brderschafft des R.C , Francfort 1619. Helvetius, Johann Friedrich, Vitulus Aureus, quem mundus adorat et orat [] , Amsterdam 1667.

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Jong, H. M. E. de, Glauben und die Weltanschauung der Rosenkreuzter, Janus (1969), 278304. Jung, Carl Gustav & Pre Bruno, Puissance de larchtype, Etudes Carmlitaines 25:2 (1956). Numro spcial Elie le Prophte. Traduction allemande de la lettre de C. G. Jung incluse dans cet article: Brief [Jungs] an Pre Bruno OCD, in C.G. Jung, Gesammelte Werke, T. 18/2, Olten et Fribourg: Walter Verlag 1981, 721-727. , Paracelsus als geistige Erscheinung (1 re d., 1942), in: Gesammelte Werke, T. 13, Olten et Fribourg: Walter Verlag 1978, 123-209. Jungmayr, Petra, Georg von Welling (1655-1727): Studien zu Leben und Werk (Heidelberger Studien zur Naturkunde der frhen Neuzeit 2), Stuttgart: Franz Steiner 1990. Jung-Stilling, Johann Heinrich, Das Heimweh , 4 vols., Marburg 1794-1796. , Der Graue Mann: Eine Volksschrift, 30 livraisons, Nuremberg 1795-1816. Keren Happuch, cf. Sldner, (Johann Anton?). Kiefer, K.H. (d.), Cagliostro: Dokumente zur Aufklrung und Okkultismus , Munich: C. H. Beck 1991. Knorr von Rosenroth, Christian, Kabbala Denudata, seu doctrina Hebraeorum transcendentalis et mataphysica atque theologica [] I, Sulzbach 1677. Knowles, R.-E., Victor-Emile Michelet: Pote sotrique , Paris: Vrin 1954. Kopp, Hermann, Die Alchemie in lterer und neuerer Zeit: Ein Beitrag zur Culturgeschichte, 2 vols., Heidelberg: C. Winters Universittsbuchhandlung 1886. Khlmann, W. & J. Telle (ds.), Der Frhparacelsismus I (Corpus Paracelsisticum I: Dokumente frhneuzeitlicher Naturphilosophie in Deutschland), Tbingen: Niemeyer 2001. Laurant, Jean-Pierre, Lsotrisme chrtien en France au XIXme sicle, Lausanne: Lge dHomme 1992. Libavius, Andreas, Syntagmatis arcanorum chymicorum, 2 vols., Francfort 1613. , Analysis Fraternitatis de Rosae Cruce pro admonitione et instructione eorum, qui, quid iudicandum sit de illa nova factione, scire cupiunt , Francfort 1615 (Paris, BNF, cote R 993). , Wohlmeinendes Bedencken von der Fama und der Confessio, Francfort 1616. Maack, Ferdinand, Elias Artista redivivus, oder das Buch vom Salz und Raum , Berlin: H. Barsdorf 1913. Math, Jean-Jacques, Le symbolisme hermtique (de lutilisation de la couleur verte), in: Y. Caroutch (d.), Gustav Meyrink, Paris: LHerne 1976, 146-149. Meillassoux-Le-Cerf, Micheline, Dom Pernety et les Illumins dAvignon, suivi de la transcription intgrale de la Sainte Parole, Paris: Arch-Edidit 1992. Meyrink, Gustav, Das grne Gesicht (1916), Freiburg i.Br.: Hermann Bauer 1963. Michelet, Victor-Emile, Les compagnons de la hirophanie: Souvenirs du mouvement hermtiste la fin du XIX sicle , Nice: Blisane 1977 (1 re dition, Paris: Dorbon An, 1937). , Les inspirs dElie Artiste, Le Voile dIsis (Numro spcial sur les Rose-Croix) 92-93 (1927), 557-558. , Le Secret de la chevalerie, Paris: Ch. Bosse 1928 (fac-simil: Paris: Guy Trdaniel/ Editions Vga 1985). Miers, Horst E., Lexicon des Geheimwissens, Munich: Goldmann, dition de 1993. Montloin, Pierre & Jean-Pierre Bayard, Les Rose-Croix, Paris: CAL 1971. Moran, Bruce, Alchemy, Prophecy, and the Rosicrucians: Raphael Eglinus and Mystical Currents of the Early 17 th century, in: P. Rattansi et A. Clericuzio (ds.), Alchemy and Chemistry in the 16th and 17th Centuries: Proceedings of the Warburg Conference on Alchemy and Chemistry 1992 , La Haye/Dordrecht: Kluwer 1995, 103-119. Mller, Johann Daniel, (Anonyme) Elias Artista Mit Dem Stein der Weisen. 2 Chron. 13,5. Wisset ihr nicht, dass Jehova, der Elohim Israel, das Kngireich ber Israel dem David

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gegeben hat, ihm und seinem Saamen, mit einem Salz-Bund, ewiglich , s. l., 1770. Reprint: Stjrnhov (Sude): G. Wendelholm 1990. Musaeum Hermeticum Reformatum et Amplificatum , Francfort et Leipzig 1749. Nachenmoser, Adam, Prognosticon Theologicum. Das ist: Gaistliche Grosse Practica, auss Hailiger Biblischer Schrifft und Historien, Strasbourg 1588. Naud, Gabriel, Instructions la France sur la vrit de lhistoire des Frres de la Rose Croix, Paris 1623. Newman, William R., Gehennical Fire: The Lives of George Starkey, an American Alchemist in the Scientific Revolution , Cambridge (Mass.) & Londres: Harvard University Press 1994. Nodus Sophicus Enodatus. Das ist / Erleuterung etlicher vornehmen Philosophischen Schrifften und Tractaten vom Stein der Weisen / nach dem Lauff der Natur zusammen gewunden und verknpffet / nunmehr aber in diesen letzten Zeiten nach erschienener Morgenrthe der Weissheit und eingetretenen Seculo Eliae Artistae den filiis Doctrinae Hermeticae zum besten auffgelset und erkleret. Durch Einen trewen Teutschen Philosophum und Liebhabern der Natur gemesen Chymischen Kunst und verborgenen Weissheit Gottes, s. l., 1639. Pagel, Walter,The Paracelsian Elias artista and the Alchemical Tradition, in R. Dilg-Frank (d.), Kreatur und Kosmos: Internationale Beitrge zur Paracelsusforschung , Stuttgart/ New York: G. Fischer 1981, 6-19. Reprint (mme pagination) inWalter Pagel, Religion and Neoplatonism in Renaissance Medicine (Winder M., d.), Londres: Variorum Reprints 1985, (article XI) 6-19. Paracelsus, Smtliche Werke (K. Sudhoff, etc.d.), 15 vols., Munich/Berlin: R. Oldenburg 1922-1933 Patai, Raphael, The Jewish Alchemists: A History and Source Book , Princeton: Princeton University Press 1994. Penot, Bernard, De Denario medico, qui decem medica minibus, omnibus morbis internis medendi via docetur , Berne 1608. Perifano, Alfredo, Deux sonnets alchimiques attribus Frre Elie de Cortone, Chrysopoeia 2:4 (1988), 384-390. Peuckert, Will-Erich, Pansophie: Ein Versuch zur Geschichte der weissen und schwarzen Magie (2 me dition), Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag 1956. , Gabalia: Ein Versuch zur Geschichte der magia naturalis im 16. bis 18. Jahrhundert (= Pansophie Zweiter Teil), Berlin: Erich Schmidt 1967. , Das Rosenkreutz (2 me dition), Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag 1973 Porset, Charles, Les Philalthes et les Convents de Paris: Une politique de la folie , Paris: Champion 1996. Revue Britannique ou choix darticles traduits des meilleurs crits priodiques de la Grande Bretagne, Srie IV, t. 19 (1839). Rougier, Antoine, La viole damour, mai 1923, consultable sur le site: www.livresmystiques.com/partieTEXTES/R Schmidlin-Amstutz, Guido, Raphael Egli (sic) (1559-1622): Theologe, Alchemist und Rosenkreuzer, Nova Acta Paracelsica: Beitrge zur Paraceslus-Forschung , Neue Folge 11 (1997), 80-86. Schrder, Friedrich J.W.S. (d.), Neue Alchemistische Bibliothek fr den Naturkundiger unsers Jahrhunderts, 2 vol., Francfort et Leipzig 1771-1772. Secret, Franois, Les Kabbalistes chrtiens de la Renaissance, Milan/Paris: Arch et Arma Artis 1985 (1 re dition, Paris: Dunod, 1964). Sdir (ps. dYvon Leloup), Histoire des Rose-Croix, Paris: Librairie du XXme sicle, 1910. Rditions: Histoire et doctrine des Rose-Croix , Bihorel-ls-Rouen: Bibliothque des Amitis Spirituelles 1932 (version trs augmente); Les Rose-Croix, Paris: Bibliothque des Amitis Spirituelles 1953. Les Rose-Croix, Paris: Les Amitis Spirituelles, 1972.

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[Sldner, Johann Anton?], Keren Happuch, Posaunen Eliae des Knstlers, oder Teutsches Fegefeuer der Scheide-kunst, worinnen nebst den Neu-gierigsten und grssesten Geheimnssen fr Augen gestellet die wahren Besitzer der Kunst [] , Hambourg 1702. [Starkey, George](ps. Eireneus Philalethes), Alchemical Works: Eirenaeus Philalethes Compiled (S. Merrow Broddle d.), Boulder: Cinnabar 1994. Suchten, Alexander von, De Secretis antimonii, Das ist, von der grossen heymligkeit des Antimonij , Ble 1567. Plusieurs rditions. , Chymische Schriften, Francfort 1680. Telle, Joachim, Was ist ein roter Jude? Bemerkungen zu einem pseudoparacelsischen Arkantext bei Benediktus Figulus, Beitrge zur Geschichte der Pharmazie 28 (1976), 5-8. , Benedictus Figulus : Zu Leben und Werk eines deutschen Paracelsisten, Medizinhistorisches Journal 22 (1987), 303-326. Thorndike, Lynn, A History of Magic and Experimental Science , 8 vols., Columbia University Press, puis The McMillan Company, 1958-1964 (2 me dition). Trebilliani, Maria Luisa, Lesoterismo mistico e scientista di Bourre de Corberon, Annuario dellIstituto Storico Italiano per lEta Moderna et Contemporanea 17-18 (1971), 5-109. Viatte, Auguste, Les sources occultes du romantisme, 2 vol., Paris: Champion 1928. Waite, Arthur Edward, The Real History of the Rosicrucians, Londres: G. Redway 1887. , A New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, Londres: W. Rider 1921. Plusieurs rditions. Wedel, Georg Wolfgang, Propempticon inaugurale de Elia Artista, opuscule en trois parties paru Ina, s. d. (1718 et 1719). Paris, BNF, cote Th.Var.119 (25), et (59). Weyer-Menkhoff, Martin, Christus, das Heil der Natur: Entstehung und Systematik der Theologie Friedrich Christoph Oetingers, Gttingen: Arbeiten zur Geschichte des Pietismus (T. 29) 1990. Wittemans, Fr., Histoire des Rose-Croix, Paris: Baudouin 1979 (traduction franaise; dition originale 1919). Wollgast, Siegfried, Jakob Bhme, Friedrich Christoph Oetinger und der junge Schelling, Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Friedrich-Schiller-Universitt Jena (Gesellschafts- und Sprachwissenschaftliche Reihe 25) 1976, 163-172. Elias Artista, or the Messiah of the Philosophers of Nature This article traces the history of the myth of Elias Artista from its origin to the present time. In a most discreet manner only did this mythical figure come into existence for the first time, and that, within the paracelsian corpus, where he was presented as a kind of Saviour called upon to work wonders in the domain of chemistry/alchemy, and even to establish a renewal of the sciences of Nature. But quickly enough, especially from the beginning of the 17. century, this myth became the object of numerous speculations, reflective of the cultural features and the forms of imaginary proper to the various authors who took it over. Indeed, at an early period, notably within the pale of the first Rosicrucianism, the name Elias Artista was used (Figulus, Croll, Franckenberg)to designate not only the future instigator of a scientific and spiritual era, but also, in a more abstract sense, to conjure up (Eglin) this new era itself. Other authors intended by this name a material substance (a Salt, for Glauber), or took it as as a pen name, even as a pseudonym when they fancied to pass themselves for Elias Artista himself (Helvetius narrative, J.D. Mller), or chose it as the title of their books, or subjected it to some linguistic games of the bird language type (Glauber, Ambelain). Throughout the 19. and 20. centuries, Elias Artista has tended, mostly in neo-rosicrucian circles, to assume the meta-empirical dimension of the Hidden Master, of the angel of the Rosy-Cross, even of a cosmic principle, and in so doing he virtually ceased to belong to any time in particular. Usually, these various usages have served to fulfil a twofold function. The former has been to give utterance to an expectation and/or a nostalgia; initially, an expectation, in the climate of the spiritual and scientific disruptions of the beginnings of Modern Times; and then a nostalgia, when from the Enlightenment on one began

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(Eckartshausen, Guata, Sdir) to turn towards authors of the 16. and 17. centuries in the belief they could help to retrieve forgotten fountains of knowledge. The second function fulfilled by Elias Artista has been of legitimation: his name has served to justify programs of various types, generally esoteric in character, because the evocative power of that authoritative name could be used as a welcome logo in order to validate many a discourse: as an allegory of what the perfect Freemason should be (Waite), as an archetype for the construction of an anthropology (Jung), even as a magnet pole of reference within the New Age scene. It also emerges from this survey that Elias Aartista is not present in any and all esoteric currents; he is best at home within alchemy, rosicrucianism and neo-rosicrucianism, and within the so-called occultist current. Furthermore, just like the esoteric currents themselves, this mythical figure is a product of modernity; his history, as well as that of these currents, are marked by discontinuities in general, and by the process of secularization in particular.

FROM ELECTRICITY TO ECTOPLASM: HYSTERIA AND AMERICAN SPIRITUALISM CATHY GUTIERREZ Just six years after the Fox sisters mysterious rappings in Hydesville, New York, a group of spirits calling themselves the Association of Electricizers instructed the Universalist minister John Murray Spear to build an engine that was to function like the human body. Spear, following instructions from the Association, completed the New Motive Power in High Rock, Massachusetts in 1854. The machine was to be a gift to humanity from the spirit world for the creation of a new but unspecified power on earth. The New Motive Power sat dormant on its perch until the appearance of an unnamed woman who had previously been told by the spirit realm that she would become the Mary of a new dispensation. On June 29, the Boston New Era published a lengthy description of the events of that day:
When there [High Rock], however... she began to experience the peculiar and agonizing sensations of parturition, differing somewhat from the ordinary experience, inasmuch as the throes were internal, and of the spirit, rather than the physical nature, but nevertheless quite uncontrollable, and not less severe than those pertaining to the latter. Its purpose and results were wholly incomprehensible to all but herself; but her own perceptions were clear and distinct that in these agonizing throes the most interior and refined elements of her spiritual being were imparted to, and absorbed by, the appropriate portions of the mechanism: its minerals having been made particularly receptive by previous chemical processes1.

The newspaper proceeded to recount that the machine gave indications of life or pulsations, which continued and grew stronger as the weeks progressed through a series of ministrations by the anonymous woman, precisely analogous to that of nursing . . . until at times a very marked and surprising motion resulted2. The new Electrical Motor, as Spear coined it, was unfortunately destined for infanticide by a posse of intolerant Spiritualists who destroyed it when it failed to do anything. In psychoanalytic terms, this incident appears to be a textbook example of a hysterical pregnancy, and it is by no means unique in the context of the Spiritualist movement. The history of American Spiritualism is rife with anecdotes of what one may consider hysterical attacks, and certainly contemporaneous crit1 2

Cited in Brandon, The Spiritualists, 9. Brandon, The Spiritualists, 9. Aries Vol. 3, no. 1

Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2003

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ics of the movement were quick to label Spiritualists as hysterics 3. Despite the many striking resemblances between hysteria and Spiritualist trance mediumship, contemporary scholarship on the latter has been loath to connect the two. However, an examination of the shared characteristics of hysteria and Spiritualist mediumship, rather than serving to pathologize believers, in fact reveals that Spiritualism saw itself as a competing discourse to the emerging one of psychoanalysis, self-consciously and adamantly offering an alternative view of similar phenomena. The hermetic impulse in Spiritualism provided a different referent for the secrets of the cosmos than the young democracy and its medical teachings did. The answers Spiritualists sought were external to the individual; believers tried to uncover the secrets of the past, rather than the secrets of their selves. By explicitly attacking psychoanalytic constructions of the unconscious as a locus of mental illness, Spiritualism offered not only a theological understanding of alternative psychic states, but also a radically alternative interpretation of the body especially the womans body as an instrument of intangible forces. 1. The Birth of Mediumship Spiritualism was born in the mid-nineteenth century, the last great religious movement to come out of the Second Great Awakening and arguably the clearest articulation of postmillennial progressivism of the age. Positing an unprecedented continuity between this world and the afterlife, Spiritualism proposed that the dead could be contacted to offer advice and solace to the living. The inauguration of communicating with the dead caught the religious imagination of antebellum Protestants, and by Ann Braudes estimation, Spiritualism may have claimed as adherents half the population of the country. The atmosphere of America was ripe for this peculiar form of continuing revelation; the myriad religious movements begun in this epoch bespeak the need for new religious answers tailored to the ethos of the moment. In content, Spiritualism assuaged grieving and provided new and heavenly knowledge. In structure, it was individualistic, populist, and antiestablishment in its iconoclastic form of bestowing credentials on those with a gift for talking to the dead. Amid the romantic mythos of the self-made man and the merit-based rewards of industrialization, Spiritualism provided the possibility that anyone, and particularly women, might have the necessary talent to be invested with quasi-religious authority.
3 For a detailed account of various diagnoses of mental illness among Spiritualists, see Fornell, The Unhappy Medium , 70-83.

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Begun in 1848 with the Fox sisters mysterious rappings, Spiritualism offered what was understood to be concrete and empirical proof of the continued existence of the dead. In response to an apparent poltergeist in their Hydesville home, the Fox sisters innovated a system of raps to spell answers to questions one for a, two for b, and so forth thereby turning a fairly banal haunting into an ideological revolution in Protestant circles. Techniques for communicating with the dead were soon honed, with the cumbersome system of alphabet rapping replaced by people most often women who would enter trance states and serve as living conduits between this world and the next. As mediumship became an established and viable profession by mid-century, a veritable cottage industry of speculation, apologia, and how-to manuals sprung up in its wake. Theories and justifications generally focused on the advancing technologies of the time and serve as a testimony to the middle classs fascination with pseudo-science. In the era of the telegraph, the telephone, and photography, invisible communication was the cutting edge. By shifting the emphasis of communication from reaching across space to that of reaching across time, Spiritualism was for many not only believable but the logical extension of progress itself. The appeal of Spiritualism was multifaceted; in Radical Spirits , Ann Braude argues that the patina of empirical truth attributed to communicating with the dead had a direct impact on the overthrow of Calvinism and specifically its policies of infant damnation4. In an epoch of a still-high infant mortality rate, Spiritualism assured grieving mothers that their children were unassailably in heaven, flourishing in the company of deceased relatives and wise angels. The spike in Spiritualist activity immediately following the Civil War attests to its ability to relieve grief. Others, however, had more pragmatic goals in mind when they attended large revival-type trance shows or the smaller, domestically-centered sances. The benefits of being able to communicate with the legendary dead were not lost on the literate and striving middle class, and certain telling favorites were called upon to make sense of the current situation. Emanuel Swedenborg, Francis Bacon, William Shakespeare and Benjamin Franklin all loomed large in the new pantheon of the spirit world, doling out advice, relating the conditions of the afterlife, and continuing their earthly mtiers posthumously. Mediumship shared phenomenological characteristics with several similar movements of its day, foremost Mesmerism. Ecstatic trance states and the presence of an alternative consciousness call into question precisely what dis4

Braude, Radical Spirits , Chapter two.

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tinguishes Spiritualism proper from a host of similar occurrences5. Spiritualism was both dependent on and an elaboration of early experiments with hypnotism, which in Europe first blossomed as a branch of medical science. As the often unwilling heirs to Mesmerism, Europeans had the first opportunity to interpret hypnotic states and assign both value and meaning to them6. Mesmerism clearly included a mystical as well as medical component, and in certain cases mesmerized patients reported a facility for the paranormal and the ability to talk to the dead. However, European expressions of the phenomena of Spiritualism lacked the systematic cosmology that Americans would assign it7. With the belated entry of the Fox sisters, the material and cultural conditions coalesced to produce the marriage of unconscious states and the religious imagination. Alternative states of consciousness were certainly nothing new: nineteenth-century books proclaimed the Hydesville events to be in line with all variety of religious expression from primitive shamanistic trances to the last gasp of the afflictions of Salem8. In the 1820s the Shakers had experienced a similar phenomenon when a series of adolescents were possessed by the spirits of Native Americans 9. With antecedents as varied as the witch trials and Shaker revivalism, Spiritualism was in one sense merely a continuation of a tradition in which the marginalized youth and women expressed religious discontent behind the cultural shield of an alternate consciousness. Spiritualisms radical departure from this legacy, however, was a matter of personal agency. The ability to invoke and control alternate states was unique to both the historical era and the American articulation of trances. Moreover, the first
5 See Crabtree, From Mesmer to Freud, Chapter Five, and Godwin, The Theosophical Enlightenment, 151-162. 6 The terminology for these states is slippery and changes several times over the century. For the sake of clarity, I will be using hypnotism as synonymous with Mesmerism, and reserving hypnoid to describe a state that one side sees as hysteria and another as mediumship. 7 Scholars have produced recent cross-cultural studies that call into question the authenticity of many forms of trance states and claims of spirit possession. Nicholas Spanos has noted that spirit possession frequently allows the socially disenfranchised to express discontent in such a manner that the subversive voice will not be censored. He argues that spirit possession is a vehicle for protest, but one in which the subject is largely coached by religious expectations and social cues. While I have tried to keep my descriptions of these events in line with Spiritualists own claims of authenticity, it should be noted that even if the trances were social performances, the nineteenth-century comparison still holds, since the same social performance claims could be made about hysterics as well. I would add that in the Spiritualists case, there was certainly not a unanimous encouragement of these states from the culture at large. There were real social repercussions for being a medium, including in Margaret Foxs case, a loss of marriageability. For the social performance argument, see Spanos, Multiple Identities , 145-155. 8 For one example of the former, see Hudson, The Law of Mental Medicine, Chapter one. For the latter, see Putnam, Witchcraft of New England . 9 See Foster, Religion and Sexuality, 62-71.

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Spiritualists struck upon something that other dabblers in Mesmerism failed to discover: one did not require a mesmerizer to produce a trance state. One could induce it for ones self. The populist leanings of the young democracy were thus carved into the practices of popular religion10 . The decline of Calvinist election in the early nineteenth century left a cultural vacuum that individualism would fill. No longer achieved by grace alone, salvation itself would be dependent on the individuals heartfelt efforts at religiosity. As the revivalism of the period conclusively reassigned conversion and salvation as the individuals responsibility, Spiritualism took that ethos a step further. Echoing the religious individualism of its cultural parent, the revivals of the Second Great Awakening, Spiritualism shifted the boundaries of the contemporaneous discussion of trance states. Transformation for spiritual improvement was indeed the individuals responsibility, but one could transform ones consciousness at will and with no aid from God or man. These coincidences of history conspired to create a distinctly American phenomenon; anyone with ambition, patience, and a hint of talent could prove to be the next mediumship rage. This democratic impulse cut across gender boundaries more easily than class or racial ones, but those too were possible11. Women, however, were the primary beneficiaries of the cultural largess, which, I will argue, was a contributing force to charges of mediumistic hysteria. As Ann Braude has argued so persuasively, Spiritualism prior to the Civil War was largely an affair of women. In Radical Spirits, Braude demonstrates that women were understood to be more effective as mediums because the genders were thought to have opposite electrical poles, or positive and negative charges. Womens negative charge made them attractive to the positively charged spirits. In the contemporaneous social construction, womens nervousness and fragility were paradoxically the best characteristics to encourage spirit manifestation 12. Concomitantly, precisely the same qualities that were understood to make women excellent mediums also opened them to charges of mental instability.
10 For a discussion of the relation of republicanism to Spiritualism, see Carroll, Spiritualism in Antebellum America, Chapter three. 11 As many have noticed but few have explored, traditional African religions share some family resemblances with Spiritualism inasmuch as both involve trance states and the consultation of ancestors. For an account of one African-American practitioner of Spiritualism, see Deveney, Paschal Beverly Randolph . For the adventures of a lower-class Catholic medium, see Carrington, The American Sances . 12 Braude, Radical Spirits, 23-24, 29, 39.

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As mediumship flourished, so too did its critics. Detractors denounced the movement as folly, with many of them laughing too hard to say anything other than that it was preposterous; predictably, others drew correlations between Spiritualism and demonic possession 13 . More sober critics, however, saw Spiritualism as a form of individual and mass hysteria. Mediums were institutionalized some willingly and others not and the illness was debated in the leading psychotherapy journals of the day. Hysteria, however, both in the nineteenth century and in this work, is an umbrella term for any disease of the psyche predominantly affecting women. Following the Mesmerists discovery of magnetic sleep, Europe and America were awash in artificial trance states. The use and value of these states, however, were open to interpretation: animal magnetists claimed medical value, Spiritualists theological value, and both enjoyed economic boons. However, the line between illness and mysticism, hysteria and mediumship, was quite blurry, and the eye of the beholder was of the utmost importance. Spiritualists were quick to launch a counter-attack, and wrote books and editorials distinguishing true mediumship from madness. Since most mediums were women, whose naturally nervous constitutions made them better receptors for the spirit world, the conversation implicitly and explicitly addressed ideas of the womans body. As fiercely as psychoanalysis attempted to claim Spiritualist phenomena for its own domain, Spiritualists were forced to articulate their opposing interpretation of mediumship as beneficial to the health of both body and mind. I will argue that the debate as to whether trance states were pathology or theology took place on the battleground of the womans body and that the debate itself articulates a contested interpretation of the use and value of the womans body. Before discussing the particularities of this argument, I will turn to its ideological forerunner, Mesmerism, in order to outline its contributions to the ongoing debate about what mediumship meant. 2. Mesmerism In the mid-eighteenth century, the colorful figure of Franz Anton Mesmer began his long and finally fruitless attempt to gain legitimation for his claims about the effects of magnets for healing the body. Mesmers initial theory posits that health is determined by a magnetic fluid in the body which can become blocked or unevenly distributed in the system. The restoration of health was thus tantamount to the restoration of a congenial flow of this fluid, which could be accomplished through the use of magnets. Dubbed animal magnetism,
13

See Crabtree, From Mesmer to Freud, 201-202.

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Mesmers approach relied on not only the instrument of magnets but the instrumentality of the magnetizer as well the physician, being magnetic himself, could beneficially influence the flow of the fluid in anothers body. Mesmer was convinced that the discovery of magnetic fluid would revolutionize the field of health and the cause of progress. Despite repeated attempts to garner the official recognition he strongly felt was his due, Mesmer was marginalized by European authorities. However, this did not deter many from employing his methods and Mesmer found himself in a flurry of competition for patients. Embattled and bitter, Mesmer was denounced by two separate commissions convened to examine animal magnetism after they concluded that his treatment boiled down to touching, imagination, and imitation14. In short, the French medical academy concluded that animal magnetisms beneficial effects were merely the products of what we would now call hypnotic suggestion. Animal magnetism thus introduced two key components on which Spiritualism would elaborate: the instrumentality of the body and the idea that results could be measured and counted as empirical truth even if the causes remained invisible. Spiritualism never strayed far from its roots in alternative medical practices, and animal magnetism was roundly applauded in Spiritualist publications straight through the Civil War. However, animal magnetism was but one theory in Spiritualisms arsenal, and while it set the atmosphere that would eventually induce trance states, the advent of mediumship relied on animal magnetisms outgrowth, Mesmerism. The eponymous treatment of Mesmerism was in fact discovered by Mesmers former student and new-found competitor. In 1784, the marquis de Puysgur, protege and later apostate of Anton Mesmer, happened upon a remarkable event in the course of treating a patient with magnetic healing: his patient entered an alternative state of consciousness. While remaining conscious inasmuch as he could speak and was fully aware of his surroundings, the subject was a qualitatively different subject from his waking self, and Puysgur was quick to link the phenomenon with somnambulism, or sleepwalking. In his landmark work, From Mesmer to Freud , Adam Crabtree delineates the marquiss speculations which would quietly shape a century of thinking about the health of the mind: first, Puysgur noted that the alternative consciousness was fully aware of the normal consciousness but that this relation was not reciprocal. Second, the magnetizer held an enormous sway over the patient in this state, both allowing for hypnotic suggestion and requiring of
14

Crabtree, From Mesmer to Freud, 31.

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the doctor good will and upstanding morals. Lastly, Puysgur understood the alternate consciousness to be temporally sequential with waking consciousness; that is, the alternate state did not always exist in some mute, subterranean space of the mind but rather only existed under the conditions of magnetic sleep 15. Over time, a distinction was made between sleepwalking, in which the subject is not conscious and remembers nothing of the event, and sleepwaking, in which the subject retains consciousness and can recall the events and conversations that took place in the mesmerized state. Mesmerism, or magnetic sleep, and animal magnetism came to be used in conjunction, with the mesmerized patient aiding the doctor to guide the magnetic fluid. Puysgur had already noted that a patient in a state of magnetic sleep demonstrated certain abilities that smacked of the paranormal: he asked the mesmerized patient about his or her own illness and proceeded, apparently with some success, in following the patients advice on how best to treat it. Instances of precognition were also noticed, although Puysgur appeared to have very little interest in this vein of his discovery. Certain other mesmerists, however, found this aspect more compelling, and by the nineteenth century the alternate consciousness was explicitly associated with knowledge of the divine. According to Crabtree,
[T]he striking similarity between the states attributed to religious ecstatics over the centuries and those of magnetic somnambulists was sufficient to place them in the same psychological category. Both involve impressions of separation from the body, and both entail some kind of communication with a higher spiritual world. While in the state of magnetic ecstasy, somnambulists might find themselves communicating with angels, demons, saints, or the souls of the departed. Experiences of magnetic ecstasy and combination with the discarnate world initiated animal magnetism into a new phase, which might be called magnetic spiritism 16.

The legacy of easily induced trance states and their association with the remarkable and the divine would lay the groundwork for Spiritualisms claims for the legitimacy of mediums. The linchpin between Mesmers quasi-medical exploits and the birth of Spiritualism was the discovery that trance states could be artificially induced. The groundwork was laid for the earnest alliance of Mesmeric trances and the cultural interest in communicating with the dead. In the 1830s, Charles Poyen, a student of Puysgurs, brought the extraordinary new phenomenon to the United States. With all the zeal of a convert, Poyen barraged Boston and the greater New England area with demonstrations of the
15 16

Crabtree, From Mesmer to Freud, 38-105. Crabtree, From Mesmer to Freud, 178.

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new healing technique. During numerous public shows in which Poyen would ask audience members to participate, indications of the presence of the paranormal and the spiritual realm continued 17 . Nearly thirty years later, Spiritualism required only the theological backbone of Swedenborgian mysticism to be added in order to achieve a fully articulated cosmology, replete with the means to communicate with the dead and the theoretical backdrop to the cause and function of their continued existence. Andrew Jackson Davis, primary theologian of the Spiritualist movement, had been writing popular tracts that fused Swedenborgs visions of heaven with an American Transcendentalist view of the divine order being reflected in the natural one. Following the Fox sisters instant fame, Davis irrevocably brought Swedenborgianism and communicating with the dead together. In allying the two movements, Davis provided the philosophical underpinnings to both trance states and their contents. Swedenborgs many-tiered heavens were quickly sanitized of any ominous components and peopled with not only Swedenborgs angels but also the common run of humankind. The concatenation of Mesmeric trances, the omnipresence of the dead, and the weighty legacy of a Neoplatonic cosmos coalesced into the sweeping religious movement of Spiritualism. 3. The Suggestion of Madness From the outset, Spiritualists were destined to be plagued by charges of madness. Mesmerism was already threatening the line between hypnotism and hysteria, and the Spiritualist declaration that alternate states of consciousness in fact should be fostered made adherents a target for both the scientific community and amateurs who saw a threat to Christianity in the movement. While the definition of hysteria has changed radically over the last two hundred years, a common consensus is that hysteria is essentially unwilling hypnotism: the hysteric is locked in a state of an alternate consciousness 18. Conversely, hypnotism has been seen as an artificially induced hysteria 19.

Fuller, Mesmerism and the Birth of Psychology, 209-210. For an excellent treatment of the changing definitions of hysteria, see Bronfen, The Knotted Subject, 105-118. Bronfen agrees with Edward Shorters assessment that the unconscious, not wishing to make itself ridiculous, brings itself medically up to date (115). The implication here is that hysteria itself is a floating signifier of interest predominantly for what cultural mores it is reflecting at any historical moment. 19 The association of hysteria and what we now call hypnotism was made as early as 1787, nearly a century before its more famous articulations by Jean Charcot and later Sigmund Freud. See Crabtree, From Mesmer to Freud, 127.
17 18

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Moreover, Spiritualist trance states were constituted by the appearance of several voices or personalities that were distinct from that of the medium. The change in personas, essential to cultivating mediumship, bore an uncanny resemblance to a nineteenth-century subset of hysteria, multiple personalities. Schizophrenia, as the phenomenon was frequently called, emerged as a diagnosis in the second half of the nineteenth century. The parallel between Spiritualist mediumship and schizophrenic behavior was so clearly delineated that Ian Hacking has argued that Spiritualism was a primary cause for the continued diagnosis of schizophrenia in America long after it had fallen out of use in France. He writes,
The disorder always needs a host, much in the way that a parasite needs hosts. In New England in particular, and in both America and Britain more generally, an additional host [to hysteria and hypnotism] was psychic research linked with spiritualism. One idea was that alters [alternative personalities] were departed spirits; mediumship and multiple personality drew close20.

Hacking notes as well that the American diagnosis of schizophrenia declined concomitantly with the popularity of the Spiritualist movement. The crux of the debate is relatively simple: Mesmerism had shown that an alternate consciousness may appear under certain conditions. The interpretive battle raged over what that consciousness referred to, however, and whether it was to be lauded or cured. For early mesmerists, the alternative consciousness produced in magnetic sleep was akin to sleep-waking. As Crabtree has shown, the apparent second personality of Mesmeric sleep-waking was firmly grounded in the subject. Whereas a similar phenomenon a hundred years earlier would have been culturally read as demonic forces inhabiting a person against her will, in Puysgurs hands the second consciousness was an artifact belonging solely to the subject. Moreover, the second consciousness was understood to be wiser and more morally apt than the waking consciousness 21. Spiritualism shifted the referent of the alternate consciousness outside of the self. The seemingly endless number of personalities that could temporarily inhabit a body referred not back to the subject but to external sources. Like Puysgur, Spiritualists saw the alternate personalities generally as wiser, more benevolent, and more ethically advanced than the mediums waking state. However, the spirits of the dead were called upon predominantly to dole out advice or to comfort the grieving the move from a medical model to a religious one largely depleted the hypnotized state of its relationship to curing.

20 21

Hacking, Rewriting the Soul , 135-136. Crabtree, From Mesmer to Freud, 83.

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And the trance state itself most certainly did not require curing in the eyes of the Spiritualists, as many of its detractors argued. Proponents of Spiritualism readily admitted that hysteria and mediumship had a single source. For American Spiritualists, the cause and effect of hysteria and mediumship were reversed. If the psychoanalytic community deemed mediums hysterical, the Spiritualist community often deemed hysterics mediums under the influence of negative suggestion. In his 1871 Mental Disorders Andrew Jackson Davis writes:
The truth which lies at the foundation of such insanity is the truth of psychology the power of one mentality to affect the other by which the positive will controls the passive mind , causing it to reason erroneously from correct impressions, and compelling the weaker will to assume another character, to the temporary exclusion and forgetfulness of its own, and thus personify that which is pro tempore paramount in the imagination. To separate the chaff from the wheat, in the sphere of such mysterious mental manifestations, is a part of the work of Spiritualism 22.

The language of the will is rife in Spiritualist discussions of mediumship and insanity, and frequently functions as an intermediary between the body and the soul. Both insanity and trance states occupy the nebulous ground of alternative consciousness, but the will must always govern the intent and discretion of the entranced. Davis continues, In short, no mind must permit itself to be overrun and controlled by anothers will. Passivity or negativeness to the will and wishes of superior intelligence is permitted by the Divine Code only when the highest ends are believed to be only thus attainable23 . Thus, suggestibility distinguishes the mad from the medium, and since the American medium has no need of a mesmerizer, only the hysteric was left to the negative influences of control. One sees this form of direct confrontation between psychology and Spiritualism immediately after a series of young women were institutionalized for lapsing into trance states which blurred the line between madness and mediumship. Proponents quickly developed a vocabulary for distinguishing Spiritualism from psychology, and admitted that some people who understood themselves to be mediums were merely mad. Others who received antisocial or violent instructions from the spirit world might not yet have reached the proper degree of mediumistic proficiency. The Spiritualist cosmos allowed for such distinctions by its inherent flexibility. New mediums were prone to receiving messages from spirits on the
22 23

Davis, Mental Disorders, 224. Davis, Mental Disorders, 262-263.

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lowest of the (usually) seven-tiered heavens. Since death did not instantly result in heavenly perfection but rather inaugurated a long process of improvement, spirits themselves frequently made errors in judgment. Not only, then, were contradictory messages from the spirit world resolved the spirits were mistaken but also ethical issues were solved: one might have come into contact with an unprogressed and evilly inclined spirit24. The razors edge between madness and mediumship centered on control, particularly a womans control, of her voice and body to which I will now turn respectively. 4. The Disease of Language In 1860, an anonymous American doctor published a case study of C., a twenty-five year old seamstress, in the Journal of Insanity. C. had been admitted to the asylum with her own consent, proclaiming, however, that she was not insane but that she was unable to control the spirits who took hold of her. Furthermore, many of the controlling spirits were themselves mad. We are not given many details of C.s treatment and recovery, other than the beneficial use of physical restraints and the recommendation against the use of padded rooms in such cases; the thesis of the article is a refutation of the new term monomania, and the young medium is the exemplar. C. had begun to cultivate mediumship and to experiment with trance states. She was overly successful, and quickly fell to the beck and call of numerous spirits whose demands were many and frequently violent:
In an effort to obey those commands, many of which were trivial, contradictory, and impossible, she would be greatly perplexed and at times seem in utter despair. Generally, however, her state was one of exaltation. Her voice was loud, her manner imperious, and she resisted with much strength, though not passionately, when interrupted in carrying into effect the directions of the spirits, and would appear to her friends perfectly natural in manner and speech. Her fellow Spiritualists assured her that nothing was wrong with her, and that she was only passing through a special and extraordinary experience, in her development as a medium 25.

Unable to resist the stronger will of the spirits, C. eventually allowed her mother to admit her to the asylum. The resemblance to multiple personalities is here overt. C. is controlled, against her will, by the voices that speak through her. The author states,

24 A student of mine has written compellingly on this issue, arguing that the sorts of spirits one encountered were predicated on the moral fortitude of the medium. See Christa Shusko, Active Mediums in American Spiritualism, unpublished paper. 25 Anonymous, Case of Mania, 324.

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She is now almost constantly the mouth-piece of numerous spirits good and evil, who rapidly interrupt and succeed each other. At one moment the spirit is through her talking loudly to her, commanding, and then rebuking her for the non-performance of its behests 26.

C. is occasionally instructed by the spirits to do violence to herself and others, and her dementia lasts nearly a year. Through the regulation of diet, rest, and undoubtedly what Elaine Showalter has termed moral management, C. is eventually cured enough to be released. However, she still insisted on the reality of the spirits and her sanity. The doctor himself, while never succumbing to the Spiritualist interpretation, admits that this type of mental illness is a hermeneutic problem:
If a dozen years ago, and previously to the first development of the Spiritual phenomena, an hypothesis of the relations of disembodied spirits to men, like that which has since come to distinguish a numerous sect, had belonged to a single individual, that man would have been, without doubt, mad. . . . The simple belief, then, in spiritual phenomena, as actual or possible facts in her experience, was not previously to her attack of mania, and is not since her convalescence, an insane delusion. It became an insane delusion only when it was associated with a condition of insanity; which is, therefore, something still beyond27.

I would argue that the association between multiple personalities and hysteria is a temporally bound problem of language. Prior to the mid-nineteenth century, states of alternate consciousness were understood to be sequential with the waking state 28. An unconscious state, as we now think of it as omnipresent but out of reach in all but cases of hypnotism or insanity, simply did not exist before the second half of the century. Later designations of hysteria as a repressed trauma assume an almost spatial relation of the conscious state to the unconscious one traumas require a place in which to be repressed and proceed to thwart the well-being of the conscious state from its locus of inaccessibility. As with the case of C., insanity is determined not by unconscious workings but by the display of the lack of control, specifically the lack of control in language. As the century progressed, the catch-all term hysteria would be sliced into finer and finer symptomological distinctions ranging from schizophrenia to neurasthenia. The overriding theme that hysteria would maintain, however, was the loss of language. The distinction between psychological and Spiritualist interpretations of the lack of linguistic control turned upon

26 27 28

Anonymous, Case of Mania, 326. Anonymous, Case of Mania, 337. See Crabtree, From Mesmer to Freud , 39-41 and 57.

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whether the resulting speech was productive. The diagnosis of hysteria presupposes that productive paths of language have been blocked off for the victim and replaced by more cryptic and unproductive forms of communication. Elisabeth Bronfen neatly summarizes this in her discussion of hysteria as a malady of representation:
In other words, to produce hysterical symptoms be this the loss of consciousness, control over body functions, or control over the vagaries of the mind is for those afflicted the only possible way to articulate a psychic disturbance, but the improper recourse to language of the body signals that the patient cannot effectively use symbolic language 29.

In certain cases, as with C., the lack of control determines the presence or absence of a psychological problem. The referent of alternative language became paramount. Spiritualist trance speech repeatedly refers to subjects outside of the self; indeed, the farther from the waking self and its perceived abilities, the more likely trance speech was to be regarded as authentic. One of the hallmarks of true mediumship was the ability to pass certain tests wherein the testers did not believe that the medium could discuss such topics due to a lack of education or intelligence. This was seen particularly in the case of women who were generally thought to be incapable of waxing eloquent about philosophy or politics30 . The referent of trance speech thus pointed as far away from the subject as possible. The ability to speak in other languages was a sure sign of mediumship. New York State Supreme Court Judge John Edmonds, the most influential Spiritualist in the years preceding the Civil War, recounts the development of a young medium whom he had shepherded through her career. According to Edmondss developmental model, speaking in tongues is a distinct stage on the path of spiritual acquisition, coming after the ability to see events from a distance and before the ability to see spirits and heavenly dramas. He writes,
She next became developed to speak in different languages. She knows no language but her own, and a little smattering of boarding-school French. Yet she has spoken in nine or ten different tongues, sometimes for an hour at a time, with the ease and fluency of a native. It is not infrequent that foreigners converse with their spirit-friends through her in their own language31.

Bronfen, The Knotted Subject, 117. For the account of a famous example of this, see Fornell, The Unhappy Medium , 81. Cora Hatch, the most exalted medium of her generation, was given a series of questions in her trance state that she was specifically not expected to be able to answer in her waking one. The judging committee included professors of science and government officials, and Mrs. Hatch was expected to respond to queries such as how gyroscopes worked. 31 Edmonds and Dexter, Spiritualism, 45.
29 30

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The young lady proceeded to move from recognizable foreign languages to the development of a strictly spiritual language, incomprehensible to all but herself and the dead 32. Heteroglossia is not perceived as an impediment to her development; rather, it is the sign of the refinement of her skills. Ann Braude has argued that Spiritualisms appeal to women was that trance states gave legitimacy to womens speech in a sort of paradox of protofeminism by acting as the passive vehicles for famous dead males, women could expound upon philosophy and politics and be listened to33. Women comprised the vast majority of the movement and did indeed attract audiences in the thousands to their trance-induced lectures, giving womens speech pride of place in Spiritualism. However, women were lauded not only for disquisitions on venerable topics but also when their speech was technically nonsense. The disease of language becomes the gift of language, and the womans voice is productive of new knowledge even at its most incomprehensible. The line between madness and mediumship would also be decided by the instrumentality of the body and what it did or did not produce. 5. The Hysterically Pregnant Body The New York Times made a several decades-long career of mercilessly lampooning Spiritualism, pausing in its mocking tone only when famous men were converted 34. In 1868, the paper joyously and smugly recounts an astonishing event in Newark, New Jersey, where a group of Spiritualists with unusually strong millennialist tendencies decided that the millennium had indeed arrived, and ergo the conditions of Edenic perfection could be reinstated. Much to the papers delight, this included public nudity. It appears from the account that a small group of Spiritualists were led by a team who had appointed themselves to inaugurate the millennium by assuming the roles of Adam and Eve. The paper reports,
About 9 oclock on New-Years evening, the street pedestrians who had occasion to pass Mrs. Reeves house, were rather more astonished than delighted to behold McEwan standing in front of the open window clad in the habiliments of Adam before the fall, while the fair Miss Reeves, impersonating Eve, was seen to flit to and fro under the gas-light like a fawn gamboling in the Garden of Eden35.

Edmonds and Dexter, Spiritualism, 45. Braude, Radical Spirits, Chapter four. 34 Robert Hares embracing of Spiritualism warranted a lengthy front-page treatment. See the New York Times, Nov. 24, 1855. 35 New York Times , Jan. 5, 1886.
32 33

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The couple proceeded to invite passersby inside, and McEwan delivered a lecture on the new dispensation. The Times reports, They ignore human institutions, laws, and customs, and act solely from the promptings of spirits of just men made perfect36 . The group created quite a stir, and the police were eventually involved. The couple were deemed insane by local doctors and sentenced to the Insane Asylum in Trenton. While this account is highly unusual for Spiritualist behavior, it was also precisely the sort of episode that got the most publicity. In fact, the Timess correspondents occasionally lamented how tame and reasonable the majority of Spiritualists were37. While such displays were an anomaly in Spiritualist circles, the theme of creation, and indeed the creation of life, were not. Birthing imagery accompanied womens ascent into the public eye, and it too was accused of being lascivious or at least sacrilegious. Margaret Fox, one of the original sisters who founded American Spiritualism, was appalled by the association of spirits and giving birth that she had witnessed in London. The New York Herald reports,
They even go so far as to have what they call spiritual children! They pretend something like the immaculate conception! there are other sances, where none but the most tried and trusted are admitted, and where there are shameless goings on that vie with the secret Saturnalia of the Romans 38.

While such negative accounts make it impossible to ascertain what the Spiritualists thought they were doing, there was certainly a symbolic association between mediums and pregnancy. In certain cases, this symbolism goes so far as to be indistinguishable from what psychoanalytic discourse has termed hysterical pregnancies, a subset of hysteria which may be part of a larger constellation of symptoms or may manifest itself as the sole symptom. As with heteroglossia, the crux of the argument is the interpretation, rather than the existence, of the phenomenon of alternative consciousness. Incidents of hysterical pregnancies and birthing symbolism writ large are numerous in the history of American Spiritualism. As the domestic sphere tightened and familial bonds became increasingly emotional rather than economic, the still-high infant mortality rate became an unbearable psychological burden on mothers. Braude writes,
The focus on human agency and moral accountability suggested that individuals were responsible for their own failure to receive the spirit. Because of the new possibility that human beings might cause a conversion, the death of an unregenerate individual engendered more anxiety than in the Puritan era when people left
36 37 38

New York Times , Jan. 5, 1886. See the New York Times , Jan. 4 and Jan. 8, 1853. Cited in Fornell, The Unhappy Medium , 176.

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election to Gods hands alone. This was especially true in the case of infants and children, who died before they had an opportunity to exercise their own agency toward conversions By seeking, and sometimes finding, intimate contact with the dead, Spiritualists found evidence for the rejection of death as a final separation39.

In tandem with the psychological aspects of infant mortality, the material conditions of the middle decades of the nineteenth century also indicate a womens appropriation, or in this case, reappropriation, of prevailing mores about death. In A History of Death in Antebellum, Anglo-Protestant Communities, Gary Laderman argues that the rise of capitalism with rapid industrialization radically altered the gendered roles surrounding death. Whereas in the first half of the century the corpse and its attendant duties fell firmly in the womans orbit of care, by the 1850s death had become a commodity-driven industry run almost solely by men. Laderman states,
Despite their intimacy with the corpse in the early part of the century, in the public sphere women were often segregated from the dead [T]he services of the undertaker and the attendant emerging funeral industries located the corpse in a network of commercial activity that was just beginning to operate in a heretofore untapped market. The dead were inserted into an arena where consumerism, class differentiation, and mass-produced goods and services ensured that their treatment depended on a slowly developing economic regime 40.

Thus, the historical location of Spiritualism would support an argument that women were contesting theological ideas about infant damnation as well as reappropriating their roles as caretakers of the deceased, albeit after the fact. However, these factors are inadequate to locate the events of hysterical pregnancies in Spiritualist mediumship. The incidents of hysterical pregnancies do not reflect the birth of children, and most frequently not even spirit children. Rather, I will argue, hysterical pregnancies were the vehicle for womens appropriation of an alternative discourse. If one grants that hysteric or alternate states manifest something symbolically through the use of the body, the metaphoric occurrence of hysterical pregnancies in Spiritualism may shed light not only on the situation of American women in the Gilded Age but also on hypnoid states which have heretofore been largely pathologized in the discourse of psychoanalysis. As with the case of the unnamed woman who gave birth, or life, to a machine, in an era when electricity was the cutting edge of technology, the birth imagery of mediumship repeatedly refers to scientific, or pseudo-scientific, progress.
39 40

Braude, Radical Spirits, 50-51. Laderman, A History of Death, 36-37.

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By the fin de sicle, the marriage of Spiritualism and science appeared in the form of ectoplasm. The Spiritualist phenomenon of ectoplasm made its debut in the first decades of the twentieth century, when it was both pedigreed and popularized by the noted scientist Lombroso, the inventor of modern criminology41. The term ectoplasm was in fact coined by the physicist Sir Oliver Lodge when it appeared at a sance comprised entirely of academics. Lodge writes,
As far as the physics of the movements were concerned, they were all produced, I believe, in accordance with the ordinary laws of matter. The ectoplasmic formation which operated was not normal; but its abnormality belongs to physiology or anatomy it is something which biologists ought to study. It was something which Richet, as a physiologist, found repugnant and was very loth [sic] to admit, but the facts were too much for him42.

Manifestations of ectoplasm were soon seen on this side of the Atlantic, and Margery Crandon was at the apex of this historical moment, not only for her ectoplasmic productions but also because her mediumship provoked the lifelong and venomous dispute between Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Performing a sance for the members of the Scientific American Journal (of which her husband was president), Margery produced pseudopods from her navel. One observer testifies, It was the most beautiful case of teleplasm and telekinesis with which I am acquainted. One is able to handle the teleplasm freely. The materialized hands are connected by an umbilical cord to the medium; they seize upon objects and displace them .... The control is irreproachable43. While I have no intention of arguing that the production of ectoplasm was solely the result of an involuntary hypnoid state, the choice of symbolism remains fecund ground for an exploration into the role of trance-induced pregnancies in Spiritualism. In both Spiritualism and psychoanalysis, the body is the conduit of an alternative discourse to speech. Various feminist theorists have analyzed the semiotic code of the body as a language of protest against masculine-controlled speech. Dianne Hunter, in Hysteria, Psychoanalysis, and Feminism, argues persuasively,
Hysteria can be considered as a self-repudiating form of feminine discourse in which the body signifies what social conditions make it impossible to state linguistically .... Hysteria expresses in the language of the body what psychoanalysis says in words. Both psychoanalysis and hysteria subvert the reigning cultural

41 42 43

Brandon, The Spiritualists, 130-132. Cited in Brandon, The Spiritualists, 134. Cited in Brandon, The Spiritualists , 186-187.

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order by exploding its linguistic conventions and decomposing its facade of orderly conduct 44.

In rebutting Hunters thesis, Elaine Showalter cautions against the feminist appropriation of what is in fact a psychologically excruciating illness. Furthermore, she argues that hysteria has hampered the causes of feminism precisely because it is not productive. Showalter writes,
[H]owever, the hysterics deviance and rebellion are carefully programmed and delimited by the social order. Hysteria is tolerated because in fact it has no power to effect cultural change; it is much safer for the patriarchal order to encourage and allow discontented women to express their wrongs through psychosomatic illness than to have them agitating for economic and legal rights 45.

Although compelling on their own terms, neither Hunters nor Showalters theses withstand the scrutiny of hysterical symptoms in Spiritualism. While some mediums dissociative states may easily be seen as a non-linguistically articulated form of protest (the lower-class medium who produced rats from the spirit world for her wealthy clients, for example) 46, hypnoid states in Spiritualism uphold the scientific and progressivist mores of the epoch. Furthermore, those women who were periodically overtaken bodily by spirits were also the same ones who ran practically all of the reform movements of the nineteenth century, including the platform for womens rights. Indeed, hysterical mediumship routinely advocated equality between the sexes and brought to the movement the theological buttress that all people were equal in the afterlife. From electricity to ectoplasm, hysterical pregnancies in American Spiritualism produced the discourse of science. As numerous scholars have noted in connection with rituals of passage, women may give birth to babies but men give birth symbolically to culture47. Through the vehicle of hysterical pregnancies, women in Spiritualism claimed birthing symbolism in service of the production of culture, the pseudo-scientific progressivism of the day. By posing an alternative discourse to that of psychoanalysis, Spiritualists proposed that the hypnoid state was continuous with consciousness and that it should be intermittently culled for its knowledge. In so doing, Spiritualists articulated the hypnoid body, the womans body, as a site of epistemic possibility; far

Hunter, Hysteria, Psychoanalysis, and Feminism,113-114. Showalter, The Female Malady , 161. 46 See Carrington, The American Sances . 47 For an excellent treatment of this phenomenon in rabbinic Judaism, see Boyarin, The Great Fat Massacre.
44 45

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from requiring a cure, the hypnoid body was generative and productive, fertile with the latest in technology. 6. The Master Mesmerists: Freud and Breuer Freud and Breuers landmark work of 1895, Studies in Hysteria , was widely recognized as providing the Rosetta stone for the workings of the unconscious. While Freudian methods of analysis have largely dropped out of vogue in favor of treating neurotic symptoms with medication, Freuds legacy remains an intellectual behemoth of the twentieth century. As Edward Shorter has documented, Freuds work caught fire in America even before the first translation of Studies in Hysteria and remained the most influential theory for treating mental illness through the 1970s48. While Freud was by no means the only, or even the first, person to propose the presence of an unconscious, his particular articulation of the theory held the most sway and is emblematic of his generation of thought49. By the turn of the twentieth century, Spiritualism was contending with the existence of an unconscious, and the proponents of the unconscious were being contentious about Spiritualists hysterical symptoms. Hysteria was Americas introduction to the new school of psychoanalysis spearheaded by Freud and Breuer. Hysteria was also the backdrop for the invention of the talking cure, provided to Breuer by his patient Bertha Pappenheim, pseudonymously recorded as Anna O. The introduction to the case studies details the theoretical contributions of the work, in which Freud and Breuer assert that the manifestation of hysteria is the result of a repressed memory of a traumatic psychological event and that language is the therapeutic key to dislodge it. The relationship between the repressed memory and the hysterical symptoms is metaphoric: the body concretizes the trauma by symbolic associations. Freud and Breuer argue,
In other cases the connection is not so simple, there being only, as it were, a symbolic relation between the cause and the pathological phenomenon, just as in the normal dream . We have studied patients, who were wont to make the most
See Shorter, A History of Psychiatry, 160-189. The terminology for similar theoretical constructs changes rapidly in the course of the nineteenth century, from the double consciousness of early Mesmerists, to the use of subconscious in a way that is analogous to Freuds term unconscious (and distinct from what Freud means when he uses the term subconscious), and finally to a Freudian unconscious. For the sake of clarity, I have used unconscious in the Freudian sense to denote an ever-present part of the psyche where traumata are repressed and attempt to make themselves known to consciousness. However, the term is not without its precedents, and many Spiritualists writings use older terms.
48 49

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prolific use of such symbolization [W]e must maintain that the psychic trauma or the memory of the same acts like a foreign body which even long after its penetration must be considered as an agent of the present, the proof of which we see in the most remarkable phenomenon 50.

The past traumatic event embedded in the unconscious asserts itself symbolically through the body, and hysterical symptoms disappear in their entirety when the memory is brought to consciousness and thoroughly talked out. The hypnoid state is the pharmakon for Freud and Breuer: hysteria is a state of hypnosis which is most effectively cured by therapeutic hypnosis, under which the patient is induced to remember the repressed event which caused the hysteria in the first place. The centerpiece of their argument, the implementation of the talking cure, is the primary form of instrumentality the repressed memory is quite literally lodged into the womans body and uses the body as an instrument to proclaim its existence. The talking cure unseats the memory from the unconscious and moves it into conscious reflection, along with the repressed affect and its concomitant associations, thereby dispelling its hold on the hysteric. The result is catharsis; the instrument of the voice conquers and supercedes the instrumentality of the body51. Language is not only the cure for hysteria, it was symptomatic of being hysterical. The loss of language, and sometimes the loss of the right language, were indications that hysterical symptoms had progressed. Anna O. lost her ability to control words, syntax, grammar, and eventually lost her ability to speak her native German, although under hypnosis she was able to speak three other languages fluently52. The restoration of language is tantamount to the restoration of sanity, since the vehicle of words is necessary to conquer the symbolic manifestations in the body. The relationship of psychoanalysiss disease of language to classical religious heteroglossia begs the question of whether psychoanalysis has served to recast historically religious questions in scientific discourse, and effectively, in the twentieth century, to replace religiosity with secular individualism. While it is outside the scope of this work to tackle psychoanalysis for its usurpation of traditional religious forms, I would posit that the Spiritualists intuited precisely such a movement and aggressively sought to counter it. By the Freudian era, the alternate consciousness posited by Spiritualists from the outset was thoroughly medicalized and stuffed into the basement: the higher trance state which made spirits accessible became the lower constant state
50 51 52

Breuer and Freud, Studies in Hysteria, 2-3. Breuer and Freud, Studies in Hysteria, 12. For an excellent treatment of this, see Showalter, The Female Malady , 155-156.

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which made pathology possible. In short, Freud successfully inverted a model of consciousness which the Mesmerists and Spiritualists had handed him the alternate consciousness was now omnipresent and a danger to consciousness. The writings of fin de sicle Spiritualists engage the psychoanalytic construction of the unconscious, and take issue with its characterization of the unconscious as a subterranean breeding ground for pathology. While agreeing that alternate states of consciousness existed, those states were not naturally occurring but rather required cultivation and talent. Indeed, the argument went further into the nature of the psyche itself. Some Spiritualists altogether denied the existence of an unconscious, and argued that alternate states of consciousness sprang from a different source. The 1912 how-to manual, Spirit Mediumship How to Develop It, published by the Reverend E.W. Sprague, specifically refutes the psychoanalytic constructions of the unconscious:
J. S. Loveland says: A dual body implies dual consciousness. We prefer to believe that there is but one consciousness belonging to each of us, and when it enters the vibration of the spiritual, or etheric body, which is enveloped within the physical body, it discerns spiritual things. It is then that mediumship becomes operative... Therefore the theory of the Sub-conscious Mind of Thomson J. Hudson, and other theoretical dreamers, is not an independent entity endowed with all knowledge not possessed by the conscious mind, nor with so-called occult powers not possessed by the normal man. The discovery (?) of a scientist, like many others coming from similar sources, passes away under the light of true science, as the dews and fogs of the morning disappear before the penetrating light of the rising sun 53.

Like the Freudian understanding of hysteria, alternate states of consciousness do not necessarily imply individual agency while the cultivation of such states was imperative in order to develop mediumship, spirits also foisted these states on the unsuspecting. Sprague continues,
Somnambulism borders closely upon clairvoyance and sleep-walkers are sometimes controlled by spirits while in this strange condition. Persons while in this unconscious somnambulistic state have written wonderful essays and sermons ... and written poetry and other things that were beyond their ability when in their normal state. This may be mental mediumship. Somnambulism is also closely related to the trance condition. The medium acts and does things which exceed his powers when awake 54.

Thus, in the post-Freudian epoch, the language of the will begins to pale in Spiritualism. The new discursive enemy, the unconscious, had to be contested

53 54

Sprague, Spirit Mediumship, 102. Sprague, Spirit Mediumship, 80.

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on its own grounds spirits could account for an apparent lack of agency as well as the clear demonstration of it. Taking the Mesmeric legacy one step further, Spiritualism disputed the construction of the unconscious as disjunct from consciousness: alternative psychic states certainly existed, but for the theological (and economic) betterment of humanity. Sprague argues,
Every mental medium when placing himself in a condition to be hypnotized by his spirit helpers, becomes subject to suggestion; therefore it is detrimental to the mediums development and to the results of the sances to suggest that there are, or may be, evil spirits present ... When a medium gets his mind full of Hudsons theory of the Subconscious Mind and is filled with fear of Evil Spirits, he had better cease trying to develop his mediumship. A belief in either of these theories is almost sure destruction to his development55.

Spiritualists took aim at not only the proximate causes of hypnoid states in psychology but also their results. In 1900, Hudson Tuttle, arch-defender of the faith, laid bare the distinction of referents between the movements. He writes,
Theorists attempt to account for the mental manifestations, as trance, writing, etc. [sic], by mesmerism or psychology. ... But mesmeric impressions do not go outside of the person or objects en rapport with the subject. They never reveal what is unknown to those in connection. Spiritual impressibility reaches outside of surroundings, and reveals the thoughts of the spirit who is en rapport56.

Thus the limited range of psychology is questioned; the self-referentiality of the unconscious gives way to the self-referentiality of the tool to measure it. While the spirits play an analogous role to the repressed memory in hysterical attacks, the memory is by definition traumatic in both its inception and its role in governing the character of the hysterical symptoms. The distinctions between the causal forces are three-fold. First, time is essential in the Freudian understanding of hysteria. Hysteria is a psychological condition referring backward to some prior traumatic event. Mediumship refers backward in time only inasmuch as the spirit controlling the body is no longer of this world; in all other senses the spirit is fully present. Secondly, the interpretations of the phenomena differ radically: Freud pathologizes the hypnoid state and grants it the status of a psychological disease, whereas Spiritualists interpret the same condition theologically. Finally, the instrumentality of the body is at stake. Hysterics are victims of their unconscious which symbolically manifests the repressed memory in the body. The constellation of symptoms refers to one event, the repression of which blocks associative affect. For Spiritualists, the
55 56

Sprague, Spirit Mediumship, 33. Tuttle, Arcana, 10-11.

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body is an instrument of the spirit world, but, as I have argued, that instrumentality is overdetermined and highly associative. Many contemporary scholars have taken Freud to task on his insistence that hysterical symptoms mean only one thing. In The Forms of Violence Leo Bersani and Ulysse Dutoit forcefully argue that Freud himself first claimed that the unconscious was riddled with overdetermined symbols and then proceeded to argue that these overdetermined elements pointed to a single referent57.While understandably the Spiritualists were lacking a vocabulary of narrative theory, I would argue that this is precisely the first leg of their argument against psychoanalysis alternate states, trance speech, and even the womans body are overdetermined. Much academic work has been done on the gendered effects of the talking cure. In The Female Malady, Elaine Showalter argues that the remarkable contribution of Freud and Breuer was their willingness to listen to womens stories. Departing from the objectifying photographic construction of hysterics by their predecessor Charcot, Freud and Breuer undertook the project of curing hysteria not only by seriously listening to women but also by asserting that hysteria is the by-product of bright and talented women whose potential is being socially stifled. Showalter writes,
The feminist critique of Freud should not obscure the fact that the early years of psychoanalysis offered a considerable advance over the biological determinism and moralism of Darwinian psychiatry. In principle, although not always in practice, psychoanalysis was not moralistic; it did not judge the hysteric as weak or bad, but saw the hysterical symptoms as the product of unconscious conflicts beyond the persons control. Finally, psychoanalysis was attentive to the process of therapy . ... The patient became an active, although not an equal, partner in the cure58.

For psychoanalysis, the body represents the problem that only the voice can correct. The process is inherently self-reflexive; the hysteric is a partner in curing herself. By setting hypnoid states in the context of the doctor/patient relationship, Freud and Breuer essentially re-introduce the element that American Spiritualists had dispensed with the need for a mesmerizer. As it were, the hysteric has inadvertently hypnotized herself to avoid confronting a trauma; she requires a doctor to hypnotize her to force her to recall the trauma. By reinfusing the hypnoid state with the power dynamic of medical practice, the womans body is subject to the definitive interpretation by someone other than herself.
57 58

Bersani and Dutoit, The Forms of Violence , 104-125. Showalter, The Female Malady , 161-162.

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As the initial headiness of the young republic died down, Spiritualism itself sought legitimacy in the scientific discourses of its day. However, it never relinquished the individualism of self-induced trance states and the hermeneutic privileges associated with them. As a feminine discourse, Spiritualism introduced some provocative ideas; however, it was by no means the utopia that was ousted. The mere fact that a mediums speech referred to anything but herself begs the question of how protofeminist the interpretive stance was. Freud and Breuer at least encouraged women to worry about their own health. Nonetheless, the mere choice of interpretation has interesting consequences, and raises more questions. The medical model dictates that diseases of the psyche have single causes; Spiritualism was under no such constraints. In contrast to Freudian constructions of the hysteric in which the metaphoricity of the body refers to a single traumatic event, the hysterical body in Spiritualism promotes multiple layers of meaning. Hypnoid language produced scientific discourse by merely existing; hysterical pregnancies allowed mediums corporeally to give birth to the discourse of science. Words and bodies were productive and multivalent; by undermining the hegemony of psychoanalytic discourse, Spiritualism offered not only a different interpretation but also a different interpreter of the bodys language.
Cathy Gutierrez (1967) is Assistant Professor of Religion at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. She is currently working on a book about the influence of Neoplatonism on American Spiritualism.

Bibliography
Anonymous, Case of Mania with the Delusions and Phenomena of Spiritualism, Journal of Insanity XVI:3 (1860), 321-340. Bersani, Leo and Ulysse Dutoit, The Forms of Violence: Narrative in Assyrian Art and Modern Culture, New York: Schocken Books 1985. Boyarin, Daniel, The Great Fat Massacre, in: Howard Eilberg-Schwartz, (ed.), People of the Body: Jews and Judaism from an Embodied Perspective, Albany: State University of New York Press 1992, 69-100. Brandon, Ruth, The Spiritualists: The Passion for the Occult in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, New York: Alfred A. Knopf 1983. Braude, Ann, Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Womens Rights in Nineteenth-Century America, Boston: Beacon Press 1989. Breuer, Joseph and Sigmund Freud, Studies in Hysteria, trans. A.A. Brill, New York: Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing Company 1936. Bronfen, Elisabeth, The Knotted Subject: Hysteria and its Discontents, Princeton: Princeton University Press 1998. Carrington, Hereward, The American Sances with Eusapia Palladino , New York: Garrett Publications 1954. Carroll, Bret E., Spiritualism in Antebellum America, Bloomington: Indiana University Press 1997.

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Crabtree, Adam, From Mesmer to Freud: Magnetic Sleep and the Roots of Psychological Healing , New Haven: Yale University Press 1993. Davis, Andrew Jackson, Mental Disorders; or Diseases of the Brain and Nerves, Developing the Origin and Philosophy of Mania, Insanity, and Crime with Full Directions for their Treatment and Cure , Boston: William White and Company 1871. Deveney, John Patrick, Paschal Beverly Randolph: A Nineteenth-Century Black American Spiritualist, Rosicrucian, and Sex Magician , Albany: State University of New York Press 1997. Edmonds, John W. and George Dexter, Spiritualism, vol. 2, New York: Partridge & Brittan Publishers 1855. Fuller, Robert C. Mesmerism and the Birth of Psychology, in: Arthur Wrobel (ed.), PseudoScience and Society in 19th-Century America , Lexington: University of Kentucky Press 1987, 205-222. Fornell, Earl Wesley, The Unhappy Medium: Spiritualism and the Life of Margaret Fox , Austin: University of Texas Press 1964. Foster, Lawrence, Religion and Sexuality: The Shakers, the Mormons, and the Oneida Community , Urbana: University of Illinois 1984. Godwin, Joscelyn, The Theosophical Enlightenment , Albany: State University of New York 1994. Hacking, Ian, Rewriting the Soul: Multiple Personality and the Sciences of Memory , Princeton: Princeton University Press 1995. Hudson, Thomas Jay, The Law of Mental Medicine: The Correlation of the Facts of Psychology and Histology in their Relation to Mental Therapeutics, Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co. 1908. Hunter, Dianne, Hysteria, Psychoanalysis, and Feminism: The Case of Anna O., in: Shirley Nelson (ed.), The (M)Other Tongue: Essays in Feminist Psychoanalytic Interpretation , Ithaca: Cornell University Press 1985. Laderman, Gary, A History of Death in Antebellum, Anglo-Protestant Communities of the Northeast, Journal of the American Academy of Religion LXIII:1 (1995), 27-52. Putnam, Allen, Witchcraft of New England Explained by Modern Spiritualism , Boston: Colby and Rich 1888. Shorter, Edward, A History of Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac, New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1997. Showalter, Elaine, The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830-1980 , New York: Penguin Books 1985. Spanos, Nicholas P., Multiple Identities & False Memories: A Sociocognitive Perspective, Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association 1996. Sprague, E. W., Spirit Mediumship, Detroit, Michigan: published by the author 1912. Reprinted in: Gary Ward (ed.), Spiritualism, vol. 1, New York: Garland Publishing 1990. Tuttle, Hudson, The Arcana of Spiritualism, Manchester: Two Worlds Publishing Company 1900. De llectricit lectoplasme: Hystrie et spiritisme amricain. Cette tude est consacre la relation entre le diagnostic psychologique de lhystrie, et le phnomne religieux que reprsente le spiritisme dans lAmrique du dix-neuvime sicle. Alors que lun et lautre ont en commun plusieurs caractristiques, limpulsion hermtique prsente dans le spiritisme a fourni un rfrent diffrent pour ce qui concerne les secrets du cosmos, car le spiritisme trouvait ces secrets dans le pass plutt que dans le soi. Lauteur dveloppe lide selon laquelle le spiritisme a cr dlibrment un type dinterprtation des aspects de lhystrie autre que celui qui tait couramment admis, et quil se comprenait comme cette interprtation mme. Il fournissait ainsi aux croyants, principalement aux femmes, une explication thologique de ce que le discours psychanalytique examinait sous langle de la pathologie.

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Lauteur dfend lide selon laquelle, dans le spiritisme, le corps de la femme est considr comme producteur dune connaissance qui revt des formes tant verbales que tangibles. Des exemples de ce qui semble ressortir lhystrie sont tudis et considrs par les spirites comme ressortissant lhtroglossie. Ds lors que le spiritisme tait compris par ses croyants comme quelque chose dabsolument scientifique et dempiriquement vrifiable, de tels faits taient compris comme susceptibles de produire de la connaissance scientifique, ce qui procurait aux femmes un forum dans lequel elles pouvaient prendre part un discours normalement domin par les hommes. Larticle se termine sur une analyse des Etudes sur lhystrie , de Freud et Breuer, et tudie dans ce contexte les ramifications masculines et fminines de lhystrie considre comme langage de protestation et comme rponse au dbat fourni par le spiritisme. Lauteur prsente lide selon laquelle le mouvement spirite est une anticipation de lusurpation, par linstitution mdicale, de discours religieux fminins, et sest non sans agressivit employ contrer les interprtations psychologiques de ce que disaient les femmes, et des manifestations de leur corps. Cette bataille hermneutique portait sur linterprtation de ce qutaient ces tats autres de conscience, mais aussi sur la question de savoir qui pouvait tre autoris interprter.

SPIRITISMUS IN DEUTSCHLAND HELMUT ZANDER


Diethard Sawicki, Leben mit den Toten: Geisterglauben und die Entstehung des Spiritismus in Deutschland 1770-1900 , Paderborn: Schningh u.a. 2002. 421 S., 13 Abb. ISBN 3-50677590-1. Timo Heimerdinger, Tischlein, rck dich: Das Tischercken in Deutschland um 1850. Eine Mode zwischen Spiritismus, Wissenschaft und Geselligkeit , Mnster u.a.: Waxmann 2001. 131 S. ISBN 3-8309-1050-9. Wolfgang Hagen, Radio Schreber: Der moderne Spiritismus und die Sprache der Medien , Weimar: Verlag und Datenbank fr Geisteswissenschaften 2001. 142 S. ISBN 3-89739212-7.

Mehr als hundert Jahre lang war der Spiritismus in Deutschland eine terra incognita im Gegensatz zum angelschsischen Raum, wo er intensiv erforscht wurde. Aber seit dem letzten Jahr ist ein neues Kapitel mit der Dissertation Diethard Sawickis aufgeschlagen, der in einem berblick die Jahre zwischen 1770 und 1900 erforscht hat. Sein Strukturgerst bilden illustrative, mikroanalytische Fallstudien, die die Vielfalt der spiritistischen Praxis dokumentieren: von der Schatzsuche mit Geistern bis zu Karl Mays Ehestreitigkeiten mit Hilfe von Medien. Bei seinen Recherchen hat Sawicki vielfach unbekanntes Quellenmaterial ermittelt; hier liegt seine bedeutendste Leistung. Zugleich bezieht er immer wieder Theoriedebatten, sowohl Selbstreflexionen von Spiritisten als auch Deutungen von Historikern mit ein, in denen klar wird, da der Spiritismus nach Antworten auf die groen Fragen des 19. Jahrhunderts suchte; hinsichtlich dieser kulturhistorischen Rahmendebatten gibt es sicher noch Diskussionsbedarf. Sawicki hat gleichwohl mit seiner Arbeit das Referenzwerk fr knftige Forschungen vorgelegt. 1. Forschungsgeschichte Leider verzichtet Sawicki auf einen kommentierten Literaturbericht, so da die wenigen Arbeiten der frhen Forschung abgedunkelt werden. Wichtig bleiben die lteren berblickswerke von Karl Kiesewetter und von Rudolf Tischner, die beide aus dem Spiritismus stammten und viele Insiderinformationen bieten 1 . Auch die am Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts erschienenen Streit1 Kiesewetter, Geschichte des neueren Okkultismus; Tischner, Geschichte der Parapsychologie (im Rckgriff auf ltere eigene Werke).

Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2003

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schriften Alexander Aksakows enthalten fr die Forschung weiterhin relevante Informationen und dokumentieren in spiritistischer Parteilichkeit die weltanschaulichen Argumentationsfiguren; fr die philosophische Auseinandersetzung gilt Vergleichbares fr die Schriften Eduard von Hartmanns2 . Die erste historisch-kritische Arbeit hat 1976 Adolf Kurzweg ber die Geschichte der Berliner Gesellschaft fr Experimental-Psychologie vorgelegt, doch blieb sie ohne direkte Forschungsnachfolge; auch Eberhard Bauer stand mit seinen Verffentlichungen zum Spiritismus ber Jahre fast allein 3 . Ein gut erforschtes Feld bildete einzig der Mesmerismus als einer der unmittelbaren Vorlufer des Spiritismus4 . Erst in den neunziger Jahren hat eine detaillierte Erforschung des Spiritismus eingesetzt, in der angesichts fehlender Forschungen der Phnomenbereich kleinteilig kartiert werden mute. Ulrich Linse hat in sozialhistorisch orientierten Arbeiten den deutschen Unterschichtenspiritismus, die Zeitschriftenlandschaft und den Verlagsbereich erforscht5 , den Wirkungen des Spiritismus in der Literatur haben Moritz Baler und Georg Braungart nachgesprt6 . Eine wichtige Vorluferin des Spiritismus, Friederike Hauffe, die Seherin von Prevorst, ist von Wouter Hanegraaff und Bettina Gruber erforscht worden 7 . Der Straburger Band Mystique, mysticisme et modernit schlielich dokumentiert entgegen seines auf die Mystik verweisenden Titels ein breites Spektrum spiritistischer Aktivitten von der Literatur bis zur Kunst8 . In Sawickis reicher Bibliographie findet sich weitere Literatur. 2. Konjunkturen und Wandlungen des Spiritismus Sawicki periodisiert die Entwicklung in vier Phasen: 1. Geistersehen im Kontext der Aufklrungsdebatten, 1770 bis 1818;
2 Aksakow, Animismus und Spiritismus; Hartmann, Der Spiritismus; ders.: Die Geisterhypothese des Spiritismus und seine Phantome . 3 Kurzweg, Die Geschichte der Berliner Gesellschaft fr Experimental-Psychologie; Bauer, Spiritismus und Okkultismus. 4 Die wichtigeren neueren monographischen Werke: Ego, Animalischer Magnetismus oder Aufklrung; Barkhoff, Magnetische Fiktionen ; Kollak, Literatur und Hypnose. 5 Linse, Geisterseher und Wunderwirker (im Kern ein Studie ber die spiritistische Kirche Joseph Weienbergs); ders., Der Spiritismus in Deutschland um 1900 (Zeitschriftenverzeichnis S. 112f.); ders., Das Buch der Wunder und Geheimwissenschaften. 6 Baler, Lehnsthle werden verrckt; Braungart, Spiritismus und Literatur um 1900. 7 Hanegraaff, Versuch ber Friederike Hauffe; Gruber, Die Seherin von Prevorst. 8 Baler & Chtellier, Mystique, mysticisme et modernit en Allemagne autour de 1900 . Darin: Hildegard Chtellier ber den Spiritismus bei Hanns von Gumppenberg; Manfred Voigts ber den Spiritismus Hugo Bergmanns; Marion Ackermann ber die spiritistische Phase bei Kandinsky; Moritz Baler ber spiritistische Reminiszenzen bei Rainer Maria Rilke.

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2. Die Entwicklungen bis zur Jahrhundertmitte, insbesondere die Transformationen des Mesmerismus, 1810 bis 1850; 3. Tischercken, 1850 bis 1860; 4. Deutscher Spiritismus, 1877 bis 1900. Die Grnde fr die jeweiligen Konjunkturen konnte Sawicki aber nicht immer aufklren. Zwei deutsche Besonderheiten fallen im internationalen Vergleich ins Auge: zum einen brach die spiritistische Bewegung in Deutschland in den 1860er Jahren zusammen, whrend sie in den westlichen Nachbarlndern blhte. Eine plausible Antwort fr diesen Sonderweg gibt Sawicki in seinem Buch nicht; seine Vermutung, der Materialismusstreit der 1850er Jahre knne eine Rolle spielen, scheint mir aufgrund von dessen geringer Breitenwirkung nicht zuzutreffen. Aufgrund neuer, noch unverffentlichter Archivfunde sieht Sawicki allerdings Indizien, da die staatliche Repression gegenber politischen Gruppen nach 1848 auch auf verdchtige weltanschauliche Vereinigungen wie die spiritistischen ausgedehnt wurde. Zum anderen weisen die 1870er Jahren eine auffllige Sonderentwicklung auf. Die deutsche Universittswissenschaft zeigt, namentlich bei Naturwissenschaftlern, im internationalen Vergleich eine extrem groe Distanz zum Spiritismus. Man kann vermuten, da zwischen der fortlebenden Romantischen Naturphilosophie und der aufstrebenden empirischen Forschung fr den Spiritismus kein Platz an der Universitt blieb. Im Vergleich etwa mit England wrde die Bearbeitung dieser Frage einen tiefen Einblick in unterschiedliche Wissenschaftskulturen im Umgang mit dem Spiritismus bieten. Die Gegenstandsbereiche und Interpretationshorizonte des Spiritismus unterlagen in dem von Sawicki untersuchten Zeitraum betrchtlichen Wandlungen. Eine zentrale Verschiebung des Phnomenbereichs scheint mir in der Immanentisierung des Spiritismus zu liegen, bei der jenseitige Phnomene zu innerweltlichen wurden: Waren die Medien anfangs Vermittler von Wirkungen, wurden sie spter zu deren Produzenten. In diesen Wandlungsproze gehren auch die in den 1860er Jahren aufkommenden Materialisationen, die teilweise die Erscheinung von Geistern beerbten; in der spiritistischen Theoriebildung ersetzten psychische Krfte im Rahmen einer Animismustheorie die Wirkungen der Geister. Gesicherte historiographische Rekonstruktionen dieser Transformationen fehlen, aber Deutungsangebote liegen vor. Man kann diesen Proze als eine Variante von Skularisierung lesen, in der das Verstndnis von Religion monistisch umgeprgt wurde, wie es auch fr andere Bewegungen dieser Jahre, etwa fr die Theosophie, kennzeichnend war. Allerdings kam es nicht zu einer Eliminierung der Geistererscheinungen, um 1900 bestanden beide Phnomene parallel nebeneinander. Es hat eher den Anschein, da die Materialisationen eine Episode dieser Jahre blieben ent-

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gegen der Annahme traditioneller Skularisierungstheorien, die mit linearen, oft evolutiven Verlufen rechnen. Last but not least ist die wichtige Frage nach der Entstehung des Spiritismus weitgehend offen. Die theurgisch-magischen, naturwissenschaftlichen oder kirchlich-sakramentalen Traditionen des 18. Jahrhunderts sind in ihrem Verhltnis zum Spiritismus noch weitgehend unbestimmt. Der fast rituelle Verweis auf den Mesmerismus ist zwar richtig, verdeckt aber das darber hinausgehende Aufbrechen nichtkirchlicher Religionspraktiken am Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts. Hinter diesem Forschungsdefizit hinsichtlich der spiritistischen Praxis steht eine Engfhrung der gesamten Religionswissenschaft, die vor allem Ideengeschichte war und den Spiritismus schon von seiner eminent praktischen Orientierung her als religionshistorische Marginalie betrachtete. 3. Interpretationskontexte Sawickis Schwerpunkt auf der Materialprsentation hat eine Untergewichtung der Interpretationsoptionen zur Folge. Er bezieht zwar punktuell die wichtigsten Diskurse des Spiritismus und die wissenschaftlichen Metadiskurse ein, insbesondere die theologischen und naturwissenschaftlichen, aber sie werden in ihrer jahrzehntelangen Kontinuitt nicht deutlich. So erscheint der Spiritismus bei ihm wie ein Chamleon, das sich je nach Epoche verschiedenste Themen und Debatten anverwandelt. Demgegenber scheinen mir folgende Kontinuitten wichtig. 1. Das Konkurrenzverhltnis zur empirischen Naturwissenschaft und zur (romantischen) Naturphilosophie ist vermutlich der bedeutendste Faktor fr den Spiritismus. Die naturwissenschaftlichen Debatten verhandelt Sawicki intensiver aber nur hinsichtlich des Astrophysikers Friedrich Zllner fr die 1870er Jahre. Damit verengt er jedoch den Bezugsrahmen des Spiritismus, fr den die Empirisierung insbesondere seit der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts zum dominierenden Bezugspunkt wurde. Der Spiritismus war ein Versuch, den Druck der empirischen Methoden auf die kulturwissenschaftlichen Disziplinen, in vergleichbar exakter, positivistischer Weise zu verfahren, aufzufangen. Zllner hat schon vor Sawicki das Interesse der Forschung auf sich gezogen, weil er der einzige namhafte Dissident unter den deutschen Naturwissenschaftlern war, der zum Verfechter des Spiritismus konvertierte 9 . Unabhngig von Sawicki hat nun auch Wolfgang Hagen den Auffassungen Zllners eine eigene Studie gewidmet. Hagen argumentiert in seiner wissenschafts9

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historisch kenntnisreichen Analyse, in der es im Kern um Zllners Beanspruchung der Vierten Dimension zur Erklrung spiritistischer Phnomene geht, da die Forschungslcken der universitren Wissenschaft das spiritistische Programm plausibel haben erscheinen lassen; diese Lcken seien jedoch sptestens mit Max Planck und Albert Einstein geschlossen worden10 . Allerdings trgt Hagens Arbeit fr das Verstndnis der Faszination am Spiritismus im 19. Jahrhundert nur wenig aus, da er unhermeneutisch aus der Perspektive der anno 2001 immer schon beantworteten Fragen argumentiert und vielfach apologetisch polemisiert (etwa in der semiotischen Erledigung erkenntnistheoretischer Fragen). Auch seine undialektische Zurechnung des Spiritismus zu den antimodernen Bewegungen wird den widersprchlichen Elementen des Spiritismus (etwa der Gleichzeitigkeit demokratischer und autoritrer Strukturen) nicht gerecht. 2. Die theologischen Diskurse tauchen bei Sawicki vor allem in der Auseinandersetzung des theologischen Rationalismus mit den Geistertheorien um 1800 auf und in der Auseinandersetzung um die Rezeption Swedenborgs. Im Verlauf des 19. Jahrhunderts kam es jedoch zu einer Immanentisierung dieser Geisterhypothese und zu einer zunehmenden Vernaturwissenschaftlichung des spiritistischen Deutungshorizontes, die aber bei Sawicki als theologische Fragen kaum noch zur Sprache kommen. Und dies wre ohnehin nur eine Dimension der theologischen Fragen gewesen, von denen ich nur wenige weitere nenne: die Interpretation von Wundern war ein Konkurrenzprojekt zwischen Theologen und Spiritisten, ebenso die Frage der spiritistischen Sinnstiftung durch Geisterkontakte. Auch die anthropologischen Debatten um das LeibSeele-Problem setzten bei theologischen Fragen an, fhrten aber die spiritistische Debatte in die Nhe der neu entstehenden Psychologie. Nicht ausreichend erforscht ist die sozialhistorische Dimension des Verhltnisses von Spiritismus und Theologie. Wir wten beispielsweise gerne mehr ber die Doppelgnger in beiden Milieus. Ein exponierter Fall wie der als Spiritist aktive niederlndische reformierte Pfarrer Abraham Rutgers van der Loeff11 ist fr Deutschland (noch) nicht nachgewiesen, doch gab es vergleichbare Biographien12 . Ebenso interessant sind aber die organisatorischen
10 Diese Interferenz zwischen naturwissenschaftlicher und spiritistischer Plausibilitt hatte bereits Asendorf, Strme und Strahlen thematisiert, doch hat Hagen dessen Arbeit offenbar bersehen. 11 Jansen, Spiritualismus im hollndischen Protestantismus. 12 In Deutschland knnte man etwa an den allerdings weit weniger changierenden katholischen Theologen Constantin Gutberlet denken oder an die Pfarrer im lutherischen, landeskirchlichen Bereich Sachsens, die Linse, Geisterseher und Wunderwirker im Umfeld Weienbergs beschreibt.

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berschneidungen, wie sie exemplarisch zwischen evangelischer Landeskirche und der spiritistischen Gemeinschaft Joseph Weienbergs in Sachsen sichtbar werden 13 , oder die Querverbindungen zu anderen dissentierenden Gemeinschaften, namentlich zur Theosophie und zur Christian Science sowie zu apokalyptischen Gruppierungen 14 . Da aufgrund einer spezifisch deutschen Forschungskonzentration auf Grokirchen Untersuchungen zu anderen religisen Minderheiten weitgehend fehlen und die Einordnung des Spiritismus erschweren, ist das theologiehistorische Forschungsdefizit vergleichsweise gro. Schlielich sind die christentums- oder religionskritischen Potenzen des Spiritismus nur punktuell sichtbar. Es ist klar, da zumindest kirchenkritische spiritistische Organisationen existierten, mutmalich auch solche, die auf positivistischer Grundlage ein nichtreligises Selbstverstndnis besaen. Aber mglicherweise fehlten in Deutschland kirchen-, christentums- oder religionskritische Spiritistengruppen zumindest in dem Ausma, wie es sie im angelschsischen Bereich gab. Das Bestehen derartiger Spiritismen ist deshalb von Bedeutung, weil die Historiographie desjenigen Teils der esoterischen Religionsgeschichte, der unabhngig vom mainstream der Christentumsgeschichte existierte, an der Identifikation derartiger Gruppen hngt. 3. In den letzten Jahren hat sich in der Spiritismusforschung eine Debatte um die medientheoretische Einordnung des Spiritismus entwickelt, die sich vorderhand an der Wortverwandschaft zum Begriff des spiritistischen Mediums festmacht. Insbesondere in der literaturwissenschaftlichen Literatur zu spiritistischen Phnomenen spielen diese Fragen eine Rolle, vielleicht weil die spiritistischen Medien wie Vorlufer der technischen Medialisierung das Fernsehen als Television erinnert nicht zufllig an spiritistische Begrifflichkeit aussehen und vielleicht auch, weil unter den Schriftstellern um 1900 spiritistischen Techniken wie das automatische Schreiben zu kreativen Schreibtechniken genutzt wurden15 . Mehr als Umrisse dieser Zusammenhnge sind momentan noch nicht sichtbar. 4. Eine letzte Frage hinsichtlich der Interpretationskontexte betrifft die Stellung des Spiritismus im Rahmen der europischen Esoterik. Sawicki hat dieses Probem nicht explizit aufgeworfen, aber schon diese Rezension seines Buch in
Ebenfalls bei Linse, Geisterseher und Wunderwirker. Ein Aufsatz zur Auseinandersetzung des deutschen Methodismus mit dem Spiritismus liegt vor von Raedel, Die Auseinandersetzung mit Wesen und Wirken des Spiritismus im deutschsprachigen Methodismus des 19. Jahrhunderts. 15 S.o. Anm. 6.
13 14

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Aries als einem Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism stellt diese Frage. Evidenterweise gehrt der Spiritismus zu den nichthegemonialen esoterischen Strmungen der europischen Religionsgeschichte, aber ebenso offensichtlich greift eine klassische Esoterik-Definition wie diejenige Antoine Faivres nicht16 . Eine Antwort auf diese Inkongruenz gehrt nicht in diese Buchbesprechung, wohl aber zu den Desideraten der Esoterikforschung. 4. Sozialgeschichtliche Kontexte Von einer Sozialgeschichte des deutschen Spiritismus sind wir noch weit entfernt. Sawicki hat zwar zum Spiritismus von Unterschichten und brgerlichen Kreisen viel neues Material beigebracht, aber andere Bereiche, wie Spiritismus im deutschen Adel (dessen Hochphase allerdings mglicherweise in der von Sawicki nicht mehr behandelten Zeit nach 1900 liegt), sind weitgehend unaufgearbeitet 17 . Fr das brgerliche Milieu hat Timo Heimerdinger zeitgleich mit Sawicki ein soziologische Mikrostudie mit neuen Quellen vorgelegt und sich auf das Tischercken um 1850 herum konzentriert. Die Arbeit ist zwar in ihrem Forschungsdesign berdimensioniert, denn Heimerdinger nutzt seine diskurstheoretischen berlegungen in der Durchfhrung kaum. Aber diese hochfahrenden Ausflge htte der Autor nicht ntig gehabt, denn er verbindet in innovativer Weise Spieltheorie und eine Analyse des brgerlichen Spiritismus als Gesellschaftsspiel. Damit wird der Spiritismus als Faktor der autonomen Vergesellschaftung des Brgertums und mithin als Teil der gesellschaftlichen Pluralisierung im 19. Jahrhundert sichtbar. Daneben besttigt auch Heimerdinger, da schon in dieser Phase die Analogien zwischen positivistischen Experimenten und Sancen einen Zugang zur Plausibilitt des Spiritismus bildeten. Sawicki wartet seinerseits mit bemerkenswerten Entdeckungen zum Verhltnis des Spiritismus zur Politik auf, etwa in den Interferenzen zwischen politischen Deutschkatholiken (einem Zweig des Aufklrungskatholizismus) und Spiritisten. Hier zeigt sich einmal mehr, da die Vereindeutigung des Spiritismus als antimoderne Bewegung viel zu kurz greift. Sawicki besttigt vergleichbare Ergebnisse hinsichtlich politisch emanzipatorischer Potentiale in der Spiritismusforschung auerhalb Deutschlands, etwa in der emanzipatoriDieses von Faivre mehrfach vorstellte Modell in Esoterik im berblick, 24-34. Dazu als punktuelle Studie meine Arbeit zum Verhltnis zwischen Rudolf Steiner und dem Oberkommandierenden des deutschen Heeres zu Beginn des Ersten Weltkrieges, Helmuth Graf von Moltke, in: Militrgeschichtliche Zeitschrift, 2002 [im Druck].
16 17

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schen Funktion weiblicher Medien, die sich ihrer Jenseitskontakte bedienten, um die Gleichberechtigung der Frauen einzufordern18 . Andererseits scheint sich zu besttigen, da der deutsche Spiritismus weit weniger sozialpolitisch engagiert war als Teile der angelschsischen Schwesterbewegungen. Damit ist die Frage nach dem Geschlechterverhltnis im Spiritismus aufgeworfen. Sawicki notiert, wie schon Forscher und Forscherinnen vor ihm, immer wieder Beobachtungen, die eine Strkung der Frauenrolle dokumentieren, etwa die vielen weiblichen Medien, die als Offenbarungsvermittlerinnen gegen die mnnlich dominierte Wissensverwaltung eine neue Legitimationsbasis fanden. Andererseits zieht sich von den mnnlichen Seelenfhrern des frhen 19. Jahrhunderts bis zu den zu Forschungsobjekten degradierten Frauen in Sancen um 1900 auch eine Tradition durch den Spiritismus, die die Frauen domestizierte. Vermutlich wird sich die Situation als hnlich zweideutig erweisen, wie sie fr andere Lnder inzwischen belegt ist19 . Eine frauenspezifische Studie fr Deutschland fehlt. 5. Internationalitt des Spiritismus Sawicki nennt zwar die wichtigste auerdeutsche wissenschaftliche Literatur zum Spiritismus, bezieht aber ihre Ergebnisse nur kursorisch auf die Entwicklungen in Deutschland. Drei Fragen sind der weiteren Errterung wert: 1. Die spiritistische Internationale (Linse) ist hinsichtlich Deutschlands noch kaum sichtbar. Sicher ist, da die franzsischen Auseinandersetzungen um Kardec auch nach Deutschland kamen, da der Amerikaner Andrew Jackson Davis gelesen wurde (whrend die Ereignisse von Hydesville wohl keine nachhaltigen Wirkungen zeigten), da Kardecianer mit Davisianern stritten, da die Londoner Society for Psychical Research Forschungen in Deutschland anstie und auch die Psychologen in Paris und Nancy nach Deutschland wirkten, da in der Jahrhundertmitte polnische Spiritisten oder mit Aksakow am Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts der russische Spiritismus prsent waren. Diese Wechselwirkungen gehren in den greren Kontext des Einflusses auslndischer, insbesondere angelschsischer Dissenter auf die Religionsgeschichte Deutschlands um 1900. Die Bedeutung dieses schlecht erVgl. etwa Edelman, Voyantes, gurisseuses et visionnaires en France, 115f. Dabei stehen allerdings meist die emanzipatorischen Entwicklungen im Vordergrund. Vgl. an neuerer Literatur fr Frankreich Edelman, Voyantes, gurisseuses et visionnaires en France; fr die USA Braude, Radical Spirits oder die Biographie der wegen ihrer Propaganda fr freie Liebe bekanntgewordenen Spiritistin Victoria Woodhull von Goldsmith, Other Powers; fr Grobritannien Owen, The Darkened Room .
18 19

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forschten Beziehungsgeflechtes ist hoch einzustufen, und auch fr den Spiritismus drften sich Sawickis Hinweise auf diese Einflsse zu einem Netz transnationaler Beziehungen verdichten lassen. 2. Der Spiritismus besitzt in Deutschland eine eigene Semantik, etwa die von Sawicki herausgearbeitete Unterscheidung zwischen Geist und Geistern oder die am Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts verschwindende Differenzierung zwischen Spiritualismus und Spiritismus. Wenn aber Begriffe ideenpolitische Indikatoren sind, wrde eine international vergleichende Sprachgeschichte helfen, die Nationalkulturen des Spiritismus besser zu begreifen. 3. In einem international angelegten Vergleich wrde auch eine mutmalich deutsche konfessionelle Besonderheit ein schrferes Profil erhalten: Mglicherweise war der Spiritismus besonders an den Grenzen der groen Konfessionsgebiete verbreitet, die es als abgegrenzte Territorien in den westeuropischen Nachbarstaaten nicht gab. Lucian Hlscher, der Sawickis Dissertation betreut hat, hat auf diese Dimension in seinen Forschungen immer wieder hingewiesen. Damit steht die Frage nach den konfessionellen Spezifika des Spiritismus im Raum, die meines Wissens weder fr Deutschland noch fr andere europische Staaten mit homogenen oder strker berlappenden Konfessionskulturen beantwortet wurde. 6. Aktuelle Forschung Da sich der Spiritismus in Deutschland aktuell in einer Phase forcierter Erforschung befindet, bezeugen eine Reihe laufender Forschungsprojekte. An der Universitt Lneburg arbeitet Karl Clausberg (clausberg@uni-lueneburg.de) ber Seelenmodelle im Spiritismus des 19. Jahrhunderts (Aksakow, du Prel, Zllner) unter Nutzung von Nachlamaterialien Alexander Aksakows, die Olga Slavina (O.Slavine@gmx.de) aufarbeitet. An einer Biographie du Prels sitzt momentan Tomas Kaiser (tomas_kaiser @web.de), Forschungsstipendiat in Wien. Die Dissertation von Priska Pytlik (priska.pytlik@gmx.de), Universitt Regensburg, ber das Verhltnis von Okkultismus und literarischer Moderne um 1900 mit Schwerpunkt auf dem Spiritismus wurde 2002 abgeschlossen. Georg Braungart (georg.braungart @sprachlit.uni-regensburg.de) von der Universitt Regensburg arbeitet weiterhin ber den Spiritismus in der deutschen Literatur um 1900 (namentlich ber Rilke). Ulrich Linse (linse@rz.fh-muenchen.de) an der Fachhochschule Mnchen forscht zu Medien und Spiritismus in der Malerei um 1900. Eberhard Bauer am Institut fr Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene in Freiburg

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(bauer@igpp.de) beschftigt sich im Rahmen von historischen Forschungen zur Parapsychologie weiterhin mit dem Spiritismus. Andreas Fischer am gleichen Institut (fischer@igpp.de) untersucht in einem Forschungsprojekt die Interferenz von Photographie und Spiritismus. Zwei Tagungen haben im vergangenen Jahr stattgefunden: Die Eichendorff-Gesellschaft (gunnar.och@rz-mail.uni-erlangen.de) hat im Juni 2002 eine Veranstaltung ber Dmonen Geister Wiedergnger ausgerichtet; die Beitrge werden im Jahrbuch Eichendorff-Gesellschaft Aurora , Bd. 63, 2003 verffentlicht. Im Oktober fand an der Universitt Mnster eine germanistische Tagung zu Gespenstererscheinungen und Medien statt (Sabine.Otto@uni-muenster.de). In der Planung befindet sich ein Ausstellungsprojekt der Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen Mannheim (michael.tellenbach @mannheim.de) und der Stdtischen Galerie Lenbachhaus Mnchen (marion.ackermann@muenchen.de) ber den Spiritisten und Maler Gabriel von Max. In diesen laufenden Forschungen spielen die Geschichte nach 1900 und damit die lngerfristigen Folgen des Spiritismus noch kaum eine Rolle 20 , aber das sollte bei knftigen Forschungen nicht so bleiben. Sawicki hat die Zeit nach 1900 nicht mehr bearbeitet, und dies ist arbeitspragmatisch sinnvoll. Seine Begrndung, der Spiritismus habe an Bedeutung verloren, stimmt allerdings nicht, er gewann im Gegenteil an Virulenz, sei es in Kunst und Literatur um die Jahrhundertwende oder als Sinnstiftung whrend des Ersten Weltkriegs. Auch die Transformationsprodukte des Spiritismus nach 1900 liegen verstndlicherweise auerhalb von Sawickis Arbeitsfeldern, aber hier wird es besonders spannend: zweifelsohne wurden beispielsweise Theosophie und Psychoanalyse zuinnerst vom Spiritismus geprgt, aber die Distanzierung beider Gruppen von dieser vermeintlichen mesalliance gehrt zu den Grnden fr das Forschungsdefizit, das Sawicki jetzt in wichtigen Teilen geschlossen hat. Bibliography
Ackermann, Marion, Eine Sprache, die besser wirkt als Esperanto: berlegungen zum Einflu des Spiritismus auf Kandinsky, in: Baler & Chtellier, Mystique, mysticisme et modernit, 187-201. Aksakow, Alexander Nikolajewitsch, Animismus und Spiritismus: Versuch einer kritischen Prfung der mediumistischen Phnomene mit besonderer Bercksichtigung der Hypothesen der Halluzination und des Unbewussten (1890), 2 Bde., Leipzig: Mutze 51919.

20 Eine Ausnahme bildet der Band Im Reich der Phantome, der nicht nur spiritistische Fotographie, sondern auch die Transformationsprodukte bis in die zeitgenssische Kunst hinein dokumentiert.

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Asendorf, Christoph, Strme und Strahlen: Das langsame Verschwinden der Materie um 1900 (1989), Gieen: Anabas 1990. Barkhoff, Jrgen, Magnetische Fiktionen. Literarisierung des Mesmerismus in der Romantik , Stuttgart / Weimar: Metzler 1995. Baler, Moritz, Maltes Gespenster, in: Baler & Chtellier, .Mystique, mysticisme et modernit, 239-253. , Lehnsthle werden verrckt. Spiritismus und emphatische Moderne, HofmannsthalJahrbuch zur Europischen Moderne 1 (1993), 287-307. Baler, Moritz & Hildegard Chtellier (eds.), Mystique, mysticisme et modernit en Allemagne autour de 1900 , Straburg: Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg 1998. Bauer, Eberhard, Spiritismus und Okkultismus, in: Okkultismus und Avantgarde. Von Munch bis Mondrian 1900-1915 [Ausstellungskatalog Frankfurt a.M.] Ostfildern: Edition Tertium 1995, 60-81. Braude, Ann, Radical Spirits. Spiritualism and Womens Rights in Nineteenth-Century America, Boston: Beacon 1989. Braungart, Georg, Spiritismus und Literatur um 1900, in: ders. u.a. (eds.), sthetische und religise Erfahrungen der Jahrhundertwenden. II: um 1900, Paderborn u.a.: Schningh 1998, 85-92. Chtellier, Hildegard, Entre religion et philosophie. Les approches du spiritisme chez Hanns von Gumppenberg, in: Baler & Chtellier, Mystique, mysticisme et modernit, 115-131. Edelman, Nicole, Voyantes, gurisseuses et visionnaires en France, 1785-1914 , Paris: Michel 1995. Ego, Anneliese, Animalischer Magnetismus oder Aufklrung: Eine mentalittsgeschichtliche Studie zum Konflikt um ein Heilkonzept im 18. Jahrhundert, Wrzburg: Knigshausen & Neumann 1991. Faivre, Antoine, Esoterik im berblick. Geheime Geschichte des abendlndischen Denkens (11992), Freiburg i.B.: Herder 2001. Goldsmith, Barbara, Other Powers. The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhall , New York: Knopf 1998. Gruber, Bettina, Die Seherin von Prevorst: Romantischer Okkultismus als Religion, Wissenschaft und Literatur, Paderborn u.a.: Schningh 2000. Hanegraaff, Wouter, Versuch ber Friederike Hauffe: Zum Verhltnis zwischen Lebensgeschichte und Mythos der Seherin von Prevorst, in: Suevica. Beitrge zur schwbischen Literatur- und Geistesgeschichte 8 (1999-2000), 17-45 & 9 (2001-2002) [Seitenzahlen noch nicht bekannt]. Hartmann, Eduard von, Der Spiritismus (11895), Leipzig: Haacke 21898. , Die Geisterhypothese des Spiritismus und seine Phantome. Neue Ausgabe, Leipzig o.J.: Haacke (= 1891). Im Reich der Phantome. Fotographie des Unsichtbaren [Ausstellungskatalog Mnchengladbach / Winterthur], Ostfildern: Cantz 1997. Jansen, Derk, Spiritualismus im hollndischen Protestantismus: Der Fall Abraham Rutgers van der Loeff (1808-1885), Aries 2:1 (2001), 57-75. Kiesewetter, Carl, Geschichte des neueren Okkultismus. Geheimwissenschaftliche Systeme von Agrippa von Nettesheim bis zu Carl du Prel, Leipzig: Friedrich 1891. Kollak, Ingrid, Literatur und Hypnose: Der Mesmerismus und sein Einflu auf die Literatur des 19. Jahrhunderts, Frankfurt a.M. u.a.: Campus 1997. Kurzweg, Adolf, Die Geschichte der Berliner Gesellschaft fr Experimental-Psychologie mit besonderer Bercksichtigung ihrer Ausgangssituation und des Wirkens von Max Dessoir , Diss. Berlin 1976. Linse, Ulrich, Geisterseher und Wunderwirker. Heilssuche im Industriezeitalter, Frankfurt a.M.: S. Fischer 1996.

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, Der Spiritismus in Deutschland um 1900, in: Baler & Chtellier, Mystique, mysticisme et modernit , 95-113. , Das Buch der Wunder und Geheimwissenschaften: Der spiritistische Verlag Oswald Mutze im Rahmen der spiritistischen Bewegung Sachsens, in: Das bewegte Buch. Buchwesen und soziale, nationale und kulturelle Bewegungen um 1900 , Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 1999, 219-244. Meinel, Christoph, Karl Friedrich Zllner und die Wissenschaftskultur der Grnderzeit. Eine Fallstudie zur Genese konservativer Zivilisationskritik , Berlin: Sigma 1991. Owen, Alex, The Darkened Room. Women, Power, and Spiritualism in late Nineteenth Century England , London: Virago 1989. Raedel, Christoph, Die Auseinandersetzung mit Wesen und Wirken des Spiritismus im deutschsprachigen Methodismus des 19. Jahrhunderts, in: Religser Pluralismus und das Christentum (Festschrift fr Helmut Obst), Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2001, 55-73 Tischner, Rudolf, Geschichte der Parapsychologie, Tittmoning: Pustet 1960. Voigts, Manfred, Mathematik und Telepathie. Zu Hugo Bergmanns umgreifender Weltsicht, in: Baler & Chtellier, Mystique, mysticisme et modernit, 133-148.

BOOK REVIEW SECTION Julia Iwersen, Lexikon der Esoterik, Artemis und Winkler: Dsseldorf/ Zrich 2001. 279 p. ISBN 3-538-07119-5. Es ist zweifellos eine groe Herausforderung, die Esoterik als ein Ganzes darzustellen. Wer dies tut, mu nicht nur das Feld der Esoterik innerhalb der Religions-, Philosophie- und Wissenschaftsgeschich te deutlich eingrenzen, er mu auch einen historischen berblick ber die Geschichte der Esoterik und einen klaren Begriff der Esoterik als einer bestimmten Form des Wissens und des Denkens entwickeln. Dies liee sich wie auch im Fall von anderen kulturellen Phnomenen am besten und klassischerweise historiographisch darstellen. Eine alternative Darstellungsform, fr die grundstzlich sehr viel spricht, ist allerdings die lexikographische. Sie minimiert den linearen Zusammenhang der Historiographie und der Theorie, indem sie Geschichte in Begriffe und Namen atomisiert. Dennoch suggeriert das Lexikon Zusammenhang und Geschlossenheit des Phnomens, das es zum Gegenstand hat. Damit stellen sich fr ein Lexikon der Esoterik hauptschlich drei Anforderungen: Erstens ist gefordert, einen historischen und systematischen Begriff des Ganzen der Esoterik zu entwickeln, zwar ohne dann dieses Ganze in eine lineare Form zu bringen, aber es doch so mit einzubeziehen, da es als Horizont angenommen wird, vor dem im Lexikon ein- und ausgegrenzt werden kann, was zur Esoterik gehrt, und was nicht. Auf diese nicht-lineare Weise strebt also auch das Lexikon eine Synthese des aktuellen Wissens darber an, was sich unter dem Begriff der Esoterik subsumieren lt. Zweitens liegt die Aufgabe darin, diesen generellen Begriff zu differenzieren, um so eine schlssige Lemmaliste zu erstellen und die einzelnen Begriffe und Namen historisch wie konzeptuell zu beschreiben bzw. zu definieren. Drittens ist dabei ein Stil sachlicher Verdichtung gefordert, der es erlaubt, auf knappem Raum mglichst viel Information zu geben. Das sind nicht gerade geringe Anforderungen, insbesondere dann, wenn diese Arbeit im Alleingang gemacht wird. Julia Iwersen hat dies fr die Esoterik unternommen, mit (noch) nicht berzeugendem Erfolg. Zunchst mu der Anspruch dieses Lexikons in Relation zu vergleichbaren Unternehmen gebracht werden. Iwersens Nachschlagewerk ist mit 279 Seiten recht schmal und damit zumindest in seinen quantitativen Mglichkeiten beschrnkt. Schmal ist dieses neue Lexikon gewi im Vergleich mit den groen kollektiven Projekten der letzten Jahre, etwa der von Jean Servier herausgegebene Dictionnaire critique de lsotrisme (1998, 1449 Seiten; vgl. Bespre Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2003 Aries Vol. 3, no. 1

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chung in Aries 1:1 [2001], 88-105), oder der in Arbeit stehende englischsprachige Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism (hg. von Wouter Hanegraaff, Antoine Faivre, Roelof van den Broek und Jean-Pierre Brach). Es ist aber auch deutlich schmaler als die entsprechenden einbndigen deutschsprachigen Esoterik-Lexika. Hans Biedermanns Lexikon der magischen Knste umfat ungefhr das Doppelte, und das bewhrte Lexikon des Geheimwissens von Horst E. Miers, das 1997 erneut in einer aktualisierten Auflage erschienen ist und demjenigen von Iwersen in der Art am nchsten liegt, umfat das Dreifache. Schon diese quantitative Erhebung zeigt, da dasjenige, was Iwersen als das Ganze der Esoterik vorstellen will, gezwungenermaen recht selektiv ist. Gewi: jedes Lexikon mu auswhlen, doch hier wird die Auswahl fast notwendig zu allzu groen Lcken fhren. Das mag in vielen Fllen fr einen ersten Zugang nicht schaden. Wenn man aber nur schon ein wenig mehr wissen will, wird man nicht selten enttuscht. Wie aber ist denn jenes Ganze der Esoterik bei Iwersen gedacht? Schon das Vorwort macht deutlich, wo die Akzente liegen: In der (gyptischen, griechischen, rmischen) Antike, im frhen Mittelalter, insbesondere im Bereich der Gnosis, dann wieder in der Esoterik des 20. Jahrhunderts, etwa in der Anthroposophie. In diesen Bereichen wird man viele hilfreiche und gut ausgefhrte Artikel finden (z.B. Gnosis,Rudolf Steiner). Schon im Vorwort wird aber deutlich, wie knapp dabei die Esoterik der Renaissance und des Barock, und damit die Grundlagen der esoterischen Strmungen der europischen Neuzeit, behandelt werden. Wre Iwersens Handbuch kein Lexikon, sondern eine Geschichte der Esoterik, dann fielen die Kapitel zum 15. bis 18. Jahrhundert sehr schmal aus. Symptomatisch dafr ist, da der Artikel zu Agrippa von Nettesheim, der doch einer der wichtigsten Begrnder der westlichen Esoterik der Neuzeit ist, wenig informativ und viel zu kurz ist. hnliches gilt fr die Artikel zu den Paracelsisten Oswald Croll und Heinrich Khunrath. Andere wichtige Namen derselben Zeit fehlen gnzlich, z.B. Marsilius Ficino, Johann Baptist van Helmont oder dessen Sohn Mercurius van Helmont. Weitere Artikel dieser Epoche wiederum sind fehlerhaft, z.B. der Reuchlin-Artikel: De verbo mirifico wird als ber das wunderttige Werk bersetzt, und von ihm wird behauptet: R.s Wirkung blieb [] beschrnkt; seine christl. Kabbala fand auch in esot. Kreisen viel zu wenig Beachtung. Erstens ist genau das Gegenteil der Fall: Reuchlins Wirkung war sehr gro, wie neulich ein Kongre zu Johannes Reuchlins Wirkung, der im Juli 2000 in Pforzheim stattgefunden hat, deutlich machte. Und was heit viel zu wenig? Selbst wenn es so gewesen wre: der Lexikograph soll nicht werten, um einmal etwas zum Stil zu sagen. Gewi steht jedes Lexikon vor der Schwierigkeit der Eingrenzung, und gewi wird man der Grozahl der Artikel im zentralen Feld des Gegenstandes

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nicht gerecht, wenn man auf seine Rnder schaut und beobachtet, wie ein- und ausgegrenzt wird. Doch zeigt sich gerade da die Qualitt der Argumentation. Grundstzlich problematisch ist etwa die Grenze zwischen Esoterik und Mystik. Im Artikel Mystik gelingt dies Iwersen recht gut (obwohl die Behauptung, da im Judentum Mystik und Esoterik synonym seien, weit bers Ziel hinausschiet, wie noch deutlich wird). Ein Artikel zu Hildegard von Bingen liegt was die christliche Mystik betrifft gewi nahe, dennoch fragt man sich, ob dieses kurze Lexikon einen Artikel zu Meister Eckhart und Johannes Tauler brauchte. Htte man diesen Raum dann nicht besser fr Esoteriker im engeren Sinne verwenden mssen, so etwa fr Nicolas Flamel oder Hermann Fictuld, um noch zwei fehlende Namen zu nennen? Ebenso schwierig wie der Grenzbereich zur Mystik ist derjenige zur Philosophie. Da sich Artikel zu Schelling und Schopenhauer finden, ist sehr erfreulich, haben sich doch beide, gerade als Philosophen, intensiv mit esoterischen Traditionen, Wissenschaften und Denkformen auseinandergesetzt. Warum aber Maimonides oder Heidegger? Um nur das eine Beispiel zu berprfen: Wenn Iwersen von Maimonides behauptet: Seine philosoph. Theologie stand der Kabbala nahe und ist mglicherweise fr ihre Entfaltung im Sohar eine entscheidende Anregung gewesen, begibt sie sich allerdings auf sehr dnnes Eis. Erstens stellte sich der Aristoteliker und Rationalist Maimonides klar gegen die ltere jdische Esoterik (namentlich die Merkava-Mystik), von der er allenfalls gewisse Elemente philosophisch umdeutete. Ganz abgesehen davon aber konnte er der Kabbala schon deshalb nicht nahe stehen, weil es diese zu seiner Zeit noch gar nicht gab (denn die Merkava-Mystik ist nicht die Kabbala, wie Iwersen auch im Kabbala-Artikel flschlich annimmt und sie dort deshalb ab dem 2. Jh. einsetzen lt gegen die ganze moderne Kabbala-Forschung)! Iwersen htte allenfalls die Rezeption von Maimonides durch einzelne Kabbalisten anfhren knnen, aber gewi nicht im Sohar bzw. im Kreis der spanischen Kabbalisten, die die rationale Philosophie von Maimonides geradezu polemisch zurckwiesen (so etwa Abraham ben David und spter Shlomo Ibn Adret, Protagonisten des sogenannten Maimonidesstreits), sondern dann bei der ekstatischen Kabbala, insbesondere bei Abraham Abulafia, der drei Kommentare zum More Nevuchim geschrieben hatte. Die Liste auf der einen Seite unntiger, auf der anderen Seite fehlender Artikel liee sich noch verlngern: Warum etwa einen Artikel zu Thomas S. Kuhns wissenschaftshistorischer Kategorie des Paradigmenwechsels, wenn damit New Age oder hnlich spekulative Vorstellungen ber einen geschichtlichen Umbruch gemeint sind? Und warum dagegen keinen Artikel zur tatschlich esoterischen naturwissenschaftlich-medizinischen Lehre des Magnetismus?

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Bei den genannten Mngeln wird insgesamt die Notwendigkeit deutlich, im Vorfeld eines Vorhabens wie dieses Lexikons der Esoterik das Gegenstandsfeld behutsam und genau einzugrenzen und die Kriterien der Grenzziehung im Vorwort transparent zu machen (was bei Iwersen undeutlich bleibt). Anders kann ein Lexikon wenig wissenschaftlichen Wert beanspruchen und wird schnell zu einer halbherzigen Synthese dessen, was gegenwrtig ber Esoterik kursiert. Gerade bei einem kleinen Lexikon wie diesem mu der beschrnkte Raum durch einen argumentativ gut abgesicherten Zugriff auf den Gegenstand genutzt werden. Es ist mit anderen Worten zu raten, den Begriff der Esoterik mglichst genau und d.h. auch mglichst eng zu definieren, denn nur so knnen auf der einen Seite die heiklen Grenzflle minimiert und die wirklich wichtigen Artikel mit eingeschlossen werden. Zwar ist das Lexikon von Julia Iwersen ein (fr eine junge Wissenschaftlerin) beachtlicher Versuch, im Alleingang die Esoterik als Ganzes zu fassen. Als verlliches Nachschlagewerk fr eine erste Information ber Begriffe und Namen aus dem Bereich der Esoterik wird es sich aber nur dann durchsetzen knnen, wenn es in einer stark berarbeiteten und verbesserten Auflage erscheinen kann, die noch mehr als die hier angefhrten Mngel behebt. Andreas B. Kilcher

Pierre Jean Fabre, LAlchimiste chrtien (Alchymista christianus) , dit par Frank Greiner, Paris-Milan: S..H.A.-Arch 2001. CXVII-316 p. Pierre Jean Fabre (1588-1658) fut mdecin la cour du roi Louis XIII. Sa renomme, fonde notamment sur sa lutte contre la peste, prend son sens dans le sillage de la tradition mdicale paracelsienne. Franck Greiner a dit lun des ouvrages majeurs de Fabre, l Alchymista christanus. Il a longuement enqut sur le contexte socio-historique particulier de cet ouvrage, dont le principal intrt rside dans son caractre exemplaire. Lalchimiste chrtien est exemplaire en ce sens, dabord, que la rfrence la plus importante pour llucidation du contenu et du plan de lAlchymista christianus est la Theologia naturalis sive liber creaturarum de Raymond Sebond [], en raction aux thses de laverrosme latin (p. XXVII). Sinspirant largement du cheminement du clbre mdecin catalan, Fabre labore et cest l son originalit son apologie en choisissant lalchimie comme thmatique privilgie: lalchimie est la pice principale de lapologie fabrienne (p. XL). Celle-ci nest pas pour autant dtourne des fins hermtiques: On
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comprend ainsi que son uvre ne soit pas rserve aux seuls alchimistes, mais rpond galement un projet apologtique: ramener dans la voie de la religion justement comprise ceux des libres-penseurs ou des rforms qui se montreraient sensibles ses lumires naturelles (p. 284, note 483). Greiner situe bien lhorizon thologique de ces conceptions dans latmosphre morale de lhumanisme dvot (p.lviii). Fabre, en effet, tire ses principales leons du catchisme du concile de Trente. Loriginalit premire de Fabre est donc davoir utilis lalchimie des fins apologtiques. Exemple denseignement dogmatique entre tous, cest leucharistie quil va expliquer en termes alchimiques visant fonder la transsubstantiation, et ceci en rponse explicite linterprtation calviniste: Jadmire la vanit des calvinistes qui ne comprennent pas ce secret de Dieu [] et ils ne peuvent pas croire la transmutation de la substance du vin et du pain dans le vray corps du Christ (p. 196). Ainsi, pour le mdecin du Languedoc: Lalchimie a donc pour premire vertu de rvler naturellement et symboliquement lme chrtienne elle-mme tout en lui indiquant la voie dune eschatologie (p. LXXXIII). Litinraire de Fabre est plein dimagination: en saidant des trois principes paracelsiens de la matire, le mdecin philosophe explique les principaux mystres et les sept sacrements de la foi catholique. Ds lexpos du trinitarisme catholique, quil compare aux trois principes paracelsiens (le chaud inn, lhumide premier-n et le sec radical, qui procde de laction du chaud inn sur lhumide radical), il prend le soin de prciser que ces figures et allgories nous font connatre jusqu un certain point seulement des vrits telles que nulle creature ne peut les concevoir le moins du monde et quaucune creature ne peut tre compare son ouvrier (p. 18-20). Cette mise au point tant faite, on peut, certes, dire beaucoup de choses. Et Fabre de montrer dans les chapitres suivants quon peut retrouver les figures dincarnation, de rdemption, de rsurrection et dascension, dans les diffrentes oprations de la manipulation les mtaux. Aux chapitres 12 et 13, il essaie de justifier le langage sotrique utilis par les anciens mages et cabalistes, puis il analyse le symbole de la croix. Sinspirant la fois de llmentarisme dun John Dee et du Thau des Hbreux, il prtend mme arriver une symbiose des signes: Ce sont l les mysteres de la croix qui est depeinte la base du caractere de Mercure (p. 85). Et plus loin: Or le sceau du Dieu vivant est le Thau des Hbreux (p. 88). La vision fabrienne rduit donc le phnomne chimique une finalit annonciatrice des mystres chrtiens; ainsi que le rsume Greiner, les mystres de lalchimie aideraient comprendre ceux de la religion (p. 256, note 165). Le chaud inn, lhumide premier n et le sec radical proviennent pourtant de la physique aris-

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totlicienne. Greiner fait remarquer que notre mdecin apologiste de la Contre-Rforme dcrit son mariage harmonieux de lhumide radical et du soufre en suivant largumentation aristotlico-thomiste de la vie dfinie par lhumidit. Et lon pourrait voir dans sa proccupation de distinguer entre les anges purement intellectuels et les esprits naturels faits de matire subtile, une rmanence lointaine de lavicennisme mdival. Notre mdecin, comme tous les savants de son temps, croit encore aux bons et aux mauvais dmons, selon lenseignement des oracles chaldaques transmis en parfaite continuit depuis lAntiquit et durant tout le moyen ge, et survivant lesprit renaissant (ch.14: Par le moyen de la Chymie on peut inferer de la nature Sublunaire quil y a de bons et de mauvais demons dans la nature cre des choses). Fabre sinscrit donc dans une tradition philosophique pour laquelle, selon une tendance typique de lhumanisme, il existe une convergence des doctrines, ce qui lui permet, comme tant dautres depuis le 16e sicle, de combiner la physique antique et la mtaphysique arabe: il y a quatre lments, lesquels sont constitus, chacun en particulier, par cette composition trine et indivisible qui est le sel, le souffre et le Mercure, qui se trouvent indivisibles et insparables dans chaque lment. Cest pour cela que chaque lment est un triangle (p. 84). Nous voyons ici un esprit scientifique appliqu laborer une synthse; cette dernire nest pas moins lgitime, sans doute, que celle que lon tente de faire de nos jours entre les atomes et les quarks. Tout la fin du livre, ce nest pas tant lhorizon thorique de louvrage que son orientation chrtienne, qui se trouve confirme: De mme que la pierre phisique et llixir arabe change les mtaux impurs en or et les porte au comble de la perfection; de mme etant changs par le Christ notre Rdempteur, nous arrivons enfin la felicite eternelle (p. 236). Louvrage de Fabre a une double nature: il appartient la fois aux spculations de la tradition paracelsienne, et aux apologies religieuses de cette priode de troubles violents marque par le rveil des conflits religieux (p. 23). Alchimie thorique mais aussi, comme le titre lindique, alchimie spirituelle. Quen est-il de la pratique? En lisant un ouvrage dalchimie thorique, aussi bien construit et achev que celui de Fabre, on est toujours en droit de sinterroger sur la vrification exprimentale fournie exclusivement par les manipulations de ce quon nomme lalchimie pratique. Pierre Jean Fabre appartient un sicle o lalchimie permet encore tous les espoirs. Les laboratoires se multiplient lpoque (p. 285: La mode des transmutations qui fleurit alors en Europe), mais il semble que notre mdecin de Castelnaudary, indniablement un homme de mtier, naurait eu, selon un certain tmoignage, ni fourneau, ni pratique (p. X). Aurait-il pu crire l Alchymista christianus sans aucunement exprimenter? Certes, mais cela ne saurait peser sur notre lecture de son trait. Car mme

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sil ne pratiquait pas lui-mme, tout lenvironnement mental et le statut professionnel du philosophe spagyrite, bien dtaills par Greiner, faisaient de lui le tmoin au moins potentiel dexpriences de transmutations. De fait, cest ce qui advint. Au chapitre 26 de son ouvrage, le mdecin chrtien entreprend dexposer comment lopration alchimique de la purification naturelle des mixtes reprsente le baptme. Il fait alors le parallle entre la force des lments naturels que sont le feu et leau, et le sel phisique. Ce sel, qui semble ici tre un concept thorique venu en droite ligne de la science paracelsienne, devient alors sous sa plume un tre matriel bien rel. En effet, il commence par prciser que ce sel est celui dont jay vu les vertus admirables plusieurs fois en guerissant tout dun coup des malades (p. 182). Douterions-nous de la parole de ce mdecin pratiquant et gurisseur aguerri de la peste? Nous pourrions rduire son concept une croyance de savant, en loccurrence une croyance celle de lalchimie thorique postulant lexistence dun soufre, dun mercure et dun sel au fond de la nature. Pour prouver alors que le sel dont il parle existe, il voque le phnomne par lequel ce sel opre la transmutation des mtaux imparfaits (p. 182). Lexprience transmutatoire est donc, pour lui, la preuve de lexistence du sel. Mais il ajoute ce qui suit, bien dans la manire de cet auteur de stricte obdience catholique: et plusieurs personnes avec moy ont vu la puissance avec laquelle il opre la transmutation des mtaux imparfaits. Lan 1627 Castelnaudary, le 22 Juillet, fte de sainte Magdeleine a t prouve la vertu du sel phisique en prsence de gens dignes de foy; Car le Reverend Pere Anaclet et le venerable Pere Adrien, religieux de lOrdre des Capucins si trouvrent avec M. de Serignol, lieutenant au Prsidial de Lauraguay, juge expriment et tmoin oculaire de tout ce qui sest pass et qui mme souffloit le feu, afin quil ny eut point de supercherie dans une metamorphose metallique si rare et quil ne pouvoit croire, dans laquelle un demi grain de la poudre de ce sel admirable changea dans un demi quart dheure une once entiere de vif argent en argent pur plus excellent et plus brillant que largent naturel (p. 182) Que penser de ce tmoignage de premire main venant dun chercheur renomm et dcrivant une transmutation qui eut lieu dans sa ville natale? Greiner sest videmment rendu dans la rgion du Lauragais pour recueillir des traces philologiques de lvnement. Monsieur de Srignol a bel et bien exist, et il tait officier royal. On peut alors penser que la transmutation de 1627, rapporte par lauteur-tmoin, a jou un rle majeur dans la gense de son ouvrage paru en 1632. L Alchymista christianus serait donc un ouvrage dalchimie complet, exemplaire tant par son propos et sa pense reprsentative de lpoque, que par lvidente pratique exprimentale de son auteur, qui fut la fois mdecin et apologiste. Claude Gagnon

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Robert Vanloo, LUtopie Rose-Croix du XVIIe sicle nos jours, Dervy: Paris 2001. 429 pp. ISBN 2-84454-107-0. Aprs Frans Wittemans, Sedir, Max Heindel, Pierre Montloin, Jean-Pierre Bayard, Christopher McIntosh et bien dautres auteurs, Robert Vanloo prsente dans cet ouvrage une description des diffrents avatars du mythe rosicrucien depuis le XVIIe sicle jusqu lpoque actuelle. Lauteur sest donn pour but dtudier les solutions proposes par chaque mergence rosicrucienne, au cours de lhistoire, aux problmes politiques et sociaux auxquels tait confronte son poque, et de dtecter, si possible, une continuit idologique qui dpasse la simple rfrence au nom de Rose-Croix. La premire partie de cette tude englobe le XVIIe sicle et la priode dite des Lumires, et la seconde, moins toffe, dcrit les thories des mouvements rosicruciens depuis le XIXe sicle jusqu laube du XXIe sicle. Robert Vanloo considre le mythe rosicrucien comme laboutissement de toutes les tentatives passes qui, depuis Jean Hus, ont vis librer les nations europennes de lemprise du Saint-Sige. Son analyse historique commence donc au XIVe sicle, elle voque le Grand Schisme dOccident, puis la Paix dAugsbourg et la Concorde de Souabe rdige par le grand-pre de Johann Valentin Andre. Dans le domaine politique, lauteur remonte jusqu Louis IV de Bavire, devenu empereur en 1314, et son successeur Charles IV, mort en 1378. Ces dates peuvent videmment faire penser la lgende de Christian Rosenkreuz. Parvenu au dbut du XVII e sicle, lauteur semble mlanger quelque peu la ligne wurtembergeoise avec celle du Palatinat (p. 33). Cette confusion sexplique dans la mesure o il interprte la gense des premiers Rose-Croix dans le sillage de Frances A. Yates. Dans son livre intitul The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, elle explique sa mthode la page 221: As a historian, I have attempted to open long closed doors through which the Rosicrucian currents of thought once travelled. Une de ces portes est, selon elle, lacceptation de la couronne de Bohme par le princelecteur calviniste Frdric V de Palatinat qui avait pous en 1613 la fille de Jacques 1er, roi de Grande-Bretagne. De plus, lAnglais John Dee, lauteur de la Monade Hiroglyphique reproduite au dbut du rcit des Noces chymiques de Christian Rosenkreutz , avait effectu une mission Prague, nomme par Frances Yates a Mecca for those interested in esoteric and scientific studies. A la suite de Frances Yates, Robert Vanloo rappelle la dfaite du Winterknig la bataille de la Montagne Blanche en 1620 et laffaiblissement de lUnion vanglique, dans laquelle le landgrave de Hesse-Cassel, chez qui furent publis les premiers manifestes rosicruciens, avait jou un rle dterminant. Aprs avoir tiss cette toile de fond politico-religieuse, Vanloo fournit une
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brve analyse des premiers crits rosicruciens. Il na vraisemblablement pas eu accs aux ditions originales, car leur description comporte plusieurs erreurs. Sans doute abus par le titre de la Fama Fraternitatis, il la prsente comme un crit anonyme en latin, alors que toutes les premires ditions de ce manifeste sont en allemand, lexception dune traduction nerlandaise parue en 1615 et ralise daprs ldition de Francfort publie par Johann Berner. Dautre part, Vanloo mentionne comme dition originale le texte latin de la Confessio Fraternitatis publi en 1615 Cassel par Wilhelm Wessel la suite de la Secretioris Philosophi Consideration brevis de Philippus Gabella. Or le mme diteur avait auparavant, durant la mme anne 1615, publi en un volume la Fama Fraternitatis et la Confession latine welche vorhin in Druck noch nie ausgangen, accompagne de sa traduction en allemand. Vanloo dcrit en dtail ldition de Francfort, ralise par Johann Berner et dj mentionne plus haut, qui contient, outre la Fama, la Confessio allemande et la Responsio dAdam Haselmeyer, plusieurs missives adresses aux auteurs des manifestes, entre autres une lettre dun certain IBP Medicus (et non IMP). Cependant Vanloo a omis de mentionner la Rponse dun amoureux de la sagesse qui signe C.H.C. et demande tre admis dans la Fraternit. Ce texte figure la suite de ldition de Francfort et de ldition de Danzig qui en est la reproduction, et on le retrouve dans le volume paru Cassel en 1616, qui contient en outre cent pages de nouvelles epistol adresses aux RoseCroix. Enfin ldition de 1617, parue nouveau chez Johann Bringer et Johann Berner, aurait mrit une description dans la mesure o elle contient, outre le texte de la Fama et de la Confessio Fraternitatis, un commentaire de Julianus de Campis (pp. 57-82) et le rcit par Georg Molther de sa rencontre avec un mystrieux reprsentant de la fraternit rosicrucienne Wetzlar (pp. 83-108). En ce qui concerne les Noces chymiques, Vanloo observe avec raison quelles nont dalchimique que la forme extrieure et que le message essentiel de ce roman conu par le tout jeune Johann Valentin Andre vers 1605 tait la rgnration de la socit chrtienne. La prophtie du Lion du Septentrion, attribue Paracelse, mais date de 1549, en est une des sources, ainsi que la Naometria de Studion, que Vanloo analyse et dont il reproduit judicieusement un certain nombre dillustrations, linstar de Christopher McIntosh. Notons ce propos que J.V. Andre, dans sa Mythologia christiana , publie en 1619, prsente Studion, Weigel, Sperber, Khunrath, Guillaume Postel et bien dautres comme des insolit eruditionis homines, au mme titre que le Vnitien Jacopo Brocardo, dont Franois Secret a dcrit ltrange destin ml un moment celui du Franais Sgur-Pardeillan, voqu, lui aussi par Vanloo.

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Lallusion astronomique la naissance de la Fama Fraternitatis incite lauteur mentionner la Fama Syderea Nova de Faulhaber (1618). On regrette quil nait pas, cette occasion, cit un texte de Kepler, De stella nova in pede Serpentarii (Prague 1606), dont linfluence sur les auteurs du mythe rosicrucien est beaucoup plus vidente, ainsi que le Sidereus Nuncius de Galile (Venise 1610) et la rponse de Kepler: Dissertatio cum nuntio sidereo ad mortales misso a Galilo Galilei (Prague 1610). A propos de Michael Maier, Vanloo constate avec honntet que son rle dans laffaire rosicrucienne reste encore mal dfini. Rappelons que, selon Christopher McIntosh, lintrt de Maier pour les Rose-Croix nclaire pas dune manire nouvelle la confrrie elle-mme. Et cest seulement aprs avoir voqu lenthousiasme du mdecin anglais Robert Fludd pour cette fraternit que Vanloo se pose la question qui sous-tend lensemble de son ouvrage et en constitue le titre: Peut-on parler ou non dUtopie concernant le projet Rose-Croix? (page 181). Loccasion lui est videmment donne danalyser la Christianopolis dAndre, et force lui est de reconnatre que nous sommes assez loigns ici du contenu des manifestes et de leur intention premire. Il attribue donc Tobias He et Abraham Hlzel la volont de rforme contenue dans les premiers manifestes. Parvenu ce point de son tude, lauteur est oblig de constater que la dfaite de la Montagne Blanche en 1620 sanctionnait une opposition lAutriche que ne cautionnaient pas un grand nombre de luthriens, en particulier dans le Wurtemberg, et il observe donc que la diffusion des manifestes rpondait des impratifs politiques non forcment souhaits par Andre (p. 189), qui certes avait manifest quelque sympathie pour la rigueur morale des calvinistes de Genve, mais ne partageait pas les diffrends qui aboutirent la guerre de Trente Ans. Noublions pas que la plupart des princes luthriens ne participrent pas laventure militaire du palatin Frdric, et que le prince lecteur de Saxe, bien que protestant, se mit du ct de lempereur. Pourtant la guerre exera partout ses ravages: des quelque 400.000 habitants que comptait le Wurtemberg la veille du conflit, il nen survcut que 60.000, et Andre nous a laiss le rcit du sac de la ville de Calw, dont il tait le Doyen, en 1634. En ralit, les nombreuses uvres satiriques ou difiantes crites par lui, commencer par la conception du mythe rosicrucien, avaient essentiellement pour but de lutter contre le csaropapisme et de compenser la rigueur de lorthodoxie luthrienne par le vcu dun christianisme en actes: ce quon a nomm la nouvelle pit (die neue Frmmigkeit), illustre entre autres par Johann Arndt, Andre, Kepler, Comenius, et qui dbouchera sur le mouvement pitiste, notamment les Pia Desideria de Jakob Spener (1635-1705). On peut regretter que Vanloo, qui cite judicieusement la pansophie de Come-

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nius, nait pas rvl le fil dAriane de la pense rosicrucienne des origines, cest--dire la concordance entre la Bible et la nature. Durant le XVIIe sicle, la fraternit rosicrucienne ne fut quun mythe littraire. Cest seulement au sicle suivant quexistrent sous cette dnomination diverses socits auxquelles Vanloo consacre le dernier tiers de sa premire partie. Il mentionne videmment Sincerus Renatus et lOrdre rel ou fictif des Gold- und Rosenkreuzer, puis Fictuld et l Aureum Vellus, sans se rfrer apparemment louvrage dAntoine Faivre intitul Toison dOr et Alchimie. Dans le chapitre consacr aux Illumins de Bavire, lauteur cite bien entendu la thse de Ren Le Forestier qui date de 1914, dont un reprint a paru en 1974, puis en 2001, mais il ne mentionne pas ltude dEberhard Weis publie en 1989 par Helmut Reinalter dans un ouvrage collectif intitul Aufklrung und Geheimgesellschaften . Parmi les noms des personnages du XVIII e sicle qui jourent un rle dans la pense rosicrucienne, on est un peu surpris de ne pas voir apparatre celui du clbre pitiste Friedrich Christoph tinger, considr par certains comme le mentor des Rose-Croix de cette poque. En revanche, le lien de Cagliostro, de Saint-Germain et de Saint-Martin avec les RoseCroix semble fort tnu. Quant Joseph de Maistre, son solide ancrage ultramontain lavait certainement tenu lcart dun mythe issu de la Rforme. Dans la seconde partie de son livre Vanloo constate dabord lclatement, partir du XIXe sicle, de lidologie rosicrucienne au gr dinterprtations varies, puis il analyse les mythes dun gouvernement mondial invisible, et enfin il envisage les perspectives utopiques au seuil du XXIe sicle. La Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA), fonde en 1865, publie bientt une revue intitule The Rosicrucian et suscite la fondation de lOrder of the Golden Dawn . A ce propos, Vanloo mentionne videmment lord BulwerLytton et son roman Zanoni, ainsi que Mme Blavatsky dont il retrace ltonnante biographie. Elle tait russe, Franz Hartmann, auteur du roman Une aventure chez les Rose-Croix tait allemand, et Annie Besant tait dorigine irlandaise. On comprend lintrt de lauteur pour cette visionnaire, auteur dun livre qui prdisait le constitution des Etats-Unis dEurope. Un autre membre clbre de la Golden Dawn , lalpiniste Aleister Crowley, rvait de crer, linstar de Rabelais, une nouvelle Abbaye de Thlme, mais Vanloo rappelle les orgies sexuelles organises par Crowley, ainsi que ses sympathies pour le fascisme, qui navaient plus aucun rapport avec le vritable idal rosicrucien. Si Pladan avait tent de le catholiciser, Rudolf Steiner, en revanche, a su, par son Anthroposophie, transcender les limites confessionnelles et dboucher sur un christianisme cumnique de nature rosicrucienne. On peut regretter que Vanloo nait pas, ce propos, cit les rcentes tudes de Gerhard Wehr sur Rudolf Steiner.

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Lidal politique dAnnie Besant reparat chez Jollivet-Castelot, puisque dans un numro de la revue La Rose+Croix de 1929 ce propagandiste de ce quil nommait le Communisme Spiritualiste proposait galement la cration des Etats-Unis dEurope. Cette ide reparat dans le projet de Synarchie labor vers 1880 par Saint-Yves dAlveydre, dont Papus, un des matres de lOrdre Kabbalistique de la Rose-Croix , fut un disciple. Vanloo dcrit laction de Papus auprs du tsar Nicolas II et voque ses relations avec le magntiseur savoyard Philippe Nizier, dont linfluence sur le tsar semble avoir t comparable celle de Raspoutine. Papus et Nizier uvraient en fait dans le sillage de Saint-Yves dAlveydre, dont les ides auraient sans doute pu permettre, lissue de la premire guerre mondiale, une meilleure reconstruction de lEurope. Pourtant ce grand rveur avait conu un mythe irralisable en dcrivant le monde utopique de lAgartha. Cette contre mystrieuse du Tibet a enflamm limagination de Ren Gunon, de Mme Blavatsky, dAnnie Besant. Et ne croyait-on pas que les derniers reprsentants de la Rose-Croix se seraient rfugis au Tibet, lieu dune fraternit occulte dnomme la Grande Loge Blanche, dirige par un roi du monde? Selon Annie Besant, la Socit Thosophique en tait la messagre, et le New Age a ractiv la croyance en un gouvernement mondial invisible. Vanloo rappelle que lAMORC a voulu relier au mythe rosicrucien cette ide dun gouvernement occulte du monde. A lissue de ce foisonnant catalogue dutopies mondialistes, Vanloo se demande avec juste raison en quoi de telles ides pouvaient correspondre la conception rosicrucienne des sicles prcdents. Sa rponse fait rfrence aux organismes mondiaux dj prsents par lui dans son ouvrage intitul Les Rose-Croix du Nouveau Monde: la Fdration Universelle Des Ordres et Socits Initiatiques (FUDOSI) initie en 1934 par Sr Hieronymus, et sa concurrente la Fdration Universelle Des Ordres, Socits et Fraternits Initiatiques (FUDOSFI). La premire ne fut pas exempte de compromissions avec le fascisme, tandis que la seconde, dans un manifeste qualifi de seconde Fama Fraternitatis, saffirmait non politique et sans distinction de race ou de couleur. Un de ses animateurs, Constant Chevillon, fut assassin par la milice en 1944. Les diffrentes organisations qui se rclament, de nos jours, de la RoseCroix se distinguent en fait assez profondment de lidologie du mythe n au XVIIe sicle. Les manifestes originaux taient porteurs dun message hermsien et alchimique consistant pour lessentiel concilier lesprit et la matire, unir le Filius Microcosmi avec le Filius Macrocosmi . En revanche, les doctrines rosicruciennes actuelles, lAMORC ou le Lectorium Rosicrucianum, ne sen tiennent pas uniquement aux religions rvles, mais sappuient sur une gnose englobant tout le cosmos et annonant une re nouvelle, lEre du

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Verseau qui, dans le cycle cosmique, fait suite lEre des Poissons inaugure par la naissance du Christ. Vanloo consacre la fin de son tude laube du XXIe sicle, o les adeptes du New Age et des associations rosicruciennes proposent la fois un Ersatz aux religions traditionnelles et le mythe dun pouvoir plantaire secret qui entretiendrait la crainte dune conspiration occulte. Lauteur se rfre entre autres de nombreux sites Internet montrant la vigueur de ce nouveau jeu subtil entre paranodes et illuminodes (p. 361). Au total, le livre de Vanloo est agrable lire et foisonne de rfrences multiples, mais parfois htrognes. Quil dcrive les visions utopiques de certains groupes sotriques au cours de quatre sicles, on ne saurait en douter. Le terme de Rose-Croix est ici trs extensif, et lauteur le reconnat lui-mme dans les dernires notes de son ouvrage lorsquil parle de drives qui ne pouvaient donc que se situer hors du cadre du vritable rosicrucianisme. Roland Edighoffer

Michael Frensch, Weisheit in Person: Das Dilemma der Philosophie und die Perspektive der Sophiologie, Novalis Verlag: Schaffhausen 2000. ISBN 3907160-57-6. Michael Frensch hat sich bereits mit wichtigen Publikationen zur Esoterik oder Hermetik einen Namen gemacht. Hier soll ein neues gedanken- und seitenstarkes Buch des Autors vorgestellt werden. Frensch diagnostiziert darin eine allgemeine Krise der neueren Philosophie. Sie wird dadurch charakterisiert, dass es bis in die Gegenwart hinein nicht gelungen sei, die klassische Wesensmetaphysik oder Ontologie mit der neuzeitlichen Subjekt- und Freiheitsphilosophie wieder zu verbinden, oder anders formuliert: Es steht noch heute die Vereinigung der Gegenstze von Logik und Moral aus (15). Die metaphysische Synthese, die der Autor dagegen einfordert, soll eine neue philosophische, genauer moralische Logik sein. Deren Wurzeln findet Frensch ausgehend von der Sptphilosophie Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schellings in den Werken der (russischen) Sophiologen Wladimir Sergejewitsch Solowjew (1853-1900), Pavel Florenski (1882-1937/43) und Sergej Nikolajewitsch Bulgakow (1871-1944) sowie bei Valentin Tomberg (1900-1973). Logik wird bei Frensch in einem Wortsinn verwendet, der sogar noch jenen Begriff bersteige, wie er im dialektisch-dreischrittigen System Hegels zur vorlufig hchsten Vollendung gekommen ist (287). Schon in den
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Eingangskapiteln lsst sich daher das Interesse des Autors auch als Versuch deuten, die christlich trinitarische Logoslehre durch ein fehlendes Viertes zu bereichern. Dabei stellt sich das unbekannte, verborgene und insofern esoterische Vierte der weibliche Aspekt Gottes zunchst als synthetisierendes, gleichermaen logisches wie moralisches Prinzip einer neuen Metaphysik dar. Aber Frensch mchte noch mehr leisten als nur eine theoretische Rekonstruktion des abstrakten philosophischen Prinzips. Mit einem an Johann Gottlieb Fichte erinnernden Gedanken bezeichnet der Autor das unbekannte Erste als eine Tat, als eine lebendige Bewegung, welche die Tat und Bewegung eines dem Denken Vorausgehenden ist (39). So stellt sich die Frage nach dem unbekannten Vierten als eine nach der mit Fichte gesprochen logischen Tathandlung, nach dem praktischen Ermglichungsgrund also, in dem das philosophische Denken sein schpferisches Fundament findet. Ein zentraler Begriff der historischen Recherche stammt aus dem Kontext der kabbalistischen Philosophie. Frensch findet in dem jdischen Mystiker Isaak Luria (1534-1572) einen traditionellen Gewhrsmann fr die Lehre von der vierten Gestalt des gttlichen Logos, die dort als ein Sod ha Zimzum , als Geheimnis der gttlichen Kontraktion thematisiert wird (31). Die esoterische Seite Gottes hat im Anschluss an Luria in der gttlichen Fertigkeit zur logischen Kontraktion konkreten Bestand. Dieses freiwillige Zusammenziehen des gttlichen Logos erst soll den ebenso ontischen wie logischen Raum gebren, der als ein leerer Raum oder Nichts die Mglichkeitsbedingung des gttlichen Schpfungsaktes gibt (33). So realisiert sich das kreative Handeln Gottes im Modell Lurias durch einen freiwilligen Rckzug (32) eine punktuelle Konzentration seiner Macht, die jenes vermeintliche Nichts freigibt, mit dem die christliche Schpfungs- und Offenbarungsgeschichte als eine creatio ex nihilo erst beginnen kann. Um den verborgenen logischen Sinn hinter diesem vordergrndig theologischen oder kosmogonischen Modell zu ermitteln, ist es notwendig, den gttlichen Kontraktionsprozess als eine Selbstaufgabe des Logos praktisch, d.h. als Tathandlung (Fichte) nachzuvollziehen. Dies jedoch sei nur in der meditativen Praxis mglich, wie der Autor ausfhrlich folgert (39-40). hnlich wie nach ihm Solowjew hatte auch bereits Schelling in seinem spten philosophischen Werk jenen Akt des meditativen Selbstrckzuges und Leer-Werdens logisch fortbestimmt und daran zugleich eine Kritik an Hegels trinitarischer Offenbarungslehre geknpft. Der Mensch, so Schelling in seiner Philosophie der Offenbarung, begreife zwar, wozu er in der logischen Bewegung seines Denkens gelangen knne, aber der erste und urspngliche Begriff sei nur in der Nicht-Bewegung im selbst-still-Stehen fabar. So ziele etwa die meditative Praxis einer gewissen Klasse von indischen Brahmi-

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nen eben darauf ab, sich jenes Tiefsten und Innersten und gleichwohl Abgeschiedensten in der Gottheit zu versichern. Nach Ansicht Schellings ist eine derartige Selbstgewissheit nur in einer absoluten Inspiration des Denkens mglich, die er, hnlich wie Luria, als hchste Attraktion (Zurckziehung) begreift (Schelling Werke 6, Erg.bd., 251-252) oder wie beispielsweise auch Franz Xaver von Baader als Involution. In der 1984 neuerschienenen Paulus-Mitschrift der Berliner Vorlesung von 1841/42 gegen deren Urfassung allerdings Schelling intervenierte heit es dazu mit direkter Kritik an Hegel des nheren, dass eben dort, wo das philosophische Denken eigentlich beginnen sollte (nmlich am Ende der [hegelschen] Logik), eben dieses Denken ganz ein Ende habe. Hier ist das Denken bzw. der hegelsche Begriff scheinbar gnzlich unproduktiv: Wirkliches Denken ist aber nur, wo etwas herauskommt, so Schellings hier mit erwhntem Vorbehalt zitierter Einwand gegen Hegel (a.a.O., 129). Wie also wre das menschliche, zumal das philosophische Denken zu bestimmen, wenn es wirklich schpferisch, d.h. ursprnglich produktiv oder, wie es Schelling formuliert, inspirativ genannt werden soll, also ohne sich in diesem Ursprung selbst auszulschen zu Nichts zu werden? Das vor-logische, genauer: das den dreischrittigen Panlogismus Hegels seinerseits logisch fundierende Vierte stellt offenbar eine Schranke dar, die die Theorie nicht berschreiten kann. Hier kommt die Ratio, hier kommt letztlich auch alle offenbarungsreligise Metaphysik anscheinend an ihr Ende. Gleichermaen scheint sich in dieser meditativen Konzentration, philosophisch pointiert, auch der eigentliche Tod Gottes zu ereignen, den Nietzsche proklamierte aber dann doch wohl eher als Schein-Tod, buchstblich: als Tod des (sthetischen) Scheins. Tatschlich handele es sich beim philosophischen Selbstrckzug des Menschen in die Praxis des (ungegenstndlichen) Meditierens den der postmoderne Philosoph Wolfgang Welsch einst als einen Prozess der Ansthetisierung bezeichnete um einen Gang in das Nichts (40). Doch ist das meditative Bewusstsein nun eine Entsinnlichung des Denkens oder eine hhere Form von bewusster Sinnlichkeit? Folgen wir dem Impuls Schellings und der Sophiologen, dann begegnet offenbar das Denken nur in der Tat des ebenso tapferen wie gleichmtigen Durchschreitens des Nichts und des vermeintlich Ansthetischen eben jenem Unbekannten, das als ein esoterisches Viertes sowohl im Dogma der christlichen Logoslehre als auch von den in dieser trinitarischen Tradition stehenden philosophischen Logikern (wie Hegel) angeblich? nicht oder nur unzureichend bercksichtigt wurde. Aus der theologischen Perspektive ist das Vierte oder die Leere eben jener weibliche Logos Gottes, den die Sophiologie wieder ins Zentrum

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rckte. Laut Solowjew reprsentiert die heilige Weltmutter die andere Einheit Gottes oder Gottes Andersheit eine passive, weibliche Einheit, die von Gott das Bild der absoluten Vollkommenheit empfngt (194). Ihr kommt darin eine hnlich schpferische Funktion zu, wie einst den Fruchtbarkeitsgttinnen der antiken Mythologie bzw. der Natur in ihrer ursprnglichen materialen Gestalt berhaupt (lat. natura: Geburt) . Auf dieser Folie stellt sich der Akt der Konzentration oder Meditation Gottes als ein autopoietischer Prozess der Natur dar als ein Geschehen der kosmogonischen Zeugung: Gott gebiert sich dabei gleichsam in Andersheit d.h. in Geschpflichkeit selbst aus der Sophia (194). Sowohl die traditionelle (christliche) Mystik, auf die Frensch z.B. neben Luria auch in Gestalt des von Schelling rezipierten Jakob Bhme rekurriert, als auch beispielsweise mystische Denker wie Novalis oder Baader betonten nachdrcklich, diese kosmische Autopoiese der Sophia lasse sich ihrerseits nicht theoretisch begreifen sie msse vielmehr in der Praxis meditativer Selbstversenkung erlebt und erfahren werden. Fazit: Erst wenn es gelingt, das scheinbare Still-Stehen (Schelling) des Denkens bzw. sein schweigendes Zu-Nichts-Werden gleichermaen als eine aktive, genauer sogar produktive Tat zu erfahren, scheint sich die moralische Logik als Metaphysik realisieren zu lassen. Gefordert ist eine philosophische Wiederentdeckung der intellektuellen Fhigkeit zur Inspiration, im gleichen auch solcher unzugnglichen logischen Leistungen, die gewhnlich als Imagination oder Intuition bezeichnet werden. Auf das Dilemma der Gegenwart bezogen sollte dies heien, dass sich die Philosophie heute erst einmal grundstzlich dazu entschlieen msste, ihren Begriff des philosophischen Begreifens um die verborgenen kognitiven Anteile zu erweitern. Dies jedoch bedingt notwendig eine Erinnerung in die esoterische bzw. hermetische Tradition unserer Kultur eine Erinnerung, die aus vielerlei Motiven zumindest im akademischen Bereich der (deutschen) Philosophie bis zum heutigen Tag tatschlich weitestgehend ausblieb, vor allem wohl, weil die Hermetik nach wie vor im Geruch des Irrationalen, sprich also des negativ sanktionierten Vor-Logischen steht. Dass die sogenannte irrationale oder mystische Seite des Denkens und der abendlndischen Geisteskultur ein Integral von Rationalitt selbst sein knnte, ist sicher kein leichter, mglicherweise sogar ein bengstigender Gedanke. Tatschlich so war zu sehen fhrt er den Denkenden auch ganz real, nmlich psychisch in die Enge, in das Nichts oder Zimzum . Doch vielleicht sollte man sich ergnzend noch daran erinnern, dass auch etwa ein strenger Logiker wie Ludwig Wittgenstein lehrte, man msse als redlicher Philosoph ber das Mystische schweigen (Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darber muss man schweigen, Tractatus 7). Wrden wir das Mssen Wittgensteins beim Wort

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nehmen und es als ein logisch-moralisches Sollen begreifen, so wre jenes gebotene Schweigen des Logikers nicht etwa denkerische Passivitt und Auskunftslosigkeit, sondern eine darber stehende Praxis meta-physischer Natur. Sie wrde nicht ansthetisieren, vielmehr im Gegenteil: Sie knnte verborgene Formen sinnlicher Wahrnehmnung wecken, wie sie etwa in der deutschen Romantik unter den Programmtiteln der intellektuellen Anschauung (Fichte) oder produktiven Einbildungskraft (Schelling) thematisiert wurden und im Magischen Idealismus eines Friedrich von Hardenberg (Novalis) als Liebe gipfelten. Ralf Liedtke

Ronald Hutton, Shamans: Siberian Spirituality and the Western Imagination, London & New York: Hambledon & London 2001, ix + 220 pp. ISBN 1 85285 324 7. Shamanism has become one of the big issues in recent scholarly and popular debates. The reason for this is, roughly speaking, twofold: first, traditional shamanic cultures that are located in the former Soviet Union, in South America, or elsewhere, experienced a remarkable revival by a process of what has been referred to as reconstructing tradition. Although scholars had announced the death of shamanism already fifty years ago, cultural anthropology has to cope with the situation that this long-standing tradition today seems almost notoriously alive; in Tuva, for instance, shamanism was even re-established as a state religion. Second, professional shamanologists were irritated by the fact that from the 1960s onwards the so-called New Age movement discovered shamanism and made it a major reference tool for its world-view. Very much informed by Mircea Eliade, Carl Gustav Jung, and Joseph Campbell, the shaman became a model of a new understanding of humanitys relation to nature and of mans ability to access spiritual levels of reality. Henceforth, shamanism was no longer regarded as a spiritual path limited only to classical shamanic cultures. Instead, it was perceived as an anthropological constant, and subsequently the definition of shamanism was extended to such a degree that its very usefulness for academic analysis seems doubtful. In his new book, distinguished scholar of contemporary paganism Ronald Hutton accesses this highly controversial field from the only reasonable direction, i.e. with a critical view on how and why scholars construct Siberian sha Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2003 Aries Vol. 3, no. 1

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manism in certain ways. Part One asks, Why we think we know about shamanism, Part Two addresses the question, What we think we know about shamans, while part three Siberia in the shamanic world sheds some interesting light on how shamanism is constructed as a past and as a possible future religion. Huttons main intentions are twofold: to carefully check the historical records of western observers in order to tell the more reliable information from the more biased; and to sketch the basic lines of a history of shamanism . In this regard, the author repeatedly directs scholarly attention to hitherto often neglected aspects of the history of shamanism, for instance the important role of Buddhism in persecuting and destroying shamanic culture in Tuva, the Altai and Buryat regions, and elsewhere (p. 18). Such detailed scrutiny of historical developments is important in particular, because, as Hungarian scholar V. Voigt noted in 1984, there is no history of shamanism in Siberia (see p. 113). The investigation of political, military, economic, and religious factors that led to an astonishing variety of shamanic cultures in Eurasia is still a scholarly desideratum. While phenomenological approaches abandoned historical change from the outset, anthropological explanations mostly in colonial, missionary, and Marxist contexts fixed the other in a timeless mental space, as Mary Louise Pratt would say. This is no easy task, to put it carefully. And Hutton is fully aware of the difficulties involved when he indicates three curses which lie over the body of information available. First, not a single shaman working in a traditional Siberian society seems to have left a direct testimony; the words of all, where they are recorded, are mediated through the publications of outsiders. Secondly, virtually no data survives from before a period at which native society was being altered by Russian rule, and the best of it was collected when the traditional ways were either in considerable decline or had disappeared. Thirdly, almost all of the material which we do possess was recorded by people who were at best indifferent to shamanism and often bitterly opposed to it, and that is as true of the twentieth century as of the eighteenth (pp. 43-44). These obstacles notwithstanding, Hutton is confident that it will be possible to arrive at a more realistic picture of what shamanism was and is, if all extant sources are critically taken into account. It might be argued, though, that this confidence is based on a methodological mistake, because it implies a kind of tautology insofar, as there simply are no sources that could render a neutral picture and thus every use of them inevitably must reproduce old western fantasies. It might be nothing but, in Huttons own words, a reshuffling of a faded set of playing cards (p. 38). If a set of playing cards is all we have, how can the author claim to move beyond images into the realm of factual evidence?

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Because he does not want to restrict himself to describing different images and scholarly constructions, Hutton makes decisions as to what constructs are better substantiated than others. Although such evaluations are understandable from a pragmatic point of view, they are methodologically problematic. For instance, when Hutton argues that Shirokogoroffs and Siikalas definition of the shamans role as healer and troubleshooter is superior to the common description of the shaman as master of spirits and to Hamayons notion that the shamans job simply is to obtain good luck for hunters, the only reason for him to do so is that [e]vidence for a more central and priestly role in regulating relations between human and divine is more localised and fragmentary (p. 58). But, to stick to the picture, the quantity of cards available is no proof for real facts, when all cards are produced under precarious conditions. At such points in his text, Hutton should have remembered his own methodological criticism and refrained from any normative judgment, even if this would have disappointed many of his readers. But I do not want to exaggerate this criticism. Huttons evaluations are careful and on the whole reasonable. The strength of his argument is its foundation both in historiography and in constructivism. Instead of adding another master narrative to the already existing ones, the only way of dealing with shamanism today is to describe how and why those master narratives have been constructed and put into practice. This approach allows the author to include the revitalization processes in indigenous contexts and also the affirmative adaptation of shamanism in western societies, often called neo-shamanism. Whereas the majority of anthropologists dismiss this appropriation as decadence, capitalization, forgery, or exploitation, if they are concerned with it at all, it should be interpreted as a direct result of scholarly constructions, which have been popularized and idealized in modern esoteric or New Age contexts. Hutton correctly notes that [e]lements of survival, revival, re-creation and re-imagining are all present and productive of controversy (p. 156). What is labeled neo-shamanism is basically the result of Castanedas and Harners popularization of American shamanic pieces of tradition. Concerning those authors Hutton even talks of democratization and liberalization of Eliades concepts (p. 159). Indeed, the focus has moved from native Siberia, Europes vast and mysterious hinterland, to native America, the emotional hinterland of the United States (p. 159), although Siberia is still present in neo-shamanism and native Siberians offer Harner-based courses in Europe and the US. This is not decadence but transformation, yet another chapter in the long history of western constructs of shamanism. If it is correct that the history of shamanism can only be approached via an history of European constructs of shamanism, we have to focus on Europe and

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North America to learn about shamanism. In his introduction, Hutton clearly emphasizes that shamanism has been one of the phenomena against which modern western civilisation has defined itself (p. viii). Consequently, although the books subject-matter is largely Siberian, it is in essence intended as a contribution to the history of European and American culture (p. ix). Having read this programmatic announcement, the reader might be surprised that the book does not really keep this promise. It would have been interesting or, rather, necessary to learn more about why western observers constructed shamanism in a certain way, what exactly were the identities western civilization needed shamanic phenomena for, and how these western identities helped forming a particular image of the shaman (which, to make things even more complicated, was adapted by representatives of indigenous peoples themselves in the 20th century). For example, although it is surely correct to say of Catherine the Great that to her shamanism represented the most vivid example of the barbarism and ignorance with which her empire was identified by other Europeans, and she wrote against it in person (p. 22), this is only part of the game. Catherine was a leading figure of European enlightenment discourse and her comedy Der sibirische Schaman stands out as a major example of how the interpretational framework of the shaman as liar and dangerous enemy of rationality was fixed in western perception. And what is more, this comedy was written against tendencies in German and French esotericism that in Catherines view were likely to undermine the great enlightenment project. Hence, shamanism was used as a powerful weapon in European intellectual discourse. Quite against his introductory remarks, Hutton does not contextualize the production and systematization of knowledge about Siberian shamanism in the intellectual, philosophical, and religious debates of western culture. But this critique should not devalue Huttons impressive study. If read as a concise, careful, and critical summary of western approaches to Siberian shamanism, this book is in my view the best one available today. It is highly recommended to students, scholars, and laypersons alike who want to learn more about this controversial field of modern religion. Kocku von Stuckrad

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Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharoahs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus , Century: London, 1996. xiii + 384 pp. index, maps and B&W photographs. ISBN 0-7126-8579-0 Written in a racy, journalese style, with an air of authority, and with the authors referring to themselves as adventurers in pursuit of great discoveries, this book is bound to appeal to a popular audience. The book is touted on the dustjacket as an enthralling story, full of ingenius connections, and by none other than leading Dead Scrolls scholar Professor Philip Davies. Davies quoted endorsement, even if possibly out of context, may be enough to set scholars studying the work; but, while easy to read, it turns out to be a very disappointing piece of scholarship. The Hiram Key actually is a very deceptive book, full of hidden agendas and not to be trusted in many details or as a general thesis. Its authors, marketing and advertising agency director Knight and Bradford University Management Centre lecturer Lomas, bring no academic credentials to their task. Both have been (and ostensibly still are) Freemasons, and in that light apparently feel mandated to talk about esoteric subjects, but they lack the scholarly training and linguistic skills to handle primary texts integral to their case. With a scissors-and-paste procedure they try to interweave theories in various secondary sources that suit their overall argument. In summary, the authors take us into the world of Masonic initiations (of the [Anglo-]Scottish Rite) and raise questions about the sublime degree of a Master Mason when the initiate is placed in the coffin associated with Hiram Abif, and about the instruments suggesting ritual murder used within this ritual. It is an important thesis of this book that Hiram King of Tyre who donated the building materials for Solomons temple is to be distinguished from the temples architect Hiram Abif (pp. 23, 260, though this is a distinction deriving, without the authors knowledge, from a reference to a Huram Abi[f] [his father] in 2 Chron. 2:13 and 4:16 who is evidently not a royal personage). A conclusion is drawn that Hiram Abif was originally the pharoah Seqenenre Tao II (whose remains were discovered in 1881 among a cache of mummies that included that of Ramses II). The contorted remains of both Seqenenre and his widow have led our authors to deduce that they were carefully despatched to death with the same instruments now playing a part in Masonic ritual. By an extraordinary argumentative leap, the secrets of this pharoah, who was both temple architect and custodian of the secret of resurrection, were brought out of Egypt by Moses, and they became the basis for Israels national cult. Presumably under Moses, but perhaps later, the murdered phaoroah is renamed Hiram Abif (esp. pp. 132-169). Already we can detect a popular esoteric reading of the Western heritage.
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The old tension between Solomons temple being the prototype of all sacral architecture and Egypts civilization being near enough to the the oldest is solved by positing an ancient Egyptian who makes up the temple design some 550-odd years before its actualization at Jerusalem. Hermetic and Biblical lines of truth are fused in this thesis because the heart of the Israelite cult is secret Egyptian, which goes back further to Hermes or Thoth, at ca . 3390 BCE (pp. 184-5). On this account there is no need to refer to the Kabbalah (by now given a mediaeval dating), and argue, as Masonic authority Albert Pike used to, that Moses remade the Hermeticum in his Kabbalstic teachings. Be this adventurous repicturing as it may, however, the inferences made by Knight and Lomas to connect Seqenenre Tao IIs well established killing (evidently by axes) and Masonic symbology are very speculative, if not bordering on the hoaxist. In a few pages the authors concoct a virtually fictive scenario as to what happened to the pharoah, without any reference to the scholarly literature, just to bolster their deduction. But the argumentation gets worse. Jesus becomes linked to the Hiram thesis. Perhaps we should expect this; because Hiram of the sublime degree rite (whether he is traditionally identified with Hiram of Tyre, using the 1410 Cooke MS; or given the distinctive epithet Abif, as in the Old Charges [Fortitude MS]; or simply left as an archetypal figure) is taken in Masonry to be a prototype of Christ, who was killed and resurrected (cf., e.g., A. Pike, Morals and Dogma [1871], Charleston: Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree, 1950 edn., p. 225). Yet in this book the two authors claim that Jesus lived out his life in terms of the esoteric lore that goes back to Hiram Abif as pharoah. This is where Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship is entailed. The by now very questionable theories of the Jewish interpreter Robert Eisenmann are invoked to assert that the Scrolls are highly aggressive, Zealot-affected Jewish-Christian documents associated with the school of James (the Younger, brother of Jesus, and founder of the Jerusalem church) (chs. 5, 11-13). Out of this setting, a crucial scroll revealing the long-term secret of the ages was buried at the temple of Jerusalem. The group doing this were called the Nasoreans, who have survived as the present-day Mandaeans. The mediaeval and modern component parts of the theory have the Knights Templar find the buried scroll, the substance of which would seem to have been lost forever, were it not fot the fact that certain surviving Templars, scattered by persecution to Scotland, enabled the contents of the lost scroll to be recorded symbolically in the mysterious, profusely decorated Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh (mid-fifteenth century). The lost treasure of the Copper Scroll (speculated upon by the Scrolls investigator JohnAllegro, to whose memory The Hiram Key is dedicated) has at last been located not where it

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was left originally, but where it ended up semeiotically. Scotland was the very place, moreover whence (modern) Masonry first blossomed. The book turns out to be a convenient esoteric macrohistory to explain how the Masonic tradition is in posssession of the hidden truth behind the Bible, one that by implication (but not be clear explanation) is originally Hermetic. In the process of this reconstruction, however, the Israelite and Christian Biblical materials are rendered suspect and secondary. The Mosaic tradition is essentially Egyptian; it has few components religiously instrinsic to itself. The New Testament gives quite a false picture of the real Jesus and his followers; the Dead Sea Scrolls are made to give the true story, so as to explain why, in reexemplifying the Hiram Abif story, the Bible story of Jesus is really more about him as the first Freemason, and should therefore be read esoterically. This is all very provocative, but it simply lacks academic credibility. The fate of Robert Eisenmanns theory in the ongoing saga of Scrolls scholarship is at present well known enough (see relevant comments in the reviewers own: The Long History of Dead Sea Scrolls Scholarship, Journal of Religious History 26:2 [2002]), 139-140). It is, however, important that the Scrolls have and will continue to have a place in esoteric literature, although perhaps in the long run this is more because speculators will project links from them between Jesus and Essenism an old penchant than try to relate Essenism and the Jerusalemite church. As for the Templar-Scotland connection, this is not unexpected. The Templars come into many a reconstructing of the Masonico-esoteric lineage of lost truth. What is hard to fathom is the deciphering of the very complex iconography of Rosslyn as a text that clinches the authors point about the preservation and then architectural engraving of a secret scroll of Jesus. What makes a reader suspicious along the way, moreover, is their rather bitter attempt to deconstruct the Bible, and to devalue its account as background to Masonry. This is intriguingly unMasonic for two Masons, and a far cry from the likes of the Rev. Covey Crump and company! Interestingly the dustjacket contains the gleeful comment by the highly questionable New Age macrohistorian Graham Hancock that the last four thousand years are never going to look the same again. One wonders whether this is because a tree has been sacrificed to construct yet another book of little value. And there are so many silly errors. Inter alia, consider the following on Biblical and Patristic issues. Much is made of the word Messiah only appearing twice in the Authorised Version of the English Bible, when of course the Anointed [One] translates the same term many times. The authors imagine the Jews only had one visionary role for the Messiah a military one when there were others, as even the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal. The Sicarii are placed

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as existing in Jesus day, when Josephus locates their appearance at the seige of Jerusalem; while Qumranites are referred to as Qumranians. Jesus is supposed not to have been mentioned by Josephus (so much for the brilliant scholarship of Shlomo Pines!). Nasoreans are read as the Jerusalem Church and subsequently the Mandaeans, without consulting the latters considerable body of literature to the contrary. Arius taught that Jesus was only a man, through a staggering array of scriptural argument (when his extant Christology was exclusively devoted to the divine Logos). John Damascene is placed in the eighteenth century (p. 48). And so on. All such mistakes and many more show the authors Knight and Lomas do not have the knowledge or technical skills to convince. Garry W. Trompf

Rhonda V. Wilcox & David Lavery (eds.) Fighting the Forces: Whats at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer , Lanham [Maryland]: Rowman & Littlefield 2002. This is not the first book of scholarly essays on Buffy to be published. It was preceded in 2001 by Reading the Vampire Slayer: An Unofficial Critical Companion to Buffy and Angel, edited by Roz Kaveney (New York: Tauris Parke Paperbacks). The latter book, at least considered from continental Europe, epitomized both the strengths and weaknesses of American literary criticism. Some of the chapters were interesting because of the authors effort to relate Buffy to contemporary political and societal issues. Others appeared to force into Buffy meanings which simply are not there, and were vaguely reminiscent of the old (European) pun that most American books of literary criticism look similar: where the subject matter is Shakespeare, the Bible or Twin Peaks any such book will have its mandatory chapters of feminist, queer, Marxist and race-relations reading, and the same comments will be repeated ad nauseam irrespective of what the text is or says (at least, race relations in Buffy involve vampires , and this compels the authors to try something new). The Wilcox-Lavery book is a much more ambitious enterprise; it is also, quite frankly, a better book. Although some (but not most) chapters still include clichs on feminism or same-sex relations which look quintessentially American to European readers, there is also a conscious criticism of these same clichs (see Sarah Mendlesohns chapter denying the plausibility of a queer reading of the Buffy/Willow relationship). Issues of gender, generations,
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race, class, and violence are treated seriously, through an in-depth analysis of both main characters and sidekicks. Class and race are discussed through a study of Buffys and her friends relationship with the two other slayers, American white trash Faith and Jamaican Kendra, a point which should have been obvious, but wasnt, in previous scholarly criticism of Buffy. Parallels are well chosen and carefully explored, such as the literature of the tragic mulatta for Kendras fate (by Lynne Edwards), Frankenstein (by Anita Rose), and the 1965-1966 television series Gidget (by Catherine Siemann) as an example of a sunny Californian world where cheerleaders, although superficially similar to Buffy and Cordelia, do not meet vampires. The book also benefits from in-depth study of Season 3 and 4, with emphasis on such characters as Spike, Riley, Maggie Walsh, and Faith (Season 5 is considered only in a few chapters). Mary Alice Money has a valid point when she discusses the undemonization of several supporting characters in Buffy and Angel: literal undemonization, indeed, for Spike and Anya, but also evolution from silly to heroic for Cordelia and Wesley, while Doyle and Whistler confirm that not all demons are necessarily bad. Another strong point of the book is the candid exploration of the relationship between the show and its fans, controversies included. Chapters on how the show used fan fiction for some episodes (but also unashamedly parodied it in Jonathans saga in fourth seasons Superstar ), by Justine Larbalestier, and how informal but strong hierarchies of insider emerged on The Bronze, the Internet forum on www.buffy.com , by Amanda Zweerink and Sarah N. Gatson, make for fascinating reading. For readers of this journal, the fact that the book includes chapters on religion (by Gregory Erickson), the vampire tradition (by Diane DeKelb Rittenhouse), and magic (by Tanya Krzywinska) is both refreshing and disappointing. The strongest of the three chapters is Ericksons on religion. The author makes a persuasive case for a religiously irreligious Buffy: religion is nowhere to be seen in the original series (Angel and its Powers That Be being a different story), and is occasionally denied in a very explicit way, yet is constantly present in the form of implicit religiousness. So far, so good. The author, however, fails to distinguish between different forms of religion, apparently does not catch several important (to this reviewer, at least) religious allusions in the show, and leaves entirely unmentioned Christian fundamentalist opposition to Buffy. Some of these themes are discussed in my own Templeton lecture God, New Religious Movements, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, read at Harvards Divinity School in April 2000 and posted on CESNURs Web site; the author would also have benefited from more systematic perusal of the huge Web site http://www.atpobtvs.com (Everything Philosophical About Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Krzywinska usefully guides the

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reader to allusions in the series to contemporary Wicca and such famous (or notorious) characters of the magick subculture as Aleister Crowley, but when her work seems to have just been started, her chapter ends. Reading that Crowley provided Gerald Gardner with the key rituals vital to the foundation of modern Wicca (p. 192) could not fail to raise the question of how familiar Krzywinska is with recent academic scholarship on both Crowley and Gardner, and how much she takes her clues from less scholarly sources; a quick perusal, for example, of Ronald Huttons The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Moden Pagan Witchcraft (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1999) would have persuaded her that Crowley did not provide Gardner with a single ritual, although the two met three times in 1947 (quite shortly, since Crowley was very ill and about to die) and Gardner did read some writings by Crowley. A development the author may have noted is that magical allusions (including to Crowley, inter alia in Ray Gartons Resurrecting Ravana ) are much more prominent in the original fiction novels derived from the series, as well as in the comics (two neglected areas in the book) which is not surprising, considering the occult-inclined Christopher Goldens prominence in the creation of the (quite independent, as Joss Whedon himself said) world of novels and comics. As for De Kelb-Rittenhouse, her otherwise brilliant chapter suffers from lack of acknowledgment that vampire studies are now an internationally acknowledged academic field (see, on the European origins, my Antoine Faivre: Father of Contemporary Vampire Studies, in: Richard Caron et al. [eds.], sotrisme, gnoses & imaginaire symbolique: Mlanges offerts Antoine Faivre , Leuven: Peeters 2001, 595-610), with several hundreds of academic titles well beyond the comparatively narrow field of movie and literary criticism. All three essays are promising starts, but they should be read mostly as an invitation to further research (which appears, in fact, to go on: see, on religion, the recent expansion by Zoe-Jane Playdon [www.slayage.tv/ essays/playdon.htm] of the short essay originally published in Reading the Vampire Slayer) Several authors note the frustration of American academics in a variety of fields who held Buffy in high regards (and I can confirm from my personal experience that Buffy is indeed an academic favourite in fields such as religious studies and the study of esotericism), when they discover that their enthusiasm is not shared by mainline TV critics. American academic fans of Buffy are comparatively fortunate: the show may not be acknowledged for what it is by certain pompous TV pundits, but it goes on. In countries like my own Italy, lack of acknowledgement of the cultural significance of Buffy makes for sloppy programming by the network which owns the corresponding rights, and perpetual risks of cancellation, notwithstanding the existence of a

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very dedicated base of fans, worth in itself of further social science studies. As for (continental) European academics, the books editors also edit the excellent Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies (www.slayage.tv ). May it live a long life, independent of networks capriciousness. Massimo Introvigne

BOOKS RECEIVED Ernst Benz, Emanuel Swedenborg: Visionary Savant in the Age of Reason , West Chester: Swedenborg Foundation 2002. Albert Franz & Thomas Rentsch (eds.), Gnosis, oder die Frage nach Herkunft und Ziel des Menschen , Paderborn etc.: Ferdinand Schningh 2002. Hermann Geyer, Verborgene Weisheit: Johann Arndts Vier Bcher vom Wahren Christentum als Programm einer spiritualistisch-hermetischen Theologie, 2 vols., Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter 2001. Randolf Quade, Literatur als hermetische Tradition: Eine Rezeptionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung frhneuzeitlicher Texte zur Erschliessung des Welt- und Menschenbildes in der Literatur des 17. Jahrhunderts , Frankfurt a.M. etc.: Peter Lang 2001. Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (ed.), Rosenkreuz als europisches Phnomen im 17. Jahrhundert , Amsterdam: In de Pelikaan 2002. Paolo Rossi, Logic and the Art of Memory: The Quest for a Universal Language, London: The Athlone Press 2000. Gerhard Schfer & Guntram Spindler (eds.), Glauben und Erkennen: Die Heilige Philosophie von Friedrich Christoph Oetinger. Studien zum 200. Geburtstag , Metzingen/Wrtt.: Ernst Franz Verlag 2002. Arthur Versluis, The Esoteric Origins of the American Renaissance, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2001.

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RECENT AND UPCOMING CONGRESSES


Aries aspires to keep its readers informed about recent and upcoming congresses relevant to the study of Western esotericism; but for this, the editors are dependent on the information they receive. Readers are therefore invited to send Congress Programs as well as Calls for Papers and announcements of upcoming congresses to the editorial address, if possible in electronic form. In doing so, please take into account that Aries is published in the months of January and July, and that copy must have reached the editors five months in advance (i.e. August 1 and February 1 resp.).

The Development of Paganism: Histories, Influences and Contexts c.18802002 (org.: The Open University Religious Studies Research Group, Belief beyond Boundaries), The Open University, 12.01.2002. Papers included: Ronald Hutton, Ancient and Modern Paganism: The Continuities; Marco Pasi, Western Esotericism and Neo-Paganism in Contemporary Italy; Nick Freeman, A longing for the wood-world at night: the Influence of the Literature of the Occult Revival on Modern Paganism; Vivianne Crowley, Carl Jung and the Development of Contemporary Paganism; Geoffrey Samuel, From Tantric Cakra to Wiccan Circle? Indic Borrowings in the Pagan Revival (read by Mogg Morgan); Graham Harvey, Paganism and Indigenous Religion: Is There Any Common Ground?; Susan Greenwood, Feminism and Witchcraft: a Problematic Alliance?; Andy Letcher, Raising the Dragon: the Emergence of Eco-Paganism in Braitain; Robert Wallis, Sacred Sites vs Archaeological Sites: Contestations and Contexts of Ancient Places in Developments of New Nature Religions. Information: Jo Pearson, Jo.Pearson@tiphareth.demon.co.uk Seminari bruniani quinta serie (org.: Warburg Institute, Instituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici, Centro Internazionale di Studi Bruniani Giovanni Aquilecchia), London, 04-07.06.2002. No program information. Information: winews@sas.ac.uk LArt de la Renaissance entre science et magie (org.: Centre dHistoire de lArt de la Renaissance, luniversit Paris I Panthon-Sorbonne, lInstitut National dHistoire de lArt), Paris, 20-22.06.2002. Papers included: Nadge Laneyrie-Dagen, La reprsentation des clipses dans le thme de la Crucifixion; Luisa Capodieci, Prodiges clestes et conversion dans un tableau dAntoine Caron; Thomas Golsenne, Une astrologie ornamentale: La Madone du zodiaque de Cosm Tura; Charles
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Dempsey, Albumasars Sibyl and the Star of Bethlehem; Marina Bornoroni, Linguaggi astrologici tra scienza e mito alla fine del Medioevo e allinizio del Rinascimento; Kristen Lippincott, Between text and image: incidents and accidents in the history of astronomical and astrological illustration; Graziella Federici Vescovini, Lhermtisme astrologique dans certaines images du Salon des Mois au Palais Schifanoia de Ferrare; Marilena Caciorgna, Circe, Ulisse e lerba moly. Stradano nello Stanzino di Francesco I de Medici. Fonti letterarie e tradizione iconografica; Valentina Conticelli, Lo Stanzino di Francesco I e lalchimia: nuovi contributi storici e iconologici; Elisabetta Fadda, Arte e alchimia negli ultimi anni del Parmigianino; Mino Gabriele, Cabala cristiana e miti pagani nella Sala degli Elementi a Palazzo Vecchio; Daniel Arasse, Science de la peinture et reprsentation de la nature chez Lonard de Vinci; Herv Brunon, Peindre les palpitations du monde: art et mtorologie au XVIe sicle; Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi, Scienza o magia? Meraviglie e prodigi nei testi di storia naturale del Rinascimento; Patricia Falguires, Le hasard et lautomate: figures de la contre-nature dans les arts du XVIe sicle; Jrmie Koering, Entre ciel et terre: Federico II Gonzaga et la dcoration de la salle du zodiaque au palais ducal de Mantoue; Dieter Blume, Astrologia come scienza politica: Il cosiddetto cielo notturno della sagrestia vecchia di San Lorenzo a Firenze; Augusto Gentili, Astrologia e profezia intorne a Giorgione; Claudia Cieri-Via, Tempo ed eternit: religione, astrologia ed ermetismo alla corte di Pio IV; Philippe Morel, Melissa et la magie noire, de lArioste Dosso Dossi; Patrizia Castelli, La chiromanzia tra divinazione e scienza normativa tra Medioevo ed Et Moderna; Nicolas Weill-Parot, Lirrductible destinativit des images: les voies pour une explication naturaliste des talismans dans la seconde moiti du XVe sicle; Stphane Toussaint, Magie de lart et magie dans lart. Quelques rflexions partir du De vita de Ficin. Congrs International de Parapsychologie Scientifique (org.: Institut Mtapsychique International, Parapsychological Association), Paris, 04-08.08. 2002. Papers included: Grgory Gutierez, Un survol historique de la mtapsychique franaise; Bruno Lussato, Bernard Besret, Rmy Chauvin, La Mtapsychique et les Institutions Scientifiques; Isabelle Stengers, Pierre Lagrange, Bertrand Mheust, Perspectives Epistmologiques, Sociologiques, Historiques; Ren Peoch, Bernard Auriol, Marcel Odier, Actualit de la recherche en pays francophones; Robert Morris, Lorganisation de la parapsychologie universitaire ltranger; Yves Lignon, Statistiques et Mtanalyses en parapsychologie; Mario Varvoglis, La recherche internationale: Un tat des

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lieux; Ren Peoch, Psychokinesis Experiments with Human and Animal Subjects Upon a Robot Moving at Random; Robert L. Bourgeous, John Palmer, A Computerized ESP Test for Children: Is Age a Factor for ESP?; Peter Lamont, Anomalous Phenomena and the Innocuous Past; Miriam Moss, Documentary The Art of Communication?; Chris A. Roe, Russel Davey, Paul Stevens, Are ESP and PK Aspects of a Unitary Phenomenon? A Preliminary Test of the Relationship Between ESP and PK; Stefan Schmidt, Replication, Replication!; Simon Sherwood, ESP During Sleep: Sweet Dreams or a Nightmare?; Bertrand Mheust, A Historical Approach to Psychical Research: The Case of Alexis Didier; Mario Varvoglis, The Kluski Hand Moulds; Grgory Gutierez: The Rudi Schneider Experiments at the Institut Mtapsychique International; Djohar Si Ahmed: Ren Warcollier: Telepathy Explorer; Ulrich Timm, Emil Boller, The Variability-Related Aggregation of Partial Results and its Application to Concrete Psi Experiments; Jan Dalkvist, Joakim Westerlund, Dick J. Bierman, A Computational Expectation Bias as Revealed by Simulations of Presentiment Experiments; Jiri Wackermann, On Cumulative Effects and Averaging Artefacts in Randomised S-R Experimental Designs; Alexis Champion, Bernard Auriol, Jungian Automated Word Association Test; Jerome Daltrozzo, Yves Lignon, Primary Perception; Jezz Fox, Matthew D. Smith, Carl Williams, Introducing DigiGanz: Describing a Digital Autoganzfeld System; Ciarn OKeeffe, Probability of Coincidences and Paranormal Belief; Stanley Krippner, Paul Devereux, Adam Fish, Using the Strauch Scale to Study Dream Reports from Sacred Sites in England and Wales; F. De Pablos, Spontaneous Precognition During Dreams: A Theoretical Model; Paul Stevens, A Feedback-Reinforcement Model of Dyadic ESP; Fiona Steinkamp, Emil Boller, Holger Bsch, Experiments Examining the Possibility of Human Intention Interacting with Random Number Generators: A Preliminary Meta-Analysis; Stefan Schmidt, Rainer Schneider, Jessica Utts, Harald Walach, Remote Intention on Electrodermal Activity: Two Meta-Analysis; Cheryl H. Alexander, Psychic Phenomena and the Brain: An Evolution of Research, Technology, and Understanding; John Palmer, Vernon Neppe, Subjective Paranormal Experiences and Temporal Lobe Dysfunction in a Neuropsychiatric Population: Analyses of Refined Predictors; Willoughby B. Britton, Richard R. Bootzin, Temporal Lobe Paroxysmal EEG Activity in Near-Death Experiencers: Results of a Single Overnight Sleep Study; Dick J. Bierman, H. Steven Scholte, Anomalous Anticipatory Brain Activation Preceding Exposure of Emotional and Neutral Pictures; Mario Varvoglis, Discussion About the Role and Functions of the PA; Joop M. Houtkooper, A Pilot Experiment with Evoked Psychokinetic Responses: Circumventing Cognitive Interference?; Cornelia Herbert,

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Gabriella Boehm, Werner Plihal, Investigating Telepathy by Means of the Startle Eye-Blink Modification Paradigm; Loui Savva, Christopher C. French, Is There Time-Reversed Interference in Stroop-Based Tasks?; S.M. Roney-Dougal, J. Solfvin, Field Study of an Enhancement Effect on Luttuce Seeds: Replication Study; Frauke Zahradnik, Paranormal Experiences and the Limits of Questioning; Erlendur Harldsson, Children Who Speak of PastLife Experiences: Is There a Psychological Explanation?; Giulio Caratelli, Maria Luisa Felici, A Presumable Effect of Territorial Localization for Poltergeist/Hauntings Cases; Billy Lee et al., Personality and Perception in Staring Detection and Experience; Deborah L. Delanoy, EDA DMILS Studies and Individual Differences; Matthew D. Smith, Michael S. Gordon, The Psychology of the Psi-Conducive Experimenter; Caroline Watt, Experimenter Effects with a Remote Facilitation of Attention Focusing Task: A Study with Multiple Believer and Disbeliever Experimenters; Richard Wiseman, Caroline Watt, Belief in the Paranormal, Cognitive Ability and Extrasensory Perception: The Role of Experimenter Effects; Christopher C. French, Nicholas J. Rose, Susan J. Blackmore, Paranormal Belief and Interpretations of Sleep Paralysis; Christine A. Simmonds, Jezz Fox, A Pilot Investigation into Sensory Noise, Schizotypy, and Extrasensory Perception; Stuart Wilson, Robert L. Morris, Psi, Perception Without Awareness and False Recognition; Christine Simmonds, Traits, State and Psi: An Exploration of the Interaction Between Individual Differences, State Preference and Psi Performance; Walter von Lucadou, The Magic of Pseudo-Machines: PK and Other Oddities. Information: tel: (+33) 1 46072385, email: imi-paris@wanadoo.fr, Internet: www.imi-paris.org Mathesis, Naturphilosophie und Arkanwissenschaft im Umkreis Friedrich Christoph Oetingers (1702-1782) (org.: Institut fr Geschichtliche Landskunde Tbingen, Wrttembergischen Landesbibliothek Stuttgart), Universitt Tbingen (Germany), 09-11.10.2002. Papers included: Sonja-Maria Bauer, Das Studium an der Artistenfakultt in Tbingen zur Studienzeit Oetingers; Gerhard Betsch, Der Tbinger Professor Matheseos Johann Conrad Creiling und seine Schule; Karin Reich, Mathematik der Aufklrung (Abraham Gotthelf Kstner u.a.; Martin WeyerMenkhoff, den Umfang aller Wissenschafften darzunehmen Friedrich Christoph Oetinger, wrttembergischer Gottes- und Naturforscher; Rdiger Thiele, Die Variationsrechnung und ihre Bedeuting fr das teleologische Denken im 18. Jahrhundert; Robert Iliffe, The disciplines and the coherence of Newtons natural philosophy; Daniel Hohrath, Mathematik fr

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den Kriegsstaat: Georg Bernhard Bilfinger und die Fortifikation; Herbert Henck, Johann Ludwig Frickers spekulative Musiktheorie; Josef Smolka, Josef Haubelt, Das Phnomen der Elektrizitt: Prokop Diwisch und Johann Ludwig Fricker; Eva Johanna Schauer, Die kabbalistische Lehrtafel der wrttembergischen Prinzessin Antonia in Teinach; Pierre Deghaye, Friedrich Christoph Oetinger und Jakob Bhme; Eberhard Zwink, Schraubenfrmige Bewegung ist in allem: Oetinger und Swedenborgs Irrdische Philosophie; Tonino Griffero, Figuren, Symbolik und Emblematik in Oetingers singatura rerum; Reinhard Breymayer, Oetingers verborgene Fehde mit Christian Thomasius (1655-1728). Information: Mrs. PD Dr. Sabine Holtz, Wilhelmstrae 36, D-72074 Tbingen (Germany), tel.: (+49) 70712972387, fax: (+49) 7071295785, email: sabine.holtz@uni-tuebingen.de, Internet: www.wlb-stuttgart.de/referate/theologie/oetsymp.html Edouard Schur et le dialogue des arts en Europe (org.: Centre de Recherche sur lEurope Littraire), 16-18.10-2003. Information: Gisle Loth, Chercheuse associe au CREL, 4, Place du Kaufhaus, F-67520 Marlenheim (France), tel.: (+33) 388876424 (Monday, 08.00-11.00 a.m.), fax (+33) 388875879, email: thony.loth@wanadoo.fr All & Everything 2003. International Humanities Conference (org.: Harry J. Bennett, Patricia Bennett, Frank M. Brzeski, Marlena O. Buzzell, Ana H. Fragomeni, Seymour B. Ginsburg, Conti C. Meehan, Dr. Herbert J. Sharp), The Royal Norfolk Hotel, Bognor Regis, (Great-Britain), 02-06.04.2003. Information: Dr. Keith Buzzell, (207) 647-3521, email: kbuzzell@ime.net Dr. H. J. Sharp, Tel: (44) (0) 1903-715432, email: endandbegin@tesco.net Internet: www.allandeverything.net

ESOTERIK UND CHRISTENTUM VOR 1800: PROLEGOMENA ZU EINER BESTIMMUNG IHRER DIFFERENZ M ONIKA NEUGEBAUER-W LK Esoterik und Christentum werden heute berwiegend als zwei voneinander unabhngige religise Entwrfe verstanden. Ihre Differenz fr das Transzendenz-, aber auch fr das Weltverstndnis in unserer Gegenwart ist ein wichtiges Bestimmungsmoment in der Erforschung der unbeschrnkten Individualisierung und Offenheit religiser Optionen als Auswirkung des Skularisierungsprozesses. Der New-Age-Forscher Christoph Bochinger hat das emphatische antichristliche Selbstverstndnis der gegenwrtigen Esoterik treffend formuliert: Esoterik bezeichne einen neuen Typus von Religion, der individuell-innerliche Bedrfnisse des modernen Menschen mit einer neuartigen religisen Mobilitt verknpfe:
Er legitimiert sich durch den Anspruch, mit den Gegebenheiten der gegenwrtigen Lebenswelt konform zu sein. Dagegen sei christliche Religion ein berbleibsel vergangener Zeiten, vor allem wegen ihres Dogmas, das das Festhalten am blinden Glauben der Vorzeit bedeute und nicht auf praktischem Erfahrungswissen aufbaue 1.

Fr die Zeit vor 1800 stellt uns diese Frage nach den Differenzen zwischen christlicher und esoterischer Religiositt vor ein sehr viel greres Problem, denn fr die Zeitgenossen frhneuzeitlicher Jahrhunderte war es bekanntlich auerordentlich schwierig, wenn nicht gefhrlich, sich von christlichen Grundvorstellungen offen zu distanzieren. So stehen die meisten Quellenuerungen zu dieser Frage unter dem Vorbehalt, da sie mit Rcksicht auf den religionspolitischen Herrschaftsanspruch der Kirchen geschrieben sind und wir nicht wissen knnen, wie die Autoren sich unter den Bedingungen moderner religiser Toleranz geuert htten. Erst mit der Skularisierung und der Durchsetzung der Religionsfreiheit konnte jener neue Markt der Religionen entstehen, der die Unterschiede zwischen den Grundkonzeptionen in der europischen religisen Kultur deutlich hervortreten lt 2.
1 Bochinger, Was ist Esoterik?, 276. Es ist allerdings wichtig, darauf hinzuweisen, da es bei den heutigen Anhngern esoterischen Denkens durchaus den Anspruch auf eine Verbindung gibt. Vgl. dazu nur stellvertretend die Positionen von Gerhard Wehr, Esoterisches Christentum. Wir haben es hier mit der modernen Variante des wahren Christentums zu tun, mit dem sich dieser Artikel eingehend befassen wird. 2 Folgerichtig beginnt die einschlgige berblicksarbeit von Hartmut Zinser mit einem Ab-

Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2003

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Auch der in der Konsequenz dieser berlegung naheliegende Gedanke, sich an der frhneuzeitlichen Ketzergeschichte zu orientieren und nur diejenigen Personen und ihre Texte heranzuziehen, die sich ohne Rcksicht auf die latente Gefahr der Verfolgung zu devianten religisen Themen uerten, fhrt nicht weiter, denn Esoterikgeschichte und Ketzergeschichte sind keineswegs identisch. Nicht alle durch die Kirchen als Ketzer Bezeichneten dachten esoterisch, nicht alle esoterisch Denkenden wurden als Hretiker gebrandmarkt. Martin Luther wurde von der Rmischen Kirche fr abweichende Lehren verfolgt, die mit Esoterik nichts zu tun hatten; Agostino Steucho, Systematiker der philosophia perennis im 16. Jahrhundert, blieb unbehelligt ppstlicher Bibliothekar3. An empirisch feststellbarer Ausgrenzung aus kirchlicher Gemeinschaft ist Esoterik vor 1800 also ebensowenig zuverlssig festzumachen wie am berlieferten Selbstbild und den uerungen der Betroffenen. Angesichts solcher Schwierigkeiten ist es nicht berraschend, da die Forschung bisher darauf verzichtet hat, sich dieses Problems systematisch anzunehmen. Dies hat sich nun allerdings gendert. Begleitend zur Aufbauphase seines Amsterdamer Lehrstuhls History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents hat Wouter J. Hanegraaff damit begonnen, sich mit diesem Defizit auseinanderzusetzen und hat die These aufgestellt, da im Verhltnis Christentum Esoterik zwischen der Frhen Neuzeit und der Entwicklung seit dem 19. Jahrhundert ein gravierender Unterschied besteht. Dabei hat er vor allem das Werk von Frances Yates einer kritischen Revision unterzogen, deren groer Entwurf frhneuzeitlicher Hermetikgeschichte als wesentlicher Schritt bei der Entwicklung einer wissenschaftlichen Esoterikforschung gelten darf4 . Hanegraaffs programmatischer Erffnungsaufsatz fr das neue Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism , im Verbund des Amsterdamer Chair mit dem Pariser Lehrstuhl fr Esoterikforschung herausgegeben, befat sich damit ebenso 5 wie ein Beitrag zu innovativen Forschungsanstzen in der Religionswissenschaft 6. Hanegraaff fordert, das Paradigma der Eigenstndigkeit auch der vormodernen Esoterik, wie es Yates postuliert hatte, als Fehlverstndnis zu begreifen und zu berwinden: Yates guiding idea of a quasi-autonomous Hermetic Tradition separate from Christianity ... has proved impossible to
schnitt zur Trennung von Staat und Kirche: Zinser, Markt der Religionen, 15-32. Vgl. hierzu auch bezogen auf das spezifische Element der Reinkarnationsvorstellungen Zander, Geschichte der Seelenwanderung, 615 f. 3 Vgl. Schmidt-Biggemann, Philosophia perennis, bes. 677-689. 4 Vgl. Trapp, Dame Frances Amelia Yates, sowie teilweise auch kritisch besonders zu ihren wissenschaftsgeschichtlichen Thesen Burke, Last of the Magi und Westman, Magical Reform. 5 Hanegraaff, Beyond the Yates Paradigm. 6 Hanegraaff, Study of Western Esotericism.

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uphold7. Das Muster der Beziehung zwischen Esoterik und Christentum vor 1800 sei nicht als Gegensatz zu fassen, sondern als eine Art unauflslicher Verbindung: interwovenness 8. Nach Hanegraaff ist es eine wesentliche Voraussetzung der adquaten Erforschung frhneuzeitlicher Religionsgeschichte zu verstehen, that western esotericism is all of a piece with the general history of Christianity9. Fr die Esoterik vor 1800 gilt: its representatives were Christians10. Es ist in diesem Kontext wichtig zu verstehen, da Yates bei aller Intensitt des Pldoyers fr eine eigenstndige hermetische Entwicklung diese frhneuzeitliche Tradition nicht aus religionsgeschichtlichem Interesse untersucht hat, sondern mit eher geistesgeschichtlichen, besonders wissenschaftshistorischen Fragestellungen. Primr geistesgeschichtliches Interesse zeichnet auch das einschlgige Werk Antoine Faivres aus, der eine Generation jnger als Yates 11 in den siebziger Jahren des vergangenen Jahrhunderts damit begonnen hat, die wissenschaftliche Erforschung abendlndischer Esoterik auf systematische Grundlagen zu stellen. Dabei dominierte zunchst ein Zugang, der die hermeneutische Qualitt dieses Denkens privilegierte, Esoterik als Interpretationskunst einer als Text verstandenen Welt begriff. Besonders deutlich trat dieser Gedanke in mehreren Mitte der achtziger Jahre konzipierten Lexikonartikeln hervor: it can undoubtedly be said that active esotericism is the privileged form of hermeneutics 12, und: The idea that the universe is a text to be read or deciphered is the great common denominator of esotericism 13 . Esoterisches Denken so Faivre in diesen frhen Arbeiten versteht die Welt als Zeichensystem und macht es sich zur Aufgabe, die hinter den Zeichen verborgene Wahrheit zu lesen: Fundamental to both theosophy and esotericism is a hermeneutic, or method of interpretation ... The theosophist inquires into the hidden meaning of the ciphers or hieroglyphs of nature 14. Fr sein 1992 erstmals vorgestelltes, inzwischen breit rezipiertes Modellverstndnis des Esoterischen hat Faivre diesen Ansatz dann konkretisiert und
Hanegraaff, Beyond the Yates Paradigm, 28. Hanegraaff, Study of Western Esotericism, [MS 24]. Vgl. zu dieser Begrifflichkeit bereits Bochinger, Was ist Esoterik?, 275: Esoterische Elemente waren in frherer Zeit mit christlichen ... Aspekten verwoben oder liefen auf einer nichtreligisen Ebene nebenher, ohne das Christentum ... frontal in Frage zu stellen. 9 Hanegraaff, Study of Western Esotericism, [MS 2]. 10 Hanegraaff, Study of Western Esotericism, [MS 8]. 11 Vgl. die jngst erschienene Festschrift Caron et al., sotrisme, gnoses & imaginaire symbolique. 12 Faivre, Esotericism, 158. 13 Faivre, Hermetism, 294. 14 Faivre, Theosophy, 466-467. Vgl. auch die noch deutlich frhere Arbeit Mystische Alchemie und geistige Hermeneutik, bes. 338.
7 8

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weiterentwickelt. Esoterik wurde nun ber den Terminus der Denkform (forme de pense) definiert, vorgestellt als eine von mehreren mglichen Denkformen, wie etwa der wissenschaftlichen oder der utopischen 15. Wie wichtig die allgemein-geistesgeschichtliche Zielrichtung dieser Begriffsbestimmung im hier vorgegebenen Kontext ist, wird in einer Bemerkung Kocku von Stuckrads deutlich, der jngst darauf hinwies, Esoterik als Denkform zu konzipieren, bedeute gleichzeitig, Esoterik nicht als Religion zu verstehen16. Unter den verschiedensten Aspekten schlt sich mithin der innovative Charakter der Hanegraaffschen Fragestellung insofern heraus, als er sich im Interesse der Ausschpfung aller Aspekte europischer Esoterikgeschichte nun darum bemht, die genuin religionswissenschaftliche Perspektive ergnzend einzubringen und auch auf diesem Felde definitorisch-systematische Grundlegung fr die wissenschaftliche Esoterikforschung zu leisten. I Wouter Hanegraaff hat im Rahmen der Lwener Gesprche zur Systematischen Theologie im November 2001 einen Vortrag gehalten, in dem er ein neues Modell europischer Religionsgeschichte vorgestellt hat 17 . Im folgenden soll dieses generelle Konzept zwar nur insoweit kommentiert werden, als es neue Wege zum Verstndnis frhneuzeitlicher Esoterikgeschichte erffnet und Aussagen ber das Verhltnis von vormoderner Esoterik und Christentum macht. Trotzdem scheint es sinnvoll, hier zunchst den allgemein-religionswissenschaftlichen Rahmen zu skizzieren, der dem Gesamtkonzept und damit auch unserer engeren Fragestellung zugrundeliegt. Hanegraaff also entwickelt ein dreistufiges Modell, dem der Begriff von Religion als eines symbolischen Systems zugrundeliegt, which influences human action by providing possibilities for ritually maintaining contact between the everyday world and a more general metaempirical framework of meaning18. Eine bestimmte Religion (engl.: a religion) ist zweitens ein symbolisches System, das sich in gesellschaftlichen Institutionen organisiert hat 19. Drittens gibt es Spiritualittsformen (engl.: spiritualities). Sie werden definiert als any human practice which maintains contact between the everyday world and a more general metaempirical framework of meaning by way of the individual manipulation
Vgl. Faivre, Esoterik im berblick, 24-34. Von Stuckrad, Okkultismus, 1146. 17 Publiziert als: Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology. 18 Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 10]. Vgl. als ersten berblick ber diesen Ansatz bereits 1999 Hanegraaff, Defining Religion, 371-373. 19 Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 10].
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of symbolic systems 20. Christentum ist demnach eine bestimmte Religion (a religion); frhneuzeitliche Esoterik wird dagegen in die dritte Kategorie des Modells eingeordnet, gehrt also zu den Spiritualittsformen innerhalb der spezifischen Religion Christentum21 . So erhalten wir hier einen theoretischen Rahmen, in den die eingangs referierten Feststellungen zur Integration vormoderner Esoterik ins Christentum einzupassen sind: western esotericism is all of a piece with the general history of Christianity 22. Der aufmerksame Leser wird bemerkt haben, da der Begriff des symbolischen Systems als Grundbegriff in Hanegraaffs religionswissenschaftlichem Modell eine wesentliche Rolle spielt; er mu also fr die hier interessierende Fragestellung nher betrachtet werden. Was konstituiert ein symbolisches System? Jedenfalls nicht theologisch entwickelte Dogmatik, denn Hanegraaff versteht das Christentum wie andere Religionen auch als gelebte Religion (lived religion), deren Wesen (essential nature) man nicht ihrer Theologie, sondern nur ihren Mythen und Symbolen entnehmen kann 23. Unter christlichen Mythen versteht Hanegraaff die zentralen biblischen Geschichten in ihren wesentlichen Grundzgen, vor allem the story of the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ als eines idealtypischen Modells menschlicher Existenz zwischen Leidensweg und Gewiheit ewigen Lebens24. Vorgeformt sei diese mythische Erzhlung aus christlicher Sicht bereits im Weg des Volkes Israel aus der gyptischen Knechtschaft in das gelobte Land25. Symbole sind dagegen die sichtbaren und unsichtbaren Inszenierungen dieser Mythen: als zentrales Symbol das Zeichen des Kreuzes, Brot und Wein des Abendmahls, Kirchenbauten, Heiligenbilder, der Geruch des Weihrauchs und brennender Kerzen 26. Ein drittes Element des christlichen Symbolsystems sind schlielich die Rituale, das sind alle Formen des Gottesdienstes, aber auch individuelles rituelles Verhalten. Der Dreiklang von christlichem Mythos, Symbol und Ritual konstituiert das Christsein 27; Sein Vorhandensein ist notwendig, aber auch hinreichend, um eine bestimmte Religiositt als christlich zu bezeichnen. Nun ist unmittelbar evident, da man die symbolischen, rituellen und mythischen Elemente eines religisen Systems mit sehr unterschiedlicher Tendenz rezipieren und verwenden kann. Die Geschichte eines Mythos kann man
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 10]. Vgl. Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 14-17]. Weiter oben bei Anm. 10. Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 7-9]. Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 7-8]. Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 8]. Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 8]. Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 9].

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mit der unterschiedlichsten inhaltlichen Akzentsetzung erzhlen, man kann sie parodieren und benutzen, erweitern und verkrzen. Man kann sie auch durch andere Geschichten ergnzen und damit ihren Kontext zerstren. Symbole und Rituale kann man pervertieren, gerade indem man sie verwendet. Das heit, es gibt so etwas wie negative Rezeption. Dieser Tatsache trgt das Hanegraaffsche Modell dadurch Rechnung, da es die Spiritualittsformen, die sich einer bestimmten Religion zuordnen, als Manipulation dieser symbolischen Systeme bestimmt28. Diese Manipulation umfat auch fremde und gnzlich andersartige Einflsse, wie sie einer negativen Rezeption zugrundeliegen knnen. So gelangt frhneuzeitliche Esoterik in frhneuzeitliches Christentum: als Manipulation des christlichen Systems durch die Rezeption ursprnglich heidnischer religiser Begriffs- und Vorstellungsmuster 29. Was das Hanegraaffsche Modell nicht vorsieht, ist, da das religise System durch eine negative Rezeption auch grundstzlich berschritten bzw. gesprengt werden knnte. Fr die esoterische Religiositt ist eine solche fundamentale Transzendierung frhneuzeitlich ausgeschlossen sie entsteht erst als Folge, nicht vor der Skularisierung 30. Sptestens an dieser Stelle wird deutlich, da der in diesem Modell in einer so zentralen Funktion verwendete Systembegriff eine nhere Betrachtung verdient. Hanegraaff allerdings erlutert den Begriff nicht, sondern setzt ihn voraus, denn er ist in seiner Verwendung dem Anthropologen und Ethnologen Clifford Geertz verpflichtet wie er selbst mehrfach hervorhebt31. Liest man Geertz mit diesem Interesse, so wird man zunchst auf seinen Artikel Religion As a Cultural System aus dem Jahre 1966 gefhrt32; hier begrndet Geertz das Verstndnis von Religion als eines Symbolsystems33 und versteht den Systembegriff als Kulturmuster, nmlich den kulturellen Kontext in einem durch Raum und Zeit gegebenen Bezug, in den alle Menschen hineingeboren werden34. In dieser Formulierung tritt der Zwangscharakter hervor, den dieses Modell von seinem Grundansatz her mit sich bringt. Das heit fr unsere Fragestellung zugespitzt formuliert: Wenn man in vormoderner Zeit 35 im
Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 10]. Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 15-17]. 30 Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 17-20.] 31 Siehe bes. Hanegraaff, Defining Religion, 348 und 371. 32 Erschienen in: Banton, Anthropological Approaches, 1-46. 33 Hier nachgewiesen nach der deutschen bersetzung: Geertz, Religion als kulturelles System, 48. 34 Geertz, Religion als kulturelles System, 51. 35 An dieser Stelle ist es wichtig um Miverstndnisse zu vermeiden darauf hinzuweisen, da der Begriff der Moderne im deutschen Sprachgebrauch fr die Zeit nach 1800 Anwendung findet, im englischsprachigen Raum modern dagegen die gesamte Neuzeit umfat. Hier wird der Moderne-Begriff im deutschsprachigen Verstndnis verwendet.
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abendlndischen Kulturraum geboren ist, ist man Christ 36. Da aber auch Geertz wei, da das menschliche Verhalten nicht mit einer solchen Ausweglosigkeit determiniert ist, hat er seinen Ansatz in der berhmten Studie ber die Thick Description 1973 nher erlutert37. Er beginnt zunchst mit dem herkmmlichen Verstndnis:
Am ergiebigsten sei es, sagt man, Kultur rein als symbolisches System zu behandeln ..., indem man ihre Elemente isoliert, die innere Beziehung zwischen diesen Elementen nher bestimmt und dann das gesamte System auf allgemeine Weise charakterisiert etwa nach den zentralen Symbolen, um die es organisiert ist, nach seinen inneren Strukturen, deren uerer Ausdruck es ist, oder nach den ideologischen Prinzipien, auf denen es grndet38.

Diese Definition eines kulturellen Systems zitiert Geertz aber nur, um sie sofort als zu geschlossen zurckzuweisen, denn dieser Ansatz laufe Gefahr, die Erforschung von Kultur von ihrem eigentlichen Gegenstand, der informellen Logik des tatschlichen Lebens, abzuschneiden 39. In der Realitt ist Religion immer gelebte Religion so knnte man ergnzen, und so verfhrt Hanegraaff nach Geertz. Geertz will keinen Schematismus:
Was immer Symbolsysteme ... sein mgen, wo immer sie bestehen, empirisch werden wir ihrer erst habhaft, wenn wir Ereignisse untersuchen, und nicht, indem wir abstrahierte Entitten zu einheitlichen Mustern zusammenfgen. Das impliziert auch, da nicht Kohrenz der ausschlaggebende Gltigkeitsbeweis fr die Beschreibung einer Kultur sein kann. Kulturelle Systeme mssen ein gewisses Mindestma an Kohrenz aufweisen, andernfalls wrden wir sie nicht als Systeme bezeichnen; und bei nherer Betrachtung haben sie normalerweise sehr viel mehr davon. Nichts jedoch ist kohrenter als die Wahnvorstellung eines Paranoikers ... Nichts hat meiner Meinung nach mehr zur Diskreditierung von Kulturanalysen beigetragen als die Erstellung einwandfreier Abbildungen von formalen Ordnungen, an deren Existenz niemand so recht glauben kann 40.

Mit anderen Worten: Symbolsysteme sind in sich kohrent, aber nur ein bichen sie sind offen fr Manipulation, ohne da sie dadurch gesprengt werden. Die Konsequenz fr unsere Fragestellung lautet jetzt in erweiterter Formulierung: Wenn man in vormoderner Zeit im abendlndischen Kulturraum geboren ist, ist man Christ, auch wenn man von christlichen Grundstzen abweicht. Vielleicht darf man die Frage nach dem Systembegriff im hier gegebenen Kontext so beantworten, da dieser Terminus eingefhrt wird, um ihn zu
36 Selbstverstndlich mit Ausnahme der jdischen Minoritt; darum geht es aber in diesem Zusammenhang nicht. 37 Im folgenden zitiert nach der deutschen bersetzung: Geertz, Dichte Beschreibung. 38 Geertz, Dichte Beschreibung, 25. 39 Geertz, Dichte Beschreibung, 25. 40 Geertz, Dichte Beschreibung, 26.

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demontieren. So erlaubt dieser Systembegriff, der eigentlich keiner ist, die Entwicklung eines gnzlich offenen Modells. Ist ein solches Vorgehen illegitim? Selbstverstndlich nicht. Seine Voraussetzungen und Folgen sind nur offenzulegen, um seine Wirkungsweise verstehen zu knnen. Zum Beispiel immunisiert es sich gegen Kritik, indem es seinen Gegenstand zusammen mit dessen Gegenteil einbezieht. Alles also, was man empirisch als widerstndig anfhren knnte, luft per definitionem ins Leere, weil es zu den Manipulationen des Systems gehrt. Das Modell entwikkelt aber in bezug auf die religionsgeschichtliche Empirie der Frhen Neuzeit auch eine groe Strke: Es bietet einen exzellenten Rahmen fr das Verstndnis der vielfachen berschneidungen und Mischformen zwischen Christentum und Esoterik vor der Skularisierung. Hier liegt die eigentliche Leistungskraft, die es fr die ja immer noch junge, im theoretischen Aufbau befindliche Esoterikforschung hat. Dieser Gedanke wird weiter unten noch aufzugreifen sein. An dieser Stelle ist jedoch zunchst einer anderen berlegung nachzugehen. Die Frage lautet: Ist das Modell Hanegraaffs sinnvoll und geeignet, um eine eigenstndige Esoterikforschung zu konstituieren? Befreit es uns aus unserer traditionellen Vorstellung von der geschlossenen christlichen Welt der Vormoderne? Dies ist wohl eher zu verneinen. Die forschungsgeschichtlich heute anstehende und notwendige Differenzierung europischer Religionsgeschichte auch vor 1800 wird hier zwar keineswegs verhindert, aber in ihrer Schlagkraft eher ausgebremst. Das Modell von Wouter Hanegraaff erffnet in seiner Anwendung auf das Verhltnis von Christentum und Esoterik den Knigsweg zur Rckgewinnung unseres schon stark angeschlagenen Bildes vom christlichen Abendland 41 nun nicht mehr unter der Dominanz der Theologie, sondern mit der neuen Logik religionswissenschaftlich fundierten Denkens. II Im Entwurf von Grundprinzipien einer Europischen Religionsgeschichte hat Burkhard Gladigow seit einigen Jahren einen Zugang entwickelt, der dem Verstndnis von Religionen als Symbolsystemen die Forderung der Analyse von Religionen als Sinnsystemen gegenberstellt, oder doch zumindest die Konnotation zum Systembegriff in dieser Weise variiert. Da der Tbinger Religionswissenschaftler in solchem Zugang einen Paradigmenwechsel seines Faches sieht, macht deutlich, da hier nicht die Rckkehr zu lteren Konzepten intendiert ist, die sich an Wesen und Wahrheit von Religionen orien41

Vgl. dazu Neugebauer-Wlk, Esoterik in der Frhen Neuzeit, 321-324.

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tierten, sondern da die Betonung auf einer wertneutralen Pluralitt, nicht auf der Hierarchie religiser Konzepte liegt 42: Die europische Religionsgeschichte sei neu zu konstituieren und fr die Erkenntnis paralleler Existenz unterschiedlicher Sinnsysteme zu ffnen. Dabei ist es entscheidend, da dieser Ansatz auch fr die Vormoderne gilt Gladigow verwendet zwar den Begriff Esoterik an keiner Stelle, er beschreibt aber die frhneuzeitliche Pluralitt religiser Sinnsysteme in einer Weise, die unmittelbar auf die Entstehungskontexte derjenigen religisen Strmung pat, die die Esoterikforschung zu ihrem Gegenstand gemacht hat:
Fr die so konzipierte Europische Religionsgeschichte ... ist sptestens seit der Renaissance eine Wahlmglichkeit zwischen Sinnsystemen mglich ..., erst die Konkurrenzsituation der oberitalienischen Stadtstaaten scheint einen voraufklrerischen Pluralismus ermglicht und bis an die Grenzen der Aufklrung transportiert zu haben. Die Prsenz und Verfgbarkeit hchst unterschiedlicher Religionen ist in Europa ... nicht nur auf dem Wege traditioneller Diffusionsund Enkulturationsprozesse ermglicht worden, sondern vor allem ber Philologien, Wissenschaften und spter Literatur 43.

Diese Auffassung bietet ein Konkurrenzmodell zu der Vorstellung, erst die Skularisierung habe die Verselbstndigung des Esoterischen aus dem Christentum mglich gemacht. Vielmehr generiert die Antikenrezeption der Renaissance innerhalb der humanistischen Quellenarbeit und Philologie bereits eine neue Religion. Selbstverstndlich verweist auch Hanegraaff als exzellenter Kenner des Entstehungskontextes abendlndischer Esoterik auf diesen Hintergrund44; er versteht die historische Konstitutionsphase des Esoterischen als cross-fertilization zwischen dem symbolischen System des Christentums und sptantiken heidnischen Symbolsystemen45 . Im Ergebnis dieser Befruchtung entsteht jedoch nichts Eigenstndiges, sondern die esoterische Komponente wird in die Realitt des Christentums integriert 46, und das Christentum nimmt dadurch neue Formen an. Gladigow prferiert dagegen die Vorstellung, im Resultat dieses Prozesses entstnde eine Wahlmglichkeit zwischen Sinnsystemen, eine Formulierung, die wohl nur dann nachvollziehbar wird, wenn das Verhltnis zwischen Christentum und Esoterik nicht als Integration, sondern als Alternative gedacht ist. Der folgende Entwurf schliet sich der Gladigowschen Vorgabe an, das kulturwissenschaftliche Denken in Symbolsystemen durch die Annahme der
42 Siehe etwa Gladigow, Religionsgeschichte des Gegenstandes, bes. 23. Zur Herleitung des Konzepts aus dem Verstndnis von Religionen als Symbolsystemen 16-17. 43 Gladigow, Europische Religionsgeschichte, 27. 44 Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 16-17]. 45 Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 16]. 46 Hanegraaff, Dreams of Theology, [MS 17].

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Existenz von Sinnsystemen zu konkretisieren. Der Begriff Sinn verweist dabei auf einen hheren Grad an innerer Kohrenz als der Systembegriff nach Clifford Geertz. Seine Anwendung setzt der Vorstellung Grenzen, ein System umfasse auch die Manipulation seiner Elemente. Negative Rezeption von Mythos und Ritual transzendiert das Modell, denn im Kontext eines gegebenen Sinnsystems ist es nicht integrierbar, da etwa seine zentrale mythische Narration gegen ihren Sinn gelesen wird dies ist bereits begriffslogisch ausgeschlossen. Das Postulat eines Sinngehalts religiser Systeme ruft selbstverstndlich sofort die Frage hervor, wer diesen Sinn denn feststellt bzw. definiert und auf welcher Grundlage dies geschieht. Die Antwort darauf kann nur auf die Hermeneutik als allgemeine Methodik der Geisteswissenschaften verweisen: Auf der Grundlage eines Vorverstndnisses, gewonnen aus der wissenschaftlichen Arbeit an Texten zum Gegenstandsbereich Esoterik, werden Konstitutionselemente entwickelt, die ein sinnrelevantes Profil dieser religisen Konzeption anbieten. Methodisch vergleichbar ist Antoine Faivre mit seinen bekannten vier bis sechs Komponenten der esoterischen Denkform verfahren47 das folgende Raster von fnf Bestimmungsmomenten sieht sich daher auch nicht als Kritik oder Korrektur des Faivreschen Modells, sondern als dessen Ergnzung, indem hier nicht Esoterik fr sich bestimmt wird, sondern ein Grundmuster esoterischer Religiositt so formuliert ist, da es mit Grundvorstellungen christlicher Religiositt vergleichbar wird bzw. konfrontiert werden kann. Damit soll dem allgemein-geistesgeschichtlichen Zugang Faivres zum Verstndnis des Esoterischen ein spezifisch religionsgeschichtlicher Zugang zur Seite gestellt werden. Das Entscheidende am Angebot solcher hermeneutisch gewonnener Modelle ist, da sie sich nicht als endgltig verstehen, sondern als Grundlage fr kritische Rezeption, als Bausteine in einem prinzipiell unabschliebaren Proze der Entwicklung unseres wissenschaftlichen Verstndnisses von Gegenstandsbereichen. Sinn wird also auch in einem Sinnsystem niemals ganz entschlsselt, sondern im hermeneutischen Zirkel durch stndiges Neu-Entwerfen beschrieben, wodurch sich in einem Proze aufeinander aufbauender Interpretationen die Einheit des Sinnes eindeutiger festlegt48. Die folgenden fnf Charakteristika oder Themenkreise esoterischer Religiositt der Frhen Neuzeit sind also im hermeneutischen Verfahren gewonnene Bestimmungsmomente, ein Angebot zur Erstellung eines sinnrelevanten
Faivre, Esoterik im berblick, 24-33. Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode , 251. Zum Standardmiverstndnis gegenber dieser Formulierung vgl. Brenner, Problem der Interpretation, bes. Kap. 5: Sinnverweigerung: Der dekonstruktionistische Angriff auf die Hermeneutik133-166, hier 162.
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Profils, das sich gegen ein entsprechendes Profil christlicher Glaubenskonzepte abgrenzen lt. Die Grundlage fr die Erarbeitung dieser Charakteristik findet sich nicht in einzelnen historisch feststellbaren Theologien, sondern ist ein wissenschaftliches Verstndnis, das sich davon unabhngig zu machen sucht. Trotzdem wird es unvermeidlich sein, da ein Vorverstndnis theologischer Argumentationen, dem sich niemand zu entziehen vermag, der sich mit europischer Religionsgeschichte beschftigt hat, in die Konzeption eingeht. Der Leser wird aber feststellen, da es sich im folgenden nicht um einen konsequenten Abgleich zwischen esoterischem religisen Denken und christlicher Dogmatik handelt. berhaupt geht es nicht darum, gleichsam en passant auch das Grundprofil des Christentums zu erfassen. Diesbezglich mgen sich andere Schwerpunkte und Bestimmungsmomente ergeben, wenn ein Vergleich mit anderen Religionen oder religisen Strmungen durchgefhrt wird. Hier geht es nur um die Bestimmung eines Grundprofils frhneuzeitlicher Esoterik als eines eigenstndigen religisen Sinnsystems. 1. Die berschreitung der heiligen Schriften Das christliche Corpus der heiligen Schriften, also die Bcher des Alten und Neuen Testaments, sind im esoterischen Argumentationszusammenhang als Offenbarungstrger nicht ausreichend; sie werden durch das Corpus Hermeticum , die chaldischen Orakel, kabbalistische Literatur und vergleichbare Texte ergnzt. Diese Ergnzung wird im Goldenen Zeitalter des Hermetismus (Faivre) 49, von der Mitte des 16. bis zum Anfang des 17. Jahrhunderts, offensiv eingefordert. Es ist der Versuch zu beobachten, die Rmische Kirche zu einer entsprechenden Neukonstituierung ihres Schriftencorpus zu veranlassen 50. Philologische Grundlage dafr ist die Editionsttigkeit seit dem spten 15. Jahrhundert, sind insbesondere die Ausgaben des Corpus Hermeticum in der griechischen Originalfassung (1554/1574) 51. Dabei haben die ergnzenden Texte esoterischer Provenienz eine andere Funktion als sie etwa die Kirchenvterliteratur im Verhltnis zur Bibel in der katholischen Kirche hat: Sie sind nicht Trger von Auslegung, sondern ebenfalls Quellen von Offenbarung und stehen damit auf derselben sakralen Ebene wie die Bibel 52. In einem bertragenen Sinn ist auch die Vorstellung von den zwei Bchern
Faivre, Hermetism, 297. Vgl. Neugebauer-Wlk, Esoterik in der Frhen Neuzeit, 351-353, zu den entsprechenden Offensiven Francesco Patrizis. 51 Zur Editionsgeschichte des Corpus Hermeticum siehe van Lamoen, Hermes Trismegistus. 52 Faivre, Hermetism, 298: Der Corpus-Hermeticum-Editor Foix de Candale professed a kind of ecstatic religious Hermetism and seems to have put the Corpus Hermeticum on the same plane as the canonical writings of Christianity.
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gttlicher Offenbarung, der Bibel und dem Buch der Natur, hier einzuordnen. Es geht immer darum, da der Kanon der heiligen Schriften des Christentums nicht ausreicht, um das optimal mgliche Wissen ber die Geheimnisse des Gttlichen zu erlangen. Esoterische Religiositt berschreitet also das Offenbarungsangebot des Christentums und kennzeichnet es damit als defizitr. 2. Das hhere Wissen Frhneuzeitliche Esoterik setzt sich zum Christentum stets in ein Verhltnis der Steigerung: Sie ermglicht tiefere Einsicht, hheres Wissen, eigentliche Erleuchtung. Die Basis dieses Anspruchs ist die Prioritt des esoterischen Wissensbegriffs gegenber dem Glauben dies ist der gnostische Charakter der Esoterik in einem von der historischen Erscheinung spthellenistischer Gnosis losgelsten paradigmatischen Sinne53. Hheres Wissen kann danach ber die Angebote der christlichen Heilsbotschaft hinaus durch die Lektre esoterischer Texte, durch das Lesen des Buches der Natur und durch ein individuelles, mystisch-imaginatives Schauen der Seele gewonnen werden, das die Sichtweise Adams vor dem Sndenfall in Erinnerung ruft54. Alle diese Erkenntniswege fhren auf die Kunst der esoterischen Hermeneutik. Hieroglyphik, Kabbalistik und Emblematik sind spezielle frhneuzeitliche Formen der Entzifferung des Okkulten, der geheimen Substanz hinter den ueren Zeichen und Bildern. Damit ist also gerade die Vorstellung von den Zeichen und Symbolen esoterisch eine diametral andere als im Christentum. Kirchlich sind die Symbole, heilige oder gottesdienstliche Gegenstnde, Veranschaulichungen, die die Abstraktion christlicher Dogmatik zugnglich machen. Zeichen und Symbole im esoterischen Kontext stehen dagegen im Zentrum des Glaubens und sollen auf eine Erkenntnis fhren, die die christlichen Glaubensaussagen deutlich bertrifft55. In der Konsequenz dessen wird das Selbstverstndnis vom Besitz hherer Erkenntnis auf das Christentum in der Form des Wahrheitsanspruchs projiziert. Auch dies ist ein Modus der Steigerung. Das Frhchristentum hat sich selbst gegenber der heidnischen Antike als die wahre Religion verstanden und dies auch in philosophischer Argumentation analog zu Vernunftprinzipien zu begrnden versucht 56. Esoterische Religiositt erhebt den Anspruch, die
53 Vgl. dazu etwa Konzept und Beitrge des Sammelbandes Quispel, Hermetische gnosis in de loop der eeuwen . 54 Als Beispiel aus dem 18. Jahrhundert siehe etwa Betz, Friedrich Christoph Oetinger, 9. 55 Vgl. die Formulierung Oetingers: Nun kan ohne hhere Chemie niemand die Emblemata der heiligen Schrift erklren, darum habe ich meine Experimente darauf angestellt. Zitiert nach Breymayer, Friedrich Christoph Oetinger, 49. 56 Dazu jetzt Fiedrowicz, Apologie im frhen Christentum, bes. das Schlukapitel: Der universale Wahrheitsanspruch des Christentums, 301-311.

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Wahrheit noch jenseits des lehrhaft formulierten, in den Dogmen festgeschriebenen Wahrheitsanspruchs der Kirchen zu erkennen. Frhneuzeitliche Esoterik versteht sich als wahres Christentum auf der Basis hheren Wissens. 3. Realisierung und weltliche Macht Das Erkenntnismodell esoterischer Religiositt ist in doppelter Weise vom christlichen Erkenntnisbegriff abgesetzt, nmlich ber die Steigerung hinaus durch den Anspruch auf Realisierung 57. Selbstverstndlich gibt es auch im Christentum den Grundsatz, da die Religion Auswirkungen auf das Handeln der Menschen haben msse, aber dies gehrt zum Bereich der guten Werke, von Nchstenliebe und sozialer Praxis, also zur Ethik und nicht zur Epistemologie. Die hhere Erkenntnis und esoterische Hermeneutik, das Entziffern des Buches der Natur und das Wissen um das wahre Wesen der Dinge, ermglicht nach dem Selbstverstndnis des Esoterikers das Einsetzen dieser Krfte als Herrschaft ber die Dinge, Macht ber die Menschen und Realisierung gttlicher Ordnung in der Welt. Das berwinden natrlicher Grenzsetzung erscheint nicht wie im Christentum als seltenes, von den Kirchen hufig beargwhntes Wunder, sondern als logische und zu erwartende Folge hheren Wissens. Das Groe Werk der Alchemisten verwandelt die Substanzen, alchemistische Medizin zielt mit dem Lebenselexier auf die berwindung von Krankheit und Tod, Magie ist Machtausbung durch analoges Handeln58. So verbindet Esoterik mit einem Transzendenzkonzept die religise Erwartung weltlicher Macht und immanenter Wirkung. Dies mit der historisch realen Herrschaftsausbung des Christentums in seiner kirchlich-politischen Organisation zu verwechseln, wre ein profundes Miverstndnis. Das Christentum mu, um seine Herrschaft in der Welt aufzurichten, sein religises Konzept politisch erweitern und anpassen; die Formen esoterischer Herrschaft und Wirkungsmacht sind dagegen genuiner Bestandteil esoterischer Religiositt. 4. Erlsung und Christusbild Die eminent wirkungsbezogene Seite der Esoterik gewinnt ihre anspruchsvollste Gestalt in der Konstituierung des Erlsungsweges. Ein verbindliches, in
Faivre, Occultism, 36: esotericism ... has a practical dimension. It is not pure speculation, since the active knowledge, enlightenment, and imagination that constitute it correspond to a form of praxis. 58 Claret, Magie. III Systematisch-theologisch, 1188: Von magischen Praktiken, d. h. von einer Magie der Bemchtigung, sind strikt zu unterscheiden die sakralen Handlungen der Kirche und das Gebet im christlichen Sinn. Der hier zitierte Artikel geht allerdings noch von der traditionellen Unterscheidung von Magie und Religion aus. Im folgenden wird dagegen nicht Esoterik von Religion unterschieden, sondern Christentum und Esoterik werden als zwei differente religise Systeme behandelt.
57

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sich geschlossenes Modell gibt es dabei allerdings nicht. Man knnte eher von einer Tendenz sprechen, der Tendenz nmlich zur effektiven Mitwirkung des Menschen am Erlsungsgeschehen. Im Frhchristentum hatte es um diese Frage nachhaltige Auseinandersetzungen gegeben: Durch die historische Gnosis war der Weg zur Selbsterlsung als eine Verstndnismglichkeit des Heilsgeschehens konstituiert worden; im alexandrinischen Umfeld etwa war eine Vorstellung entwickelt worden, nach der die Bedeutung von Jesus Christus nur fr die ungebildete Menge der Menschen ausschlaggebend sein sollte, whrend die Elite eines Geheimkreises in der Lage war, am eigenen Erlsungsgeschehen mitzuwirken59. Im Etablierungsproze des Frhkatholizismus wurde dann aber gegen die Wege der Selbsterlsung entschieden und eine ganz auf Christus zentrierte Soteriologie entwickelt 60, die von da an das Christentum bestimmte, und zwar auch in seinen spteren konfessionellen Formen61. Der Glaube an die Fhigkeit des Menschen, das gttliche Zeichensystem des Universums entziffern zu knnen und die Grundstze der spekulativen Alchemie62 begrnden dagegen esoterisch auch fr die Neuzeit Heilskonzepte, die der Selbsterlsung nahekommen oder sie doch als denkbares Ziel im Blick haben 63. Auch hier verschwimmt die Grenze zwischen Transzendenz und Immanenz in einer dem Christentum nicht nachvollziehbaren Weise: Erlsung schon im Vollzug des irdischen Lebens wird immer wieder angesprochen, aus den heiligen Schriften zu beweisen 64 und im spekulativen Transmutationsgeschehen zu erreichen versucht. Da das esoterisch-frhneuzeitliche Christusbild davon nicht unbeeinflut bleiben konnte, versteht sich von selbst65. So kann die biblische Erzhlung von Jesus Christus ihres historischen Charakters entkleidet und zu einem kosmologischen Prinzip der Erlsung umgedeutet werden66 , eine Mglichkeit, die mit der alchemistischen Lapis-Christus-Parallele harmoniert, die Jesus Christus
59 So die christlich-gnostischen Mittelplatoniker Clemens und Origines: Andresen, Erlsung, 591. 60 Andresen, Erlsung, 590. 61 Gnilka, Erlsung, 802. Zur berkonfessionellen Geltung: Gunton, Erlsung/ Soteriologie, 1454-1455. 62 Vgl. Schmidt-Biggemann, Erlsung durch Philologie und Hoheisel, Christus und der philosophische Stein, z. B. 79. 63 Faivre, Theosophy, 465: In the strict sense, the word esotericism refers to a gnosis that offers the individual enlightenment and salvation through a knowledge of the bonds that are believed to unite him to the world of divine or intermediary spirits. 64 Vgl. Neugebauer-Wlk, Denn dis ist mglich, lieber Sohn!, bes. 142-143, sowie ein Beispiel bei Trepp, Im Buch der Natur lesen, 104. 65 Vgl. die Ausfhrungen bei Hauschild, Christologie, 303-304 zum mystischen Spiritualismus. 66 Hauschild, Christologie, 304 zu Jakob Bhme.

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mit dem Charakter der Substanz identifiziert, die das Werk der Transmutation vollbringt67. Andere Parallelisierungen bertragen Attribute des kirchlichen Christusbildes auf Hermes Trismegistos oder stellen sie in die eigene Verfgbarkeit des Esoterikers. Zeigen lt sich dies zum Beispiel an der Lehre vom dreifachen Amt Christi als Prophet, Priester und Knig68, die wortgleich auf Hermes bertragen wird 69 und von da aus sogar in das freimaurerische Selbstverstndnis eingeht 70. Es ist der kirchlich zentrale Grundsatz der Einzigartigkeit des historischen Christus, der damit entweder unterlaufen oder sogar bewut und gezielt angegriffen wird. Beispiele fr Extrempositionen sind das Auftreten des Giovanni Mercurio da Correggio in der Auftaktphase der Hermetikrenaissance am Ende des 15. Jahrhunderts, des hermetischen Christus71 oder das Selbstverstndnis des bhmistischen Chiliasten Quirinus Kuhlmann, der sich nach Adam und Christus als dritte Fleischwerdung des gttlichen Logos verstand 72, sich damit also ebenfalls auf dieselbe Ebene mit Christus stellte. Solche wiederholten Reinkarnationen des Gottessohnes sind mit dem Sinnsystem des Christentums unvereinbar 73. Fluchtpunkt esoterischer Religiositt ist nicht die historisch individuell fabare, einzigartige Erlserfigur, sondern das Geheimnis des Anfangs der Schpfungsplan Gottes vor der Erschaffung der Welt und die Sprache Adams, in der Gott vor dem Sndenfall mit dem Menschen kommunizierte 74. Das Eindringen in beide Sphren durch esoterische Offenbarung und innere Erleuchtung fhrt auf die wahren Namen der Dinge und damit auf das Er67 Vgl. Hoheisel, Christus und der philosophische Stein, 83-84 ber den soteriologischen Charakter der spekulativen Alchemie: Deswegen konnte sie sich auch das christliche Erlsungsmysterium mhelos subsumieren, ist aber selbst nicht mehr von den Grundaussagen der grokirchlich ausgelegten Bibel her zu begreifen und in diesem Sinne ber- oder besser auerchristlich (84). 68 Gunton, Erlsung/Soteriologie, 1450. 69 Vgl. die Vorrede, die Francesco Patrizi seiner Edition des Corpus Hermeticum voranstellte, in deutscher bersetzung in der Ausgabe von 1706: Hermetis Trismegisti Erkntn der Natur. Nachricht Von der Persohn und Genealogie Hermetis, unpag. 70 Dazu den Nachweis bei Neugebauer-Wlk, Esoterik im 18. Jahrhundert, 35. 71 Nach der neuen quellenkritischen Darstellung durch Wouter Hanegraaff: Hanegraaff, Lodovico Lazzarelli, [MS 19-40]. Hanegraaff zitiert aus einer Quelle: he believed that whoever elevated himself and endeavored to gain perfection would attain, in his opinion, the status of a son of God [MS 30]. 72 Schmidt-Biggemann, Erlsung durch Philologie, 290: Das Wort sollte schlielich vollendet werden durch Quirinus Kuhlmann, den neuen Jesuel, und seine Frau, die neue Eva. 73 Zur Bedeutung von Reinkarnationskonzepten im christlichen Abendland allgemein Zander, Geschichte der Seelenwanderung, 614-16: ... ist die heute in Europa herrschend gewordene spezifisch europische Vorstellung ber die Seelenwanderung, geradezu eine Reversprgung des Christentums (616). Dies gilt auch fr deren vormoderne Vorlufer. 74 Siehe hierzu Coudert, Die Sprache Adams und vor allem die Arbeiten von Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann, z. B. seine Bhme-Studie Das Geheimnis des Anfangs.

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lsungswissen Grundlage fr das Entziffern aller Geheimnisse der Schpfung. 5. Unsichtbare Kirche und Geheime Gesellschaft Auch im Christentum hat die Kirchenorganisation als Gemeinschaft der Glubigen einen konfessionell oder freikirchlich unterschiedlichen Stellenwert; in esoterischen Strmungen der Frhen Neuzeit entwickelt sich jedoch eine grundstzlich der Kirche gegenber distanzierte Haltung. Die geistige Grundlage dieser Auffassung drfte in dem gegen alle Dogmatik gerichteten esoterischen Selbstverstndnis als freier Religiositt zu suchen sein. Erleuchtung oder Imagination als eine der zentralen Quellen des esoterischen Offenbarungs- und Erkenntniserwerbs war in ihrem Ergebnis weder festzuschreiben noch fr die groe Menge der Menschen organisierbar. Damit war den Kirchen als Verwaltern und Verkndern religiser Lehrstze der Boden entzogen, und jeder Bezug auf christliche Dogmatik wurde als Disziplinierung erlebt, wobei es weniger um die einzelnen Inhalte von Dogmen oder Konfessionsschriften ging, als um eine lehrhafte Fassung des Glaubens berhaupt. Es entstand die Metapher der uerlichen toten Kirchenorganisation, der die innerliche lebendige Religiositt esoterischen Denkens konfrontiert wurde. Dies fhrte folgerichtig zur Ablehnung kirchlicher Rituale, die ebenfalls als uerlich und geistlich leer verstanden wurden. Die genormten Gottesdienstformen wurden als Riten des Scheinchristentums begriffen, die nur dann zum Heil fhren, wenn sie durch die Erkenntnis- und Erlebnisformen des wahren Christentums ergnzt werden. So nhert sich esoterische Religiositt in der Frhen Neuzeit zunehmend der Vorstellung von einer Unsichtbaren Kirche75. Es sollte jedoch nicht bersehen werden, da auch die Entwicklung vormoderner Esoterik Anstze von Institutionalisierung und formeller Gemeinschaftsbildung beinhaltet. Dies fhrt uns in die Geschichte der frhneuzeitlichen Sozietten von den Renaissanceakademien, etwa der Florentiner Akademie Marsilio Ficinos, ber die groen Gesellschaften des Barock wie die Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft im deutschsprachigen Raum bis hin zu Freimaurerei und Geheimbnden des 18. Jahrhunderts76. Besonders an der arkanen Soziettsbewegung wird deutlich, wie der Gedanke der Unsichtbaren Kirche in der Realitt der Geheimen Gesellschaft aufgehoben und doch eine institutionelle Ebene erreicht wird. Die masonische Bewegung unternimmt es, das esoterische Erlebnis in
75 Hoheisel, Esoterik, 1126: Typisch ist .... das Bestreben, im Wissen um geheime Beziehungen jeweils vorgefundene institutionelle Strukturen zu berwinden und eine unsichtbare Gemeinschaft der Glaubenden heraufzufhren. 76 Vgl. dazu ausfhrlich Neugebauer-Wlk, Hhere Vernunft.

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einem arkanen Binnenraum fr jeweils kleine Gemeinschaften zu organisieren. Hier entstehen zum christlichen Gottesdienst alternative Riten und Symbole; der Mythos des Christentums die Lebensgeschichte von Jesus Christus wird durch die Lebensgeschichte von Hiram, dem Baumeister des Salomonischen Tempels, in ihrer Zentralstellung abgelst. Es wird ein Gradsystem eingefhrt, das der stufenweisen Enthllung esoterischer Erkenntnis eine organisierte Form verleiht. Eine solche Hierarchie des religisen Wissens ist im christlichen Rahmen undenkbar; christliches Heilswissen steht allen Menschen auf gleicher Stufe und im freien Zugang zur Verfgung. Es war die Intention des voraufgehenden Entwurfs von fnf Themenkreisen, die Struktur eines esoterischen Sinnsystems der Frhen Neuzeit so zu formulieren, da es in die Strukturen des christlichen Sinnsystems nicht mehr integriert werden kann. Das gilt selbstverstndlich auch umgekehrt: Esoterik kann das Christentum nicht umfassen und in sich aufheben, ein Anspruch, der von esoterischen Denkern immer wieder erhoben wird. Im Zuge der Darstellung konnte darber hinaus darauf verwiesen werden, da auch die Elemente christlicher Symbolsysteme auf der Ebene von Mythos, Symbolen und Ritual in der frhneuzeitlichen Esoterik transzendiert werden. Das Ziel des Entwurfs war die Beschreibung sachlich-objektiver Zusammenhnge; Hinweise auf personenbezogene Beispiele wurden nur als Veranschaulichung beigefgt. Das entspricht der Absicht, eine religise Konzeption vorzustellen, also Esoterik gegen das Christentum als Paradigma abzugrenzen, nicht Esoteriker gegen Christen. In der einzelnen Biographie, im persnlichen Profil, wird eine unzweideutige Zuordnung zur Esoterik nur in Einzelfllen mglich sein. Eine berindividuelle Modellkonzeption ist deswegen aber nicht obsolet. Die historische Erforschung der Frhen Neuzeit bedarf eines Musters, um die Auswirkungen der religisen Konkurrenz auf die Menschen diagnostizieren bzw. deren Beitrag zur Herausbildung des religisen Paradigmas Esoterik analysieren zu knnen. So wird ein Verstndnisrahmen zur Verfgung gestellt, durch den esoterische Tendenzen in Argumentationszusammenhngen und Verhaltensweisen auch dann erkannt werden knnen, wenn sie in eine uerlich christlich orientierte Sprache eingebettet sind und mit christlichen Symbolen und Ritualen arbeiten oder spielen. Die Strke des esoterischen Elements in einer synkretistischen Konstellation wird deutlich und kann unabhngig von der dominierenden Religion fr eine plurale europische Religionsgeschichte wissenschaftlich formuliert werden. Das hier vorgestellte Modell allerdings kann nicht als abgeschlossen gelten. Der Entwurf ist offen fr Kritik, Korrekturen und Ergnzungen es sind nur Prolegomena zur Klrung des Problems religiser Differenz.

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Die Geschichte der Konfrontation von Esoterik und Christentum in der Frhen Neuzeit kann man aus vielen Perspektiven erzhlen. Hier sollen als konkretes Beispiel einige Grundlinien des Streits zwischen Pietismus und lutherischer Orthodoxie nachgezeichnet werden, der die Religionsgeschichte des 17. Jahrhunderts im deutschsprachigen protestantischen Raum geprgt hat. Die Ausgangssituation konstituiert sich in der Vorlaufphase des Dreiigjhrigen Krieges. Im Jahrzehnt zwischen 1605 und 1614 etabliert sich esoterische Religiositt als Wahres Christentum, und der Braunschweiger Pfarrer Johann Arndt verleiht ihr diesen Namen77 . Arndt hat Medizin studiert, nicht Theologie78, und ist ein Anhnger des Hermetikers Paracelsus 79. Das letzte seiner Vier Bcher von wahrem Christenthumb 80 ist das Buch der Natur und entwickelt die Hermeneutik der esoterischen Zeichentheorie: Alle Kreatur hat nur den einen Zweck, Hinweis auf Gott zu sein eine eigentmliche, den Verweischarakter der sichtbaren Schpfung auf das Unsichtbare betonende emblematische natrliche Theologie81. In der Geschichte der frhneuzeitlichen Philosophia perennis von Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann folgt die Darstellung von Johann Arndts Theologie unmittelbar auf die platonische Theologie des Marsilio Ficino:
Als ... Johann Arndt sich 1597 zum Sinn von Bildern uerte und en passant eine Theorie seiner Emblematik lieferte, konnte er die Theorie der Phantasie, wie sie sich in der Tradition neuplatonischer Philosophia perennis entwickelt hatte, voraussetzen ... Die Bilder gelten fr Arndt einmal als gttliche Eingaben in Traum und Prophetie, zum anderen zeigen sie die ersten Hieroglyphen der Weisheit, die Gott fr alle Menschen in der Natur verborgen hat und deren Signatur allen Frommen, den Heiden wie den Christen, zugnglich ist 82.

Diese Offenbarung hinter der Offenbarung und ihre Hermeneutik stuft die Bibel als Wort Gottes herab; sie wird zum tertiren Zeugnis83. Dem wahren Christentum verbindet sich die wahre Wissenschaft, seine alchemistische Dimension 84. Es berwindet das uerliche Scheinchristentum durch indiviVgl. im berblick Wallmann, Johann Arndt. Schneider, Johann Arndt als Paracelsist, 92. 79 Dazu jetzt die Arbeiten von Carlos Gilly zum Paracelsismus als einer religisen Bewegung, etwa Gilly, Theophrastica Sancta, ders., Bekenntnis zur Gnosis und speziell Johann Arndt und die dritte Reformation. 80 Hauptwerk Arndts; das erste Buch erschien erstmals 1605 in Frankfurt am Main, einschlielich der Bnde II bis IV kam es zuerst 1610 in Magdeburg heraus. 81 Wallmann, Johann Arndt, 206. 82 Schmidt-Biggemann, Philosophia perennis, 43. 83 Geyer, Verborgene Weisheit, Bd. 3, 360. 84 Geyer, die pur lautere Essenz, 82-86.
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duelle Aneignung des Glaubens auf dem Wege der Transmutation des Menschen, der Wiedergeburt, die ihn in die gottunmittelbare Weisheit Adams vor dem Sndenfall zurckversetzt85. Der so Wiedergeborene herrscht ber die Natur und besitzt die Kunst der alten Magi des Ostens 86. Das Ziel des wahren Glaubens ist die Vergttlichung, die Transformation der irdischen Existenz aus einer adamisch-sndlichen in eine christusfrmige geistliche Existenz87. Nur wenige Jahre spter begrndet der Grlitzer Schuhmacher und Kaufmann Jakob Bhme mit seiner Schrift Die Morgenrte im Aufgang (Aurora ) die frhneuzeitliche Theosophie. Die Distanz dieses auf Erleuchtungserlebnissen basierenden Werkes zum kirchlichen Christentum ist so eklatant, da es zu Lebzeiten des Autors nur als Manuskript zirkuliert88 . Die lutherische Kirche ist Bhme das Babel seiner Zeit, antichristlich und dem Streit verfallen89 . Sein Christusbild entspricht nicht der biblischen Geschichtserzhlung vom Leben Jesu, vielmehr sieht er Christus in einer Art triadischer Typologie, die auch begreifbar macht, was der Christus in uns ist 90. Christologie ist bei Bhme also mit Anthropologie untrennbar verbunden: Christus ist der zweite Adam, der all das erfllt, worin der erste Adam versagte 91. Tod und Auferstehung Christi, menschliche Wiedergeburt und die Transmutation der Metalle sind ein und derselbe Proze92. Offenbarung kommt fr Bhme aus der persnlichen Imagination, aus der Lektre des inneren Buches des Menschen 93:
Mein Buch hat nur 3 Bltter, das sind die 3 Principia der Ewigkeit; darinnen kann ich alles finden, was Moses und die Propheten, so wol Christus und die Aposteln geredet haben. Ich kann der Welt Grund und alle Heimlichkeit darinnen finden ...94

Bhme hat dieses Selbstbild, alle seine Erkenntnisse nur aus der Imagination zu beziehen, betont und gepflegt und daher sorgsam darauf geachtet, in seinen Schriften keine Hinweise auf eigene Lektre zu geben. Die Forschung kann jedoch heute fr die Werke ab 1619 eine intensive Auseinandersetzung mit weigelschem, paracelsischem, alchemistischem und kabbalistischem GedanGeyer, Verborgene Weisheit, Bd. 3, 343. Geyer, die pur lautere Essenz, 94. 87 Geyer, die pur lautere Essenz, 97. 88 Wehr, Jakob Bhme, 24. 89 Brecht, Die deutschen Spiritualisten, 213. 90 Schmidt-Biggemann, Das Geheimnis des Anfangs,124. 91 Rusterholz, Jacob Bhme und seine Anhnger, 79. 92 Rusterholz, Jacob Bhme und seine Anhnger, 80. 93 Rusterholz, Liber Naturae und Liber Scripturae, 135. 94 Aus dem 12. Theosophischen Sendbrief von 1621, zitiert nach Rusterholz, Liber Naturae und Liber Scripturae, 132.
85 86

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kengut belegen 95. Mit Sicherheit kannte er Arndts Wahres Christentum 96. Seine esoterische Hermeneutik der Bibel und des Buchs der Natur war dieser Tradition verpflichtet, gewann aber auch Originalitt in einem eigenen Entschlsselungsverfahren, das vom ueren Zeichen zum wahren Verstndnis der Textgestalt aller Offenbarung vordringen wollte97. 1610 erschien die erste Gesamtausgabe des Arndtschen Wahren Christentums, 1612 schrieb Bhme seine Aurora , 1614 begann der unautorisierte Abdruck der Manifeste der Rosenkreuzer 98. Schlsseltext ist das erste der drei Manifeste, die Fama Fraternitatis, entstanden im Tbinger Freundeskreis um den Juristen und Alchemisten Tobias Hess, verfat von Johann Valentin Andreae 99. Im Zentrum der Botschaft steht die mythische Geschichtserzhlung des Lebens von Christian Rosenkreuz, deren uere christliche Bezge das Spielmaterial sind, mit dem sich das hermetische Weltbild entfaltet. Die Pilgerreise von Christian Rosenkreuz nach Jerusalem, der Suche nach wahrem Wissen gewidmet, endet im islamischen Orient, in Arabien und gypten dem Ruf der Weisen folgend100 . Rosenkreuz erhlt das Buch der Welt, der Natur und bersetzt es mithilfe esoterischer Zeichenlehre101 . Das so gewonnene Wissen wird durch das Geheimnis der Wiedergeburt die Generalreformation der Welt ermglichen. Die letzte und endgltige Reformation wird nicht von der Kirche getragen. Ort ihrer Vorbereitung ist die geheime Gesellschaft, von deren Grndung die Fama Fraternitatis berichtet102 und die von nun an von den Anhngern der Rosenkreuzer in ganz Europa gesucht wird103 . Die voraufgehenden Bemerkungen stehen nicht fr ein eigenstndiges oder gar erschpfendes Verstndnis von Arndt, Bhme und dem Tbinger Rosenkreuzerkreis. Sie sind vielmehr empirische Annotationen zu den fnf Themenkreisen der Differenz zwischen Esoterik und Christentum bezogen auf eine der wichtigsten Konstituierungsphasen esoterischer Religiositt vor 1800. Die berhmten Beispiele sind eingebettet in eine Flut einschlgigen Schrifttums, die zwischen 1609 und 1618 stndig anstieg104 . Sie mute bei den Vertretern der herrschenden religisen Lehre Widerstand hervorrufen.
Rusterholz, Jakob Bhme und seine Anhnger, 68. Rusterholz, Jakob Bhme und seine Anhnger, 82. 97 Rusterholz, Jakob Bhme und seine Anhnger, 80. 98 Cimelia Rhodostaurotica, 69. 99 Gilly, Entstehung und berlieferung, 17-33. 100 Edighoffer, Die Rosenkreuzer, 17-19. 101 Edighoffer, Die Rosenkreuzer, 22. 102 Vgl. Andreae, Fama Fraternitatis, ed. van Dlmen, 21-23. 103 Zur Wirkungsgeschichte jetzt die Beitrge des Tagungsbandes Rosenkreuz als europisches Phnomen und Khlmann, Soziett als Tagtraum. 104 Koch, Das konfessionelle Zeitalter, 238.
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Die Reaktion der lutherischen Theologie entwickelte sich massiv und zeitgleich zur Niederlage der calvinistischen Partei in der Schlacht am Weien Berg, eine politische Kraft, die Frances Yates mit der europischen Offensive des Rosenkreuzertums identifiziert hat105 . Die Gltigkeit dieser weitreichenden These sei dahingestellt unbestritten ist, da seit dem Beginn der 1620er Jahre die Polemik gegen Rosenkreuzer und Paracelsisten zur Ausbildung der Theologen an den lutherischen Fakultten gehrte106 . Da Tbingen ein frhes Zentrum der Abwehr war, war selbstverstndlich kein Zufall: 1622 gibt es hier einen Proze gegen einen Buchhndler, der die Rosenkreuzerschriften und Traktate von Johann Arndt vertreibt107 , und 1623 erscheint ein Theologisches Bedencken Lucas Osianders des Jngeren, eines Professors der Tbinger Universitt, der die unreinen Quellen von Arndts Wahrem Christentum angreift108 . Gegen die esoterische Relativierung der Bibel und den Glauben an vielfache Offenbarung verdichtet die Orthodoxie von Wittenberg ausgehend seit 1625 das Verstndnis der Heiligen Schrift zur Inspirationslehre: Nur die Bibel fhrt zum Geist Gottes, ihre Autoritt ist einzigartig 109 . Jedes ihrer Worte ist unmittelbar von Gott inspiriert bis hin zur Punktation der hebrischen Buchstaben 110 . Das bedeutete die Grenzziehung zur kabbalistisch bestimmten esoterischen Hermeneutik hier gab es keinen Spielraum mehr fr die Offenbarung hinter der Offenbarung, fr ein hintergrndiges Lesen heiliger Texte oder die Entzifferung der Zeichenhaftigkeit der Welt 111 . Gott sprach nicht verschlsselt, sondern direkt und im unmittelbaren Wortsinn zu den Menschen. Die zweite Hlfte des 17. Jahrhunderts bringt auf dieser Basis die antiesoterischen Synthesen und den orthodoxen Generalangriff: Das Wahre Christentum wird als Religiositt heidnischen Ursprungs identifiziert, und die bereinstimmungsthese zwischen Hermetik und Christentum, die die platonische Theologie der Renaissance mit so groem Aufwand als prisca sapientia entwickelt hatte, zurckgewiesen. 1665 erscheint eine Arbeit des Jacob Thomasius, des Rectors der Leipziger Nicolaischule und Vaters von Christian Thomasius 112 , in der er wie Ralph Hfner vorsichtig und umstndlich formuliert die Anerkennung der geschichtlichen Differenz heidnischer und christlicher Lehren nicht mehr zugunsten einer apologetisch begrndeten berein105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112

Yates, Aufklrung im Zeichen des Rosenkreuzes. Koch, Das konfessionelle Zeitalter, 344. Koch, Das konfessionelle Zeitalter, 344-345. Schneider, Johann Arndt als Paracelsist, 91. Weber, Inspiration der hl. Schrift, 777. Weber, Inspiration der hl. Schrift, 778. Koch, Das konfessionelle Zeitalter, 238. Schediasma historicum. Vgl. Sachse, Jakob Thomasius, 108-109.

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stimmung beider aufzugeben gewillt war113 . Jetzt geht es nicht mehr um einzelne Schriften und einzelne Autoren, sondern um die mystische Theologie in ihrer Gesamtheit, die die durch den Glauben bezeichnete Grenze der menschlichen Erkenntnis berschritten habe114 . Astrologie und Magie haben nach Thomasius die Lehre Christi korrumpiert; Elemente esoterischer Religiositt erscheinen als Destruktion des Christentums115 . 1690 findet diese Literatur fr das 17. Jahrhundert ihren Hhepunkt und Abschlu: Ehregott Daniel Colberg, Professor in Greifswald, verffentlicht sein Platonisch-hermetisches Christenthum , eine flammende Streitschrift gegen die Fanatische Theologie seiner Zeit, gegen Paracelsisten, Rosenkreuzer, Bhmisten und Spiritualisten aller Richtungen. Colberg bringt die Kontroverse auf den Punkt:
Ob nun gleich die Schwarmgeister diese beyden Principia, Cabalem und Magiam, oder die Erkntn sein selbst und das Buch der Natur, die inwendige und auswendige Offenbahrung, eintzig und allein erkennen, so setzen sie doch zum Schein die heil. Schrifft hinzu, damit sie von den Unwissenden dennoch fr gute Christen mchten angesehen werden, wiewohl sie nicht das geringste, so in der heiligen Schrifft geschrieben stehet, gluben ...116

Die Verwendung der christlichen Narratio gegen ihren christlichen Sinngehalt war damit auch zeitgenssisch festgestellt. Der Stand der Debatte lie beim Erscheinen des Platonisch-hermetischen Christentums nicht erkennen, da die Orthodoxie hier fr die geistesgeschichtliche Deutungshoheit der Frhen Neuzeit ihren Schwanengesang angestimmt hatte. Es dauerte nicht einmal ein Jahrzehnt, bis Colberg seinen Meister fand: Zur Ostermesse 1699 erschienen die ersten beiden Bnde der Unpartheyischen Kirchen- und Ketzer-Historie , der Geniestreich des Gottfried Arnold, zum Zeitpunkt der Publikation freier religiser Schriftsteller und in Quedlinburg ansssig 117 . Die Botschaft dieser Bnde war nicht neu; die esoterische Theologie Jakob Bhmes und die Lehren des Paracelsus eines der wenigen Zeugen der evangelischen Wahrheit 118 waren die Grundlagen der Prsentation des wahren Christentums. Seinen geistlichen Standort bezog der Autor darber hinaus aus gttlicher Erleuchtung, die ihm auch die brige Natur der verborgenen Dinge zu erkennen erlaube 119 . Was der Arbeit ihre
Hfner, Jacob Thomasius, 142. Zitiert nach Hfner, Jacob Thomasius, 146. Vgl. zu dem Gesamtproze einschlgiger Kritik, der im letzten Drittel des 17. Jahrhunderts abgeschlossen wurde, auch SchmidtBiggemann, Die philologische Zersetzung, 37-38. 115 Hfner, Jacob Thomasius, 147, 157. 116 Zitiert nach Geyer, Verborgene Weisheit, Bd. 3, 352. 117 Schmidt, Gottfried Arnold. 118 Schlgl, Hermetismus als Sprache der unsichtbaren Kirche , 167. 119 Zitiert nach Schlgl, Hermetismus als Sprache der unsichtbaren Kirche, 170.
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ungemeine Wirkung verlieh120 , das war die konsequente Einbettung esoterischer Religiositt in den Gesamtverlauf der Kirchengeschichte. Die eigene religise Position wurde mit dem Urchristentum identifiziert. Nach dessen Untergang in der Phase der Dogmatisierung und Institutionalisierung habe die Verfallsgeschichte eingesetzt, in der die wahren Christen als Ketzer erscheinen. Die sichtbare Kirche hatte also nicht etwa im Laufe ihrer Entwicklung eine Verfallsgeschichte erlebt sie war von Anfang an und grundstzlich illegitim: Gegnerin des wahren Christentums und seiner Bekenner 121 . Arnolds Kirchen- und Ketzergeschichte ist die Kampfschrift einer religisen Partei. Gelesen wurde sie als Manifest religiser Freiheit. Und das war nicht vllig unberechtigt, denn die Orthodoxie des nun abgelaufenen Jahrhunderts hatte sich ja keineswegs mit argumentativem Streit begngt, sondern die kirchliche Macht zur Unterdrckung ihrer Gegner eingesetzt. Vor allem in der Endphase des Jahrhunderts, ab 1680, liefen massive Disziplinierungsoffensiven, fr die die Beispiele der Hamburger und Leipziger Verfolgungen nur besonders markante Belege sind 122 . Das Problem war nur, da die positive Qualitt religiser Befreiung auf die inhaltliche Substanz esoterischer Religiositt bertragen wurde. In die nun anbrechende Frhaufklrung ging das esoterische Konzept nach seinem Selbstbild ein, die Orthodoxie dagegen gem ihrem Fremdbild als ein uerlicher und toter Glaubenszwang. Esoterische Religiositt stand fr das Leben, fr individuelle Entscheidung in Glaubensfragen, fr schpferische Kreativitt gegen Buchstabenglubigkeit, fr Toleranz statt gelehrter Rechthaberei 123 . Auch auf dieser Grundlage baute die Aufklrung ihre Kirchenkritik. Allgemeine Skularisierung und die Durchsetzung des esoterischen Bildes vom Christentum liefen parallel. Natrlich vollzog sich diese Entwicklung in einzelnen Schritten des bergangs. Als Johann Lorenz Mosheim 1746 seinen Versuch einer unparteiischen und grndlichen Ketzergeschichte verffentlichte, da war die Distanz zu Arnold noch deutlich sprbar, und der Autor sah in den Aktivitten der Ketzer die Ursache der spekulativen berwucherung des einfachen Glaubens an Jesus als den Erlser des menschlichen Geschlechts 124 . Aber die Vehemenz der Orthodoxie des 17. Jahrhunderts wird nicht mehr entfernt erreicht; eine gewisse Unsicherheit ist deutlich sprbar 125 .
Zur Rezeption insgesamt Berneburg, Einige Gesichtspunkte. Vgl. Schlgl, Hermetismus als Sprache der unsichtbaren Kirche , 166-167. 122 Vgl. exemplarisch Rckleben, Niederwerfung der hamburgischen Ratsgewalt und Leube, Geschichte der pietistischen Bewegung in Leipzig. 123 Lau, Orthodoxie, 1727. 124 Meijering, Mosheim und die Orthodoxie, 265. 125 Vgl. die Schlubemerkungen bei Schmidt-Biggemann, Platonismus, Kirchen- und Ketzergeschichte, 209-210.
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Und wenn Mosheim noch die Dogmen verteidigt, so ist dies schon ein Ausklang. Die Kirchenkritik des 18. Jahrhunderts stellt zunehmend die Lehrentwicklung in den Mittelpunkt, und deren historische Relativierung wird ganz und gar aus der esoterischen Tradition bernommen. In der protestantischen Aufklrung entsteht so die Dogmengeschichte als Dogmenkritik, wird Teildisziplin der Theologie und kommt im Werk Johann Salomo Semlers zu einem ersten Abschlu 126 . Die Begrndung der historisch-kritischen Bibelexegese begleitet diesen Proze und entzieht der Inspirationslehre, der Auffassung vom unmittelbar gttlichen Ursprung des Bibeltextes den Boden, derjenigen Lehre also, die von der Orthodoxie als Damm gegen die Flut esoterischer Hermeneutik aufgerichtet worden war127 . So unterliegt die Orthodoxie der Aufklrung auch in ihrer Funktion als Bollwerk gegen Konzepte der esoterischen Religiositt. Im Ergebnis steht der theologische Verzicht auf eine Definition des Christentums aus seiner Lehre; eine substantielle Differenz zu anderen religisen Entwrfen wird damit nicht mehr verbindlich fabar. IV Die Nachwirkungen dieser Weichenstellung des 18. Jahrhunderts sind vielfltig. Bezogen auf die Entwicklung von Arndt bis Arnold reichen sie weit hinein in die moderne Geschichte des Pietismus. Aktuell und paradigmatisch lt sich das an dem neuen einschlgigen Standardwerk zeigen, das die Historische Kommission zur Erforschung des Pietismus erarbeitet hat und dessen erster Teil 1993 erschienen ist. Der Herausgeber dieses Auftaktbandes, der Mnsteraner Theologe Martin Brecht, kennt selbstverstndlich den historischen Entwicklungshintergrund und verweist mit aller Klarheit auf die daraus resultierenden Schwierigkeiten, die bis heute einer wissenschaftlich adquaten Darstellung der Religionsgeschichte des 17. Jahrhunderts im Wege stehen. Eine Reform innerhalb des kirchlichen und theologischen Systems, so Brecht, habe den Pietisten nicht gengt. Daher sei es zwischen der Sptorthodoxie und dem Pietismus in den letzten Jahrzehnten des 17. Jahrhunderts zur harten Konfrontation gekommen:
In dieser Situation schuf Gottfried Arnold in seiner Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie (1699) das Feindbild von der toten Orthodoxie, das vom Pietismus wie von der Aufklrung bernommen wurde und bis heute derart haftet, da es den unbefangenen Blick auf die Kirchengeschichte des 17. Jahrhunderts verstellt 128.
Drumm, Dogmengeschichte, 299. Vgl. Hauschild, Dogmengeschichtsschreibung, 116, sowie Fischer, Dogmatik. In der protestantischen Theologie, 293. 128 Brecht, Aufkommen der neuen Frmmigkeitsbewegung, 167.
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Um neue Wege zu gehen, hat sich das Herausgebergremium der Geschichte des Pietismus dafr entschieden, einen weiten Pietismusbegriff anzusetzen, der das 17. Jahrhundert vollgltig einbezieht, obwohl sich die Sammelbenennung Pietismus zeitgenssisch erst am Ende des Jahrhunderts durchsetzt129 . So beginnt die pietistische Bewegung in Deutschland mit Johann Arndt, Johann Valentin Andreae und den Rosenkreuzern; Jakob Bhme wird behandelt, und dann erst folgt Philipp Jakob Spener, sein Programm und dessen Auswirkungen 130 . Da sich das Arnoldsche Bild von der toten Orthodoxie vor allem aus den Kmpfen des spten 17. Jahrhunderts herleite, drften mit dem frhen Beginn der Darstellung, so der Wunsch der Herausgeber, auch die Reaktionen der universitren Theologie auf die neue religise Bewegung objektiver und klarer verstndlich werden: Indem man die positiven und negativen Beziehungen der Orthodoxie zu Arndt behandele, drfte sich auch von ihr ein zutreffenderes Bild ergeben, das die alten Widersprche berwindet131 . Aber diese Konzeption einer modernen Pietismusforschung hat nicht nur Auswirkungen auf das Bild der Orthodoxie. Wenn der Pietismus bei Arndt, Andreae und zumindest als verwandte Form auch bei Bhme beginnt, dann bedeutet das, da diese Bewegung nicht nur von radikalen Varianten begleitet wird, die immer wieder aufkommen, aber insgesamt Randphnomene darstellen132 es bedeutet, da der Pietismus insgesamt seine Anfnge in der esoterischen Religiositt des 17. Jahrhunderts hat. Wie behandelt die Pietismusforschung nun dieses Problem? Um das Resultat vorwegzunehmen: Hier verbleibt auch die neue Geschichte des Pietismus ganz in der durch das 18. Jahrhundert vorbereiteten Sichtweise. Sie lautet: Das Charakteristikum der unorthodoxen religisen Bewegung seit Johann Arndt ist nicht ihr substantieller religionsgeschichtlicher Sinn (der mit der Lehre des kirchlichen Christentums abzugleichen wre), sondern eine religise Verhaltensweise, die besondere Intensitt ihrer geistlichen Lebensfhrung, kurz die spezifische Qualitt ihrer Frmmigkeit. Die Pietismusforschung untersucht das Aufkommen der neuen Frmmigkeitsbewegung, wenn sie ihren Gegenstand in der ersten Hlfte des 17. Jahrhunderts verfolgt133 . Die neue Haltung antworte auf die Frmmigkeitskrise um 1600134 und gewinne ihre Wrde aus ihrem Engage129 Siehe die Einleitung Martin Brechts zur Begrndung der Konzeption des Bandes, in Ders., Der Pietismus, 5-6. 130 Vgl. die Inhaltsbersicht in Brechts, Der Pietismus, VIII-IX. 131 Brecht, Einleitung, 6. 132 Vgl. zur Problematik der Einordnung des Radikalpietismus Schneider, Der radikale Pietismus. 133 Brecht, Der Pietismus, 113. 134 Brecht, Die deutschen Spiritualisten, 205.

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ment, ihrer Hingabe an ihren Glauben, das Ausrichten des Alltags und der ganzen Person auf die religise berzeugung. Diese Auffassung hat den Vorzug, das zeitgenssische Stichwort aufzugreifen und ernstzunehmen: Pietisten hieen die, die nach der pietas , dem frommen Leben strebten. Der Pietismus ... lehnt die Dogmen ab, weil es im Christentum nicht auf die Lehre u. Formulierungen ankommt ..., sondern auf die praxis pietatis, hat Harald Wagner im Lexikon fr Theologie und Kirche formuliert135 . Es lohnt sich, dieser Sichtweise nher nachzugehen. Interessant ist zum Beispiel der Hinweis in Wolf-Dieter Hauschilds Lehrbuch der Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte , der zum Stichwort Frmmigkeit die Praxis der Meditation hervorhebt, die als propagierte Privatandachtsform zunehmende Bedeutung gewann: sie sollte einen intensivierten Umgang mit Gottes Wort ermglichen, weil die ffentliche Predigt derartiges offenbar kaum bewirkte136 . Die Erwhnung von Meditationsformen fhrt auf die Frage, wie nahe die Praxis des Pietismus eigentlich der esoterischen Praxis war. Antoine Faivre erwhnt diese Affinitt im zweiten Aspekt seiner Esoterikdefinition, wenn er ber die esoterische Imagination schreibt:
Diese Einbildungskraft begrndet eine visionre Philosophie. Vor allen Dingen belebt und speist sie den theosophischen Diskurs, in dem sie sich ausgehend von Meditationen ber die Verse der offenbarten Schrift realisieren und entfalten kann, so etwa an Hand des Zohar in der jdischen Kabbala oder in der groen Strmung der abendlndischen Theosophie, die zu Beginn des 17. Jahrhunderts in Deutschland ihren Ausgang nimmt137.

Schon diese berlegungen fhren darauf, da der Inhalt des Begriffs Frmmigkeit wohl umfassender anzusetzen ist, als es unserem heutigen Alltagsverstndnis entspricht. Martin Brecht fhrt in seiner Begrndung fr die epochenbergreifende Konzeption der Geschichte des Pietismus einen Beleg aus der Lebensgeschichte Johann Valentin Andreaes an, der zeigen soll, wie frh das Wort Pietas als Zentralbegriff der neuen religisen Bewegung im 17. Jahrhundert nachweisbar ist. Der Kontext dieser Quelle zeigt aber weit mehr. Es geht darum, da der Tbinger Theologieprofessor Matthias Hafenreffer gegenber seinem Studenten Andreae 1612 die Pietas als Zentrum und Zusammenfassung allen Wissensstrebens bezeichnet hat138 . 1612 gibt es die Manuskripte der rosenkreuzerischen Manifeste bereits seit mindestens drei Jahren 139 , und ein Samuel Hafenreffer vielleicht der Sohn des Professors
135 136 137 138 139

Wagner, Dogma, 287. Hauschild, Lehrbuch, 655. Faivre, Esoterik im berblick, 29. Brecht, Einleitung, 5. Gilly, Entstehung und berlieferung, 37.

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war wie Andreae Mitglied des geheimen Zirkels um Tobias Hess, in dem sie entstanden waren 140 . Das Zitat fhrt also in mehrfacher Hinsicht auf den Kern des Pietas-Begriffs im rosenkreuzerischen Umfeld: Frmmigkeit bedeutet hier, aus dem Glauben heraus das Wissen erstreben. Wilhelm SchmidtBiggemann hat diese Konnotation der Praxis pietatis mit berlegener Kenntnis frhneuzeitlicher Esoterikgeschichte schon aus der Renaissance hergeleitet, indem er ein Wort Agostino Steuchos aus der Widmung seiner Philosophia perennis an Papst Paul III. hervorhob: Mir ist immer der Satz in der Philosophie wahr erschienen, da die Weisheit und die Frmmigkeit aus denselben Quellen stammen 141 . Letztlich geht das Konzept der Pietas wie alle Esoterik auf das 15. Jahrhundert zurck:
Die Philosophie bekommt den Charakter der Heilswissenschaft; ihr Wissen ist Heil, weil es aus der heiligen Wissenschaft stammt, deren Gegenstand das Heilige ist. Die Philosophia perennis bekommt so durchaus gnostische Zge, sie fhrt ber sich selbst hinaus zur Praxis Pietatis und ist selbst Vollzug dieser Piett im Erkennen. Als eine solche halbgnostische Lehre hat Ficino seine Philosophia prisca gefat, er hat sie in die Nachfolge des Moses gestellt und selbst als Form der Theologie begriffen 142.

Frmmigkeit ist der Hilfsbegriff der modernen protestantischen Kirchengeschichtsschreibung, eingesetzt um die theosophische Entstehungsgeschichte des Pietismus in die Geschichte des Christentums integrieren zu knnen. Aber es zeigt sich, da eben dieses Wort einer der Schlsselbegriffe ist fr die esoterische Verbindung von Glauben und Wissen, und da es in dieser Bedeutung zeitgenssisch gebraucht wurde. So ist es nicht berraschend, da mit diesem Begriff auch die Brcke zwischen frhneuzeitlicher und moderner Esoterik geschlagen werden kann. Der ausgewiesene Pietismus- und New-Age-Experte Christoph Bochinger deutet dies zumindest an, wenn er vorschlgt, die heutige Esoterik unabhngig von ihren Inhalten als charakteristische Frmmigkeitsform der Gegenwart zu beschreiben143 . Noch deutlicher wird dieser Zusammenhang bei Walter Sparn, dessen theologischer Orientierungsversuch zum Phnomen der Gegenwartsesoterik genau da beginnt, wo die Kirchengeschichtsschreibung die frhneuzeitlichen Esoteriker abholt, nmlich bei der Frmmigkeitskrise. Die breite Akzeptanz esoterischer Anschauungen heute mache einen bedenklichen Mangel offenbar die anscheinend immer wieder unzureichende Bercksichtigung der gelebten christlichen Frmmigkeit144 :
140 141 142 143 144

Cimelia Rhodostaurotica , 48. Schmidt-Biggemann, Philosophia perennis, 63. Schmidt-Biggemann, Philosophia perennis, 58. Bochinger, Was ist Esoterik?, 274. Sparn, Esoterik?, 333.

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Der genannte Mangel ist auch frher schon, zum Beispiel im Zuge der Verwissenschaftlichung der evangelischen Theologie um 1600, aufgetreten und hat schon dort esoterische Frmmigkeitsbewegungen auf den Plan gerufen, etwa die Rosenkreuzer, die pansophischen Bhme-Zirkel, die pietistischen Konventikel 145.

So gert den christlichen Interpreten esoterischer Strmungen der Frhen Neuzeit die Darstellung ihres Gegenstandes stets zur Selbstkritik. Immer ist es ein Defizit an Glaubensintensitt, an Lebendigkeit, an Freiheit oder Toleranz, das die Gegenbewegungen auf den Plan ruft. Immer haben die Vertreter einer verkncherten Theologie das existentielle Bedrfnis der Basis bersehen, intensive Spiritualitt zu erfahren. So feiert das Bild von der toten Orthodoxie als Feindin des lebendigen Christentums bei allem Wissen um seinen ideologischen Charakter im Modell des Pietismus als Frmmigkeitsbewegung eine bemerkenswerte Wiederkehr. Es kann nur restlos berwunden werden, wenn sich die Erkenntnis durchsetzt, da Esoterik nicht als freier und frommer Glaube der kleinen Leute entstanden ist, sondern als hochdifferenziertes Modell hochgebildeter Vertreter der europischen Renaissance, da Gelehrte eine neue Theologie gegen die alte gesetzt haben, und da das etwas mit geistiger Konkurrenz, aber wenig mit dem Gegensatz zwischen toter und lebendiger Religiositt zu tun hat. Die pietistische Bewegung des 17. Jahrhunderts ist eine der neuzeitlichen religisen Strmungen, in denen sich Aspekte des Modells esoterischer Theologie popularisieren und mit einer solchen Dynamik verbreiten, da sie im Rahmen des alten Glaubens nicht mehr beherrschbar sind. Diese pietistische Bewegung konnte nur um den Preis der Verdrngung ihrer Inhalte ins Luthertum integriert werden. So trifft sich die Strategie theologischer Kirchengeschichtsschreibung in bemerkenswerter Weise mit Strategien der Esoterikforschung: Die Betonung des formalen religisen Verhaltens lst das Problem der Differenz und integriert frhneuzeitliche Esoterik ins Christentum, wie auch immer ihre Glaubensaussagen aussehen mgen. Angesichts dieser forschungsgeschichtlichen Situation scheint es nicht bertrieben, wenn man das Erscheinen der Marburger Dissertation von Hermann Geyer im Jahre 2001 als Sensation versteht. Am Werk Johann Arndts wird hier der Paradigmenwechsel vollzogen von der Frmmigkeitshypothese zum theologischen Verstndnis des Pietismus auf neuer religionsgeschichtlicher Grundlage. Die Ausgangslage, die Geyer vorfand, beschreibt er selbst in der Konsequenz der hier dargestellten Alternative:
Ja, es gilt nicht einmal als ausgemacht und wird vom mainstream der Forschung ... mit Vehemenz bestritten, da Arndt berhaupt eine eigene Theologie vertre145

Sparn, Esoterik?, 334.

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ten habe. Vielmehr sei sein Thema eine die Theologie nach der Seite des Lebens hin ergnzende Frmmigkeit gewesen, mithin habe sein entscheidender Impuls eine Frmmigkeitsbewegung hervorgebracht. Bezeichnenderweise berlagert sich die Frage nach einem je zu bestreitenden oder zu besttigenden lutherisch-orthodoxen Profil mit der Frage, ob Arndt eine eigenstndige Theologie vertreten habe oder nicht, auf przise Weise gegenseitig146.

Und Geyer resmiert: Offensichtlich erwchst der Konflikt aus der Theologie, nicht der Frmmigkeit 147 . Und diese Theologie analysiert und beschreibt er nun als spiritualistisch-hermetisch 148 . Wenn man sich vergegenwrtigt, da der Begriff Hermetik im Register des ersten Bandes der Geschichte des Pietismus nicht mit einer Stelle verzeichnet ist, so wird das Ausma der Neuorientierung, das diese Arbeit bietet, schlagartig deutlich149 . Es handelt sich mit der objektiven Feststellung der tiefgreifenden Differenz Arndtscher Theologie zum Christentum um eine epochemachende Neuorientierung. Der Autor selbst sieht das allerdings weit weniger dramatisch. Zwar spricht er die Verbindungen zwischen dem Wahren Christentum und esoterischer Religiositt bereits in der Erffnungspassage seiner Arbeit deutlich an:
Wenn mitten in der berschwappenden Esoterik-Welle der Name Johann Arndt auftaucht, mag das auf den ersten Blick berraschen. Doch nicht nur bestimmte charismatische Kreise sind es, die ... zu unserer Zeit Arndts Schriften goutieren ... Schlgt man von dieser Beobachtung einen Bogen zurck in das 17. Jahrhundert ..., so zeigt sich, da auch damals manche kirchlichen Kreise irritiert bis entrstet den Kopf darber schtteln muten, in welchem Kontext der Name Johann Arndt auftauchte. In gewisser Hinsicht nicht unhnlich, handelt es sich um Kreise, die man heute als esoterisch bezeichnen wrde ... 150

In der religionsgeschichtlichen Verarbeitung dieser Beobachtung folgt Hermann Geyer jedoch einem Denkansatz, wie er auch das Modell Wouter Hanegraaffs bestimmt: Die Esoterik Arndts wird in das Christentum seiner Zeit integriert151. Die Strategie Geyers folgt einem legitimen und nachvollziehbaren Interesse christlicher Theologie, Esoterik so weit wie irgend mglich ins Christentum einzubeziehen, um die Relativierung seiner Bedeutung zumindest fr die Frhe Neuzeit abzuwehren. Dieses Interesse kann aber nicht das
Geyer, Verborgene Weisheit, Bd. 1, 3. Geyer, Verborgene Weisheit, Bd. 1, 4. 148 Vgl. den Titel der Arbeit insgesamt und besonders den zweiten und dritten Teil. 149 In diesem Zusammenhang wird auch die Frderung dieser Arbeit durch den Marburger Theologen und Fachmann fr radikalpietistische Bewegungen, Hans Schneider, forschungsgeschichtlich bemerkenswert. Vgl. Geyer, Verborgene Weisheit, Bd. 1, VIII. 150 Geyer, Verborgene Weisheit, Bd. 1, 1. 151 Das geschieht an zahlreichen Stellen der Arbeit, z. B. Geyer, Verborgene Weisheit, Bd. 1, 2-3 oder die Schlupassage Bd. 3, 371.
146 147

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der Religionswissenschaft sein, ebenso wenig wie das anderer Wissenschaften, die mit einem Modell religionsgeschichtlicher Grundstrukturen arbeiten. Hier gilt es, die Differenzen zu betonen, die die unterschiedlichen religisen Sinnsysteme generieren, um auf der Basis dieser geistesgeschichtlichen Unterschiede die daraus resultierenden differenten Verhaltensweisen der Menschen verstehen zu knnen. V Religionswissenschaft und Religionsgeschichte stehen aber keineswegs nur in einem Klrungsproze gegenber moderner christlicher Theologie. Die im allgemeinen als skular verstandene Religionswissenschaft zeigt im Zuge ihrer Selbstkonstituierung im 20. Jahrhundert partielle Konnexionen zum esoterischen Weltbild, steht also keineswegs nur in wissenschaftlich neutralen Kontexten, sondern weist auch religise Prgungen auf. Diese Zusammenhnge werden neuerdings zunehmend herausgearbeitet und finden einen zentralen Gegenstand in den Tagungen des Eranoskreises, die ab 1933 in der Schweiz stattfanden. Die aufschlureiche Arbeit von Hans Thomas Hakl zu diesem Thema zeigt die Ausstrahlung des modernen esoterischen Denkens auf die Entstehung einer nicht-theologisch gebundenen, gleichwohl religis orientierten Religionswissenschaft, die sich fr Deutschland etwa an Rudolf Otto, fr Frankreich an Henry Corbin festmachen lt152 . Auch der amerikanische Judaist Steven M. Wasserstrom hat jetzt die Partizipation Corbins, Gershom Scholems und Mircea Eliades am Eranoskreis analysiert und die Bedeutung dieser Gruppe fr die Formierung der History of Religions herausgearbeitet153 . Das eingangs diskutierte Modell von Wouter Hanegraaff zur systematischen Einordnung frhneuzeitlicher Esoterik ins Christentum bezieht einen wesentlichen Impuls aus der Abwehr dieser esoterischen Seite der Religionswissenschaft. Denn logischerweise sind es die Esoteriker unter den Vertretern dieser Disziplin, die auf eine autonome und geschlossene Tradition esoterischen Denkens besonderen Wert legen. So ist eine der einschlgigen Gruppenbezeichnungen, die der Traditionalisten, auch aus diesem Grundverhltnis zur Religionsgeschichte abgeleitet. Andere wie der Eranoskreis sind nicht frei von Aspekten des Traditionalismus, vertreten solche Auffassungen jedoch nicht offensiv, sondern eher implizit sie werden heute als Religionisten
152 Hakl, Geist von Eranos . Zu Rudolf Otto hier Abschnitt 4.2 und bei Kippenberg, Entdekkung der Religionsgeschichte, 249-253. Zu Corbin: Durand, Corbin, Henry (1903-1978). 153 Wasserstrom, Religion after Religion, siehe bes. 23-51.

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bezeichnet 154 . Esoterisch geprgtes religionsgeschichtliches Denken bezieht sich auf eine Geschichte seines Gegenstandes, die bis auf die Ursprnge menschlicher Religiositt zurckfhrt, hufig gesehen als geheime und eigentliche religise Tradition, die von den jeweils herrschenden Religionen unterdrckt wurde, deren Trger Auenseiter und Verfolgte waren und die von der wissenschaftlichen Forschung nicht zur Kenntnis genommen wurde. So entstand aus diesen Auffassungen eine Gegenkulturbewegung, die die abendlndische Geistesgeschichte insgesamt neu und anders las und aus ihren berzeugungen den Anspruch erhob, ein eigentliches und tieferes Verstndnis des Religisen zu erreichen, als dies dem Wissenschaftler mglich ist, der sich an die akademisch legitimierten Verfahrensweisen hlt155 . Signifikant war in diesem Zusammenhang die Grndung einer esoterischen Universitt durch Henry Corbin im Jahre 1974, der Universit Saint-Jean de Jerusalem , mit der er eine Reform der Geisteswissenschafte n in spiritueller Ausrichtung anstrebte156 . Initiativen dieser Art muten die Abwehr herausfordern, und so wurden Themen der Esoterikforschung immer wieder diskreditiert. Hanegraaff hat genau diesen Zusammenhang sehr przise formuliert:
Esotericism has remained a taboo in academic discussion because its countercultural-religionist representatives have too frequently ... insisted that only practitioners people personally engaged in an esoteric quest are able to adequately study esotericism. Accordingly, they held that the very nature of the academy needed to change, in order to make the study of esotericism possible 157.

So bietet Hanegraaff mit seinem Modell des frhneuzeitlichen Christentums einen Denkansatz an, um gleich ein ganzes Bndel religionswissenschaftlicher Probleme im allgemeinen und der Esoterikforschung im besonderen in den Griff zu bekommen. Und in diesem Kontext gewinnt sein Vorschlag besonderes Interesse und Gewicht. Die Entscheidung, Esoterik vor 1800 als Variante des Christentums zu begreifen, schneidet dem Traditionalismus die Tradition ab: Es gibt keine Auenseiter mehr, die eine andere und tiefere Weisheit fr sich reklamieren knnten. Es gibt keine Gegenkultur mehr, die dem Hauptstrom der abendlndischen Kultur entgegengesetzt wre, und damit gibt es keinen Anspruch auf ein Gegenmodell zum skularisierten Wissenschaftsverstndnis, das sich aus diesen Quellen speisen knnte158 . Der wichtigste und perspektivenreichste Gedanke in diesem Konzept ist
Vgl. Hanegraaff, Study of Western Esotericism, [MS 13-14]. Vgl. das Resmee bei Oldmeadow, Traditionalism , 205-206. 156 Ausfhrlich dazu Hakl, Geist von Eranos, 407-411. 157 Hanegraaff, Beyond the Yates Paradigm, 32. 158 Dazu gibt es bei Hanegraaff zahlreiche Passagen, vgl. z. B. Hanegraaff, Beyond the Yates Paradigm, 15-16 oder 30-31 bzw. ders., Study of Western Esotericism, [MS 24].
154 155

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die Zerstrung des Bildes von der Gegenkultur. Dies ist ein Erkenntnisfortschritt, hinter den die Esoterikforschung nicht mehr zurckfallen sollte. Denn was macht es fr einen Sinn, etwa Agostino Steucho, den genialen Konzipienten der philosophia perennis und ppstlichen Bibliothekar als Auenseiter zu bezeichnen? Was macht es fr einen Sinn, Johann Crato von Krafftheim, Paracelsisten und Leibarzt dreier habsburgischer Kaiser 159 , zur Randfigur zu erklren? Steht Rudolph II., Kaiser des Heiligen Rmischen Reiches, an dessen Hof sich die Esoteriker seiner Zeit versammelten160 , im Zentrum einer Gegenkultur? Im Artikel Hermetik des Handbuchs religionswissenschaftlicher Grundbegriffe findet sich der Satz: Im 17. Jahrhundert fhren vor allem die Rosenkreuzer eine letzte Blte der Hermetik und der Alchemie herauf, doch schon hundert Jahre spter sind sie aus dem allgemeinen Bewutsein verschwunden; nur noch Auenseiter, zu denen auch Goethe gehrte, beschftigten sich noch mit dieser Thematik 161 . Goethe als Auenseiter? Man knnte diese Beispiele vervielfachen, und es wrde immer wieder deutlich, da die Vorstellung, Esoterik konstituiere ein Randphnomen, das getrennt von der allgemeinen Kultur zu verstehen wre, in die Irre fhrt. Aber man wird auch fragen drfen: Ist es notwendig, um das Gegenkulturmodell zu berwinden, alles Esoterische in das Basissystem des Christentums zu integrieren? Und ist es berhaupt mglich? 1775 schreibt Goethe an Herder: Wenn nur die ganze Lehre von Christo nicht so ein Scheisding wre ...162 Drastischer kann man die Absage an das Christentum nicht formulieren, und fr das 17. Jahrhundert wre eine solche uerung kaum denkbar. Aber der Angriff auf die christliche Lehre erfolgt im barocken Selbstverstndnis des Wahren Christentums letztlich nicht weniger kompromilos. Und das Entscheidende: Die pietistischen Hermetiker, Theosophen und Rosenkreuzer trugen in dieser Auseinandersetzung den Sieg davon. Sie behaupteten sich gegenber den Vertretern der Orthodoxie und errangen die Definitionshoheit ber das korrekte und zulssige Verstndnis von Religion. Was wre also hier worin zu integrieren? Esoterik ins Christentum oder die Einpassung christlicher Grundpositionen in ein esoterisches Modell? Auch die Zurckweisung des esoterischen Verstndnisses von Tradition ist wesentlich, zwingt aber ebenfalls nicht zum Verzicht auf eine wissenschaftlich begrndete eigenstndige Esoterikgeschichte der Frhen Neuzeit. Dieses wissenschaftliche Verstndnis folgt selbstverstndlich nicht dem hoch religis
159 Vgl. Koch, Das konfessionelle Zeitalter, 345 und Evans, Werden der Habsburgermonarchie, 36-37. 160 nyi, Wissenschaftlicher und Magischer Humanismus. Szo 161 Hieronimus, Hermetik, 108-109. 162 Zitiert nach Kemper, Genese der Genie-Religion, 196.

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aufgeladenen Begriff von Tradition in der esoterischen Religionsgeschichte. Hier geht es nicht um die Ableitung menschlicher Religiositt aus historisch nicht fabaren Ursprngen. Hier entsteht Tradition auch nicht aus archetypisch-anthropologischen Grundkonstanten, einer Vorstellung, mit der der Schweizer Esoteriker und Psychoanalytiker Carl Gustav Jung den Eranoskreis dominierte163 . In der wissenschaftlichen Erfassung esoterischer Traditionen vor der Moderne geht es um die Analyse der Rezeption antiker Quellen im Zeitalter der Renaissance und um das Fortwirken und die Fortentwicklung dieses Musters in der gesamten Frhen Neuzeit. Auch hinter diese Konstituierung abendlndischer Esoterik in der Antikerezeption der Renaissance sollte Esoterikforschung nicht mehr zurckgehen. Gerade diese Datierung fhrt aber zu der Herausforderung, die Differenzen zum Christentum auch fr die Vormoderne herauszuarbeiten. Da man sich dabei immer im Bereich theoretisch dominierter Konstruktionen bewegt, ist selbstverstndlich. Wouter Hanegraaff hat die Notwendigkeit, den Begriff des Esoterischen wissenschaftlich zu konstruieren, zu Recht zu einer methodischen Grundlage aller Esoterikforschung erklrt: Nur so knne man den rein deskriptiven Zugang zum Thema berwinden 164 . Damit ist immer ein Verlust an empirischer Pagenauigkeit verbunden, und jedes Modell bringt Probleme mit sich. Das Hauptproblem des hier vorgeschlagenen Zugangs, Esoterik und Christentum grundstzlich zu differenzieren, ist das Selbstverstndnis der Zeitgenossen. Frhneuzeitlich gilt, da sich die bergroe Mehrheit der Menschen als Christen verstand, da sich auch esoterisch Denkende ins Christentum einordneten und diese Identifikation gegen alle Angriffe behaupteten 165 . Hretisierung wurde als Unrecht und Willkr begriffen. Das heit, das Hanegraaffsche Verstndnis frhneuzeitlicher Esoterik entspricht dem Selbstverstndnis der Betroffenen. In den vormodernen Jahrhunderten will man Christ sein. Ausnahmen die berhmteste bekanntlich Giordano Bruno, an dessen Beispiel Frances Yates ihr Hermetikverstndnis schwerpunktmig entwickelt hat166 besttigen nur eine Regel, die das religionsgeschichtliche Gesamtbild der Epoche prgt. Aber empirisch feststellbar ist auch: Es hat Widerspruch gegen dieses Selbstverstndnis der Integration ins Christentum gegeben, und wir schlagen uns sozusagen aus wissenschaftlicher Sicht auf die Seite der frhneuzeitlichen Esoteriker, wenn wir die Einheit von Christentum und Esoterik akzeptieren und entscheiden uns gegen
163 Vgl. das Wirken von Carl Gustav Jung im Eranoskreis bei Hakl, Geist von Eranos , 81-91 und fter. 164 Hanegraaff, On the Construction, 11. 165 Trepp, Hermetismus, 13. 166 Vgl.Yates, Giordano Bruno u. dies., Giordano Bruno in der englischen Renaissance.

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die Sicht der Orthodoxien dieser Epoche, die die Unterschiede gegen die wahren Christen behaupteten. Die Selbsteinschtzung der Betroffenen kann die Frage also nicht lsen, und dies auch deshalb nicht, weil wir nie wissen werden, wo die frhneuzeitliche Identifikation mit dem Christentum auf freier Entscheidung und berzeugung beruhte, und wo sie vom Herrschaftscharakter der vormodernen Kirchen erzwungen war. Wir werden uns also aus heutiger Sicht als Wissenschaftler entscheiden mssen, welchem Verstndnis von Esoterik vor 1800 wir folgen wollen, und dabei scheint auch die berlegung legitim, was das jeweilige Modell fr die Esoterikforschung speziell und fr eine neue Religionsgeschichte insgesamt leistet. Die voraufgehenden Ausfhrungen gingen davon aus, da die Erarbeitung eines Sinnsystems esoterischer Religiositt unerllich ist, um ihre Wirkungen zu verstehen. Ein zweites kommt hinzu: Es ist auch eine heuristische Notwendigkeit, eine grundstzliche Differenzierung vom Christentum bereits mit Beginn der Entwicklung europischer Esoterik anzusetzen. Das heit, man braucht die Erarbeitung je getrennter Grundmuster, um Esoterik zu erkennen und zu profilieren. Die Logik der Argumentation geht also dahin, religionsgeschichtlich die Differenz religiser Optionen zu beschreiben und dann die berschneidungen und Verbindungen, die es selbstverstndlich gegeben hat, zu bercksichtigen. Es berschneiden sich also zwei von einander differierende Sinnsysteme, es geht nicht von vornherein eines im anderen auf. Esoterik vor 1800 ist Religiositt im christlichen Umfeld, nicht dessen Variante. Damit wird Esoterik nicht zur Gegenkultur. Es ist vielmehr eine abendlndische Religionsgeschichte zu konzipieren, die das Christentum als groe hegemoniale Kraft institutionalisierter Religiositt als einen Faktor, esoterische Glaubenskonzepte als einen zweiten Faktor europischer religiser Kultur wahrnimmt. Esoterik ist essentieller Teil europischer Religionsgeschichte seit der Renaissance und prgt damit nicht nur die Moderne, sondern die Neuzeit seit dem Beginn und in ihrer gesamten bisherigen Dauer.
Monika Neugebauer-Wlk (1946) ist Professorin fr die Geschichte der Frhen Neuzeit an der Universitt Halle-Wittenberg.

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Fischer, Hermann, Dogmatik. In der protestantischen Theologie, in: Lexikon fr Theologie und Kirche, 3. Aufl. Bd. 3, Freiburg-Basel-Rom-Wien: Herder 1995, 292-294. Gadamer, Hans-Georg, Wahrheit und Methode: Grundzge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik, 3. Aufl., Tbingen: Mohr 1972. Geertz, Clifford, Religion als kulturelles System, in: Ders., Dichte Beschreibung: Beitrge zum Verstehen kultureller Systeme , Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp 1987, 44-95. , Dichte Beschreibung: Bemerkungen zu einer deutenden Theorie von Kultur, in: Ders., Dichte Beschreibung , 7-43. Geyer, Hermann, die pur lautere Essenz und helles Licht: Verschmelzung von Alchemie und Theologie in Johann Arndts Vier Bchern vom wahren Christentum (1605/10), in: Anne-Charlott Trepp & Hartmut Lehmann (eds.), Antike Weisheit und kulturelle Praxis: Hermetismus in der Frhen Neuzeit, Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2001, 81-102. , Verborgene Weisheit: Johann Arndts Vier Bcher vom Wahren Christentum als Programm einer spiritualistisch-hermetischen Theologie , 3 Teile, Berlin - New York: Walter de Gruyter 2001. Gilly, Carlos, Das Bekenntnis zur Gnosis von Paracelsus bis auf die Schler Jacob Bhmes, in: Gilles Quispel (ed.), De hermetische Gnosis in de loop der eeuwen: Beschouwingen over de invloed van een Egyptische religie op de cultuur van het Westen , Baarn: Tirion 1992, 400-441. , Theophrastia Sancta: Der Paracelsismus als Religion im Streit mit den offiziellen Kirchen, in: Joachim Telle (ed.), Analecta Paracelsica. Studien zum Nachleben Theophrast von Hohenheims im deutschen Kulturgebiet der frhen Neuzeit, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag 1994, 425-488. , Johann Arndt und die dritte Reformation im Zeichen des Paracelsus, Nova Acta Paracelsica NF 11 (1997), 60-77. , Die Entstehung und berlieferung der Manifeste der Rosenkreuzer, in: Fama Fraternitatis: Das Urmanifest der Rosenkreuzer Bruderschaft zum ersten Mal nach den Manuskripten bearbeitet, die vor dem Erstdruck von 1614 entstanden sind durch Pleun van der Kooij, Haarlem: Rozekruiz Pers 1998. Gladigow, Burkhard, Religionsgeschichte des Gegenstandes Gegenstnde der Religionsgeschichte, in: Hartmut Zinser (ed.), Religionswissenschaft: Eine Einfhrung, Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag 1988, 6-37. , Europische Religionsgeschichte, in: Hans G. Kippenberg (ed.), Lokale Religionsgeschichte, Marburg: diagonal-Verlag 1995, 21-42. Gnilka, Joachim, Erlsung. Biblisch-theologisch, in: Lexikon fr Theologie und Kirche, 3. Aufl. Bd. 3, Freiburg-Basel-Rom-Wien: Herder 1995, 800-805. Gunton, Colin, Erlsung/Soteriologie, in: Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 4. Aufl., Bd. 2, Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck 1999, 1441-1461. Hfner, Ralph, Jacob Thomasius und die Geschichte der Hresien, in: Friedrich Vollhardt (ed.), Christian Thomasius. Neue Forschungen im Kontext der Frhaufklrung, Tbingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag 1997, 142-164, Hakl, Thomas, Der verborgene Geist von Eranos. Unbekannte Begegnungen von Wissenschaft und Esoterik, Bretten: Scientia Nova 2001. Hanegraaff, Wouter J., Defining Religion in Spite of History, in: Jan G. Platvoet & Arie L. Molendijk (eds.), The Pragmatics of Defining Religion : Contexts, Concepts and Contests, Leiden-Boston-Kln: Brill 1999, 337-378. , Beyond the Yates Paradigm. The Study of Western Esotericism between Counterculture and New Complexity, Aries 1:1 (2001), 5-37. , The Study of Western Esotericism. New Approaches to Christian and Secular Culture, in: Peter Antes, Armin W. Geertz & Randi Warne (eds.), New Approaches to the Study of Religion , Berlin-New York: de Gruyter forthcoming 2003.

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, The Dreams of Theology and the Realities of Christianity, in: Peter de Mey &Jacques Haers (eds.), Theology and Conversation: Developing a Relational Theology, Leuven: Leuven University Press forthcoming 2003. , Lodovico Lazzarelli and the Hermetic Christ. At the Sources of Renaissance Hermetism, in: Ders. & Ruud M. Bouthoorn, Lodovico Lazzarelli (1447-1500): The Hermetic Writings and Related Documents , Tempe AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies (forthcoming). Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter, Dogmengeschichtsschreibung, in: Theologische Realenzyklopdie, Bd.9, Berlin-New York: de Gruyter 1982, 116-125. , Christologie. II. Dogmengeschichtlich, in: Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 4. Aufl. Bd. 2, Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck 1999, 300-307. , Lehrbuch der Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte, Bd. 2: Reformation und Neuzeit, 2. Aufl., Gtersloh: Chr. Kaiser/Gtersloher Verlagshaus 1999. Hieronimus, Ekkehard, Hermetik, in: Handbuch religionswissenschaftlicher Grundbegriffe, Bd. 3, Stuttgart-Berlin-Kln: Verlag W. Kohlhammer 1993, 106-109. Hoheisel, Karl, Esoterik, in: Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon. 3. Aufl. Bd. 1, Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1986, 1125-1126. , Christus und der philosophische Stein: Alchemie als ber- und nichtchristlicher Heilsweg, in: Christoph Meinel (ed.), Die Alchemie in der europischen Kultur- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte , Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz 1986, 61-84. Kemper, Hans-Georg, Gttergleich. Zur Genese der Genie-Religion aus pietistischem und hermetischem Geist, in: Ders. & Hans Schneider (eds.), Goethe und der Pietismus , Halle: Verlag der Franckeschen Stiftungen 2001, 171-208. Kippenberg, Hans G., Die Entdeckung der Religionsgeschichte: Religionswissenschaft und Moderne, Mnchen: Beck 1997. Koch, Ernst, Das konfessionelle Zeitalter: Katholizismus, Luthertum, Calvinismus (15631675) , Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt 2000. Khlmann, Wilhelm, Soziett als Tagtraum: Rosenkreuzerbewegung und zweite Reformation, in: Klaus Garber & Heinz Wismann (eds.), Europische Soziettsbewegung und demokratische Tradition: Die europischen Akademien der Frhen Neuzeit zwischen Frhrenaissance und Sptaufklrung, Bd. 2, Tbingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag 1996, 11241151. Lamoen, F. van, Hermes Trismegistus. Pater Philosophorum: Tekstgeschiedenis van het Corpus Hermeticum. Amsterdam: Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica 1990. Lau, F. Orthodoxie, altprotestantische, in: Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 3. Aufl. Bd. 4, Tbingen: Mohr 1960, 1719-1730. Leube, Hans, Die Geschichte der pietistischen Bewegung in Leipzig, in: Ders., Orthodoxie und Pietismus. Gesammelte Studien , Bielefeld: Luther-Verlag 1975, 153-267. Meijering, E.P., Mosheim und die Orthodoxie, in: Martin Mulsow et al. (eds.), Johann Lorenz Mosheim (1693-1755): Theologie im Spannungsfeld von Philosophie, Philologie und Geschichte, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag 1997, 261-276. Neugebauer-Wlk, Monika, Esoterik im 18. Jahrhundert Aufklrung und Esoterik. Eine Einleitung, in: Dies. (ed.), Aufklrung und Esoterik, Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag 1999, 137. , Hhere Vernunft und hheres Wissen als Leitbegriffe in der esoterischen Gesellschaftsbewegung: Vom Nachleben eines Renaissancekonzepts im Jahrhundert der Aufklrung, in: Dies., Aufklrung und Esoterik , 170-210. , Esoterik in der Frhen Neuzeit: Zum Paradigma der Religionsgeschichte zwischen Mittelalter und Moderne, Zeitschrift fr Historische Forschung 27 (2000), 321-364. , Denn dis ist mglich, lieber Sohn!: Zur esoterischen bersetzungstradition des Corpus Hermeticum in der frhen Neuzeit, in: Richard Caron et al. (eds.), Esotrisme, gnoses & imaginaire symbolique: Mlanges offerts Antoine Faivre, Leuven: Peeters 2001, 131144.

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Oldmeadow, Kenneth, Traditionalism. Religion in the Light of the Perennial Philosophy, Colombo: The Sri Lanka Institute of Traditional Studies 2000. Quispel, Gilles (ed.), De hermetische gnosis in de loop der eeuwen, Baarn: Tirion 1992. , Rosenkreuz als europisches Phnomen im 17. Jahrhundert, ed. Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, Amsterdam: In de Pelikaan 2002. Rckleben, Hermann, Die Niederwerfung der hamburgischen Ratsgewalt: Kirchliche Bewegungen und brgerliche Unruhen im ausgehenden 17. Jahrhundert, Phil. Diss. Hamburg 1970. Rusterholz, Sibylle, Zum Verhltnis von Liber Naturae und Liber Scripturae bei Jacob Bhme, in: Jan Garewicz & Alois Maria Haas (eds.), Gott, Natur und Mensch in der Sicht Jacob Bhmes und seiner Rezeption , Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag 1994, 129-146. , Jakob Bhme und seine Anhnger, in: Helmut Holzhey & Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann (eds.), Die Philosophie des 17. Jahrhunderts, Bd. 4: Das Heilige Rmische Reich deutscher Nation. Nord- und Ostmitteleuropa , Basel: Schwabe & CO AG Verlag 2001, 61-102. Sachse, Richard, Jakob Thomasius, in: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie , Bd. 38, Leipzig: Verlag von Duncker & Humblot 1894, 107-112. Schlgl, Rudolf, Hermetismus als Sprache der unsichtbaren Kirche: Luther, Paracelsus und die Neutralisten in der Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie Gottfried Arnolds, in: Anne-Charlott Trepp & Hartmut Lehmann (eds.), Antike Weisheit und kulturelle Praxis , Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2001, 165-188. Schmidt, Martin, Gottfried Arnold seine Eigenart, seine Bedeutung, seine Beziehung zu Quedlinburg, in: Ders., Wiedergeburt und Neuer Mensch. Gesammelte Studien zur Geschichte des Pietismus, Witten: Luther-Verlag 1969, 331-341. Schmidt-Biggemann, Wilhelm, Das Geheimnis des Anfangs. Einige spekulative Betrachtungen im Hinblick auf Bhme, in: Jan Garewicz & Alois Maria Haas (eds.), Gott, Natur und Mensch in der Sicht Jacob Bhmes und seiner Rezeption, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag 1994, 113-128. , Platonismus, Kirchen- und Ketzergeschichte. Mosheims dogmatisch-historische Kategorien, in: Martin Mulsow et. al. (eds.), Johann Lorenz Mosheim (1693-1755) , Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag 1977, 193-210. , Philosophia perennis. Historische Umrisse abendlndischer Spiritualitt in Antike, Mittelalter und Frher Neuzeit, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 1998. , Die philologische Zersetzung des christlichen Platonismus am Beispiel der Trinittstheologie, in: Christiane Caemmerer et. al. (eds.), Das Berliner Modell der mittleren deutschen Literatur , Amsterdam: Rodopi 2000, 11- 45. , Erlsung durch Philologie: Der poetische Messianismus Quirinus Kuhlmanns, in: Anthony Grafton & Moshe Idel (eds.), Der Magus. Seine Ursprnge und seine Geschichte in verschiedenen Kulturen, Berlin: Akademie Verlag 2001, 107-145. Schneider, Hans, Johann Arndt als Paracelsist, in: Peter Dilg & Hartmut Rudolph (eds.), Neue Beitrge zur Paracelsus-Forschung , Stuttgart: Akademie der Dizese Rottenburg-Stuttgart 1995, 89-109. , Der radikale Pietismus in der neueren Forschung, Pietismus und Neuzeit 8 (1982), 15-42 u. 9 (1983), 117-151. Sparn, Walter, Esoterik? Ein theologischer Orientierungsversuch, Informationes Theologiae Europae 7 (1998), 331-341. Stuckrad, Kocku von, Okkultismus, in: Der Neue Pauly. Enzyklopdie der Antike , Bd. 15, Stuttgart-Weimar: Verlag J. B. Metzler 2001, 1146-1166. nyi, Gyrgy E., Wissenschaftlicher und Magischer Humanismus am Hofe von Rudolf II., Szo in: Elika Fucikov et. al. (eds.), Rudolf II. und Prag , Prag-London-Milan: Verwaltung der Prager Burg et. al. 1997, 223-230. Trapp, J.B., Dame Frances Amelia Yates, in: Lord Blake & C. S. Nicholls (eds.), The Dictionary of National Biography 1981-1985 , Oxford: University Press 1990, 433-434.

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Trepp, Anne-Charlott, Hermetismus oder zur Pluralisierung von Religiositts- und Wissensformen in der Frhen Neuzeit. Einleitende Bemerkungen, in: Dies. & Hartmut Lehmann (eds.), Antike Weisheit und kulturelle Praxis, Gttingen:Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2001, 7-15. , Im Buch der Natur lesen: Natur und Religion im Zeitalter der Konfessionalisierung und des Dreiigjhrigen Krieges, in: Dies. & Lehmann, Antike Weisheit und kulturelle Praxis , 103-144. Wagner, Harald, Dogma. In der protestantischen Theologie, in: Lexikon fr Theologie und Kirche, 3. Aufl. Bd. 3, Freiburg-Basel-Rom-Wien: Herder 1995, 287-288. Wallmann, Johannes, Johann Arndt, in: Helmut Holzhey & Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann (eds.), Die Philosophie des 17. Jahrhunderts, Bd. 4: Das Heilige Rmische Reich deutscher Nation. Nord- und Ostmitteleuropa, Basel: Schwabe & CO AG Verlag 2001, 204207. Wasserstrom, Steven M., Religion after Religion: Gershom Scholem, Mircea Eliade, and Henry Corbin at Eranos, Princeton N. J.: Princeton University Press 1999. Weber, O., Inspiration der hl. Schrift, in: Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 3. Aufl. Bd. 3, Tbingen: Mohr 1986, 775-779. Wehr, Gerhard, Jakob Bhme mit Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten , Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag 1971. , Esoterisches Christentum: Von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, 2. berarb. Aufl. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta 1995. Westman, Robert S., Magical Reform and Astronomical Reform: The Yates Thesis Reconsidered, in: Ders. & J.E. McGuire, Hermeticism and the Scientific Revolution , Los Angeles: University of California. W.A. Clark Memorial Library 1977, 5-91. Yates, Frances A., Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition , Chicago-London: The University of Chicago Press 1964. , Aufklrung im Zeichen des Rosenkreuzes (engl. 1972), Stuttgart: Ernst Klett Verlag 1975. , Giordano Bruno in der englischen Renaissance (engl. 1981), Berlin: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach 1989. Zander, Helmut, Geschichte der Seelenwanderung in Europa: Alternative religise Traditionen von der Antike bis heute, Darmstadt: Primus Verlag 1999. Zinser, Hartmut, Der Markt der Religionen , Mnchen: Fink 1997. Esotericism and Christianity before 1800: Prolegomena to Determining their Difference Starting from the assumption that contemporary esotericism is for the most part independent of modern Christianity, the author problematizes the relationship between Christianity and esotericism in early modern times: from the foundational period during the 15 th century until the period of the late Enlightenment when religious freedom became established. Is there a basic distinction between esotericism and Christianity in this period as well, or are there only differences in degree? In attempting to answer this question, the article claims no more than offering Prolegomena with respect to the distinction between Christian and esoteric thought patterns in the premodern era. The article is divided into five sections. The first section is devoted to a fundamental presentation of the problem, in which the author concentrates on the approach recently defended by Wouter J. Hanegraaff. In the second part, the author proposes her own alternative, in terms of five subject areas (Themenkreise) that appear suitable for detecting not just accidental but substantial differences between Christianity and esotericism. She puts this concept to the test in a more empirically oriented discussion of the emergence of early modern Pietism, which demonstrates the confrontation of Christianity and esotericism and shows how radical pietists claimed the right to define the nature of Christianity. The article concludes with two sections about strategies of modern research into Pietism, and some reflections about esoteric tendencies in the 20th-century science of religions.

MEDIEVAL RITUAL MAGIC IN THE RENAISSANCE FRANK KLAASSEN Frances Yates rescue of Renaissance magic from obscurity was in large measure founded upon the notion that the publication of De vita coelitus comparanda in 1489 constituted a fundamental break with the past in which the new elegant magic of Marsilio Ficino stood in stark contrast to the old dirty magic of the middle ages. The newness of Renaissance magic might be found in its urbane language, its philosophical and religious character, and its attempt to recover the original magic of a pristine past through the use of ancient texts, particularly hermetic and neoplatonic works. At the same time, Yates argued, the principle point of continuity between medieval and Renaissance magic could be found in several areas: common astrological suppositions; the use of certain groupings of natural substances; the use of talismans and invocations; a common belief in spiritus as the vehicle for astral influence; and common integration of magic into a philosophical framework1. Thus when she spoke of Ficinos medieval sources, she was referring principally to traditions of scholastic natural philosophy and of astrological image magic, a tradition largely of Arabic provenance. For example, Yates demonstrated Ficinos debt to the Picatrix2. Subsequent scholars have continued along these paths. The most significant in the case of Ficino would be Brian Copenhavers studies of Ficinos debts to Plotinus, Proclus, Iamblichus, and Thomas Aquinas, and more recently, Nicholas Weill-Parots admirable examination of the tradition of image magic through the later middle ages to Ficino 3. A host of other scholars have now begun the task of editing, analysing, and explicating the medieval traditions of astrological magic in their own right4. The importance
Yates, Giordano Bruno , 80-1. Yates, Giordano Bruno , 69-72. 3 Weill-Parot, Les images astrologiques. 4 The work of David Pingree has been particularly important in its attempt to trace the fortunes of magic of arabic extraction in Europe. See for example: Pingree, Between the Ghaya and the Picatrix, 27-56; Picatrix: The Latin version; Some of the Sources, 1-15; The Diffusion of Arabic Magical Texts, 57-102; Learned Magic in the Time of Frederick II, 42-43. The numerous studies of Charles Burnett are tremendously important and many are collected in Burnett, Magic and Divination . His other studies include Adelard, Ergaphalau and the Science of the Stars, Arabic, Greek, and Latin Works, and Scandinavian Runes. Very important for the ongoing manuscript research is Lucentini and Perrone Compagni, I testi e I codici di ermete. Important for the medieval traditions of image magic and their relationship to necromantic traditions is Weill-Parot, Les images astrologiques. Important for the understanding of scholastic
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of this tradition, especially before 1500, is attested by hundreds of manuscripts. But medieval ritual magic has received far less attention, in particular in its relation to Renaissance magic. In some measure the lack of attention to the so called dirty magic (or the old hole-and-corner business of the persecuted medieval magician as Yates would elsewhere have it) results from the fact that these traditions are understood to have been transcended by Renaissance magic 5. While some recent scholarship has noted the debt of Renaissance magic to medieval works of ritual magic 6 it is generally assumed that these texts offered little of interest to the new Renaissance magus. If they have recognized any connection at all, scholars have followed Charles Nauerts lead, admitting a probable influence but focusing instead upon other sorts of sources7. No doubt, the great diversity of this literature, the limited number of printed editions of medieval ritual magic texts, and the lack of clear connections with Renaissance writers has made the prospect of investigating this literature daunting. However, the recent and forthcoming publication of a number of important editions, not to mention a growing body of secondary literature, will make it impossible to ignore 8. Yet another reason for the lack of attention to connections between medieval ritual magic and magic in the Renaissance is that the nature of the two can be so different as to preclude any simplistic comparison. How can one compare the stellar intellectual acrobatics of a Marsilio Ficino, Cornelius Agrippa, or John Dee to the run-of-the-mill productions of a single medieval necromantic writer, especially when such Renaissance writers strongly disareactions to image magic is Zambelli, The Speculum Astronomiae and its Enigma . Most recently, some very important work has been undertaken by Sophie Page which integrates the study of ritual and image magic with the study of manuscripts and their monastic context. See Page, Magic at St Augustines . 5 Yates, Giordano Bruno , 142. 6 I refer here particularly to Clucas, Non est legendum and Regimen Animarum et Corporum. 7 Nauert, Agrippa , 231. 8 For editions of works of ritual magic see Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites . John of Morigny, Prologue. Forthcoming editions of the Ars notoria by Julien Veronese and the Liber sacer or Sworn Book of Honorius by Gsta Hedegrd will also make a substantial contribution. For articles on ritual magic see for example the numerous books and articles by Richard Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites , Magic in the Middle Ages, The Holy and the Unholy, The Specific Rationality of Medieval Magic, Erotic Magic in Medieval Europe, and The Devils Contemplatives. The work of Claire Fanger and Nicholas Watson has been particularly important for the study of the tradition of the notory art. See Fanger, Plundering the Egyptian Treasure. Watson, John the Monks Book . Stephen Clucas has attempted to demonstrate the influence of medieval ritual magic upon the practices of John Dee. Clucas, Non est legendum and Regimen Animarum et Corporum. Mathiesen, A 13th-Century Ritual. Klaassen, English Manuscripts and Transformations of Magic .

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vowed any connection to necromantic practice? It may well be that Ficino, Agrippa, Dee, and the other great Renaissance mages did not borrow specific segments from medieval ritual works. It is certainly true that magic tending to the astrological and mathematical is an easily identifiable source among their magical practices. However, an examination of the copying patterns of magical manuscripts 1300-1600 should lead us to reconsider the importance of the old dirty magic. Our discussion will begin by examining the divisions of magic both as described in the Speculum astronomiae , and also as suggested by the texts of magic themselves and the patterns in their treatment and collection in manuscripts. The second portion of our discussion will examine over time the patterns of copying of the two significant divisions of magic, image magic and ritual magic, and in particular the sudden apparent decline in interest in image magic in the sixteenth century. With additional reference to sixteenth-century literature and printed books, the third portion of the paper will attempt to explain the apparent decline of image magic and the accompanying continued interest in medieval ritual magic. Two Divisions of Medieval Magic: Image Magic and Ritual Magic A common starting point for discussions of medieval magic is the Speculum astronomiae. The divisions of images it proposes one abominable, one slightly less so, and one potentially legitimate are ambiguous and continue to evade explanation 9. David Pingree has suggested that the work divides illicit magic into hermetic and solomonic categories. Hermetic texts work primarily with talismans constructed at suitable astrological moments, from suitable material, and often with some form of ritual action such as suffumigation, incantation, or animal sacrifice. The goal of all of this, including the ritual actions, was to focus the powers of celestial influences or rays in a talisman for magical purposes10. It is fairly easy to identify surviving examples of these texts from the titles and incipits and hence to arrive at a more or less comprehensive understanding of this category. Defining solomonic magic, on the other hand, presents more difficulties since the Speculum provides only a brief and rather vague definition and considerably fewer examples. In addition, the manuscript traditions of this material tend to be a good deal more chaotic. Pingree suggests that Firenze NB II-iii-214 is probably a copy of a thirteenthcentury manuscript from Paris and contains many of the solomonic works re9 10

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ferred to in the Speculum . On this basis he describes the solomonic texts as those instructing one how to bind the demons and malefic spirits, or the angels to do their will, to compel them by ritual acts and threats of violence to carry out the necromancers wishes 11. Nicholas Weill-Parots interpretation modifies Pingrees ideas in significant ways. He first observes that there is a great deal of overlapping between the two categories. For example, he notes that in most ritual magic images, characters, and seals play a major role in operations involving angels. He thus suggests that the ritual magic of the solomonic Ars notoria , with its attention to astrological conditions and the use of notae, might be regarded as very similar to the processes of the first category (hermetic), where images are employed under certain astrological conditions12 . Nonetheless he suggests that the first category, the hermetic or abominable texts, may be distinguished by its emphasis upon talismans, on astrological conditions, and upon astral spirits. The second category, the solomonic or detestable texts employ more complex figures which exceed the common definition of a talisman and tend to employ inscriptions of various kinds. The texts also make less frequent references to astrology and draw in elaborate ritual practices employing characteristic objects such as swords and candles13 . In a more general sense, Weill-Parot also argues that both the idea of image magic and the actual practice represented in the available texts were at odds with the notion of a legitimate, natural astrological image magic proposed in the Speculum astronomiae . The necessity of intervening intelligences for the operation of image magic made it impossible to justify by conventional standards. So the legacy of the Speculum was one of intellectual ambivalence. In addition, in fundamental ways, it did not represent the realities of the magical traditions it claims to discuss. Thus, since our primary goal is to understand the broader culture of magic the later middle ages, it is perhaps better not to rely upon this idiosyncratic work. A more useful approach is to examine the manuscripts for evidence as to how they were treated and understood by their scribes and collectors. In turn this approach will also help us to better understand the approach taken in the Speculum . Nicholas Weill-Parot argues that Arabic image magic was fundamentally incompatible with medieval Christian intellectual traditions. This incompatibility derives from what he refers to as the destinativity of image magic, the elements within this tradition which clearly involved (or had to involve) com-

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munication with sentient spiritual beings14.Nonetheless, the vast majority of the texts of the Speculum s categories one and three were collected in manuscripts with works of astrology, medicine, naturalia, and works of natural philosophy in the thirteenth through the fifteenth centuries. Very few appear in collections dedicated to explicit and highly ritualized demonic or angelic magic of the solomonic variety. This strongly suggests that the scribes either persisted in the illusive dream of a legitimate image magic untainted by demons, maintained it as a theoretical possibility, or, while recognizing the theoretical problems it represented, simply regarded this magical literature as belonging in the sphere of inquiry related to the natural world. This is not surprising since these texts were introduced into the Latin world as a part of Arabic science. They were approached using theoretical works such as the Speculum astronomiae, al-Kindis De radiis stellarum , or Qusta ibn Luqas De physicis ligaturis as is attested by the tremendous influence of the Speculum and the fact that image magic texts were frequently collected with these works15. It seems that at least some of the scribes regarded the ritual activities they contained, including suffumigation and incantation, as possible forms of natural magic according to ideas like those of al-Kindi16. The texts were generThe incompatibility of the arabic magical traditions with Christian philosophy is the central theme of this book. The issue of destinativity is discussed throughout. For a definition of the term see Weill-Parot, Les images astrologiques, 37. 15 See for example the following manuscripts which contain both texts of image magic and theoretical works such as the Speculum astronomiae, al-Kindis De radiis stellarum , and Qusta ibn Luqas De physicis ligaturis. Speculum astronomiae: London, Institution of Electrical Engineers, Thompson Collection S. C. MSS 3/5; Mnchen, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CLM 27; Oxford, Bodleian Library, Digby 228; Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1381; and Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1445b al-Kindi, De radiis stellarum: Edinburgh, Royal Observatory Cr.3.14; Erfurt, Collegium Amplonianum, Math. 9. (21.31) (Gottlieb. 6; medieval catalogue); Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 30, Cod. 29; Oxford, Bodleian Library, Selden Supra 76 (Bernard 3464); and York, Austin Friars A8 362 (medieval catalogue). Qusta ibn Luqa, De physicis ligaturis: Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, 1275 (medieval catalogue); Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, 1277 = Oxford, Corpus Christi College 125; Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, II-iii-214; and potentially, Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 7337. 16 The De radiis stellarum of al-Kindi was a work of arabic philosophy widely known in scholastic circles. It begins with Aristotles contention that the stars are responsible for all sublunar change. According to al-Kindi, this occurs through their rays which impress forms upon sublunary things. These forms, in turn, also produce rays in imitation of their celestial exemplars.
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ally transmitted like other scientific texts in a faithful manner (which is to say it is reasonably easy to identify standard texts by title and incipit) and were, in appearance, much like the surrounding works of naturalia. Finally, not only did the Speculum astronomiae frame the discussion of images until the end of the fifteenth century, but as a rule scribes were clearly aware of its theoretical underpinnings and its injunctions. This is made clear not only by marginal notes in manuscripts but also by the fact that the works it approved, or those which it overlooked but which took more or less the same form as those it approved, were copied far more often than any other works of image magic17. The influence of the Speculum may also be detected in two original works of image magic discussed by Weill-Parot. As he points out, the authors chose to elaborate upon Thabit ibn Qurras De imaginibus, a work regarded as potentially legitimate in the Speculum astronomiae 18. While Weill-Parot demonstrates that the scholastic establishment of the middle ages (medical, astrological, and philosophical) was entirely unreceptive if not hostile to the notion of astrological image magic, those who took a differing view were more than often scholastics themselves as were the collectors of the magical texts. Thus taking into consideration the intellectual heritage of those involved, their education and approach, their awareness of the greater philosophical traditions, and assumption that astrological image magic belonged to the sphere of naturalia, we could reasonably refer to this intellectual tradition as scholastic image magic despite the fact that in philosophical terms the phrase might be deemed self-contradictory. In any event, while recognizing the limitations of the term, from this point on I will use the term image magic to refer to this group of texts and the associated assumptions. The second group of manuscripts (more like the Speculum s second and less abominable but still detestable category which represents it in part) is better described simply as ritual magic. The most basic feature of this material is its emphasis upon ritual action in itself as the source of the numinous power (i.e. not as a vehicle for stellar influences). But there are other common features as well. Almost without exception the operators understood the powers behind ritual magic to be sentient beings which might be conjured or petiBy manipulation of earthly forms (in which are included not only objects, but also images, words, smells, sounds, and gestures) and with due attention to the changing qualities of celestial influx, the sage can create his own rays and effect miraculous changes in the physical world. See Al-Kindi, de Radiis , M. T. dAlverny and F. Hudry (eds.). See also Travaglia, Magic, Causality and Intentionality . 17 For example, I know of over fifty manuscript versions of Thabit ibn Qurras De imaginibus and over forty of works of images attributed to Ptolemy. I argue this point in more detail in Klaassen, Transformations of Magic , 56-62. 18 Weill-Parot, Les images astrologiques, 602-622.

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tioned. Thus one might suggest that the distinguishing feature of this tradition was its lack of concern with the problem of involving spiritual intelligences (i.e. destinativity). However, this would be to view this tradition from the outside taking the perspective of those desiring to establish a legitimate natural magic which would gravely misrepresent the tradition. More analogous to religion than science, ritual magic frequently sets out to achieve direct experience of these beings, either through a human medium or in a waking or dream vision. Interior experience in the interpretation of visions (either experienced or reported), the necessity of achieving certain spiritual states, and the use of contemplative exercises sets this tradition apart as well. Often characterized as theurgic , the texts also commonly seek spiritual or intellectual enlightenment, once again emphasizing interiority. As a whole this genre is far less concerned with justifying itself by referring to philosophical authorities. This is no great virtue because unlike the case of image magic, which had significant defenders, ritual magic could not rely on any authoritative opinion, right or wrong. In addition, the field of inquiry surrounding image magic had been framed by the Speculum astronomiae as an issue in natural philosophy, and this is how the scribes tended to approach it. Authors of ritual magic texts, on the other hand, had to elaborate justifications based in the complex rhetoric of mysticism or in bold claims to divine sanction or inspiration 19. As a result their chief claim to legitimacy lay in their orthodox appearance, internal arguments which elaborated upon orthodox ideas and sources, strenuous adherence to traditional notions of piety in their rules and practices (abstinence, prayer, mortification, etc.), or claims to direct sanction by the divine. The rituals are in large measure based upon liturgical sources and also regularly employ Old and New Testament passages as incantatory formulae. Commonly their authors not only claim to have received direct divine sanction but also divine instruction through visionary experiences. In fact, even necromantic texts regularly include rituals to acquire angelic and divine protection and guidance. Both rituals and autobiographical evidence demonstrate that ritual magic was understood as an art in which experience and direct instruction or revelation would expand the knowledge and skill of the operator20. Employing their direct experience in the magical art and styling themselves as divinely inspired Christian magi, these practitioners often wrote new works of ritual magic or transformed and supplemented the older ones. They were not, thus,
19 On ritual magic and the rhetoric of mystical writers see Watson, John the Monks Book of Visions . For autobiographical evidence see John of Morigny, Prologue, 245. 20 See for example rituals in Oxford, Rawlinson D. 252, in which the operator seeks information about demonic powers. For a more detailed discussion see, Klaassen, Transformations of Magic , 178-188.

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simply passive transmitters of ancient information, but active researchers and disseminators of occult information. This tradition is also highly fluid in its textual contents, a situation compounded by the fact that the mythology of the divinely inspired magus tended to encourage constant rewriting and reformulating. With this in mind, let us return to the definitional problem raised by the Speculum astronomiae . Based upon the Florentine manuscript he discusses, Pingree has suggested that this tradition encompasses a set of practices broader than image magic including binding and deploying demons and angels through ritual acts of violence. This certainly describes the magic in this manuscript, and much of the contents of ritual magic collections, but there are other elements which need to be added to our definition of this complex set of sources. First, ritual magic collections involve a much wider variety of practices. Ritual violence is rare. Many, if not most, of the angelic operations are supplicatory and the authors commonly observe the rule that only demons may be commanded 21. Rituals for dream visions, angelic protection, and the infusion of wisdom also commonly recur. Finally, although certainly based upon more ancient antecedents like the Testament of Solomon , the ritual magic material commonly incorporates a wide variety of Christian ritual practices, largely from the liturgy. Second, this definition does not include the practices of the Ars notoria , probably the single most important text of late medieval ritual magic 22. It claims to provide spiritual and intellectual gifts to the operator, putatively infused by the Holy Spirit through angel intermediaries following a variety of essentially religious exercises (fasting, prayer, contemplation, etc.) Prior to the sixteenth century, the Ars notoria appears more often in manuscript than any other ritual magic text. I also suspect it was referred to by name and discussed more often than any other single work of ritual magic. A number of other texts were developed based upon its practices as well including the Liber visionum of John of Morigny23 , some necromantic versions24 , as well as numerous shorter ver21 See for example, Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson D. 253, p. 7. The first general aphorism is, that you must know that the 7 holy planetary angels are not to be constrained in such manner as other spirits far inferior, as threatenings such manner of constrains and adjurations but only by devote prayer to god and a true faith and holy and religious life and conversation to god, faith, home and charity, towards god and his people, and by reverent holy and gentle narations, requiring and advising them by divine power and the love and obedience due unto the true god creator of the world and father of our lord Jesus Christ, etc., and not by threatening excommunications and castings out etc.. 22 Weill-Parot has noted this fact as well. Weill-Parot, Les images astrologiques , 59-60. 23 Fanger, Plundering the Egyptian Treasure, 242-249. Watson, John the Monks Book of Visions. 24 Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites, 193-196.

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sions25. A similar text, also surviving in a number of manuscripts, the Liber sacer , claims to provide instructions to allow one to have the beatific vision26. Weill-Parots definition of this category is thus far more accurate and inclusive. Yet we need to add to his observations that this tradition is more fundamentally concerned with direct experience of the divine, more interiorised, less concerned with developing an association with natural philosophy, and centrally concerned with the numinous power of Christian ritual. So with this in mind, let us return to the definitions of the Speculum . The descriptions in the Speculum are tantalizingly vague, defining this category as those texts using characters which are exorcized by certain names (qui fit per inscriptionem characterum per quaedam nomina exorcizandorum)27 . As a description of most necromantic or solomonic material this is rather weak if only due to the fact that a significant portion of the literature makes no use of inscribed characters of any kind, and strictly speaking, exorcisms are also not a consistent presence either. But if we assume a slightly less strict set of definitions, we come closer to the original intention. Most ritual magic practice is formed from elaborations upon liturgical practice, and much specifically upon exorcisms. If we understand this term to imply the inappropriate use and reformulation of Christian ritual for the purposes of magical operations, we can accommodate most ritual magic, and as we have seen it would not be an inappropriate way of referring to the tradition. In addition, although the use of talismans is by no means ubiquitous in ritual magic collections, the use of written devices of various kinds is very common. Quite common are phrases inscribed on parchment (which we might refer to as leather amulets), but we also find complex signs such the notae of the Ars notoria and necromantic circles. The description of these as inscribed characters (which distinguishes them from talismans in the more strict sense of the word) could be regarded as perfectly reasonable. It remains to account for the idiosyncratic nature of the list of ritual magic works (e.g. why the Ars notoria is not included) and the reason why the author would regard ritual magic as less detestable. Here we need to recall that the author of the Speculum frames the subject of chapter eleven as sciencia imaginum and that the entire book involves questions relating to astrology. While the Ars notoria observes lunations, this is certainly not the central operative feature of this text and it would be practically impossible to suggest

25 See for example the Ars crucifixi in London, British Library, Harley 181, ff. 75r-81v. On this text see also Clucas, Regimen animarum et corporum, 113-129. 26 Mathiesen, A 13th-Century Ritual, 143-162. 27 Speculum astronomiae, XI, 21-23.

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that the notae were anything like astrological images. These are, in fact, complex diagrams often occupying an entire folio page in which lengthy prayers are written in full. In turn, the active moment in the use of these notae does not involve their infusion with astral power but is a psychic or interior one when the operator inspects them. In addition, considerable portions of the ritual magic tradition involve very limited use of astrology and images, and some employ none at all28. As will be clear from the descriptions of ritual magic, only a portion of this literature could reasonably be included in this discussion. It is conceivable that the works cited in the second category in the Speculum were originally more like astrological angel magic and that their contents increasingly shifted in the direction of explicit necromancy29 . But it seems more likely that the author of the Speculum was, as he explicitly says, principally concerned with magical practices which masqueraded as having purely astrological mechanisms. Hence, with very good reason, much of the ritual magic tradition would simply never be included. Recalling that the work sets out to discuss astrological images also helps to account for the puzzling fact that works of astrological image magic would be regarded as more detestable than explicit works of demon conjuring (the second and somewhat less unsuitable variety of magic). When the author speaks of the second category he rejects it on the grounds that something may lie under the names of the unknown languages that might be contrary to the Catholic faith (sub ignotae liguae nominibus aliquod lateat, quod sit contra fidei catolicae)30. The standard written element in most demon and angel magic was a slightly modified Latin liturgy, language which was quite understandable. Although strange words do appear in these works, one need not look to them to demonstrate their fundamentally unorthodox nature. Given that the fundamental concern with magical practice from Augustine on (and certainly that of the Speculum ) was demons, one would think that explicit de-

28 See for example the operations in Rawlinson D. 252, ff. 1-13 and 15-24. This manuscript also employs the recitation of the psalms as independent operations. See, ff.125r-126r. An extended analysis of this manuscript may be found in Klaassen, Transformations of Magic , 162188. For another example of the use of psalms see Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 89, Sup. 38, ff. 315-325. See also Mnchen, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CLM 849, ff. 106r-v (Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites , 343-343). 29 For example, despite similarities such as the names of rings, some of the manuscripts of the Rings of Solomon include explicitly necromantic practices (e.g. Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, II-iii-214, ff. 26v-29v and Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 89, Sup. 38, ff. 211-224) while others are more like regular astrological image magic (London, British Library, Sloane 3847, ff. 66v-81). This interpretation of the evidence would suggest that the latter is more like the original. 30 Speculum astronomiae, XI, 32-33.

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mon conjuring would be condemned outright if that was what was being spoken about. Weill-Parot has suggested that the second category more closely reflects Christian religious sensibilities in the kind of rituals it employs and in the way it commands demons (as opposed to supplicating them)31. While this is probably correct we must recall that amongst ritual magic texts, angel magic regularly recurs and almost uniformly involves supplication. An orthodox reader would not regard these texts as legitimate and by implication the angels would be assumed to be demons. Hence the second category would also be understood to involve supplication of demons. On balance, however, the strong presence of operations which command demons in the ritual magic tradition make Weill-Parots interpretation the most likely. And this seems even more likely if we recall that the Speculum was not considering the entire scope of ritual magic but rather a restricted group of texts or practices within it. One way or another, it must be observed that, where this work may be used to discuss image magic, it has far less value in the discussion of ritual magic, which it does not fully represent. In fact, the ongoing lack of attention to ritual magic texts can probably be attributed to this seminal work. Up to the end of the fifteenth century the manuscripts of these two traditions, ritual magic and image magic, for the most part travel in separate streams32. Almost uniformly, works of arabic image magic, particularly those belonging to the first (hermetic or abominable) and third (potentially legitimate) categories in the Speculum astronomiae , travel with works of naturalia, the most common context being codices concerning astrology. Collections including books of secrets, alchemy, stones or gems, recipes, and natural philosophy are also common contexts for a work on image magic. Usually separated from any other kind of intellectual material the ritual magic texts, including demon and angel magic, tend to be found in dedicated collections, although necromantic texts also survive due to having been written more or less randomly in the margins or blank pages of available codices. The Ars notoria tends to travel on its own or with variant forms of the same tradition. In some cases it may be found with divinatory material and also with devotional literature. It also may be found occasionally connected with works of naturalia, but this is rare among ritual magic texts. Thus, reversing the evaluation of the Speculum astronomiae , image magic works appear to have been regarded as less abominable than the texts of ritual magic. There are some exceptions to the rule that these streams travel separately, yet even in the rare cases where they occur in the same volume the two traditions are clustered
31 32

Weill-Parot, Les images astrologiques, 62. For an expanded discussion of this subject see Klaassen, English Manuscripts.

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together in distinct groups within the codices indicating, at least, that the scribes were aware of the differences between them33. While this pattern is almost ubiquitous prior to 1500, it changes dramatically at that time. Beginning in the fifteenth century and carrying through the sixteenth, it becomes much more common for collections of magic to include both ritual and image magic. In addition, the medieval form of collection in which works of naturalia are collected with works of image magic drops radically in number. That this shift in the pattern of collection coincides roughly with the magical Renaissance is the focus of the latter half of this article. The Problem: The Decline of Image Magic? The numbers of codices containing works of astrological image magic plotted by their date of copying (Figure 1) reveal a dramatic and puzzling trend 34. If

33 In Klaassen, English Manuscripts, 10-11, I discuss the example of a manuscript recorded in the catalogue of the York Austin Friars, A 362. See also Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, II-iii-214. This manuscript is discussed in detail by David Pingree in Learned Magic. 34 I include in this list only those texts which are dedicated solely or almost entirely to magical images, such as those texts listed in the Speculum astronomiae and most of these texts correspond to its first and third categories (i.e. hermetic and tentatively approved).

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we look at raw numbers of codices containing works on image magic, the peak in production of manuscripts of this genre would appear to be in the fifteenth century with a radical diminution in the sixteenth century. This peak in the fifteenth century bears out Weill-Parots claim that there was a great interest in this literature at that time, perhaps encouraged by an increased level of tolerance 35. Yet these figures must be adjusted to some extent, at least mentally, due to the undoubtedly large number of manuscripts that did not survive from earlier centuries. This would tend to push the figures in the earlier centuries higher relative to later ones. In addition, I have plotted manuscripts known only through references to them in medieval library catalogues according to the date of the catalogues production (i.e. the latest possible date). Many, no doubt, pre-dated the catalogue by a century or two. Hence it is reasonable to assume (even given that these figures can be taken as no more than rough indicators) that a relatively high level of production took place in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and that the sudden drop in the sixteenth is even more dramatic than what is presented here (roughly 63%). But before attempting to interpret this situation, a number of factors must be examined in more detail. First, how did the availability of printed versions of these texts bear upon the numbers of manuscript copies made? Second, might the political and religious upheavals of the sixteenth century have affected the frequency with which these texts were copied? Third, does the nature of these codices, in particular their contents, change over time, and might this explain what was happening? Printed works of image magic were available in the sixteenth century and this might account for the drop in manuscript copies. A scribe who could purchase a printed version would hardly feel compelled to go through the trouble of copying it. Ficinos De vita libri tres, which passed through numerous sixteenth-century editions, contained sections on image magic 36 . The Speculum lapidum of Leonardus Camillus concerns the properties of stones and also contains a large section on magical images carved in stones. After a theoretical discussion of natural magic, the work goes on to list magical images from
35 Weill-Parot, Les images astrologiques, 592. This suggestion is also problematic since the greatest number of image magic texts are contained in larger codices whose contents are nonmagical. Thus while the copying of the text may be a significant moment for the study of image magic, the survival or destruction of such texts was probably indifferent to their magical content. Exceptions to this could be an instance when an entire codex was destroyed for the sake of a few folios or when folios containing magic were cut out. 36 The British Library Short Title Catalogue lists the following 13 editions of the De triplica vita the third part of which is the De vita coelitus comparanda: Florence, 1489; Florence, 1490; 1501; Argen.., 1511; Venice?, 1525?; Basel, 1532; Paris, 1547; Lyon, 1560; 1584; Paris?, 1616; Strasburg, 1521; Venice, 1498; 1520?.

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various sources, including the standard authors Raziel, Thetel, and Hermes. Some of these are re-written, some are extracted from other authors, most are more or less direct transcriptions from the circulating manuscripts. Two printed editions of this book derive from the early part of the sixteenth century37. In addition, the hermetic De quindecim stellis accompanied an edition of Ptolemy38, and Thabit ibn Qurras De imaginibus was published independently at Frankfurt in 1559. Hence, the argument might go, the popularity of Ficino and Camilluss works indicate a wide-scale interest in astrological image magic, and the resulting goodly number of printed editions of image magic works would make manuscript copying obsolete. In addition, the popular nature of these publications would have put many copies in the hands of nonspecialists who bought the books as curiosities and so they would have been available in a wide number of places, making the need for copying even less urgent. The presence of this printed literature, however, cannot account for the lack of manuscript copies. In fact, it drives us to further questions about the place of image magic in the Renaissance. First, to acquire a collection of image magic works in the sixteenth century solely through printed works, one would have had to purchase many volumes. Some, like the edition of Ptolemys works, would have been relatively expensive purchases not only because printed books were very expensive in their own right, but because one would have to purchase a large volume for the sake of only a few pages of text. Similarly in the case of the De vita libri tres, the practical sections on image magic are quite short relative to the length of the volume. In addition, Ficino and others were justifiably circumspect in the amount of practical instruction they offer. So printed versions were not the most cost effective ways of acquiring information on the practice of image magic. On a practical level, not everyone would have had the necessary financial resources and, anyone with a high level of interest, would have been driven to making their own copies. A logical result of this situation would be that those interested in this literature and lacking the luxury of a large personal library would have compiled their own handwritten collections. The texts on image magic are short, quick to copy, or inexpensive to have copied by someone else. So almost every aspect of the situation suggests that one could reasonably expect more manuscript copies (rather than less) to have been produced. The texts were available and easy to
37 I have employed, Camillus Leonardus, Speculum Lapidum (Hamburg: Christianum Liebeziel, 1717). It was published in Latin editions in 1502 (Venice), 1516 (Venice), and 1610 (Paris). Italian editions date from 1565 and 1617. An English edition was printed in 1750 (London). Thorndike, History of Magic , VI, 298-302. 38 Venice, 1549.

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copy, but expensive to purchase in printed volumes; if practical information was lacking in the printed works, copies of the old manuscript versions could be found to fill in the gaps. Yet no wide scale copying took place in fact it drops off radically and thus we are even further from explaining the decline in manuscript copies. If we compare this with the case of ritual magic we have even further reasons to doubt that this drop was due to the availability of printed books. Numerous works concerning ritual magic were available in print in the sixteenth century and this had no apparent negative impact upon the copying of works of ritual magic in manuscript. Three editions of the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy (a work concerning geomancy, which circulated under Agrippas name), another work on ceremonial magic attributed to Agrippa, and a similar text called Arbatel were printed around the middle of the sixteenth century39. The latter is a clear discussion of ceremonial magic. A work on ritual magic entitled Heptameron and attributed to Peter of Abano also appeared in sixteenth-century editions 40. Reginald Scots Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584) contains almost 60 pages of necromantic operations drawn largely from medieval sources and for the most part indistinguishable from them41. This is not to mention the multiple editions and translations of the De occulta philosophia of Agrippa42. Thus ritual magic also had a significant presence in printed works.
39 The spurious Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy passed through three Latin editions (Marburg, 1559 and Paris 1565 and 1567). A Latin edition of the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy and the accompanying texts also appeared in the 1600 and 1630 editions of Agrippas Opera Omnia published at Lyon and in two English editions published in London, 1655 and 1665. Arbatel also appeared in Basel, 1575. 40 This appeared appended to the seventeenth-century editions of Agrippas Opera Omnia and John Frenchs 1655 English translation of The Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy . But also independently in a German edition in Paris, 1567. Reprinted by Verlag in 1971. 41 Reginald Scot, The Discoverie of Witchcraft (1583), 376-430. 42 There were three printed editions of the De occulta philosophia in the sixteenth century. The edition published at Cologne in 1533 by Johannes Soter was overseen personally by Agrippa. Its publication had been delayed by the intervention of the Dominican Inquisitor Conrad Kllin of Ulm. A partial edition may have been printed at Antwerp in 1531 and in Paris by Christianus Wechelus. Subsequent editions include three early seventeenth-century editions of his Opera omnia published at Lyons, one or two at Strasbourg, and an English edition, London 1651. For more information on the printed editions of Agrippas works see Ferguson, Bibliographical Notes. A version of the notory art is included in at least one of Agrippas Opera Omnia editions. Another was published in English translation in London, 1657. A wide variety of other texts concerning ritual magic were also published in the various Beringos Fratres editions of Agrippas Opera omnia. For example, the copy used for the Georg Olms Verlag reprint (1970) includes such texts as De speciebus magiae ceremonialis..., De illorum daemonum qui sub lunari collimitio versantur..., and Libri arbatel magiae.... The British Library Short Title Catalogue lists the following 13 editions of the De vita libri tres, the third part of which is the De vita coelitus comparanda : Florence, 1489; Florence, 1490; 1501; Argen.., 1511; Venice?, 1525?;

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Yet in stark contrast to works of image magic, copying of this kind of material grew steadily right through our period (Figure 2). One might argue that this was due to the fact that the printed works provided better coverage of the literature of image magic than ritual magic. The result would be that more copies of ritual magic texts would have to be made. However, the evidence does not bear this out either. There were many works of image magic which were never printed. In addition, many of the manuscript collections of ritual magic works include hand-written extracts from printed volumes43. In some cases, such as when an entire volume or large portion was copied out, it would appear that the copy was made in lieu of locating and purchasing a printed edition.44 In the case of shorter extracts, there is no reason to assume the scribe did not own a printed version of the work being extracted, but used the manuscript book simply to collect significant information together in one place. Yet
Basel, 1532; Paris, 1547; Lyon, 1560; 1584; Paris?, 1616; Strasburg, 1521; Venice, 1498; 1520?. 43 See for example London, British Library, Sloane 3850 which contains copies of the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy and Heptameron. For a mid-seventeenth century copy of this work see London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 8. Another late sixteenthor early seventeenth-century example is London, British Library, Sloane 3851, which contains, in addition to the Fourth Book also the work entitled Arbatel . 44 For a seventeenth-century example see, London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 8.

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whatever the reasons for copying might have been, one thing is clear. Unlike the case of image magic, the printed texts concerning ritual magic actually stimulated the production of more manuscript copies. Similarly, if the political and religious upheavals of the sixteenth century affected the copying of image magic, they do not appear to have negatively affected the copying of ritual magic. The decline in the copying of image magic texts thus appears to be connected to other kinds of issues, and in the century in which Ficinos De vita libri tres was a runaway best seller this would seem very puzzling indeed. However, if we break these figures down into their component parts some different patterns emerge which may help to shed light on the situation. In particular, the image magic manuscripts of the fifteenth and sixteenth century suggest either the emergence of a different pattern of copying or the increased survival rates of an approach to magic which pre-dated the Renaissance. In this pattern, texts of image magic are included as part of collections of ritual magic works, collections which appear to be principally focused upon ritual magic and include image magic as a sub-category. I will describe the evidence for these briefly before attempting to arrive at an explanation. If we plot the numbers of codices containing both works of ritual magic and image magic, a rather different pattern emerges than we have seen so far (Figure 3). First, of the manuscripts including image magic in the sixteenth century, almost half (9 of 19 MSS) occur in codices together with ritual magic. In addition, this form of collection actually appears to peak in number during the magical Renaissance. In previous centuries the standard pattern of image magic collection included no ritual magic in the vast majority of cases (over 85% in the fifteenth century). Many of the sixteenth-century codices continue the standard pattern of most surviving manuscripts of the fifteenth and prior centuries45. But a very large portion reflect a new pattern where image magic texts traditionally associated with works of naturalia are now included in collections of ritual magic. In some cases like London, British Library, Sloane 3822, a collection which combines image magic texts with rituals for confession and exorcism, the overall direction of the scribes interest is not clear. In most cases however, where image and ritual magic are combined, the predominant interest of the collector appears to be in ritual magic46. This configu45 Among those with this standard medieval pattern are Cambridge, University Library Kk. I. 1.; Conte de Sarzana, Private Library, Unnumbered. (a large collection of image magic works); Oxford, Bodleian Library, Canonicanus latinus 500 (Picatrix extract); and Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 346 (the collection of an early sixteenth-century British doctor). 46 See for example Cambridge, University Library, Additional 3544; London, British Library, Sloane 3846; London, British Library, Sloane 3847; Oxford, Bodleian Library, e Mus. 173;

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ration of magical interests which combines ritual and image magic appears to be the only one which increases in number in the sixteenth century both in terms of raw numbers (Figure 3) and also as a percentage of the texts of image magic (Figure 4). It is interesting to note that some of the earliest known large collections of magical works, Pingrees proposed thirteenth-century exemplar for Firenze NB II-iii-214 and the large volumes owned by John Erghome in the library of the York Austin Friars, follow this same pattern47 . To look at it a different way, if we look only at those codices which reflect the usual medieval pattern associating image magic with naturalia, the drop in the sixteenth century becomes very dramatic indeed (almost 83%) (Figure 5). The numbers presented here are not comprehensive and any study of this kind contains a number of statistical traps. First, we cannot compare the numbers of image magic manuscripts with those containing ritual magic, since image magic manuscripts stood a much higher chance of surviving not least due to the fact that they usually constituted a small part of a larger codex con-

Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson D. 253. The substantial presence of the Liber Rasielis in Lubeck, Bibliothek der Hansestadt Lubeck, Math. 4 o 9 suggests this is a similar case. In the case of Gent, Centrale Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit 1021 which I have not seen, it appears to be a copy of one of the printed editions of Ps. Agrippa and so would also follow a similar pattern. 47 See Klaassen, English Manuscripts, 9-11.

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taining less dubious works and, in any event, could be justified as reasonable subjects for scientific study if not as legitimate in their own right. To compound this, medieval ritual magic was commonly disdained in printed sources in the sixteenth century while image magic had a relatively high level of acceptance. In the age of witchcraft persecution, explicitly demonic magic was clearly prone to destruction. Finally, most of the manuscripts of ritual magic were of a low quality frequently taking the form of a personal notebook. Thus, comparatively speaking, the numbers of surviving ritual magic manuscripts probably represent a much larger number of original manuscripts, most of which have been lost or destroyed. What the original ratio may have been is anyones guess. Second, except where great numbers of manuscripts are involved, such as in the case of fifteenth-century image magic manuscripts, the discovery of a single manuscript can make a substantial difference to the figures. For example, it would be silly to talk about percentages in a sample of five manuscripts when a single new manuscript would skew the data by 20%. Nonetheless, I believe the larger trends presented here are not vulnerable to substantial variation due to new manuscript discoveries and thus cry out for further examination 48. What I now propose is a tentative, but I hope, useful exploration the dramatic changes in the sixteenth century. An Interpretation: The Ascendency of Ritual Magic and the Integration of Image Magic So what are we to make of this situation? It would appear that, contrary to our current understanding, the manuscripts suggest that there was not a great increase in interest in image magic in the sixteenth century, at least not in image magic as represented by the usual texts and patterns of copying and collection in the thirteenth through the fifteenth centuries. We also find that contrary to the suggestions of Lynn Thorndike who claimed that the sixteenth century saw a diminution of interest in ritual magic, we have a continued strong level of interest in it49. For the most part the data assembled here supports the ideas of Nicholas Weill-Parot. The tremendous production of image magic texts in the fifteenth century confirms his claims about the great interest in the topic at this time. It also suggests that most still clung to the chimeral dream which associ-

48 The area of this study most subject to variation due to future manuscript discoveries would be that of ritual magic. Investigations of image magic have, from the time of Thorndike and Carmody, been far more thorough. The recent catalogue by Lucentini and Compagni, I testi e i codici di ermete nel medioevo , further extends and solidifies our knowledge of this literature. 49 Thorndike, History of Magic , V, 591.

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ated image magic, despite its destinative elements, with the naturalia rather than with explicit forms of ritual magic. In addition, the increasing comfort with destinative image magic in the fifteenth century is born out in the small but increasing number of manuscripts collecting image magic with ritual magic in manuscripts. Yet if we wish to establish continuities with the sixteenth century, we need to look elsewhere. Whereas one would have every reason to expect the new Ficinian synthesis to provide the basis for a renewed enthusiasm for magical images in the sixteenth century, quite the opposite appears to have happened. On the other hand, one cannot argue away the popularity of Ficinos De vita coelitus comparanda, or even the image oriented works of John Dee or Giordano Bruno. So, as this article concerns the great morass of authors, scribes, and book collectors, let us begin with them. In his considerable collection, the late fifteenth-century Hartman Schedel had copies of Ficinos De vita libri tres and translations of various neoplatonic works. In addition, he had a volume of medieval image magic and two volumes containing three works of the notory art. While no great amount of weight can be placed on the coincidence of these various works in this very large collection (i.e., this is not evidence for an involved interest in magic on Schedels part), it cannot be insignificant that of all the works of learned magic, the best represented is the medieval Ars notoria . In addition, it was not merely uninformed and unintelligent lunatics who collected and copied these works. Not only Schedel but many other well educated university professors and medical doctors in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are among the identifiable owners of the old dirty magic 50. Although the presence of identifiably Renaissance magic is surprisingly limited in sixteenth-century manuscripts, Renaissance and medieval elements are often blended in the manuscripts, and when Renaissance authors do appear, there is no indication that scribes regarded them as fundamentally different kinds of writers. Pal. Lat. 1394 contains an experiment for invisibility of a standard medieval nature, preceded by a passage which tries to demonstrate that this is possible. The scribe quotes not only authorities standard to medieval authorities, such as Albertus Magnus, but also Herodotus, Plato, Pythagoras, and Cicero 51. A similar Italian manuscript from the end of the fifteenth century contains a ritual in which the operator prays to be made like the sages of antiquity in language
50 See for example British Library, Additional 36,674. This ritual magic notebook has been identified as belonging to Dr John Caius, founder of Gonneville and Caius College. See also the numerous codices containing works on magic owned by the Monks at St. Augustines Abbey at Canterbury, Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, 1130 (=Ashmole 341), 1161, 1170 (= CCC 221), 1275, 1277 (= CCC 125), 1538, and 1545. 51 Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1394, ff. 67r-74v.

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very reminiscent of the Renaissance esotericists, but the same scribe also records a long text on the magical power of each of the psalms, a standard component in medieval ritual magic 52. Similarly in Sloane 3846, a sixteenthcentury British codex we find sections from Agrippas De occulta philosophia quoted in a ritual magic collection including such works as the Liber Rasielis, De arte crucifixi (a variant of the notory art) and a variety of texts involving spirits, but also a variety of standard image magic works such as Thabit ibn Qurras De imaginibus. Another similar volume, Sloane 3850, contains a copy of the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy spuriously attributed to Agrippa in addition to a host of standard works of medieval ritual magic. In a final example, the sixteenth-century translator and scribe of the Liber sacer in Royal 17. A. (42) XLII used extracts from Agrippas De occulta philosophia . and other works to expand and supplement his translation of this classic of medieval ritual magic 53. So the scribes did not appear to regard medieval ritual magic as distinct from Renaissance magic. This pattern is not only limited to manuscripts but extends to printed volumes of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century. The printed edition of the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy also contains works attributed to the notorious medieval doctor Peter of Abano and Gerard of Cremona. In the case of all six of the editions of Agrippas Opera Omnia, published at Strasbourg and Lyons around 1600, the Ars notoria, the premier ritual magic text of the middle ages, is singled out and advertised on the title page as a special and valuable addition to the two-volume set. The other added-bonus texts further reflect this mix of Renaissance and medieval, including works attributed not only to Trithemius, but also Peter of Abano, Gerard of Cremona, and Qusta ibn Luqa. In other words, the scribes and publishers saw no strict division between the works of the late middle ages and Renaissance. The publishers sold them in the same volumes and evidently believed that the medieval works would promote sales. The scribes clearly took if for granted that Renaissance works could be used to supplement and expand medieval ones and copied them down next to works of medieval ritual magic. In short, despite all the protestation of Renaissance authors, the old dirty magic was still very much a part of Renaissance magic. Yet why would the rate of copying of image magic texts decrease while ritual magic persisted? This question in part hinges upon the distinguishing the historical meaning of a printed edition from a manuscript copy. It is my as52 Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 89, Sup. 38. For the passage on the psalms see ff. 315-325. For the incantation see f. 27r. 53 Mathiesen, A 13th-Century Ritual, 145.

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sumption that in most cases a manuscript copy is an indication of an involved interest in the subject; the copying of a text was time-consuming and more likely to by carried out by a specialist. The purchase of a printed book on the other hand has much more ambiguous historical meaning. For simple financial reasons printed books had to appeal to a less specialized and more popular audience. We might thus assume a large audience interested in magical images as a illustration of a world-view to which they are sympathetic, but with no practical interest in magic at all. The engaging tone of Ficinos De vita libri tres, its urbane and literate style, these are features just as important to its popularity as its limited magical contents. In addition, many of the printed books including image magic significantly the De vita libri tres dedicate only a small portion to practical image magic. An extensive popular printed literature could thus easily exist despite the fact that the interests of engaged specialists had shifted. I would argue that the shift evident in patterns of manuscript copying may be explained by commonalities between medieval ritual magic and Renaissance magic. In addition, Renaissance scribes would have had less interest in image magic due to a number of inherent limitations. First, image texts tend to be limited to magic involving a small subdivision of astrological influences (e.g. lunar mansions). The instructions also tended to have relatively restricted results (e.g. ridding a place of scorpions, destroying a city, etc.). I recognize the possibility that the texts could be, and were, re-worked to produce different forms54, but as a whole the tradition is less flexible than ritual magic. Second, cosmologically speaking, the significant moment in astrological image magic occurs with the manipulation of forms in the sublunar world. Were we to choose a parallel layer in human microcosm, it would be that of the medical spirits, the substance which mediates body and soul and a rough equivalent to the rays of the stars, which mediate between the upper world and the lower. Even if spirits are invoked in the process, this is, quite simply, magic of a lower cosmological order than ritual magic which sought information, communication, illumination, vision, and direct contact with the divine through explicitly religious and Christian rituals in which the interior condition of the operator played a fundamental role. Ritual magic practitioners also sought to achieve a far more broad-reaching understanding of the cosmos on a spiritual level. In short, this is a magic of the soul or intellect. Ritual magic scribes could also be interested in image magic, but their goal of achieving universal knowledge of this kind of practice could only be achieved through higher forms of magic

54

Weill-Parot, Les images astrologiques, 602-622.

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which transcended and subsumed image magic55 . Renaissance writers from Ficino to Dee similarly included image magic yet unequivocally regarded it as middling magic56. Their magical systems are far more expansive and inclusive. They were centrally interested in higher, more indeterminate, interiorised, and religious forms of magic of which images were only a part. This would then explain why sixteenth-century scribes of ritual magic were a large percentage of those who copied image magic: they understood it as a sub-set of ritual magic. Finally, if one actually desired to practice Renaissance magic in this broad sense (i.e. not merely astrological image magic), the only practical instruction manuals available would have been the manuscripts of medieval ritual magic. None of the printed works of the Renaissance authors would, in themselves, be enough to seriously practice magic since they were usually very circumspect about providing any specific instructions. The commonalities between ritual magic and Renaissance magic can perhaps be best recognized in the figure of the magus. As in Ficino, the ideal magus in the medieval ritual magic tradition is a learned priest. His activities were represented as fundamentally religious in form and intent. This may be seen in practices like the Ars notoria , often collected with and even confused with devotional literature. Even necromantic manuals effectively require that the magus be clerical if they do not demand it and represent their activities as essentially religious, or at least moral, activities 57. As in Agrippa and Dee, the magus of medieval ritual magic gains an understanding of the cosmos through learning but, more fundamentally, through direct intellectual contact with the divine which willingly aids him. Through this contact and divine assistance, more often than not achieved by petitioning angels, he is able to disSee for example the fourteenth-century Ars notoria in Mnchen, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CLM 268 ad cognitionem omnium scientiarum naturalium. We can see this tradition continued in the sixteenth century in Harley 181, f. 80v, in which an Ars notoria claims to provide not only information about the arts and sciences, but also the practice of medicine and features of the functioning of the physical world including the magical power of stones. 56 For example, in Ficinos scheme the things capable of receiving celestial things are not only images and medicines but the movements of the imagination, reason, and contemplation. De vita coelitus comparanda, 22. Agrippa places image magic in the second of three books, high magic being in the third book of the De occulta philosophia . Although Dee was demonstrably interested in image magic, the high point of Dees magical operations were his angelic conversations. See Harkness, John Dees Conversations. Despite the general failure of this book to recognize the clear influence of medieval ritual magic upon John Dee, it remains a very strong account of a very significant portion of Dees life. 57 In one particularly extreme example a sixteenth-century manuscript justifies treasure hunting by means of ritual magic. It claims that the devil guards treasure left behind by a rich man in a hidden place and will try to use it to purchase good will from God on judgement day. The implication is clearly that one is perfectly justified, if not morally called upon, to take it away from him. Oxford, Bodleian Library, e Mus. 245, f. 1r.
55

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cern truth from falsehood and penetrate many of the mysteries of the cosmos. Once again the practice of the notory art, which seeks complete knowledge of the arts and sciences serves as a good example. But we may also find similar tendencies in the necromantic tradition in its use of demons and angels to discover information, learning, and even wisdom or ability in discernment 58. Finally, there are also medieval antecedents for Agrippas magus cooperating with God. John of Morignys Liber visionum is approved for Christian use by the Blessed Virgin since it seeks entirely good ends, intellectual and spiritual enlightenment, which in turn contribute to the worship and glory of God on earth59. The necromancers in the prologue to the Liber sacer not only operate with Gods permission, but with divine sympathy and guidance. Angels assist them in their efforts to preserve their art in the face of persecution by the institutional church 60. The resonances between the two periods are clearly very strong and the Renaissance preference for ritual magic quite understandable. One way of understanding these changes in the context of larger intellectual shifts would be to regard the image magic collectors and their chimeral goal of a legitimate astrological magic as the product of the rationalist environment of the schools, intimately connected with the belief that the structure of the cosmos is accessible to rational inquiry. The scribes of this tradition began with the rationalist assumption that the truth or falsity of their magical texts could be established by rational means, that is, with reference to authoritative discussions of the natural world and by logical elaboration upon them. As one might expect the intellectual wave of scholastic ideas peaked, in terms of intellectual influence, in the centuries after the death of its great proponents, such as Thomas Aquinas61. It is then that we see the greatest production of manuscripts of Arabic image magic. It is into this context we may wish to place Giorgio Anselmi, Antonio de Monte Ulmi, Peter of Abano and the other late scholastic writers whom Weill-Parot discusses. At the same time, the late middle ages saw an increasing belief that truth was not achievable through rational means and that alternate approaches to it were not only desirable but necessary. Just as the philosophers reduced the scope of reasoned enquiry and intellectual
See, Klaassen., Transformations of Magic , 178-187. There is a tantalisingly Promethean dimension to the way John of Morigny pushes to have the Liber visionum approved. According to him, the Blessed Virgin approves the work (evidently with some hesitation) because any good he sought from her assiduously and devoutly she would grant. John of Morigny, Prologue, 191-192. 60 Honorius of Thebes, chosen by a council of necromancers, preserved the art of necromancy in a book which was written with angelic assistance. By finding this peaceful way to protect their divinely inspired art from destruction by the demonically deluded churchmen, they protect all their enemies from the destruction of demons. See Mathiesen, A 13th-Century Ritual, 148-149. 61 See for example Hillgarth, Who Read Thomas Aquinas? .
58 59

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interests began to shift from logic to mysticism, rhetoric, and poetry, texts of ritual magic increasingly emphasized visionary experience, illumination, or revelation and regarded this divine assistance as essential to determining truth. Late medieval ritual magic may thus be seen to flow from the same larger intellectual tendencies as nominalism, mysticism, late medieval affective piety, and humanism. The evidence I have presented here is suggestive but far from conclusive. Many more manuscripts remain to be not only examined and described, but simply discovered. In addition, the study of late medieval ritual magic is very much in its infancy. Yet the culture of magic in the sixteenth century and as represented by magical manuscripts clearly requires further attention, in particular to the transmission of the old dirty magic. It will not suffice to employ printed works as our only indicators of the world of learned magic, nor will it suffice to assume that no connection exists between the great works of Renaissance magic and the larger intellectual movements which made up learned magic in the preceding centuries. At the very least we must regard medieval ritual magic as a fundamental part of the context into which Renaissance magic was born and a fundamental feature of magical practice in the sixteenth century. Yet perhaps we might go further and regard Renaissance magic as medieval ritual magic which has subsumed image magic and been transformed in original ways under the influence of a variety of late antique texts.
Frank Klaassen (1963) is Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Saskatchewan.

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Al-kindi, De radiis (M.T. dAlverny & F. Hudry, eds.), Archives dhistoire doctrinale et littraire du moyen-age 41 (1974), 139-260. Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz, Mnchen: Beck 1928. Boudet, J.-P., Lars notoria au Moyen Age: un rsurgence de la thurgie antique? in: A. Moreau and J.-C. Turpin (eds.), La magie (Actes du colloque international de Montpellier, 25-27 mars 1999), Montpellier 2002. Burnett, C., Scandinavian Runes in a Latin Magical Treatise, Speculum 58:2 (1983), 419-429. , Adelard, Ergaphalau and the Science of the Stars, in: C. Burnett (ed.), Adelard of Bath: An English Scientist and Arabist of the Early Twelfth Century, London: Warburg Institute 1987, 133-145. , C., Arabic, Greek, and Latin Works on Astrological Magic Attributed to Aristotle, in: J. Kraye, W.F. Ryan and C.B. Schmitt (eds.), Pseudo-Aristotle in the Middle Ages , London: Warburg Institute 1987. , Magic and Divination in the Middle Ages: Texts and Techniques in the Islamic and Christian Worlds , Aldershot, Great Britain; Brookfield, Vt.: Variorum 1996. Butler, E.M., Ritual Magic , University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press 1998.

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Celenza, C., Late Antiquity and Florentine Platonism: The Post-Plotinian Ficino, in: M.J.B. Allen & V. Rees (eds.), Marsilio Ficino: This Theology, His Philosophy, His Legacy , Leiden: Brill 2002, 71-97. Clucas, S., Non Est Legendum Sed Inspicendum Solum: Inspectival Knowledge and the Visual Logic of John Dees Liber Mysteriorum, in: A. Adams and S.J. Linden (eds.), Emblems and Alchemy, Glasgow: Glasgow Emblem Studies 1998, 109-132. Clucas, S., Regiment Animarum Et Corporum: The Body and Spacial Practice in Medieval and Renaissance Magic, in: D.G. Taunton and N. Taunton (eds.), The Body in Late Medieval and Early Modern Culture, Aldershot: Ashgate 1999, 113-129. Couliano, I.P., Eros and Magic in the Renaissance, Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1987. Dupbe, J., LArs notoria et la polmique sur la divination et la magie, in Divination et controverse religieuse en France au xvie sicle , Paris: Ecole normale suprieure de jeunes filles 1987, 122-134. Fanger, C. (ed.), Conjuring Spirits : Texts and Traditions of Medieval Ritual Magic , University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press 1998. , Plundering the Egyptian Treasure: John the Monk, His Book of Visions, and Its Relation to the Notory Art of Solomon, in: Fanger, Conjuring Spirits, 216-249. Ferguson, J., Bibliographical Notes on the Treatises De Occulta Philosophia and De Incertitudine et Vanitate Scientiarum of Cornelius Agrippa , Edinburgh: Edinburgh Bibliographical Society 1924. Gutirrez, P. David, De antiquis ordinis eremitarum Sancti Augustini bibliothecis , Rome: Analectica Augustiniana, 1955. Harkness, Deborah, John Dees Conversations with Angels: Cabala, Alchemy, and the End of Nature , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1999. Hillgarth, J.N., Who read Thomas Aquinas? (Etienne Gilson Series 13), Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies 1992. Humphreys, K.W. (ed.), The Friars Libraries, London: British Library in association with the British Academy 1990. James, M.R., The Ancient Libraries of Canterbury and Dover. The Catalogues of the Libraries of Canterbury and Dover, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1903. John of Morigny, Prologue to the Liber Visionum [c. 1304-1318], Claire Fanger & Nicholas Watson, ed. and transl. with introduction, Esoterica III (2001), 108-217. http:// www.esoteric.msu.edu/VolumeIII/Morigny.html Kieckhefer, R., Magic in the Middle Ages, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1989. , Erotic Magic in Medieval Europe, in: J.E. Salisbury (ed.), Sex in the Middle Ages: A Book of Essays, New York: Garland Pub. 1991, xv, 258. , The Holy and the Unholy: Sainthood, Witchcraft, and Magic in Late Medieval Europe, Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 23 (1994), 355-385. , The Specific Rationality of Medieval Magic, American Historical Review 99 (1994), 813-836. , Forbidden Rites : A Necromancers Manual of the Fifteenth Century, Stroud: Sutton 1997. , The Devils Contemplatives: The Liber Iuratus, the Liber Visionum, and Christian Appropriation of Jewish Occultism, in: Fanger, Conjuring Spirits, 250-265. Klaassen, F., English Manuscripts of Ritual Magic 1300-1500: A Preliminary Survey, in: Fanger, Conjuring Spirits, 3-31. , Religion, Science, and the Transformations of Magic: Manuscripts of Magic 1300-1600 , PhD diss., University of Toronto 1999. Lucentini, Paolo & Vittoria Perrone Compagni, I testi e i codici di Ermete nel Medioevo, Firenze: Polistampa 2001. Marqus-Rivire, J., Amulettes, talismans et Pantacles dans les traditions orientales et occidentales , Paris: Payot 1972.

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Mathiesen, R., A 13th-Century Ritual to Attain the Beatific Vision from the Sworn Book of Honorius of Thebes, in: Fanger, Conjuring Spirits, 143-162. Nauert, Charles G., Agrippa and the Crisis of Renaissance Thought (Illinois Studies in the Social Sciences 55), Urbana: University of Illinois Press 1965. Page, S., Magic at St. Augustines, Canterbury, in the Late Middle Ages . PhD diss., Warburg Institute, University of London, 2000. Pellegrin, E., La bibliothque des Visconti et des Sforza, ducs de Milan, au XVe sicle, Paris, Service des publications du C.N.R.S. 1955. Pingree, D., Some of the Sources of the Ghayat Al-Hakim, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 43 (1980), 1-15. , Between the Ghaya and the Picatrix I: The Spanish Version, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 44 (1981), 27-56. , Picatrix: The Latin Version of the Ghayat Al-Hakim , London: The Warburg Institute 1986. , The Diffusion of Arabic Magical Texts in Western Europe, in: (ed.), La Diffusione Delle Scienze Islamiche Nel Medio Evo Europeo, Roma: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 1987, 57-102. , Learned Magic in the Time of Frederick II, in: Micrologus 2 (1994), 42-43. Thorndike, Lynn, A History of Magic and Experimental Science , 8 vols., New York: Columbia University Press 1929-1958. Travaglia, Pinella, Magic, Causality and Intentionality: The Doctrine of Rays in al-Kindi , Sismel-Edizioni del Galluzzo 1999. Veenstra, J.R., Cataloguing Superstition: A Paradigmatic Shift in the Art of Knowing the Future, in: P. Binkley (ed.), Pre-Modern Encyclopaedic Texts : Proceedings of the Second Comers Congress, Groningen, 1-4 July 1996 , Leiden, New York: Brill 1997, 169-180. Watson, N., John the Monks Book of the Visions of the Blessed and Undefiled Virgin Mary, Mother of God : Two Versions of a Newly-Discovered Ritual Magic Text, in: Fanger, Conjuring Spirits, 163-215. Weill-Parot, N., Les images astrologiques au Moyen ge et a la Renaissance, Paris: Honore Champion 2002. Yates, F., Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition , Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1964. Zambelli, Paola, The Speculum Astronomiae and its Enigma: Astrology, Theology and Science in Albertus Magnus and his Contemporaries (Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 135), Dordrecht, Boston & London: Kluwer 1992.

Manuscripts: The following are the codices of image and ritual magic which formed the basis for my data. This is not a comprehensive list. Rather I include only those which I have either personally examined or have a reliable description or dating. Those preceded by an asterisk are codices known through medieval catalogues, if they survive, their modern shelfmarks are listed in parentheses. Similarly where surviving manuscripts are identifiable in medieval catalogues, the medieval catalogue reference follows the modern one in parentheses. The numbering given for manuscripts held in medieval libraries listed below correspond to the following modern editions. For Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, see James, Ancient Libraries. For York, Library of the Austin Friars, see Humphreys, Friars Libraries. For Milan, Library of the Sforza and Visconti Families, see Elizabeth Pellegrin, Bibliotheque des Visconti et des Sforza. For Nurnberg, Library of Hartman Schedel and Erfurt, Amplonian Library, see Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge. For Rome, conv. S. Mariae de Populo, see P. David Gutirrez, De antiquis ordinis eremitarum Sancti Augustini bibliothecis.

194
Manuscripts of Image Magic

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Thirteenth Century Canterbury, Abbey of St. Augustine 1130 (=Ashmole 341) Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 30, Cod. 29 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 341 (=Canterbury, Abbey of St. Augustine 1130) Oxford, Bodleian Library, Digby 79 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Selden Supra 76 (Bernard 3464). Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 8454 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 16204 Fourteenth Century Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 243 Cambridge, University Library Ff. vi. 53 (1391) Cambridge, University Library, Gg. vi. 3. *Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, 1170 (= CCC 221) Edinburgh, Royal Observatory Cr.3.29. Erfurt, Wissenschaftliche Bibliothek, Amplonian Collection, Folio 380 Erfurt, Wissenschaftliche Bibliothek, Amplonian Collection, Quarto 174 Erlangen, Universittsbiliothek, Hs. 434 London, British Library, Arundel 342 London, British Library, Harley 1612 London, British Library, Harley 80 London, British Library, Royal 12. C. XVIII London, British Library, Royal 12. E. XXV London, British Library, Royal 12. F. VI London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 116 Lyon, Bibliothque Municipale 328 Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, A. 183. inf. Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, M. 28. sup. Mnchen, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 10268 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 1471 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 463. (2456. 115.) Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 67 (Bernard 2136) Oxford, Bodleian Library, Digby 193 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Digby 228 Oxford, Corpus Christi 221(=St. Augustines Abbey 1170) Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 7316A

Citt del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1116 Citt del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1381 Venezia, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, lat. XIV. 174 (4606) *York, Austin Friars A8 362 *York, Austin Friars A8 364 *York, Austin Friars A8 375 *York, Austin Friars A8 383 Fifteenth Century Berlin, Preussische Staatsbibliothek, Cod. Elect. 964 Boston, Medical Library (Countway Library of Medicine), 7 Cambridge, University Library Dd. xi. 45 *Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, 1161 *Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, 1275 *Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, 1277 (= CCC 125) *Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, 1538 *Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, 1545 Edinburgh, Royal Observatory Cr.3.14. Erfurt, Wissenschaftliche Bibliothek, Amplonian Collection, Quarto 361 *Erfurt, Collegium Amplonianum, Math. 11 (22.8). *Erfurt, Collegium Amplonianum, Math. 12. (22.14) *Erfurt, Collegium Amplonianum, Math. 31. (25.11) *Erfurt, Collegium Amplonianum, Math. 42. (27.23) *Erfurt, Collegium Amplonianum, Math. 53. (29.5) *Erfurt, Collegium Amplonianum, Math. 54. (29.17) *Erfurt, Collegium Amplonianum, Math. 9. (21.31) Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 30, Cod. 24 Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 89, Sup. 38 Firenze, Biblioteca Riccarciana 1165 Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, II-iii-214 Gent, Centrale Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit 5 (416) Ghent 5 (Saint Genois 416) Glasgow, Huterian Museum Library V.6.18 (=Gen. 468)

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Klagenfurt, Bischflich Bibliothek, HS XXXI.b.7 Kbenhavn (Copenhagen), Kongelike Bibliotek Gl. Kgl. S. 1658 Kbenhavn (Copenhagen), Kongelike Bibliotek Gl. Kgl. S. 3499 Krakow, Jagiellonian University Library 793 (DD III 36) London, British Library, Cotton Julius, D. VIII. London, British Library, Sloane 1784 London, British Library, Sloane 312 London, Institution of Electrical Engineers, Thompson Collection S.C. MSS 3/5. London, Society of Antiquaries of London 39 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 117 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 128 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 560 (Miscellanea Medical XXXVI) London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 510 Mnchen, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CLM 214 Mnchen, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CLM 27 Mnchen, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CLM 59 *Nurnberg, Benedictine Abbey of St Agigien, L11 (497,9f) *Nurnberg, Hartmann Schedel, 808, 19-809, 3 Ottobeuren, Bibliothek der Benediktiner Abtei, O. 86 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Canon. Misc. 285 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Digby 194 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Digby 37 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Digby 57 Oxford, Corpus Christi College 125 (=Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, 1277) Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 7282 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 7337 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 10272 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 17178 Praha, Universitn knihovna 629 (IV.C.2.) Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1330 Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1340 Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1354

Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1369 Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1390 Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1401 Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1445b Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1375 Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Vat. Lat. 10803 Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Vat. Lat. 4085 Weimar, Thuringische Landesbibliothek O 95 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 3317 (Philos. 156) Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek, 3394 Sixteenth Century Cambridge, University Library Kk. I. 1. Cambridge, University Library, Additional 3544 Conte de Sarzana, Private Library, Unnumbered Darmstadt, Hessische Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek 1410 Darmstadt, Hessische Landes-und Hochschulbibliothek 326 (630) Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, Magliabechi XX 20 Gent, Centrale Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit 1021 London, British Library, Sloane 3822 London, British Library, Sloane 3846 London, British Library, Sloane 3847 Lubeck, Bibliothek der Hansestadt Lubeck, Math. 4o 8 Lubeck, Bibliothek der Hansestadt Lubeck, Math. 4o 9 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 244 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Canonicanus latinus 500 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 346 Oxford, Bodleian Library, e Mus. 173 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson D. 253 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 17871 Praha, Nardoni Muzeum 2843 (XI A 19)

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Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Bratislav. Univerzitnej Kniznice, MS 1167 (E 796) Duke of Northumberland 589 Hamburg, Staats- und Universitatsbibliothek, fol. 188 Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek 742 (DCCXLII) London, British Library, Sloane 1302 London, British Library, Sloane 1306 London, British Library, Sloane 3679 London, British Library, Sloane 3826 London, British Library, Sloane 3850 London, British Library, Sloane 3851 London, British Library, Sloane 3853 London, British Library, Sloane 3883 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 426 Paris, Bibliothque de lArsenal 1033 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, fran. 14788 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 10273 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 13017 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 7340 Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Reginensis latinus 1344 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11381 Manuscripts of Ritual Magic Thirteenth Century London, British Library, Sloane 1712 New Haven, Yale University Library, Mellon Collection MS 1. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Lyell Empt. I Fourteenth Century Graz, Universittsbibliothek MS 1016 Kbenhavn (Copenhagen), Kongelike Bibliotek Ny kgl. S. 218 Kues, Hospitalbibliothek 116 London, British Library, Additional 18027 London, British Library, Sloane 313 London, British Library, Sloane 3854 Mnchen, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CLM 268 Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1363 Wien, Schottenkloster 61 (50. g. 4.) *York, Austin Friars 8A, 371 *York, Austin Friars A8 362 *York, Austin Friars A8 364

Fifteenth Century Basel, Universittsbibliothek B VII I *Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, 1538 (cf. 1603) *Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, 1603 (cf. 1538) *Canterbury, St Augustines Abbey, 767 (D.8.G.6) Edinburgh, Royal Observatory Cr.3.14. *Erfurt, Collegium Amplonianum, Math. 14. (22.32) (=Octavo 84.) *Erfurt, Collegium Amplonianum, Math. 15. (22.36) (=Quarto 380) *Erfurt, Collegium Amplonianum, Math. 50. (28.31) *Erfurt, Collegium Amplonianum, Math. 53. (40.18) = (Erfurt, Amplon. Octavo 79) *Erfurt, Collegium Amplonianum, Math. 8 (21.24) Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 89, Sup. 38 Firenze, Biblloteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, II-iii-214 Graz, Universittsbibliothek 680 Kbenhavn (Copenhagen), Kongelike Bibliotek Gl. Kgl. S. 3499 London, British Library, Sloane 3008 London, British Library, Sloane 314 London, British Library, Sloane 513 London, Society of Antiquaries of London 39 *Milan, Library of the Visconti and Sforza Famlies 282 *Milan, Library of the Visconti and Sforza Famlies 286 *Milan, Library of the Visconti and Sforza Famlies 836 *Milan, Library of the Visconti and Sforza Famlies 967 *Mnchen, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CLM 51 *Nrnberg, Hartmann Schedel, 832, 8-14 (=Munich, CLM 276) Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson D. 252 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Tanner MS 407 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 951 (2871; 925) Oxford, Merton College 999 (Medieval) Paris, Bibliothque nationale, fran. 14783 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 17178 Praha, Universitn knihovna 267 (I. F. 35.) *Rome, conv. S. Mariae de Populo (Augustinian Convent), 275

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Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1330 Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1375 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 13859 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 4773 Mnchen, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CLM 849 Sixteenth Century Bremen, Universittsbiliothek Ms. c. 49 Cambridge, Trinity College Library 1404 (O.8.29) Cambridge, University Library Ll. i. 12 (2141) Cambridge, University Library, Additional 3544 Chatsworth (UK) 73 D Erlangen, Universittsbiliothek, Hs. 854 Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 44, Cod. 33 Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 89, Sup. 35 Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 89, Sup. 36 Gent, Centrale Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit 1021 Kbenhavn, Kongelige Bibliothek, Thott MS. 624 Quarto Leiden, Bibliotheca Universitatis Leidensis, Codices Vulcaniani, MS 45 London, British Library, Additional 36674 London, British Library, Cotton Append. XLVI pts 1 & 2. (formerly Sloane 5007) London, British Library, Harley 181 London, British Library, Harley 2267 London, British Library, Royal 17. A. XLII London, British Library, Sloane 3822 London, British Library, Sloane 3846 London, British Library, Sloane 3847 London, British Library, Sloane 3849 London, British Library, Sloane 3853 London, British Library, Sloane 3884 London, British Library, Sloane 3885 London, British Library, Sloane 8 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 110 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 1406 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 1416 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 1515 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 1790

Oxford, Bodleian Library, e Mus. 173 Oxford, Bodleian Library, e Mus. 238 (3546 (56)) Oxford, Bodleian Library, e Mus. 245 (3550 (60)) Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson D. 253 Oxford, Bodley Add. B. 1 (30208) Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 7154 Pisa, St. Cath., 167 Raleigh (NC), Rev. A. B. Hunter 39 Sevilla, Biblioteca Zayas C.XIV.22 Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. Lat. 1394 Verona, Biblioteca Capitolare 43 (311) Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11281 Seventeenth Century Berlin, Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Ms. Hamilton 589 Berlin, Preussische Staatsbibliothek Ms. germ. quart. 474 Bologna, Biblioteca comunale dellArchiginnasio MS A. 646 Brussels, Bibliotheque Royal Ms. III.1152 Cambridge, MA, Harvard University, Houghton Library, Ms. 24252.89.6* Cambridge, MA, Harvard University, Houghton Library, Ms. 24252.89.7* Cambridge, Trinity College Library 1419 Erlangen, Universittsbiliothek, Hs. 855 Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek Ms. 841 London, British Library, Additional 10,862 London, British Library, Additional 10,862 [#1] London, British Library, Harley 3536A London, British Library, Harley 3981 London, British Library, Sloane 1307 London, British Library, Sloane 1309 London, British Library, Sloane 2731 London, British Library, Sloane 307 London, British Library, Sloane 3091 London, British Library, Sloane 3645 London, British Library, Sloane 3648 London, British Library, Sloane 3702 London, British Library, Sloane 3805 London, British Library, Sloane 3821 London, British Library, Sloane 3824 London, British Library, Sloane 3825 London, British Library, Sloane 3826 London, British Library, Sloane 3850 London, British Library, Sloane 3851

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London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 426 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 8 Marseille, Bibliothque Ms. 983 (B. 108) [#1] New Haven, CT, Yale University, Beinicke Library, Mellon 85 Nrnberg, Statsbibliothek Ms. 34 x Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 187. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Aubrey Ms. 24 (Cat. 6544) Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 15127 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 14075 [#1] Paris, Bibliothque nationale, fran. 25314 Pommersfelden, Grftlich Schnbornsche Bibliothek, Ms. 357. Wein, Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11284 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11294 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11303 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11304 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11320* Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11321 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11332 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11344 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11424 Eighteenth Century Cambridge, MA, Harvard University, Houghton Library Ms. 24252.89.5* Cambridge, MA, Harvard University, Houghton Library Typ. 625 Darmstadt, Hessische Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek 1671 Hamburg, Stadts- und Universittsbibliothek Cod. Alchim. 739 Quarto Jerusalem, Jewish National and University Library, MSS varia 223 Karsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek Ms. 302 Karsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek Ms. 303 Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek 707 Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek 709

Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek 710 Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek 725 (DCCXXV) Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek 730 (DCCXXX) Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek 732 Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek 745 (DCCXLV) Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek 773 Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek 776 Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek 790 Leipzig, Stadtsbibliothek 829 (DCCCXXIX) Lisbon, Bibliotheca Senatoria MS 829 London, British Library, Harley 6483 London, British Library, Kings 288 London, British Library, Lansdowne 1203 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 4655 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 4656 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 4657 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 4658 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 4659 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 4660 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 4661 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 4662 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 4666 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 4667 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 4668 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 4669 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 4670 London, Wellcome Institute for the History of Science, Wellcome 983 Madrid, Biblioteca nacional Ms. 12, 707 Mnchen, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CLM 28,942 Munster, Universittsbibliothek, Nordkirchen 169 Neustadt A.D. Aisch, Evangelische Kirchenbibliothek Cod. 31 Paris, Bibliothque de lArsenal 2346 Paris, Bibliothque de lArsenal 2347 Paris, Bibliothque de lArsenal 2348 Paris, Bibliothque de lArsenal 2349

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Paris, Bibliothque de lArsenal 2350 Paris, Bibliothque de lArsenal 2493 Paris, Bibliothque de lArsenal 2790 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, fran. 14788 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 11265 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 18511 [#1] Paris, Bibliothque nationale, lat. 24245 Paris, Bibliothque nationale, fran. 24244 Providence (RI), Brown University, John Hay Library BF1611, M313, 1798

Sevilla, Biblioteca Zayas Ms. C.XIV.1 Trapani, Biblioteca Fardelliana, MS 175 (gi VII. c. 35) Uberlingen, Leopold-Sophien Bibliothek 164 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11301 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11340 Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek 11517

La magie rituelle mdivale la Renaissance On observe certaines rgularits dans la manire de copier les textes de magie des images caractre astrologique, du 13 me au 14 me sicle. Cela suggre que, dans leur grande majorit, les scribes comprenaient ceux-ci comme faisant partie du vaste ensemble catgoriel des naturalia. Dans leur qute des sources mdivales de la magie de la Renaissance, les chercheurs se sont montrs trs attentifs ces traditions magiques. Cependant, la nature des manuscrits indique que ces chercheurs se devraient dtudier de plus prs la tradition magico-rituelle. Au 16 me sicle, les textes relatifs la magie des images astrologiques disparaissent presque entirement des manuscrits. En revanche, on continue copier, un rythme soutenu ou croissant, des textes magiques rituliques mdivaux. La prsence de livres imprims ne saurait rendre compte de cette situation, car les deux formes de magie paraissaient sous une forme imprime; pourtant, dans le cas de la magie rituelle, il est de fait que la prsence de ces matriaux imprims a stimul la production de copies manuscrites en plus grand nombre. En mme temps, cette diminution radicale de lactivit qui consiste copier des textes traitant de la magie des images contraste fortement avec lexistence des nombreuses ditions du De vita libri tres , ouvrage de Ficin, et qui en grande partie est consacr la magie des images. On peut expliquer cette contradiction apparente par le fait que, tout comme les scribes mdivaux de la magie rituelle, les occultistes de la Renaissance considraient la magie de limage comme un sous-ensemble de la magie rituelle. Cela est confirm par ce que nous montrent les textes magiques, les manuscrits, et les livres imprims. Ainsi, cest dans les traditions de la magie rituelle, plutt que dans la magie des images, quil faut chercher la continuit entre Moyen Age et Renaissance. Larticle conclut sur le souhait que lon puisse envisager de considrer la magie de limage caractre astrologique comme le rve rationaliste du monde scholastique. La magie rituelle, quant elle, reflterait (au cours du Moyen Age tardif et de la Renaissance) les passages vers la langue, la rhtorique, la posie, la mystique.

THE APOCALYPTIC EUCHARIST AND RELIGIOUS DISSIDENCE IN STEFAN MICHELSPACHERS CABALA: SPIEGEL DER KUNST UND NATUR, IN ALCHYMIA (1616)

URSZULA SZULAKOWSKA The iconography of the alchemical Eucharist has long been familiar to historians1; but none have, so far, restored this theme to its original setting within the religious strife of the German Reformation. The present argument attempts to redress this contextual absence by locating the alchemical Eucharist more specifically within Lutheran and Spiritual eschatology of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The alchemical eschaton and its related soteriology of Christs body and blood finds its most comprehensive exposition in the four engravings of Stefan Michelspacher s Cabala: Spiegel der Kunst und Natur, in Alchymia (Augsburg: David Francke 1616)2. The pictures are loosely related to a brief traditional account of chemical work, structured in terms of four visions of three mirrors appearing to Michelspacher through the power of a radiating celestial fire. The first mirror is a fiery sapphire, displaying the philosophical Mercury and the Sal sapientum, while the second one shows him the philosophical Sulphur. The third mirror is of a divinely rosy colour, all in flames, in the midst of which there appears a very great arcanum, which is the philosophical fire through which all things come to maturation. Putting together the three mirrors, he makes a fourth, the thesaurus thesaurorum, in which he sees God perfectly3.
1 Carl Gustav Jung provided the first interpretation of this theme in his Psychology and Alchemy , 396 ff. 2 See Klossowski de Rola, The Golden Game, 52-58. He mentions a rare German edition of 1615. Three Latin editions were reprinted in Augsburg in 1654, 1667 and 1704 as Cabala, Speculum Artis et Naturae, in Alchymiae Germanico Latnio (sic) versa... The first German edition of 1615 does not have the dedication to the Rosicrucians which was added to the 1616 edition and subsequently retained. Klossowski also refers to a translation in British Library MS Sloane 3676, 1-36. The plates were engraved by Raphael Custos, or Custodis. 3 Michelspacher, Cabala, Augsburg 1654, f. B1v: Primum enim Speculum jucundo Saphyre colore, ignea proprietatis, plurimo albo compersum inveni, cujus gratia vidi Mercurium et Sal sapientum tam manifesto, ac si in mea manu essens. Hinc aliud Speculum vi et virtute puri chalybis adeptus fui, in quo vidi sulphur Sophorum instar floris chelidonium dicti, tam divitis salis naturae vegetabilis quasi crescendo et augendo, ut florum ibidem ad sufficientiam decerpere non potuerim, tam fructuosum hoc speculi mihi comparuit. Tertium Speculum ex hisce

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Little is known about Michelspacher, to whose name the texts append his place of origins, Tyrolensis. Some additional clues concerning his political and religious allegiances may be gained from two other known works, one of which concerns the nervous system of the human body, Pinax microcosmographicus (Augsburg 1615) 4. This indicates that he was probably a physician and possibly also an artist, since he claims to have illustrated the treatise himself. The frontispiece displays a maxim Nosce te ipsum, the motto of the ancient Greek mystery religions: a maxim frequently used by Erasmus, which locates Michelspacher among the inheritors of the Catholic humanist tradition5. The motto was subsequently adopted by Spirituals such as Sebastian Franck, Valentin Weigel and Jacob Boehme. Michelspacher s work is dedicated to Philipp Heinhofer [sic] of the city of Augsburg6. The second publication by Michelspacher concerns a completely different subject, namely the graphic art of single-point perspective, which indicates that he had received some artistic training: Opera das ist Grundliche doch Kurze Anzeigung Wie Nothwendig die Lobliche Kunst der Geometriae sive inn der Perspectiv (Augsburg: David Francke 1616)7. The text, according to the author, is based
duobus speculis perfecte prosiluit, ignea plane rubedinis et instar ignis, parum per enim agitatum statim incalescebat et uti purus ignis inflammebatur, ita ut sine timore illud manu prehendere non debueram, quia quo dedico vidi divinam potentiam maximque arcanum intus latitare. Nam Sapientum ignem ibidem inveni, cujus beneficio omnia in omnibus maturantur, mediante visibili elementali igne, qui ignis plurimis quaesitus, paucis vero inventus erat. Tria nunc haec specula sedula diligentia, Artis spagyrice ope, uni coniunctim speculo conclusi, in quo et Deum et omnia cum pauperum gazis perfectissime quando libet video; unde nuncupari thesaurus thesaurorum recte meretur. Illud sollicite me furto mihi auferretur, aut cum eo aliis noxia inferretur apud me custodio. 4 The full title is Pinax microcosmographicus hoc est Admirandae Partium Hominis Creaturam Divinarum praestantissimi Universarum Fabricae, Historica brevis at perspicua Enarratio, Microcosmico tabulis sculpto aeneis Catoptro lucidissimo, explicationis vice addita, Impensisque; maximis Stephani Michelspacheri Tirolensis. 5 At the base of this frontispiece there are two nudes displaying the arterial blood system of the human body, beneath which is some geometrical equipment. At the top of the page there is a skeleton above a coat of arms which I have, so far, not been able to identify. It bears at the left a fleur de lys above two diagonal bars, while on the right there stands a wild man with a staff. It does not belong to a civic context, being unrelated to any in either the Augsburg district or in Austria. On the left of these there is a naked boy with a lit taper and on the right a dead naked boy with a dead taper. Below the living boy it is written Ingrediemur vitam nudi and beneath the dead one Egrediemur eandem nudi. At the very foot of the page is a snake, coiled in the manner somewhat of the number 8 with a crown on its head. On the body of the text are written the word Cum morietur Homo haereditabit serpentes et Bestias et Vermes. Eccles. 10. Capit. The frontispiece is a memento mori. 6 The full text reads: In omnium utilitatem et jucunditatem divulgata. Viro generis nobilitate, autoritatis splendore, digna virtutem laude, praestantique; artium aestimatione, clarissimo Dn. Philippo Heinhofero Civi Augustano, Domino suo unice calendo, S. Calends. Febr. Anno 1615. 7 David Francke came from a long lineage of successful Augsburg printers. His father was

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on Vitruvius, Alberti, Drer, and Laurentii Sirigatti, among others. He also mentions Wenzel Jamnitzer, the south German engraver. The book is similarly dedicated to Philipp Heinhofer (also written as Hainhofer, Ainhofer or Hannhofer). Michelspacher records that he collected texts from Thurn, Strassburg and Nuremburg: cities which, along with Augsburg and the Tyrol, had provided a harbour during the sixteenth century for dissident Protestants of a Spiritualist tendency, including groups of Paracelsians. The name Pacher originates in south Tyrol and is still a common name in the Alto Adige of the present day; but it does not originate historically in any one particular family, being rather a generic name for any kind of wayfaring load-bearer. By the fifteenth century, numerous unrelated families of this name had moved to Brunico from the surrounding valleys. It is intriguing in the present context, however, that the famous painter Friedrich Pacher (c. 14351508) and the sculptor Michael Pacher (c.1437-1498), both of Tyrolean origins although seemingly unrelated, had introduced the Italian single-point perspective system into Austrian art an aesthetic and mathematical interest which their namesake Michelspacher continued into the early seventeenth century8. It is even possible that he adopted this surname as a pseudonym, for Klossowski de Rola mentions a rare first edition of the Cabala printed in 1615 in which the surname appears as Muschelspachen; however, no Austrian families of that name have been traced. The coat-of-arms refers only to the alchemical principles and is not a personal bearing9. Michelspachers Paracelsianism, which is evident from the Cabala , may account for his removal from the climate of the oppressive Jesuit CounterReformation in the Tyrol to the more tolerant atmosphere of Augsburg, where
Matthaus Francke (active 1559-1568) also known as Francus, who married Barbara Hofer, a card maker and letter writer. His printing house was in the Krughaus of the Steuerbezirk vom Newen Thor. Michael Manger (1570-1603) from Opferbaum near Wrzburg, married his widow in 1569 and inherited his printing works. Augsburg printers, working collectively under the sign Ad insigne Pinus, 1594-1619, included David Francke and Christoph Mang in 1603. This collective issued books in Greek and Latin. Its patrons were the Stadtpfleger Marcus Welser, rector of St. Annes gymnasium and the librarian David Hochsel. When Manger died in 1603, David Francke (1604-1625) continued the family business. Christoph Mang (1603-1624) had worked with Manger and probably continued to work for Francke. See Benzing, Buchdrckerlexikon des 16. Jhrs., 17, 18, 19, 20 and also Benzing, Buchdrcker des 16 und 17 Jhrs., passim. 8 For Friedrich Pacher see Neue Deutsche Biographie , 19, 746-48 and also Rasmo, Michael Pacher , 15ff, 245-46 for family trees. In 1467 Michael was working as a citizen of Bruneck (Brunico), but Rasmo thinks that his family probably came from one of the neighbouring valleys such as the German valley of Vila (Wielenbach), from where a Pacher family came as jewellers to settle in Brunico. Friedrich Pacher came from Novacella. Neither Friedrichs nor Michael Pachers coat of arms is related to the one in Michelspachers Pinax Micr. 9 Klossowski de Rola, The Golden Game, 52.

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the Paritt (1555-1618) provided equality for both Protestants and Roman Catholics. A free city, like the neighbouring Nuremberg, Augsburg had a long tradition of tolerating religious dissidence10. An immediate cause for Michelspachers transference to Augsburg could have been the Jesuit persecution of Adam Haslmayr, a vocal early promoter of the Rosicrucian Manifestos 12 . In the Tyrol the Counter-Reformation had been introduced by Peter Canisius in the early 1550s, and Jesuit houses were established at Graz, Innsbruck, Olomouc and other centres. With the death of Ferdinand I in 1595, the Tyrol had largely returned to Roman Catholicism (with the exception of the inaccessible mountains of the Vorarlberg)13. In spite of these repressions, a thriving network of Paracelsian alchemists existed in the Tyrol during the early seventeenth century. Carlos Gilly has examined the evidence of their interactions and has specifically identified Haslmayr, who lived in Heiligen Kreutz, as a central figure. Haslmayr polemicised against the Jesuits and printed a response to the Fama Fraternitatis in 1612, claiming that he had seen it in manuscript in the Tyrol in 161014. He believed that the Rosicrucians were the harbingers of Elias Artista, sent by God to spread the true theosophy by which he meant Paracelsianism. Haslmayr was an eschatologist, referring to the coming of the Lion (which Gilly has interpreted as a reference to the account of the Seven Seals in Revelation) and the imminent Judgment. From 1603, Haslmayr, like other Tyrolean Paracelsians 15, was pursued by the archduke Maximilian and the Jesuits. In 1618 the Jesuits accused Haslmayr of heresy, and Maximilian sent him to the galleys in 1623. Gilly notes that Tyrolean and Augsburgian alchemists corresponded with each other in this period, Paracelsian activity in Augsburg being centred on the Collegium Medicorum, which would have provided an accomodating milieu for Michelspacher. His artistic interests were placed, it appears, under the auspices of Philipp Hainhofer (1578-1647), an art-advisor and political agent for many of the major European courts. Michelspacher would have found Hainhofer to be in sympathy with his religious affiliations as well, for Hainhofer
Gottlieb et al, Geschichte der Stadt Augsburg, 392-411; Russell, Lay Theology, 114ff. See Evans, Making of the Habsburg Monarchy , 346-449 and Evans, Rudolf II and his World , 84-115. 13 A useful historical overview of this region is provided in Bucking, Kultur und Gesellschaft in Tirol um 1600 , passim. 14 The standard authority on this topic is Gilly, Adam Haslmayr, passim. According to Gilly, Haslmayr was a notary in Hall in Tyrol, having been formerly a Latin schoolmaster in Botzen. His musical compositions were published in Augsburg in 1592. 15 Gilly, Adam Haslmayr, 33ff. In 1605 Haslmayr was in contact with alchemists in Tyrol such as Lorenz Lutz, Georg Fuger, Urban Kumpfmuller, Armer Leutt, Bartholomaus Wietaller (Salzburg), Abraham Schnitzer and daughter Anna Maria Lacknerein (Innsbruck).
10 12

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belonged to a family of evangelicals associated with loosely-organised groups of pietistic laity who were critical of the Lutheran church. 16 The Hainhofer family had temporarily abandoned Augsburg in 1582-1591, in protest at the city councils adoption of the reformed papal calendar 17. In his work as an artagent, Hainhofer obtained substantial commissions for Augsburg artists; his most famous project was the art-cabinet for Duke Philipp II of PommernStettin, which involved twenty-four masters in the creation of a cosmic Wunderkammer including a pharmacy as well as art-works, books, clocks and musical instruments18. Hainhofers patronage was crucial to the survival of the citys artists, artisans and intellectuals, including Michelspacher. 19 The essence of Michelspacher s own theology and political position is displayed in the fourth and final engraving of the Cabala , which depicts a crowned figure seated in a fountain as Christ the philosophers stone, the goal of the alchemical process and the source of both spiritual and physical regeneration (fig. 4). He administers the communion of his own blood in two chalices to the Sun and Moon (Sulphur and Mercury), representing soul and body. Since wine was offered to the laity only in the reformed Church of this period, such an image indicates that Michelspacher was a Protestant. It is necessary, however, to ascertain the exact nature of Michelspacher s Protestant convictions, and more specifically that of his theology regarding Christs body and blood in the Eucharist as well as in his alchemical theory. In this context, it is necessary to consider a late medieval iconographic motif which appears at the top right of the same engraving, that of the cross-bearing Christ standing in a wine-press operated by an angel hovering over him. The blood that comes from the suffering body of Christ streams down the picture, to feed the fountain in which the resurrected Christ is seated as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity (as indicated by his crown). It is essential to note that the theme of the wine-press has its origins within the Roman Catholic discourse of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and, moreover, that by the sixteenth century it was being used in southern Germany and France as a manifesto of the dogma

16 For the evangelicals in Augsburg and Nuremberg see the account in Russell, Lay Theology in the Reformation , 25ff, 37, 41ff. 17 For Philipp Hainhofer (Ainhofer) see Neue Deutsche Biographie , 8, 524-25. 18 See Hausmann, Der Pommersche Kunstschrank, 337-52. Also Bruno Bushart, Kunst und Stadtbild in: Gottlieb, Geschichte der Stadt Augsburg, 382 ff. 19 Hainhofers correspondence with Herzog August of Braunschweig exists in 17 volumes in the Wolfenbttel Bibliothek und Staatsarchiv. In the Augsburger Stadtarchiv are his diaries from April 1632 to October 1635 (but this is too late to be relevant to the history of Hainhofers patronage of Michelspacher). Hainhofers writings were published variously from 1778 in Augsburg.

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Figure 1: Stefan Michelspacher, 1. Spiegel der Kunst und Natur, first engraving, Cabala, 1616.

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Figure 2: Stefan Michelspacher, 2. Anfang: Exaltation, second engraving, Cabala, 1616.

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Figure 3: Stefan Michelspacher, 3. Mittel: Coniunction, third engraving, Cabala, 1616.

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Figure 4: Stefan Michelspacher, 4. Endt. Multiplication, fourth engraving, Cabala, 1616.

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of transubstantiation against the Protestants20. Yet, in Michelspachers engraving the rite of communion is that of the Protestant denomination. How is this doctrinal contradiction between Protestant and Catholic belief to be understood in Michelspachers context? The most likely possibility is that these opposing eucharistic doctrines are reconciled through Michelspacher s adherence to the beliefs of the Paracelsian Spirituals, the third generation since the 1520s of dissidents who were more at odds with Lutheran orthodoxy than they were with Roman Catholicism. At the top left of Michelspachers engraving appears the Tetragrammaton, the Hebrew Name of God, shining in an aureole of light (fig. 4). Flying from the Mystic Wine Press towards the Tetragrammaton is the dove of the Holy Spirit, who thence descends to the Fountain of Life. The birds trajectory along with that of the stream of blood produce the shape of an equilateral triangle, whose apex lies in the Tetragrammaton, while the Fountain and Wine Press form the corners of its base. The scene is set within the semi-circle of a rainbow, while the Fountain is specifically located within a square vineyard that forms an enclosed garden or sanctum. The geometrical structure subtly created by the composition of these various images is that of a squared circle. This geometry of the fourth engraving is conceptually related to two other geometrical diagrams which appear in the first engraving, displaying the same configuration of circle, square and triangle (fig. 1). In the earlier engraving the diagram is stated to be an image of the Paracelsian Azoth, the alchemical and cosmological quintessence, which Heinrich Khunrath (1560-1605) had already equated with Christ in his Amphiteatrum Sapientiae Aeternae (Hamburg, 1595)21 . In Khunraths Amphiteatrum his gnostic pneumatology had been exhibited in a circular engraving of Christ (1595), shown as resurrected in his glorified physical body. In this image Christs grace was dispersed through the whole of a cabbalistic universe by the fiery dove of the Holy Spirit. Within a later recThe issue is examined in Vloberg, LEucharistie dans lArt, 172-183. See the discussion of Khunraths theosophy in Szulakowska, The Alchemy of Light , 79137. Khunraths gnosticism led to his political persecution. The primary model for his own system was the kabbalism of Johannes Reuchlin in his De Verbo Mirifico in which Christ was identified with the cabbalistic sephiroth of the Ruah-Elohim, the creative principles of the material universe. Khunrath amplified Reuchlins cabbalistic Christology by taking recourse to Paracelsus and Weigel. Thus, Christ, the Ruah-Elohim, also became the Paracelsian azoth, the fifth essence which is both spiritual and material in nature. Khunrath refers to the RuahElohim as being the Christ who redeemed creation through the sacrifice of his blood. See Khunrath, Vom Hylealischen Chaos , 75. He compares the philosophers stone to Christ who is the Paracelsian universal panacea in Khunrath, Von Hylealischen Chaos, 86-88. Christ is also identified with the Paracelsian Salt, the prime matter of creation.
20 21

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tangular image in the Amphiteatrum of 1602, which depicts Khunraths persecutors, one of the most demonic is captioned Blasphemat sit anathema maranatha22. The Aramaic word maranatha was associated with apocalyptic soteriology, as well as with the earliest Christian rites of the Eucharist. In 1 Corinthians 16:22, the exclamation maranatha accompanies pronouncements of anathema against any non-believers who may be present at the communion rite. For the early Christians it was a prayer for the Parousia, the Second Coming of Christ, Come Lord! Paul was thereby referring to the punishment awaiting the unbeliever on the Last Day 23. In Khunraths Spiritualist context his reference to the misuse of the word maranatha expresses a criticism of both the Roman and the Lutheran sacraments, which were merely external signs but did not effect a genuine spiritual renewal in the body and soul of the recipient. Both churches perpetrated an unpardonable offence against the Holy Spirit, a blasphemous action which destined them to eternal perdition24. Apocalyptic terminology thus enabled Paracelsian alchemists to justify their own soteriological beliefs, and permitted them to threaten with divine punishment their religious and political foes. Andr Sguenny has recently offered a particularly clear analysis of the first Spirituals of the 1520s-1530s who were opposed to Luther while continuing to reject the Roman Church. They required a personalised religion to supersede that of the Lutheran church, for the inadequacies of which they found a solution in the Catholic humanism rejected by Luther himself25. Like Erasmus, the Spirituals rejected Luthers definition of humanity as an essentially abject creation distanced inexorably from a Wholly Other God. Instead the Spirituals divinised human nature and made it into an integral part of Gods own Being, destined to return to Him through union with the Christ-Logos already existant within the human soul. The power of the Transcendent Spirit awakened and quickened the soul to the renewal of its pristine holiness. Christs redemptive role for the Spirituals lay in the fact that he exemplified the perfect man; his bloody sacrifice on the cross was pushed into the background. In accordance with this, the Spirituals rejected the sacraments of the church as not essential to salvation (Erasmus himself, as well, had been indifferent to these rites). Nor was the Spirituals concept of the Holy Spirit the same as that of the Lutherans, for whom he was the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. The Spirituals, in contrast, rationalised the Spirit into an interior metaphysical force, an impersonal Transcendence, which transformed the sinner
22 23 24 25

See Szulakowska, The Alchemy of Light , fig. 35 at top right. Wainwright, Eucharist and Eschatology, 60. Szulakowska, The Alchemy of Light , 139-149. Sguenny, Les Spirituels, passim.

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into the new man, Gods self-generated son: like Christ, and not a lesser creation. Sguenny argues that the Spirituals were developing an existentialist philosophy rather than a religion with tenets of belief, and he distinguishes their rationalising religion from the spontaneous mystical insight described in the Theologia Germanica . In addition to Sguenny, I would suggest that the intermediary between these early Erasmian-influenced Spirituals such as Jrg Hauck, Hans Denck and Sebastian Franck and the Paracelsian Spirituals of the 1580s to 1620s was Caspar Schwenckfeld (1489-1561): it was he who enabled them to reconsider the doctrine of transubstantiation in the communion rite. As a result of their encounter with Paracelsian alchemical models of transmutation, later Spirituals such as Khunrath, Michelspacher, Boehme and Frankenberg restored the soteriological role of the Eucharistic rite in varying degrees. Certainly it is clear that by the late sixteenth century certain Paracelsians had come to understand the Eucharist in terms of a metaphysical chemistry aided by the astral virtues of Nature, not by the Holy Spirit alone. Of course this was not an entirely new concept: comparable ideas can be found in the fourteenth century in the work of Arnald of Villanova, in the Rosarium Philosophorum , as well as in the Aurora Consurgens of the early fifteenth century, which also referred to the Last Judgement 26. These earlier alchemists, however, had used the iconography of the Eucharist to devise for themselves a parallel transmutational rite in which their chemicals were changed in a manner comparable to the transubstantiation of the communion bread. The ritual of the Roman mass enabled them to prove that it was possible to unite Nature with God. The scope of the Paracelsian Eucharist, in contrast, was far more ambitious. In the early sixteenth century the notion of an alchemical mass in which matter was glorified as to become part of the body of Christ was hazarded tentatively by Melchior Cibinensis of Hungary, a Protestant courtier at the Imperial court who lost his life for his beliefs27. His alchemical ritual ended inconclusively before the moment of transubstantiation. Some of the later Paracelsians did produce a full alchemical communion in which the alchemist himself was transmuted into the essence of Christ. Such a heretical concept reached its fullest development in the work of Jacob Boehme (1575-1624)28 and Abraham von
26

See von Franz, Aurora Consurgens, 390-392. Also Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, 374-

375.
27 Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, 396 nt 157. Melchior Cibinensis was the same person as Nicolaus Melchior Szebeni, chaplain and astrologer at the court of King Ladislas II from 1490. Cibinensis remained with Louis II from 1516 until 1526, when he moved to the court of Ferdinand I in Vienna, where he was executed in 1531. 28 For example, Boehme, Von Christi Testamenten in: Samtliche Schriften, 6, no pag.

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Frankenberg (1593-1652)29 where it attained a cosmological significance in which both man and Nature realised their monistic identity with God. In fact, Frankenbergs best known work, Raphael das ist Einheiliges Licht Artzeney (1639), was a cryptic and indirect alchemical disquisition on the thaumaturgic powers of the spiritual Eucharist Furthermore I would suggest that the spiritual Eucharist is also the half-concealed but actually central theme of Robert Fludds Medicina Catholica (Frankfurt: William Fitzer 1629-31). Schwenckfelds influence may have encouraged the Paracelsian Spirituals to restore the doctrine of transubstantiation, although they did not reaffirm the sacramental authority of the Lutheran church, the rituals of which most of them regarded as redundant. Schwenckfelds beliefs concerning transubstantiation extended its doctrinal logic into an astonishing heresy: he believed that Christ had been entrusted by God with the transformation of the carnal human body into his own resurrected and glorified body, a union in which everyman became God himself 30. A more specifically identifiable intermediary between early Spirituals and Paracelsian alchemists was Valentin Weigel (1535-1588): the first Spiritual to adopt Paracelsian hermeticism. He identified both God and the individual soul with the Universal Soul of Nature. Moreover, he stated in his Gnothi Seauton (Know Thyself (1571) that if the sacrifice of Christ was to be of any use, then the vita Christi had to occur within the soul itself, since Christus extra nos non salvat31 . In the Kirchen- oder Hauss-Postill (1578-1579) he argued, like the other Spirituals, that humans were not merely the adopted children of God but his real offspring, in that they were joined with Christ somatikos, leibhfftig: having his flesh and blood within them. Weigel retained the sacraments while believing, like Sebastian Franck, that they had become corrupted. As in Schwenkfelds and Khunraths Spiritualism, it is the eternal glorified Christ within the soul rather than the historical Christ crucified who is the essential factor in Michelspacher s soteriology. In order to clarify this point, Michelspachers engraving can be usefully compared with Lucas Cranachs (1472-1553) illustrations of Lutheran Christology, and more specifically with Cranachs emphasis on the historic Christ and his redeeming blood in the main altarpiece of the State Church in Weimar. In comparison, Michelspacher depicts his cross-bearing Christ as a tiny figure, hidden away at the top right of

Crisp, Abraham von Frankenberg , 3-7. Corpus Schwenckfeldianorum , 6, 554: durch welche solche verclerung nu nichtss anderss weder die gottwerdung des menschens in Christo/ unnd gegleubt werdenn. 31 Weigel, Kirchen- oder Hauss-Postill in: Peuckert and Zeller, Valentin Weigel: Smtliche Schriften, 17, 57, 232, 287.
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his engraving. In assessing the Christology of the Paracelsians it may be noted in addition that, apart from this one instance, the Passion of Christ is never depicted in late Renaissance German alchemy. In contrast, some earlier alchemical illustrators of the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries had ventured to use the icon of Christ on the cross, as seen most specifically in Das Buch der Heiligen Dreifltigkeit which had appeared in the southern German areas in the 1420s32. Despite the heretical appearance of this eccentric treatise, Obrist has demonstrated that its theology was completely conventional, designed as a rhetorical political tool. In short, the sheer absence of scenes from Christs Passion in later Paracelsian alchemy may amplify the evidence that its origins lay in the context of religious groups alienated from institutionalised dogma. Another well-known alchemical image which has been frequently mentioned by historians for its eucharistic allusions appears in Michael Maiers Symbola Aureae Mensae Duodecim Nationum (Frankfurt: Luca Jennis 1617). It illustrates an unorthodox Lutheran mass in its earliest form, still quite similar in its rites to that of the Roman Church. Maier (1568-1622) had commissioned this illustration to accompany the alchemical treatise of Cibinensis, who had displayed his Protestant affiliations by dedicating his work to the saving reformation of the church. Maiers own religious beliefs were never clearly stated in his treatises, but they must have been coloured by Paracelsian eschatology, as is suggested by his supportive commentary on the Rosicrucian Manifestos in his Themis Aurea (1618). It was surely a daring act on Maiers part to print the treatise of an alchemist who had been condemned for heresy by the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I in 1531. The eschatological context in Maiers engraving is provided by the image of the Virgin Mary suckling her new-born son. This motif implies that the Eucharistic host, elevated by the priest in the picture, contains the Real Presence of Christ, although not according to the Roman doctrine of transubstantiation. In Luthers understanding of the Eucharist there was a communicatio idiomatum which was the effect of the ubiquity of Christs physical humanity by virtue of the ubiquity of his divinity. Hence, in the Eucharist Christs body co-existed with that of the bread and wine. Equally significant is the fact that Maiers image of the Virgin corresponds to that of the Apocalyptic Virgin in the book of Revelation (12:1-6, 13-16), which describes the vision of a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars, who gives birth to a male child. The dragon who pursues her is doomed to be crushed under her feet. Lutherans interpreted this
32 See Obrist, Les dbuts de limagerie alchimique , 142ff on the Nuremberg manuscript and figs. 17, 18, 20, 21, 26, 34.

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female figure as the Reformed Church, the forerunner of the New Jerusalem, pregnant with the true faith whose persecutor, the dragon, was the Roman Church. The Catholic interpretation, conversely, held that she was the Virgin Mary, the new Eve, who bore the Messiah and was, thus, the mother of the one true Apostolic Church. In Maiers context, moreover, she could be manifesting on behalf of the Paracelsian Spirituals as a warning of impending judgment, evoking mentally the eucharistic cry maranatha against the non-elect in the Lutheran church. Maiers apocalyptic Eucharist may serve to interpret the second engraving of Michelspacher s Cabala, which also clearly derives its visual terminology from the book of Revelation (fig. 2). It depicts a beast that, at one level, symbolises the alchemical prime matter. At another level, however, it is related icongraphically to Lutheran engravings of the papal Antichrist. Among orthodox Lutherans the obsession with the Last Days and the Second Coming had been brought to a feverish pitch by Luther and the first generation of the reformers33. Eschatologists influenced by Melanchthons humanistic curiosity drew on evidence from history to complement biblical prophecy, but also on astrology, mathematics, occultism and alchemy34. Such information was made available by the enormous growth of the publishing industry in centres such as Strassburg, Nuremberg and Augsburg 35. Barnes has argued that, in fact, Luthers theology was by its very nature eschatological and apocalyptic 36. In Luthers view, since Germany had failed to keep the true faith, the heavy punishment of God was imminent 37. The Antichrist had been identified by Luther with the Papacy whose triple crown was transposed to the Whore of Babylon (Revelation 17: 1-7) in the Wittenberg Bible of 1522. The standard apocalyptic iconography of the Reformation period did not develop according to the model of Albrecht Drers apocalyptic engravings (1498) but, emerging from Luthers social circle, was created primarily by Lucas Cranach in his woodcuts of the Passional Christi und Antichristi (1521) and his illustrations for Luthers Septembertestament(1522). Rome was cast as Babylon and the Papacy as the Beast from the bottomless pit (Revelation 11: 7)38. Michelspachers Beast is more heterogeneous than Cranachs in that it
33 34 35

Barnes, Prophecy and Gnosis , 2ff. Barnes, Prophecy and Gnosis, 72-73, 79, 87. Chrisman, Lay Culture, Learned Culture , passim, and Eisenstein, The Printing Press, pas-

sim. Barnes, Prophecy and Gnosis, 39ff. Barnes, Prophecy and Gnosis , 60-66. 38 John Huss and Savanarola had identified the Pope with Antichrist for moral reasons, rather than on the basis of historical evidence. See also Martin, Martin Luther und die Bilder zur Apokalypse , 100-108.
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conflates four characters from Revelation, that is to say, the two Beasts from the Sea and the Earth (in Lutheran tradition the Turks and the Pope respectively), the dragon who pursues the Apocalyptic Virgin (the Roman Church) and the Whore of Babylon (the Papacy). This startling creature wears a papal crown, a set of dragon-like feet and tail, and cows udders and horns. A womans face belching hell-fire completes this winsome ensemble. The apocalyptic references of the Cabala s second engraving imply that the fourth engraving should be read within the same context. This last scene expounds a more specific text than that of Christ as the Philosophers Stone, or even of the alchemical process as equivalent to the eucharistic ritual. In actual fact, Michelspachers treatise pictures nothing less than the feast celebrating the wedding of the Messiah to the New Jerusalem at the Parousia, to which the Heavenly Bridegroom invites the elect (Revelation 19: 7-9). The question arises: who are these elect in Michelspachers own soteriology? Are these images a general reference to the broader political problems of the Lutheran church, or can they be read still more precisely so as to reveal the political divisions within the Protestant community itself? For example, in the second engraving the Beast lashes with his tail at six stars: at the first level of signification these indicate the lower metals, while at the head of this picture stands the five-pointed star of the alchemical quintessence, the azoth. In the first chapter of Revelation the dragon is described as sweeping away the stars with his tail39. The text states that the seven stars are angels of the seven churches (Revelation 1: 20), that is to say the communities of the faithful who alone have merited the real presence of Christ. Perhaps Michelspacher was alluding to communities of Paracelsians threatened by the Counter-Reformation in his native Tyrol, rather than to the general Lutheran unease of the period. Visual evidence favours this suggestion, since it indicates that Michelspacher s apocalypticism was distinct from that of Melanchthons sanctioned followers, his own iconography being mediated rather by Paracelsian sources. For example, an image similar to that of the Beast in the Cabala appears on the frontispiece to the first edition of Paracelsus commentary on the Nuremberg Figures published in 1569 in Basle (fig. 5; these were anonymously produced apocalyptic images of a political character dating from the early sixteenth century) 40. Moreover, the design of the seven stars in Michelspachers engraving of the Beast is closely related to a scene of the seven planets on the frontispiece of Paracelsuss Practicagemacht auf Europen (Nu39 Beale, Johns Use of the Old Testament in Revelation , 105ff on the dragon and the seven lampstands (i.e., churches). Lampstands and stars are equated in Revelation 1: 20. 40 See Sudhoff, Paracelsus: Samtliche Werke, 12, xi-xiii and figs. 2.

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Figure 5. Paracelsus, Auslegung der Figuren, so zu Nurnberg gefunden, 1st ed., Basle: Peter Perna, 1569.

Figure 6. Paracelsus, Practica...gemacht auf Europen, Nuremberg: Alexander Weyssenborn, 1529.

remberg 1529), a frequently reprinted compendium of his astrological predictions (fig. 6)41 . The other two engravings in Michelspacher s Cabala superficially appear to carry references only to practical laboratory work. Nonetheless, visual priority over such pragmatic concerns is given to elaborate geometrical figures which relate immediately to the fourth engraving of Christ. These geometries are Michelspachers cabala: in this period the term could refer to any system of mathematical and geometrical calculation, not only to that of the Jewish tradition. They also carry eschatological meanings. In the first engraving (fig. 1), two diagrams are set within a large rectangle, the circle on the left referring to azoth, the quintessence or Christ, while the circle on the right records the alchemical principles and their location among the liberal arts according to a Lullian model. It is the more obscure lettering, half-hidden in the opaque background around the edges of the rectangle, however, which is most significant in these figures. At the four corners capital letters form the word GOTT, while additional letters in the middle of the rectangle form an A within an
41

Sudhoff, Paracelsus: Smtliche Werke, 7, 40ff, figs.12, 12a, 13.

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O. Below this appears Michelspacher s personal mongram in the form of the entwined letters M, L, P, S, equivalent to M[iche]L SP[acher]. The A O of course refer to Revelation 1: 8 (I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, theAlmighty). The same theme is encountered in Revelation 1: 17, when Christ says of himself I am the first and the last, and again in Revelation 22: 13: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. AO is a latinisation of the name of God YHWH42. The third engraving of the Cabala also appears to indicate a purely alchemical context, that of the conjunction (fig. 3). It shows the seven planets standing on the sides of a mountain at whose heart is concealed a phoenix, symbolising resurrection, perched on the roof of a summer-house. Within this dwelling sit the naked king and queen of the alchemical process. Outside, at the foot of the mountain, a blind man stands helpless at the bottom right, while a man who has sight catches rabbits. The kabbalistic elements of Michelspachers treatise do not refer to the Hebrew kabbalah itself but to other historic computational systems, in this case that of pseudo-Lullian alchemy and of astrology. Hence the cabbalistic content of this particular image, in fact, consists of the circle of the Zodiac around the mountain, although the constellations do not appear in their natural order of procession. Instead they are grouped in pairs, so as to represent the conjunction of the opposing elements. The apocalyptic content of this third engraving is signified by the figure of Mercury, whose position at the summit of the mountain signifies his perfection as the azoth, in itself a combination of matter and spirit. He is standing within the fountain and garden enclosure which reappear in the fourth engraving: a clear equation with the apocalyptic Christ. The combination of the mountain and the blind and sighted men could be another reference to political problems in Michelspacher s native Tyrol for those who claim to have gnosis or inner vision. In Revelation 21: 10 the city of the New Jerusalem descends onto a great mountain, a vision derived from Ezekiel 40: 2 of the cosmic mountain where heaven and earth meet, and of Paradise (Ezekiel 28:14). The images of miners within mountain caves in the first engraving may be another allusion to the same Tyrolean political context. Silver miners from Saxony had settled in Austria where they had proved to be a particularly receptive audience for evangelical preachers proclaiming both spiritualised forms of belief and a church run by a lay apostolate. There is yet another cryptogram hidden within the second and third engravings of the Cabala, namely, the letters VWIWV which stand for Unser
42

Bauckham, Theology of the Book of Revelation , 27ff.

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Wasser ist Wasser Unser. This old alchemical axiom is christianised within the apocalyptic discourse of the Cabala and now carries connotations of the text of John 4: 14: Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst: but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The water is that of baptism as well as of the eucharistic wine. St. Paul in I Corinthians 11: 27-34 and II Corinthians 5: 10 regards the Eucharist as a projection of the Last Judgment which partly fulfills and strengthens the promise of judgment and pardon received in baptism. In the fourth engraving, Christ is enthroned in a baptismal font, labelled Der Brn des Lebens. Baptism redeems through the Holy Spirit that descends from the risen Christ, but Michelspacher s image could be referring to a personal transformation rather than to the institutionalised rite 43. For it must be remarked that the image of the vineyard of the fourth engraving not only promises the bliss of salvation but also has an additional and much darker, indeed menacing, aspect. This is the threat of perdition for the non-elect, which becomes apparent when Michelspacher s picture is recontextualised within the narrative of Revelation 14: 17-20 concerning the gathering and pressing of the grapes. The wine-press signifies punishment inflicted on the unjust and unfaithful. In the book of Revelation the vintage is part of the narrative of the congregation of the kings of the earth and their armies at the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16: 12-14), and of the subsequent judgement of the nations at the Parousia (Revelation 19: 15) 44. Those who survive Armageddon are welcomed by the banquet of which the Eucharist is an anticipation, as a soteriological covenant proclaimed at the time of the Last Supper for example, in Luke 22: 20 This cup is the new covenant in my blood. In John 6: 54 Christ states he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day. The theme is subsequently reiterated by St. Paul. The Old Testament, moreover, had also used an image of feasting for the chosen of God, for example, in II Baruch 29: 5, in a description of the eschaton: on each vine there shall be a thousand branches, and each branch shall produce a thousand clusters, and each cluster shall produce a thousand grapes, and each grape shall produce a
The New Jerusalem includes the water of life, cf. Revelation 22: 1-2. Another alchemical interpretation of the VWIWV is in a commentary by an anonymous author appended to Frankenbergs Raphael , ed. pr. in Amsterdam 1706, 45: Unser Wasser ist Wasser Unser: ein himlisch Wasser/ ein Wasser des Lebens: ein Schlisch Wasser/ welchem alle Geister lieben. .. Es kommet nur aus einem Einzigen Brnnen auf das Erden/ so da lieget an einem heimlichen Ort in Judea: und hat einen so grossen Aussfluss/ das sein Wasser ber die gantze Welt fleust/ und jederman behalt. The text depicts three geometric symbols: circle, triangle, square, as well as their tabulation, and is entitled De aqua V W+WV sapientum. 44 Bauckham, The Theology of the Book of Revelation , 96-98.
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cor of wine. And those who have hungered shall rejoice45 In Michelspachers engraving, another symbol of the sacramental covenant is the rainbow around the throne, which recalls Gods promise to Noah in Genesis 9: 13, reiterated in Revelation 4: 3, where John sees around the throne of the Lamb a rainbow like an emerald in appearance. A close examination of the two people kneeling before Christ brings to mind other apocalyptic elements. For example, there are the joyous connotations of the Marriage Feast of Cana, another prefiguration of the Last Supper, the changing of water into wine, and a symbol of the feast on the Last Day. Lying on the ground between the couple are three crowns, symbolising the three principles of salt, mercury and sulphur but also recalling the castingdown of their crowns by the twenty-four elders in the first chapter of Revelations. The male and female figures are also reminiscent of the two witnesses in Revelation 11: 3-13, who are martyred and resurrected, and ascend to heaven after three and a half days. This accords with the alchemical process in which the prime materials are considered to be tortured and resurrected, since only mortification can purify matter sufficiently to permit its union with the spirit. Finally, the happy pair is depicted as the elect among metals. The other five, like the Foolish Virgins in Christs parable of the Parousia, are rejected and remain below the earth in purgatory. They wait, heads bent, pleading for the purifying fire of the Holy Spirit and offering the alchemical bellows to Christ who does not acknowledge their presence. In this image, Christ is the Logos whose sacraments are an inner enlightenment reserved for an elite group. The Lutheran concern with eschatology had triggered a huge revival of astrological interest in Germany in the mid-sixteenth century, and Michelspachers alchemical apocalypse should be located within this context. From the outset even Luther had had to accept certain aspects of astrology since, according to Luke 21: 25, Christ had stated that the first signs of the end would appear in the sun, moon and stars. Moreover, by the 1530s the astrological predictions of Paracelsus were widely dispersed. Paracelsus had foretold that one Elias Artista would appear to reform the arts and sciences, and the Paracelsians had seen in the new star of 1604 the harbinger of his advent46. The quintessential star in the Cabalas second engraving could be a reference to this phenomenon, modelled on treatises such as those of Paul Nagel of Leipzig, a Paracelsian chiliast in his Himmels Zeichen. Grosse Conjunctiones Planetarum superiorum, und neuer Wunderstern, so Anno 1604 (Hall in Sachsen 1605) and in his Catoptromantia Physica (Leipzig 1610). Nagel
45 46

Wainwright, Eucharist and Eschatology , 19-22. Barnes, Prophecy and Gnosis, 216-19.

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stated that in order to read the heavens correctly, it was necessary to know mathematics, medicine, scripture, the biblical prophets, such as Daniel and Ezekiel, as well as Revelation. Moreover, only the elect who understood apocalyptic astronomy would be saved at the eschaton. More specific references to these astrological predictions may also exist in the second engraving of the Cabala , where there appears an obscure arrangement of astral constellations, the water signs being governed by Capricorn representing earth, the water signs by Leo representing fire, while the air signs are ruled by Taurus whose element is earth (fig. 2). They are joined together by a geometrical triangle in whose corners are placed the signs for sulphur, mercury and materia. The traditional alchemical reference would be to the circulation of the elements whereby they are transmuted into their opposites, but there could also be present here an apocalyptic meaning. In this case, the inverted triangle of the elemental stars cuts into the body of the papal Beast. In astrology such trigonal astrological alignments traditionally heralded doom for the established order. In Michelspachers picture, the large star of the quintessence has the form of an (albeit irregular) geographical compass. If north is at the top, then from its southern region the star showers the fiery south wind onto the alchemical flask and through the constellations onto the Beast 47. There had been one such trigonal governed by the fiery constellations and planets in 1584, and it had had caused enormous excitement. Eustachius Poyssel in Die Schlussel David, Esaie: 22, Apocalip: 3 (1594) and in Die Braut dess Lambs, Das Himmlische Newe Jerusalem (1591) had predicted more ominous trigons for the early seventeenth century. Other apocalyptic prophecies issued in the same period as the Cabala were those of Johann Faulhaber of Ulm, many of whose students were from Switzerland and Austria. His Himlische gehaime Magia Oder Newe Cabalistische Kunst (Nuremberg, 1613) was succeeded by a pro-Rosicrucian treatise, Mysterium arithmeticum (1615). Faulhabers apocalyptic Rosicrucianism was emulated by David Meders Iudicium Theologicum von Brderschafft des Rosen Creutz (1616). A slightly earlier source for the eschatological messianism of the original Rosicrucian Manifestos was Simon Studions Naometria (New Measurement) of 1604 in which he employed Poyssels analytical methods in dating the Parousia for 162348. Michelspacher dedicated the 1616 edition of his treatise to the Rosy Cross Fraternity, and the influence of such apocalyptic mathematicians and astrologers on his work is undeniable.
47 In the Aurora Consurgens the south wind is fiery, like the alchemical fire, and so is the Holy Spirit; see von Franz, Aurora Consurgens, 386. 48 Studions Mss is in the Wrttemberger Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart, and there is a facsimile of the manuscript in the Warburg Library, London.

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In conclusion, the apocalyptic symbology in Michelspachers Cabala represents a judgment on those who are not united with Christ within the soul but only within the empty formulas of external ritual. In both Roman and Lutheran dogma the sacraments of Baptism and of the Eucharist were integrally related, the water of life being the blood of Christ. The Eucharist in particular was considered to be an instance of election through the grace of the Holy Spirit. Michelspacher s Paracelsian eschatology had further narrowed down the criteria for the elect, by demanding from them a personal knowledge of the Holy Spirit experienced in the regeneration of both body and soul. Hence, the theme of the fourth engraving of the Cabala is not only salvation and transformation, but also judgement on the rejected among both the Lutherans and the Roman Catholics.
Urszula Szulakowska, lecturer in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds, is engaged in research into the history of alchemical illustration, with specific interest in the late Renaissance period and the twentieth century.

Bibliography
Barnes, Robin Bruce, Prophecy and Gnosis: Apocalypticism in the Wake of the Lutheran Reformation , Stanford University Press 1988. Bauckham, Richard, The Climax of Prophecy: Studies in the Book of Revelation , Edinburgh : T&T Clark 1993. Beale, G.K., Johns Use of the Old Testament in Revelation , Sheffield Academic Press 1998. Benzing, Josef, Buchdruckerlexikon des 16. Jhrs (Deutsche Sprachgebiet), Frankfurt a.M.: Vittorio Klostermann 1952. , Die Buchdrucker des 16. und 17. Jhrs. im Deutschen Sprachgebiet, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz 1963. Boehme, Jacob, Von Christi Testamenten, in: Smtliche Schriften/ Jacob Boehme (ed. W.-E. Peuckert), Vol. 6, Stuttgart: Frommanns Verlag 1957. Bucking, Jurgen, Kultur und Gesellschaft in Tirol um 1600 : des Hippolytus Guarinonius Grewel der Verwstung menschlichen Geschlechts (1610) als kulturgeschichtliche Quelle des frhen 17. Jahrhunderts , (Historische Studien 401), Lbeck : Matthiesen 1968 Chrisman, Miriam U., Lay Culture, Learned Culture: Books and Social Change in Strasbourg, 1480-1599 , New Haven, London 1982. Crisp, Stephen (trans. and ed.), Abraham von Frankenberg: A Warning against the Deceit of setting up Mans Reason as Judge in Spiritual Matters (1646), London 1677. Eisenstein, Elizabeth L., The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformations in Early-Modern Europe , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1979. Evans, R.J.W., The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1550-1700 : An Interpretation, Oxford: Clarendon Press 1979. , Rudolf II and his World: A Study in Intellectual History, 1576-1612 , Oxford: Oxford University Press 1973. Faulhaber, Johann, Himlische gehaime Magia, oder newe Cabalistische Kunst und Wunderrechnung vom Gog und Magog-Darauss die Weisen ... heimlich observieren und fleissig aussrechnen mgen, die Beschaffenheit dess grossen Christenfeindts Gog und Magogs, etc., Nuremberg 1613 .

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, Mysterium arithmeticum , Nuremberg 1615. Fludd, Robert, Medicina catholica, seu, Mysticum artis medicandi sacrarium: In tomos diuisum duos. In quibus metaphysica et physica tam sanitatis tuendae, quam morborum propulsandorum ratio pertractatur, Frankfurt: William Fitzer 1629-31. Frankenberg, Abraham von, Raphael oder Artzt Engel , Amsterdam: Jacob von Felsen 1706. Franz, Marie-Louise von (ed. and comm.) and Hull, R.F.C. and Glover, A.S.B., Aurora Consurgens: A Document attributed to Thomas Aquinas on the Problem of Opposites in Alchemy. A Companion Work to C.G. Jungs Mysterium Coniunctionis, New York: Pantheon 1996. Gilly, Carlos, Adam Haslmayr: Der erste Verknder der Manifeste der Rosenkreuzer, Amsterdam: In der Pelikaan 1994. Gottlieb, Gnther et al. (eds.), Geschichte der Stadt Augsburg: 2000 Jahre von der Rmerzeit bis zur Gegenwart, Stuttgart : Konrad Theiss Verlag 1985. Blendinger, Friedrich, Hainhofer, Philipp, in: Neue Deutsche Biographie, Vol. 7, 524-25. Hartranft, Chester David and Johnson, Elmer Ellsworth Schultz (eds), Corpus Schwenckfeldianorum , Vol. 6, Leipzig : Breitkopf & Hrtel 1922. Hausmann, T, Der Pommersche Kunstschrank, Das Problem der inneren Aufbaues, in: Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschichte, 22 (1959), 337-52. Jung, Carl Gustav, Psychology and Alchemy (Collected works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 12), London: Routledge 1993. Khunrath, Heinrich, Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae solius verae : christiano-kabalisticum, divino-magicum, nec non physico-chymicum, tertriunum, catholicon / instructore Henrico Khunrath ... Accessit Iam noviter, diu desiderata, explicatio singularis, eiusdem autoris P. M. qua novem tabulae in aes incisae dilucide explicantur, & ita tractantur ut singulis diebus, una saltem periodo observata, totum opus amphitheatri unius anni spacio absolvi, & memoriter infigi possit., Hamburg: no printer given 1595. , Vom Hylealischen das ist pri-materialischen oder algemeinen naturlichen Chaos, Magdeburg: J. Schmeidt for Johann Francken 1616. Klossowski de Rola, Stanislas, The Golden Game: Alchemical Engravings of the Seventeenth Century, London: Thames & Hudson 1988. Martin, Peter, Martin Luther und die Bilder zur Apokalypse, Die Ikonographie der Illustrationen zur Offenbarung des Johannes in der Lutherbibel 1522 bis 1546 , Hamburg: Wittig 1983. Michelspacher, Stefan, Cabala: Speigel der Kunst und Natur, British Library MS Sloane 3676, 1-36. , Cabala: Speculum Artis et Naturae, in Alchymia e Germanico Latnio (sic) versa a strenuo sapientiae cultore, Augsburg: Andreas Erffurt 1654. , Pinax microcosmographicus hoc est Admirandae Partium Hominis Creaturam Divinarum praestantissimi Universarum Fabricae, Historica brevis at perspicua Enarratio, Microcosmico tabulis sculpto aeneis Catoptro lucidissimo, explicationis vice addita, Impensisque; maximis Stephani Michelspacheri Tirolensis, Augsburg: no publisher given 1615. , Opera das ist Grndliche doch Kurze Anzeigung Wie Nothwendig die Lobliche Kunst der Geometriae sive inn derPerspectiv, Augsburg: David Francke 1616. Nagel, Paul, Himmels Zeichen: Grosse Conjunctiones Planetarum superiorum, und neuer Wunderstern, so Anno 1604 , Hall in Sachsen 1605. , Catoptromantia physica. Divinatio ex speculo astrologico. Das ist: Grundlicher Bericht und naturliche Weissagung aus der ... umbwaltzung des kugelrunden himlischen Gewelbes und gestirneten Firmaments, etc . Leipzig: N. Nerlich 1610. Obrist, Barbara, Les dbuts de limagerie alchimique (XIVe-XVe siecles) , Paris: Le Sycomore 1982. Plieger, Cornelia, Friedrich Pacher, Neue Deutsche Biographie , Vol. 19, Berlin 1998, 746-48. Poyssel, Eustachius, Die Braut dess Lambs: Das Himmlische Newe Jerusalem, no place of publication given 1591.

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, Die Schlussel David, Esaie: 22, Apocalip: 3 , no place of publication given 1594. Rasmo, Nicolo, Michael Pacher, translated [from the Italian] by Philip Waley, London: Phaidon 1971. Russell, Paul A., Lay Theology in the Reformation: Popular Pamphleteers in Southwest Germany, 1521-1525 , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1986. Sguenny, Andr, Les Spirituels: philosophie et religion chez les jeunes humanistes allemands au seizime sicle, Baden-Baden, Bouxwiller: Editions Valentin Koerner 2000. Studion, Simon, Naometria, Warburg Library, London facsimile of MS in Wurttemberg Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart 1604. Sudhoff, Karl, Paracelsus: Smtliche Werke. Abteilung 1, Medizinische naturwissenschaftliche und philosophische Schriften, Vols. 7, 12, Mnchen: R. Oldenbourg 1922-31. Szulakowska, Urszula, The Alchemy of Light: Geometry and Optics in Late Renaissance Alchemical Illustration , Leiden, Boston & Kln: Brill Academic Publishers 2000. Vloberg, Maurice, LEucharistie dans lArt : ouvrage orn de 202 hliogravures; couvertures et hors-texte / enluminures de Robert Lanz, Grenoble, Paris: B. Arthaud 1946. Wainwright, Geoffrey, Eucharist and Eschatology, London: Epworth Press 1971. Weigel, Valentin, Kirchen- oder Hauss-Postill, in: Will-Erich Peuckert & Winfried Zeller (eds.), Valentin Weigel: Samtliche Schriften, Stuttgart: Friedrich Frommanns Verlag 196278. Apokalyptische Eucharistie und religise Dissidenz in Stefan Michelspachers Cabala: Spiegel der Kunst und Natur, in Alchymia (1616). Der vorliegende Beitrag handelt von der Ikonographie des alchemistischen Abendmahls im Kontext der deutschen Reformation und der damaligen lutherischen Eschatologie. In diesem Zusammenhang werden vier Kupferstiche analysiert, die unter dem Titel Spiegel der Kunst und Natur (Augsburg: David Francke 1616)die Kabbala von Stephan Michelspacher illustrieren: auf diesen Bildern werden nmlich die Endzeit im Sinne der Offenbarung des Johannes (Apokalypse) und das Erlsungswerk durch Jesu Christi Leib und Blut in paracelsischer Hinsicht dargestellt. Da der paracelsische Spiritualist Michelspacher wegen der jesuitischen Gegenreformation in Tirol als Ketzer betrachtet werden konnte, mag er in der toleranten Atmosphre von Augsburg eine Zuflucht gefunden haben. Man mu aber feststellen, da seine Abhandlung auch gegenber der lutherischen Kirche sehr kritisch ist. Darum werden im vorliegenden Beitrag die in Michelspachers Kabbala dargestellten religisen Gedanken eher mit den spiritualisten Strmungen der Schwenckfelder und Paracelsisten verglichen. Jene Auenseiter bildeten eine zweite und dritte Generation von Protestanten, die sowohl die lutherische Kirche, als auch die rmischkatholische Kirche verwarfen und einen unorganisierten Zusammenschlu von frommen Einzelnen frderten.

THE NEVERENDINGLY TOLD STORY: RECENT BIOGRAPHIES OF ALEISTER CROWLEY M ARCO P ASI
Martin Booth, A Magick Life: The Biography of Aleister Crowley. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2000. xv + 507 pp., 38 illustrations (ISBN 0-340-71805-6). Lawrence Sutin, Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley. New York: St. Martins Press, 2000. viii + 483 pp., 8 illustrations (ISBN 0-312-25243-9). Richard Kaczynski, Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley. Tempe: New Falcon Publications, 2002. 555 pp. (ISBN 1-561-84170-6).

On April 27, 1900, the poet and occultist W.B. Yeats wrote a letter to his friend Lady Gregory. He was worried about the feud which was then opposing the London members of the Second Order of the Golden Dawn (of whom he was one), and the head of the Order, S.L. MacGregor Mathers. The conflict, which was reaching its climax, would soon lead the Order to a schism, the first and most disruptive of a long series. In his letter, Yeats refers to Aleister Crowley, who was then siding with Mathers against the London members, as a person of unspeakable life1. When Yeats wrote his letter, Crowley was a young man of 25, and had as yet no public reputation of his own, either good or bad. The exact reason why Yeats (and probably other Second Order members) deemed his life to be so unspeakable has never been ascertained, although it had obviously something to do with a perceived immoral behaviour on Crowleys part. The story might have ended there, with this obscure young man disappearing from history again, after having gained, as his only claim to fame, the dubious honour of a dismissive, contemptuous remark from a future Nobel Prize-winning poet. Yet, since that letter was written, no less than ten authors have shown, in as many biographies of Crowley, that his life was anything but unspeakable, at least in the etymological sense of the word. They have implicitly demonstrated that there were indeed many things to say about him, and it has taken them several thousand pages to do it. Yeats was probably the first important public figure to despise Crowley and his attitudes, but by no means the last. It is in fact well known that Crowley, during his life, came to be the most hated and vilified man in his own country. Of course it is not the aim of this review to try to explain why and how this happened. This has rather been the main purpose of virtually all of his biographers. What is more interesting
1

Wade, The Letters of W.B. Yeats, 342. Aries Vol. 3, no. 2

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here is the fact that, more than half a century after his death (which occurred in 1947), and a century after Yeats letter, moral boundaries seem to have shifted to such an extent that Crowley does not seem to attract the same kind of public damnation that was levelled at him during his lifetime. It is perhaps telling that Crowley figured in 2002 in a top-100 list of greatest Britons, based upon a BBC poll. Although his ranking was not particularly high (a mere #73, between Henry V and Robert the Bruce), it is perhaps ironic that Yeats was not in the list at all2. It is not for us to judge the inherent value of Crowleys religious teachings. However, it seems evident that he has become, especially after his death, a very influential author for several contemporary manifestations of that religious phenomenon which Anglo-Saxon bookshops define somewhat vaguely as metaphysics, and is more precisely defined in the pages of this journal as Western esotericism. It is indeed a fact that he is today looked upon as a source of inspiration by many people in search of spiritual enlightenment and/ or instructions in magical practice. Thus, while during his life his books hardly sold and his disciples were never very numerous, nowadays all his important works are constantly in print, and the people defining themselves as thelemites (that is, followers of Crowleys new religion) number several thousands all over the world3. Furthermore, Crowleys influence over magically oriented new religious movements has in some cases been very deep and pervasive. It would be difficult to understand, for instance, some aspects of Anglo-Saxon neo-paganism and contemporary satanism without a solid knowledge of Crowleys doctrines and ideas. In other fields, such as poetry, alpinism and painting, he may have been a minor figure, but it is only fair to admit that, in the limited context of occultism, he has played and still plays a major role. His learning was, if not profound, certainly wide, he having received a standard upper middle-class education in British public schools and at Cambridge university. On the other hand, whatever ones judgment upon his morality and behaviour, he obviously did have some literary and intellectual genius.

The complete list is on BBCs website: www.bbc.co.uk/history/programmes/greatbritons/ list.shtml. It should be pointed out that Yeats was fully eligible, as the BBCs definition for the poll referred to anyone who was born in the British Isles, including Ireland; or anyone who lived in the British Isles, including Ireland, and who has played a significant part in the life of the British Isles. 3 The so-called Caliphate O.T.O. alone, the main group in the nebula of what may be defined as the Crowleyan movement, claims a world-wide membership of more than 3000 members. For the figure and a definition of Caliphate O.T.O., see Zoccatelli, LOrdo Templi Orientis in Italia, 111-116.
2

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All this can be summed up in the quite simple conclusion that Crowley, independently from his achievements or failures in other fields, should be considered, as far as the history of Western esotericism is concerned, as an important and influential author. Therefore, he certainly deserves more attention from scholars specialising in our field than he has received until now. This is not to deny that he has already been the object of some scholarly treatment here and there. For instance, Massimo Introvignes pioneering works should certainly be mentioned in this respect 4. Introvigne has done much to place Crowley correctly in the wider context of Anglo-Saxon occultism. But many interesting and important issues concerning his life and works have not been studied in depth so far and a considerable amount of research remains to be done5 . Elsewhere, I have reviewed at length the status quaestionis in Crowley studies, up to 1999 6. Of that general survey, this article may be considered an update and a complement. Actually, the new flood of biographical publications on Crowley was announced in 1998 by Roger Hutchinsons Aleister Crowley: The Beast Demystified, which appeared early enough to be included in my survey 7. This book could certainly not pretend to supersede John Symonds standard biography (as it is usually considered) 8, but it did make one single interesting addition to previous critical literature. Hutchinson, in fact, had found the Scotland Yard dossier on Crowley, of which many suspected the existence, but no one had as yet seen. Although Hutchinson fails, unfortunately, to indicate clearly the exact location of the document, he quotes extensively from it, thereby providing not only some interesting insight on why and how Crowleys activities were filed by British police, but also some answers as to his controversial connection with various secret services (especially during his American period, 19141919). As for the rest, Hutchinsons book does not really add much, and I think
4 I am referring particularly to Il Cappello del mago and Indagine sul satanismo, which include lengthy discussions on Crowley. 5 It should be noted nevertheless that a certain number of articles devoted to specific aspects of Crowleys life or works have already been published, although not all of them have a direct relevance for the field covered by Aries. Among the most interesting and relevant in this respect, we may mention here: Introvigne, Between Religion and Magic; Ryan, The Great Beast in Russia; Owen The Sorcerer and His Apprentice; Gilbert, Baphomet & Son ; and Starr Aleister Crowley: Freemason!. I have also published a book and an article on specific issues concerning Crowley, i.e. his relationship with politics, and his attitudes towards Christianity: Aleister Crowley e la tentazione della politica , and Lanticristianesimo in Aleister Crowley. 6 See Pasi, Aleister Crowley e la tentazione della politica , 25-31. 7 Apart from the works reviewed in the present article, the only relevant monograph on Crowley that has appeared after my book was published is Christian Bouchet, Aleister Crowley. I already reviewed the book in Politica Hermetica 15 (2001), 94-96. 8 Symonds, The Beast 666 .

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it actually leaves Crowleys figure, despite the books title, quite as mystifying as ever. Considering that the general public already had at its disposal Crowleys own autobiography, The Confessions 9, which runs to no less than 900 pages, and that the number of biographies devoted to him had already become very large indeed, it was hard to imagine that three new major biographies were about to appear. Yet, they are clearly the fruit of many years of research, and they invite an obvious comparison with John Symonds book. Naturally, therefore, we may wonder whether any of them has succeeded in superseding it. The authors task was admittedly not easy, because Symonds book, fifty years after its first edition and despite its obvious flaws, has well stood the test of time. It is certainly true that Symonds biography has a certain number of problems, which have been pointed out again and again, especially by authors who have also chosen Crowleys doctrines and teachings as a fundamental source for their own spiritual life10. Yet, Symonds had at his disposal all that was needed in order to produce a definitive biography. He knew Crowley personally (unlike all his later biographers) and, having been appointed as his literary executor, had access, at the time of Crowleys death, to practically all the extant documents, both published and unpublished. It should be noted here that, this was the case thanks also to the generosity of Gerald J. Yorke, for some time a disciple and a close associate of Crowleys, who put his enormous collection of crowleyana at Symonds disposal 11. Symonds was also the first biographer to write on Crowley. He therefore had to break new ground, although admittedly his task was enormously facilitated by Crowleys own autobiography, which was then still partially unpublished.

9 Crowley, Confessions. This ponderous autobiography, whose narration breaks off in 1923, has of course been the fundamental source for all biographies of Crowley. 10 The obvious reference here is Suster, The Legacy of the Beast, which still stands today as the most apologetic, albeit not necessarily unintelligent, piece of work in the by now vast literature on Crowley. It was written with the explicit and polemic intent of countering the influence of Symonds book and correcting the image of Crowley conveyed by it. Yet Suster was not the first in his attempt. Israel Regardie, at one time a disciple of Crowleys, had already published in 1970 his own study on Crowley, The Eye in the Triangle, which he explicitly presented as a response to Symonds. But Regardie did not really care to compete with Symonds on his own ground, i.e. a factual exposition of Crowleys life. His aim was rather to explain Crowley, and especially the aspects that Symonds, according to him, had missed or misunderstood altogether, such as his personal spiritual quest. In so doing, furthermore, Regardie chose to use interpretative tools borrowed from psychoanalysis, having become a psychoanalyst himself after his experience with Crowley. His book, therefore, although extremely interesting and thought-provoking, cannot be really considered a biography. 11 This collection, as it is known, is now preserved at the Warburg Institute, University of London.

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It remains true, however, that Symonds assessment of Crowley appears tendentious and one-sided. Interestingly, this attitude seems to have been accentuated in each successive edition of the book12. Sometimes his quotations from Crowleys writings are taken out of context and interpreted in a way that seems unwarranted when one reads the passages in full. He generally devotes little or no space to Crowleys inner motivations or feelings, and at the rare occasions that he does, he pictures them, as a rule, as hypocritical13. The resulting image is that of a flat individual, with no other dimensions than his search for immediate personal gratification, be it of a material or spiritual kind. That this image is incorrect is evident to those who study Crowley from a dispassionate, uncommitted point of view. One of the more interesting contributions provided by the new biographies under discussion here, Sutins in particular, is that they allow a deeper understanding of Crowleys psychology, as will be seen. This having been said, I would argue that even sympathisers with Crowley should eventually acknowledge the importance of Symonds biography. Although obviously unsympathetic towards its protagonist, it has played a fundamental role in keeping interest in Crowleys works alive after his death. Moreover, if compared to the wild rumours spread by tabloids during Crowleys life, it was undoubtedly an improvement that allowed a better assessment of his personality and human trajectory. Indeed I would suggest it is only fair to set Symonds biography in the context of the popular image of Crowley prevailing at the moment of his death (it must be remembered that the books first edition dates back to 1951), rather than comparing it with what we know about him today. Seen from that perspective, Symonds book can be considered as a first attempt to set the record straight, albeit perhaps even against (or beyond) the purpose of its author. I also think that Crowleys fascination was not necessarily concealed, and may indeed have been enhanced, by Symonds writing. Crowleys all-too-human shortcomings, so crudely empha-

12 The second to last edition, The King of the Shadow Realm , contained some new chapters as regards to the previous one (The Great Beast, 1973), mostly based on long quotations from letters, diaries, or Crowleys unpublished writings. These additions are obviously very interesting, if only for the benefit of having this material made available, but unfortunately they are usually not followed by any critical discussion. The latest edition, The Beast 666 , does not really add anything important to the previous one, and some of the new corrections seem quite inexplicable. For instance, the age of Leah Hirsig, a very important associate of Crowleys, having played the role of Scarlet Woman for several years, passes, at the time of her first meeting with Crowley, from 35 (as in all previous editions) to 19 (The Beast 666 , 236; but also 407). While no explanation is given for this correction, it is clear from her extant pictures that she cannot have been 19 at the time, but much older. All other biographers agree on her having been 35 when she met Crowley. 13 See also my discussion in Aleister Crowley e la tentazione della politica , 26-27.

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sized by Symonds, are presented side to side with his sincere spiritual aspirations in such a manner that he stands out in the book as a truly tragic figure. The result is likely enough to impress the reader 14. With his book, Symonds succeeded in setting a standard to which subsequent works had to be compared. His research, at least as far as the factual side of the story was concerned, was done conscientiously. That is confirmed also by the fact that practically all subsequent biographies, including those reviewed here, have followed his reconstruction of events if not his judgments on many points, often without either quoting him or checking his sources. An interesting example of this will be given after a detailed discussion of each biography. As I have said, all three biographies considered here are the result of patient research, involving several years of work in each case, as is made explicit in their respective forewords or acknowledgments. The authors deserve praise for the efforts they have put into their work, while being perhaps also aware that others were working at similar, concurrent projects at the same time. Although I find that each book has something new to add to previous Crowley literature, each of them calls for some criticism, especially from a scholarly point of view. This having been said, I have to admit that, in reading them, I sometimes wondered whether they are really intended for the same readership. There is in fact a remarkable difference in style, especially between Booths book and Kaczynskis. From a purely formal point of view, the former seems more destined for a general public, whereas the latter is obviously an attempt to produce a definitive, scholarly biography. Sutins book may be seen, in this respect, as being somewhere in the middle. Martin Booth is not a new name for Crowley aficionados, having already edited an anthology of Crowleys poems in 1986 15. This was certainly a good idea, because Crowleys poetry, although a central aspect of his literary output, is less available to the general reader, who can access more easily Crowleys
14 An interesting example of the effect this book produced upon readers is offered by Mircea Eliade. In his journal, he mentions reading Symonds book as early as 1952: Le Dr Hunwald me prte The Great Beast. The Life of Aleister Crowley par John Symonds, que je lis en deux jours. Depuis The Search for Corvo, que jai lu dun trait pendant lhiver 1940-1941, Oxford, je navais jamais rencontr une biographie aussi passionnante. Javais entendu parler de Crowley depuis longtemps, mais je ne connaissais presque rien de lui. Je savais seulement quil avait t sataniste, quil stait adonn la magie noire et au tantrisme. Sa biographie par Symonds me rvle un homme trange, mi-fou, mi-farceur, mais non dpourvu de grandeur (Eliade, Fragments dun Journal I, 193). 15 Crowley, Selected Poems.

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magical and esoteric writings in prose. Among the three biographies reviewed here, it must be said that Booths is the most disappointing, at least from a strictly scholarly point of view. Booth has chosen, as a general rule, not to include notes indicating the sources of his copious quotations. In this respect, it cannot be considered an improvement on Symonds biography at all. What could have been a strong point of his research, i.e. his discovery of obscure sources not used by previous authors, is considerably weakened by this lack of references. To give a few examples: on p. 421, Booth mentions a circular whereby Crowley officially repudiated Leah Hirsig, his former Scarlet Woman. It would of course be interesting to know Booths source for this document, which, to my knowledge has never been published 16. On p. 96, Booth states that Eliphas Lvi and Edward Bulwer Lytton had read the famous book of Abramelin. I wonder if Booth has any other source on this point than S.L. MacGregor Mathers preface of the book, which of course cannot be accepted at face value by any serious scholar 17 . For similar reasons, even the bibliography at the end of the book (all three biographies have one) is a source of frustration rather than a help to the reader. Of the two kinds of bibliography usually found in monographs a guide for further readings or a complete list of all works cited in the book Booth seems to opt for the second. However, since the quotations in his book are not referenced, it is impossible to know which book mentioned in the bibliography has been used for what. It is rather annoying to spot unfamiliar titles in it, without being able to find out not only where they have been used in the book, but also what is their relevance to the study of Crowleys life and ideas. Conceived in this way, a bibliography becomes a mere list of titles, of little use for the scholar as well as for the general reader. And it is indeed puzzling to see the works by Crowley himself hastily dismissed at the beginning of the bibliography in a few summary words, as if they were too numerous to mention. Other problems concern Booths rare attempts to set events of Crowleys life in their historical context. For instance, one learns with some amazement that Gilles de Rais was just a medieval French occultist (p. 437). Booth also seems to have odd ideas concerning the Gestapo, the German secret police of the Nazi period, which he describes at one point as an occult fraternity (p. 446). Later, when he briefly discusses the relationship between Nazism and
16 Symonds, however, had already mentioned the document in his book. Unfortunately, sources are not referenced in his book either. See The Beast 666 , 408. 17 Mathers, The Book of the Sacred Magic , xvi. Incidentally, in the same passage Booth also conflates Edward Bulwer Lytton, the famous novelist and politician who strongly influenced English occultism, with his son Edward Robert, 1st earl of Lytton, who was appointed viceroy of India in 1876.

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the occult, he surprisingly adds that the Gestapo even maintained their own black magical lodges (p. 471). Still concerning Nazism, his chronology is wrong as well: Booth states that Gerald Hamilton, an adventurer and a close friend of the English novelist Christopher Isherwood, reported on Crowleys activities to the Nazis while they were both living in Berlin in the early 30s. He continues by stating that the Nazis were then beginning to exterminate or incarcerate particularly homosexuals and freemasons in concentration camps, of which the world was then ignorant (p. 446). The problem is that, at that time, the Nazis were simply not in power yet. Crowley left Germany in 1932: he returned to England and did not leave the country again until his death, in 1947. Hitler seized power in 1933, and by that time Hamilton had left Germany as well. He had reasons to do so, since he was a communist and a homosexual, which makes it highly unlikely as well that he was ever an informer for the Nazis 18. Booths discussions of magical and esoteric material are sometimes quite superficial, if not downright incorrect. For instance, at p. 101 he mentions a typical Golden Dawn practice defined as skreighing in the spirit vision. The spelling is a little odd, because in the Golden Dawn documents I have seen, it is rather spelt as skrying in the spirit vision. However that may be, it is obvious from the original Golden Dawn instructions that the formula referred to the practice of astral travel, and that skreighing, or skrying, stands for a particular form of clairvoyance19 . But Booth interprets skreighing, quite fantastically, as shrieking or screeching, which does not make any sense at all. The problem here is that magic, however it may be understood, is at the core of Crowleys ideas and activities. He himself considered this to be the case, and without a clear grasp of what magic is all about for him, anything else will be less easy to understand. However, on some points Booth adduces new, valuable information. Having done his research mainly in England (unlike Sutin and Kaczynski, who rather seem to be based in the United States), he has been able to find interesting information concerning Crowleys family, birth, and early years. Furthermore, the best treatment so far of the affective relationship between Crowley and Deirdre ODoherty (also known as MacAlpine) is to be found in his book. This story has been little known or explored so far, probably because it belongs to the last period of Crowleys life, and lacks the intensity, both from an affective and a magical point of view, of the relationships with his first wife
18 On the relationship between Crowley and Hamilton, and especially the complicated issues concerning their political involvement during their stay in Berlin, see my Aleister Crowley e la tentazione della politica , 120-127. 19 The definition of Skrying in the Spirit Vision as clairvoyance appears in the Flying Roll no. XI, written by MacGregor Mathers. See King, Ritual Magic of the Golden Dawn, 75.

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Rose or Leah Hirsig. Yet, it is important, because ODoherty gave Crowley what he had always considered an essential goal in his life: a male heir. Booths account of the story seems more accurate and complete than that of any other biographer. Finally, in one respect Booths biography is certainly superior to the two others reviewed here. It is enriched by a large set of illustrations, including some images either never published before, such as one of Crowleys birthplace (Booth seems to have traced the actual building), or quite rare, such as the legendary Boleskine house, which is shown both as it existed in Crowleys times and as it is now. In conclusion, Booths book will be of limited use to the scholar, particularly if he is already a specialist of Crowley. But in fairness it should be said that it does not seem to have been Booths aim to produce an impeccable scholarly study. His book remains a fair introduction to Crowley for the general reader, providing at least a more balanced account than the one by Symonds. If Lawrence Sutins biography seems to be his first incursion in Crowleyan territory, science-fiction readers will perhaps know him as the author of a much praised biography of Philip K. Dick20. Taking this into account, it might perhaps be argued that Sutin, as a biographer, likes hard challenges. If so, it seems to me that Sutin has been succesful in meeting this one. The book is pleasant to read, and compares favourably to Symonds. His style is as gripping, but his treatment of the subject is much more balanced and controlled. Also, the book has been set on a higher scholarly standard than Booths, because quotations are referenced. It is a pity, however, that he has chosen to omit note indexes, and instead puts references of quotations at the end of the book, with the first sentence of each quotation to identify them. This is a sort of compromise which has become trendy, of late, for books of this kind, and is probably imposed by editors and publishers rather than wished for by authors. The casual reader, who does not care for notes at all, will like it, as it makes for smoother reading. But those who need (or simply like!) to check each and every source will be excused for detesting it heartily. Another disadvantage of this method consists in the fact that only actual quotations are referenced. Therefore the source for documents which are just mentioned in the text, but not quoted from, are not given. But a bigger problem lies in the fact that Sutin has chosen to indicate the O.T.O. archives as the sole source of practically all unpublished documents related to Crowley. This point needs some explanation. What has been usually referred to as the Caliphate O.T.O. has gathered,
20

Sutin, Divine Invasions.

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since its (re-)foundation in the mid-70s, a very large archive of documents, including both originals (either bought or received through lines of transmission from the various branches of the Order) and copies of documents from other collections. It is therefore possible now for a scholar, if he has access to this archive, to undertake serious, wide-ranging research on Crowley without having to explore the countless other archives, both public and private, that are scattered around the world. All three biographers discussed here have had access to documents preserved in this archive thanks to Hymenaeus Beta, the current Frater Superior (i.e., international leader) of the Order. Sutins choice to indicate the O.T.O. archive as sole reference for all unpublished documents quoted by him is to be regretted. The student needs to know whether an author is quoting from an original or from a copy. And, if the quotation is not from an original but from a copy, he needs to know as well where the original is, whenever this information is available, of course. These very formal problems have not hindered my appreciation of the book. I found some of Sutins psychological insights very valuable, and as thought-provoking as those of Regardies 21. Two aspects in particular have been treated with considerable sensitivity by Sutin, much more so than by other biographers Symonds in particular: Crowleys homosexuality and his relationship with Christianity. It is not only that he treats these issues in a dispassionate way, avoiding prejudice and condemnation this has been done by other biographers as well. Going beyond such earlier efforts, Sutin succeeds in breaking the rhetorical shield built by Crowley to protect himself and hide his weaknesses. He shows convincingly that, despite his occasional flippancy concerning homosexuality, he was never able to completely accept his bisexual nature and his attraction for men. A sense of unease, perhaps even shame, always remained with him, and made his attitudes ambivalent. This would also explain his inconsistencies in discussing the issue in his writings, where he sometimes censures and sometimes defends homosexuality. Similar observations can be made about his anti-Christian attitudes. Sutin confirms and expands upon Regardies assumption that Crowleys attachment to Christianity lasted long after he had decided to revolt against it and became convinced he was a prophet of a new religion 22. The Crowley depicted by Sutin is much less self-confident, both in his religious and sexual choices, than the one described in earlier biographies. This image is, in my opinion, much more
See n. 10 above. Regardies thesis was presented in his aforementioned study of Crowley, The Eye in the Triangle. See also my article on Crowleys relationship with Christianity: Pasi, Lanticristianesimo in Aleister Crowley, which should now be updated taking into account the new elements adduced by Sutin.
21 22

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convincing than the one based on Crowleys writings (especially the published ones) taken at face value. Sutins analysis of the Book of the Law, the fundamental text of Crowleys new religious revelation, is likewise original and intelligent (p. 133-140). He rightly dismisses Crowleys irrefutable rational arguments for proving its authenticity, pointing out if need be that they convince only those who wish to be convinced from the beginning. But he also compares Crowleys book with two other inspired texts of about the same period, Yeats A Vision and Jungs Septem Sermones ad Mortuos, showing their analogies as well as their differences. This is extremely interesting, because it helps to set Crowleys book in a wider context, to understand how texts originating from similar experiences can be understood, and how they may be used in different ways by those who have materially (even if unconsciously) written them. The comparison is particularly stimulating in the case of Yeats, given the famous mutual aversion between him and Crowley. These personal feelings between the two authors notwithstanding, Sutin shows that the texts present some interesting analogies. The reason is easy enough to see, although Sutin does not dwell on it at length: to some extent at least, the two authors shared the same culture, the same readings, the same interests and pursuits. Sutin also tackles an aspect of Crowleys life that will be of great interest for Aries readers, i.e. his relationships, late in his life, with Dion Fortune and Gerald Gardner. Sutin does not really bring new information to this, as other authors have already written at length about these issues in recent biographies of Fortune or histories of the Wicca movement23. But Sutin is the first to treat these relationships in the context of a biography of Crowley, with the specific point of view required by this. Strangely enough, Symonds had ignored them altogether. On some other points, however, Sutins analyses remain disappointing. The overview of the magical tradition, which opens his book by way of an introduction, is somewhat superficial and smacks of popular histories of magic, which do not provide necessarily the best frame for Crowleys pursuits and ideas. Sutin also seems a keen proponent of the famous Tantra thesis, first introduced and developed by Crowleys former disciple Kenneth Grant. Like Grant and many others after him, he seems to suggest in various places that Crowley was influenced by original Tantric practices or ideas, and that the
23 There is a certain number of biographies of Fortune. About her relationship with Crowley, see especially Chapman, Quest for Dion Fortune, 143-160; and Knight, Dion Fortune, passim. On Wicca there now exists a very large literature, but the best and most updated general treatment is Hutton, The Triumph of the Moon, where the relationship between Crowley and Gardner is discussed as well (see esp. p. 216-223).

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origin of his sexual magic is to be found here as much as in Theodor Reuss O.T.O. teachings. The origins and the evolution of sexual magic in contemporary Western esoteric currents still remain largely unexplored, so that many questions are as yet unanswered. But as far as Crowleys magic is concerned, I fail to be convinced by Sutins evidence in favour of a direct Tantric influence (especially p. 92-93; but see also p. 28, 141 and 188). His argument refers to Crowleys stay in Ceylon in 1901, where he practised yoga with his friend and former colleague in the Golden Dawn, Allan Bennett. During that period, soon after the Golden Dawn break-up of 1900, Crowley had become more and more disillusioned with magic, and, under the influence of Bennett, was drawn to Buddhism and Yoga. Sutin quotes from Crowleys diary of this period, parts of which where later published in The Temple of Solomon the King, a serialized account of Crowleys spiritual experiences appearing in his review The Equinox. In a passage quoted by Sutin, Crowley refers to these follies of poetry and Vamacharya [sic] (debauchery, i.e. normal life) and health and vain things (p. 92) 24. Sutin thinks that Vamacharya refers here to a probable (but unspecified) encounter of Crowley with left-hand Tantra25. But if one reads the passage in its context, it seems much more likely that Crowley, having had a break from his daily practices of Yoga, was just referring here to normal sexual intercourse, which (among other things, such as poetry) was probably seen by him during this period as a dangerous distraction from his training26. If this were really a reference to Tantric ritual practices, the specification i.e. normal life, would be quite inexplicable. A further reference to secret rites, evidently of a sexual nature (and related to Tantric practices), in which Crowley would have engaged with his first wife Rose around 1904 (p. 141), sounds utterly unconvincing, since Sutin fails to quote relevant sources to sustain this assertion. More generally, Sutin does not care to explain the fact that explicit mention of Tantra, as a body of teachings concerned, among other things, with sacred sexuality, is extremely rare in Crowleys writings, whether
Fuller & Crowley, The Temple of Solomon the King, 161. Incidentally, Sutin does not seem to notice that Crowley is misspelling the word, which should actually be vmcra . It is not just a matter of different methods of transliteration, because Crowley here is probably misquoting the final part of the compound word, confusing -crya , i.e. preceptor, teacher (a very common word, often found in the final part of Indian surnames) with -cra, i.e. conduct, way of behaving (therefore, vmcra: left[-hand] conduct; I thank Elizabeth de Michelis for her advice on this point). This alone would show that Crowley was at that time far from having a clear idea of the Eastern concepts he was making use of. 26 It should perhaps be pointed out that I write normal sexual intercourse to distinguish it from what would be defined as ritual intercourse in the context of Tantric practices, and not as opposed to deviant.
24 25

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published or unpublished 27. Sutin might also have asked himself why, if Tantra is so important in the development of Crowleys own brand of sexual magic, he never mentions the works of Arthur Avalon, who was then (i.e., since the mid-10s), translating original Tantric texts and introducing the philosophy of Tantra to a Western public. This is all the more relevant given the fact that, in the reading lists for members of his magical orders, Crowley does mention a wide range of Buddhist and Hindu classics. Further research is obviously needed to clarify the issue, but I would suggest that most of what Crowley knew about sexual magic came from Theodor Reuss instructions, further developed by way of personal reflection and experimentation; and that his direct knowledge of original Tantra was next to nil. Finally, Sutin seems uneasy (much like Booth and Kaczynski, it must be said) with classical culture. Whenever there is some Latin or ancient Greek in sight, he seems to be walking on slippery ground. The problem is that classical culture is an important part of both Crowleys education in particular, and of esoteric traditions in general. For instance, Lux e Tenebris (the magical motto of one of the Secret Chiefs who delivered, according to Mathers, the magical teachings of the Golden Dawn), does not mean Light and Darkness, but Light from Darkness (p. 61). Konx Om Pax, the formula of dismissal pronounced, according to some traditions, at the end of the ceremonies of the Eleusinian Mysteries, certainly does not mean Light in Extension, as the Golden Dawn tradition would have us believe (p. 55). It is just a barbarous formula (usually spelt as in the original Greek) of unknown origin, and its meaning in Greek is more or less equivalent to that of BibbidiBobbidi-Boo or Abracadabra in English28 . In conclusion, Sutins book has much to offer to those who are already acquainted with works on or by Crowley, and are looking for a fresh approach to him. Some minor problems notwithstanding, specialists will find much interesting material that invites further research.

27 The only explicit mention I have been able to find so far is in Crowleys instruction (written in 1914) for the IXth degree (heterosexual magic) De Arte Magica, 391. But it is interesting to note that, in this text, Crowley clearly and explicitly demarcates his method of sexual magic from what he defines as Tantra. 28 The classical source concerning this formula is Hesychius Lexicon. An incredible number of theories have been advanced during the last three centuries to explain its meaning and etymology, linking it to Sanskrit, Tibetan, Egyptian, or several other ancient languages or cultures. It is no surprise that the Golden Dawn, given its Egyptophile tendency, had a preference for the Egyptian theory. I know of no satisfactory recent scholarly study of the formula and its possible origin.

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Richard Kaczynski, like Booth, is not a new name in Crowley circles. He has edited, together with Hymenaeus Beta, The Revival of Magick, a very useful anthology of articles which Crowley originally published in various periodicals during his stay in America (1914-1919). Over the last fifteen years, a school of research seems to have taken shape in close association with the American O.T.O. This school, which might be called Caliphate school, by the name which is usually attributed to this branch of the O.T.O., has given a tremendous impulse to the publication of new, critical editions of Crowleys writings and to the study of his life and ideas. The authors share some common characteristics: they are all based in the United States; they are in close contact with, or members of, the Caliphate O.T.O., whose archive is naturally one of their main research facilities; they have adopted a high standard of scholarship in their publications; and they have an obvious sympathy for Crowley and his teachings, which may sometimes verge on an apologetic tendency. The main exponents of this school may be considered Hymenaeus Beta himself, Martin P. Starr, and J.Edward and Marlene Cornelius 29. Their achievements deserve respect, and often praise, even if their point of view may sometimes not coincide with that of scholars working from a strictly historico-critical perspective. In reading Kaczynskis biography I found some hints of an air de famille with this group of independent scholars, and perhaps he would not mind being considered one of them. Certain, in any case, is that Kaczynski has produced the first biography of Crowley that displays a really accomplished scholarly apparatus. The very copious endnotes will satisfy even the most demanding scholar. Not only do they include complete references for direct quotations, but they do so also for documents only mentioned in the text, and they discuss controversial points in depth. Furthermore, Kaczynski provides an excellent list of manuscript collections that hold material related to Crowley, which is obviously of great practical use for the student. The bibliography at the end of the book, running to almost thirty pages, is extremely rich probably one of the best presently available. It contains many obscure items, some of which were unknown to this reviewer, and which are certainly very rare and difficult to find. Finally, as a rule, dates of birth and death are given for persons menHymenaeus Beta has edited several new editions of Crowleys works, the most recent being The General Principles of Astrology. All these publications have lengthy introductions, editorial notes and bibliographies by him. Starr, beyond publishing studies on Crowley such as his article mentioned in n. 5, has created The Teitan Press, based in Chicago, which has reprinted rare or unpublished writings by Crowley, all introduced by Starr himself. The Corneliuses edit, since 1994, Red Flame , a journal of Thelemic research based in Berkeley, of which nine issues (each covering a different topic) have appeared so far. One of the issues, The Aleister Crowley Desk Reference (Red Flame #4) is an important step towards a comprehensive bibliography of Crowleys works.
29

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tioned in the book (there are a few exceptions, one of which will be pointed out below). Having published his as the latest one in this new wave of biographies, Kaczynski has had the opportunity of integrating in his reconstruction some of the findings of Booth and Sutin, but on some issues he has gone farther and has added a wealth of new details. Some material on friends and acquaintances of Crowleys is not to be found in other biographies. Yet, sometimes one may notice strange disparities of treatment. For example, Kaczynski provides interesting new biographical information on Julian L. Baker (p. 43-44), the analytical chemist who acted as the initial link leading Crowley to his initiation into the Golden Dawn. However, no such details are given on George Cecil Jones (not even dates of birth and death), although he played a much more significant role in Crowleys life, and was an associate of his for many years. On the other hand, valuable information is given, for instance, on many members of the A\ A\ , Crowleys initiatic Order based loosely on the Golden Dawn system (p. 149-151, and 170-172). This helps to get a better idea of the kind of people who were attracted by his teachings and were willing to accept him as a spiritual master. Also very interesting is the story of Crowleys relationship with a group of high-ranking freemasons in Detroit, during his American period (p. 270-275). Crowley had summarised it in his Confessions , but Kaczynski adds new material not to be found elsewhere. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Kaczynski quotes from a wide range of unpublished writings by Crowley, which bring further insight into the evolution of his ideas, especially regarding magic and other occult matters. Less convincing are the parts where Kaczynski slips into some sort of fictionalized account and tries to reconstitute dialogues between individuals as they might have taken place in reality. While this might be seen as a harmless literary device, it contrasts too strongly with Kaczynskis efforts at producing a scholarly work of high quality. More seriously, although Kaczynski appears to be the most knowledgeable of the three authors reviewed here regarding esoteric and magical matters, his book contains questionable statements and a few naiveties. In particular, Kaczynski seems sometimes insecure when he discusses occultist organisations or groups, such as the Golden Dawn, the O.T.O., Crowleys A\ A\ , and the Stella Matutina. For instance, saying that the Golden Dawn espoused no particular religious belief, seeking only to transmit knowledge gained from comparative study of religions and philosophies the world over (p. 47), means overlooking the fact that this initiatic organization was founded partly in reaction to the Eastern wisdom expounded by H.P. Blavatskys Theosophical Society. The Golden Dawn, as has been emphasized convincingly by Joscelyn Godwin and R.A. Gilbert, tried to develop

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an alternative approach on the lines proposed by Anna Kingsford inside the Theosophical Society itself. This approach was based upon a Western esoteric tradition as opposed to an Eastern one 30. This makes its comparative study of religions and philosophies less global than Kaczynski seems to think. Also, Kaczynskis account of the origins of the O.T.O. is somewhat confused. There is no evidence that William W. Westcott or Annie Besant were ever members (or even supporters) of the Order, and if there is, Kaczynski fails to show it (p. 204). And unless hard evidence shows up (which is extremely unlikely), the Orders claim of 1000 members around 1904-1905 should be considered as pure fantasy. Kaczynski gives Argenteum Astrum as the meaning of the initials A\ A\ , thus following a common usage (another popular version is Astrum Argentinum) (p. 147). Yet, he should perhaps have pointed out that Crowley never publicly revealed the exact meaning of the initials, and in fact he fails to provide a source for his version. As to the Stella Matutina, its rituals, based on those of the Golden Dawn, were not revised, polished and Christianised by A.E. Waite (p. 404), but by R.W. Felkin. Waite was never actually a member of the Stella Matutina, and his own revision of the Golden Dawn rituals was made for his own Order, the Independent and Rectified Rite. Both Felkins and Waites Orders were the product of the second major schism of the Golden Dawn, in 1903. Overall, Kaczynski shows a tendency to present Crowleys activities, and discuss them, in a way that is most favourable for him. He also tends to rely, perhaps too much, on The Confessions , Crowleys own autobiography. If Symonds had been one-sided in one way, Kaczyinski seems sometimes to be so in the opposite one. A good example may be the controversial issue concerning blood-sacrifices that Crowley supposedly performed at the Abbey of Thelema, during the Cefal period (1920-1923). These sacrifices were said to have involved at one occasion a cat, whose blood was drunk by the participants in the ceremony, and at another occasion a goat. While practically all other biographers tend to give credit to both stories, Kaczynski prefers to disbelieve them (p. 295, 303, and 526, n. 6, for the goat; p. 308-309, and 526, n. 15, for the cat). The only reason he offers appears to be the fact that, in his eyes, these rumours are too wild to be credible, and that, in the case of the cat, Crowley on one occasion explicitly denied the story. Kaczynski has of course the right to express his personal opinion on this issue, but it would have been preferable to present first all available evidence in an impartial way, and let the reader decide, instead of dismissing the case as already settled. In fact, the evidence is not
30 On this point, the obvious references are Godwin, The Theosophical Enlightenment , 333379; and Gilbert, The Golden Dawn and the Esoteric Section.

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decisive either way, and there is no reason to give preference to Crowleys testimony when it conflicts with that of others. To understand this point better, two remarks may be useful. Firstly, Crowley is sometimes an unreliable source, both about himself and about others. There is ample evidence to substantiate this, and Crowley himself, in moments of acute self-awareness, recognised that lying was an ineradicable component of his personality31. Therefore, on controversial points Crowleys statements should not be taken as decisive, and further evidence should always be looked for. Secondly, we know that Crowley did perform ritual sacrifices at other occasions, which, unlike the other two, have never been considered as controversial32. Consequently, I do not see any particular reason to dismiss out of hand the episodes of sacrifice in Cefal. There is nothing in them that is inherently unbelievable or inconsistent with other facts in Crowleys life. Another interesting example may be Kaczynskis treatment of Amphora, a collection of poems Crowley published in 1908 (p. 146-147). On the face of it, these poems, originally published anonymously, were inspired by a most orthodox Catholic devotion for the Virgin Mary, but combining the first letters of the verses yielded edifying acrostics such as The Virgin Mary I desire, but arseholes set my prick on fire. Roman Catholic circles failed to notice these typical Crowleyesque pranks, and the poems were unanimously praised until the authors identity became known. Kaczynski curiously comments that, in writing this book, Crowleys intent was not to blaspheme (p. 147). Why, of course it was! Kaczynski is perfectly right in saying that Crowley wanted to experience the world from all possible points of view, including those of persons having convictions completely different from those he held. Crowley himself makes this clear in his Confessions 33. Kaczynski is also right in remarking that there was probably some real religious sentiment behind his poems, as Crowley was revering in Mary an image of what he perceived as the divine feminine present in all religious traditions. And then, of course, for Crowley the acrostics were also a funny joke. But Kaczynski fails to highlight the ambigu31 Sutin convincingly tackles the issue, also quoting an interesting passage by Crowley. See p. 283-284 of his book. 32 Two sacrifices at least are recorded by Crowley as having been performed personally by him: one during a ceremony in a Hindu temple at Madura, in 1901, when he was allowed to sacrifice a goat to the goddess Bhavani; the other involving the crucifixion of a toad, during a ritual of self-initiation to the grade of Magus. Both episodes are mentioned in the Confessions, 256 and 808. We also know that Crowley was a dedicated big-game hunter during his exotic travels. We may therefore infer that killing animals, even independently from a ritual context, was not a source of moral concern for him. 33 See the much quoted passage (also quoted by Kaczynski in this context) in Crowley, The Confessions, 559.

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ous nature of this sort of enterprises. Crowleys intent was most certainly to blaspheme as well, because, at this point in his life, he had come to hate Christianity and to despise all those who recognized its set of values as their own. This aspect of real, concrete hate cannot be overlooked if one wishes to convey a complete image of Crowley. Crowley was a man of strong passions: hate was certainly one of them, and blasphemy (in the specific context we are referring to) one of its effects. Several other examples might be given of Kaczynskis tendency to provide a politically correct image of Crowley. At times the reader might even prefer Symonds cold-blooded, callous Crowley to Kaczynskis sanitised one: both may be one-sided, but at least the former makes for funnier reading. The last chapter, which contains Kaczynskis final assessment of Crowley, seems at times more a paean than a critical evaluation of Crowleys character, work, and influence. For Kaczynski, Crowley stands as one of the most remarkable and innovative figures of his century (p. 461). This opinion is perfectly respectable, but when Kaczynski tries to demonstrate the importance of Crowleys contribution by stating, among other things, that in laying out the parallels between all systems of symbolism, Crowley prefigured the structuralism of Claude Lvi-Strauss (p. 463), one may indeed wonder whether he is not going a little too far. This kind of remarks, without any further, thorough discussion, will appear to the dispassionate reader as far-fetched claims rather than as well-pondered conclusions. These problems notwithstanding, for many years to come Kaczynskis work will remain a treasure trove of useful information for the specialist, and an irreplaceable source of references. If we finally take all these three new biographies together, it is obvious that our knowledge of Crowleys life and ideas has greatly improved since Symonds book. Yet even these later biographers, while lamenting the flaws of Symonds book (or pretending to ignore him altogether), have sometimes followed him closely, even when this was not warranted by the available sources. A very interesting example is the famous episode of Crowleys expulsion from Italy in April 1923. Like many other episodes in Crowleys life, this has been the object of much speculation. Since the actual order signed by Mussolini has not surfaced yet, it has not been possible so far to ascertain his exact motives. In his biography, Symonds gave his own explanation, writing that:
The regime of Mussolini had arrived. Secret societies, centres of dissension, had been outlawed in Italy during the previous year [i.e., 1922]. The Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy, Domizio Torregiani [ sic], was banished for five years to the Lipari Isles [sic]34.
34

Symonds, The Beast 666 , 332-333.

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In this case Symonds, who is usually accurate in his historical contextualizations, gets confused with dates. As was already remarked by the editors of the Italian translation of Symonds book, secret societies were banned in Italy only in 1925, two full years after Crowleys expulsion 35. It is only after this date that actual, legal persecutions against freemasons became possible, although episodes of violence had already occurred. Domizio Torrigiani was confined to Lipari island in April 1927. He was later assigned to other places of detention, and liberated only a few days before his death, in 193236. Symonds interpretation, based on a wrong dating, should therefore be used with extreme caution. In April 1923, Mussolinis government was just a few months old and, not having yet completed its evolution towards dictatorship, was still in the process of consolidating. It is therefore highly unlikely that any concern for the danger of secret societies was at the origin of the expulsion. This is also indirectly confirmed by the fact that the measure was ad personam , and not extended to the community then residing in the Abbey, founded by Crowley only three years before. The extant documents in the Italian State Archive in Rome show that the reason for the expulsion is more likely to be found in the campaign of vilification against Crowley then raging in the British press, and especially the related accusations of immoral behaviour37. Crowley was certainly not seen as a concrete danger by Mussolinis regime, but rather as an embarrassing nuisance to get rid of as soon as possible. The correct historical data we have referred to are of course easily available in any average history of Italy focusing on the Fascist period. It is therefore disappointing to find both Booth and Kaczynski uncritically following Symonds on this point, and even expanding on his mistaken dates. Booths treatment of the affair deserves to be quoted in full:
Mussolini was terrified of secret societies: they had been the bane of Italian life for centuries. In particular, he was concerned with freemasonic societies, which often espoused politically dissident, anti-Fascist ambitions, and occult groups, which could greatly influence the superstitious Italian people. It was no wonder that the appearance of a foreign-led occult community in Sicily greatly disturbed
35 See Symonds, La Grande Bestia , 367, n. 1. The Italian editors were Gianfranco de Turris and Sebastiano Fusco. 36 There is a vast literature on Italian freemasonry during the Fascist period (1922-1945). As an introduction, see Vannoni, Massoneria; and Mola, Storia della Massoneria italiana , 485658. 37 I have made some researches at the Italian State Archive in Rome, and at its dependance in Palermo, but have not been able to trace the actual document containing the order. I have however found later official documents mentioning it. For the interesting story of these documents, see my Aleister Crowley e la tentazione della politica , 172-178. The documents are published in full in the appendix of the book, 196-199.

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Il Duce. Leaders of Italian secret societies were readily arrested. Freemasonic grand masters [] were exiled or held under house arrest on Lipari Island []. Where Crowley was concerned, there was only one option open to Mussolinis Fascist authorities. It was deportation (p. 396).

It is evident that Booth is following Symonds explanation closely, only somewhat elaborating on it and thereby adding further inaccuracies. It would be interesting to know which secret societies have been the bane of Italy for centuries. And the reference to the easily manipulated, superstitious Italian people can even appear derogatory if left without further explanations. Kaczynski, although more sober than Booth, fares no better. He writes that, on being summoned by the police commissioner, Crowley learned that Italys dictator, Benito Mussolini, had outlawed secret societies. He had already banished the O.T.O.s Italian Grand Master, Domizio Torregiani [sic ] to the Lipari Isles [sic] for five years. Although no such punishment could be meted out to a visitor, Crowley had one week to settle his affairs and leave the country (p. 312). In this case, Kaczynski not only relies wholly on Symonds, but misreads him in quite an astonishing way. Symonds in fact was absolutely correct in identifying Torrigiani as Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy, which was (and still is) Italys largest masonic Obedience. Torrigiani had, however, no connection whatsoever with Crowleys Ordo Templi Orientis. Furthermore the O.T.O., even if it had had, before the First World War, Italian representatives such as Eduardo Frosini and Arturo Reghini, never had an Italian Grand Master38. In both cases, it is easy to see that Symonds has been used uncritically to discuss an event one cannot consider as minor, since it had profound consequences for Crowley. As for Sutin, he is the only one of the three to drop Symonds and his secret societies theory altogether, tackling the matter afresh the way it should have been. He comes closest to the truth in writing that the negative publicity of Crowleys presence in Italy, while British tabloids were attacking him relentlessly, was viewed by the Fascists as reflecting poorly upon their regime (p. 308). Sutin also adds a judicious discussion of Crowleys attitude towards Italian Fascism, which was quite ambivalent to say the least. This does not mean that on any given issue Sutin is more correct than either Booth or Kaczysnki. There are other points where the roles are inverted, with all possible combinations. Therefore, it is frustrating to realize that, instead of having one definitive biography finally superseding Symonds, we have three
38 The history of the connections of the O.T.O. in Italy under Theodor Reuss leadership is relatively obscure and still needs to be studied in depth. No Italian representative seems to have been active during Crowleys leadership, which ended with his death in 1947.

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which need to be constantly compared to each other in order to have a correct view on any given issue. And furthermore, we will have to beware of particular issues where Symonds book, far from being superseded, remains more reliable than those of his later emulators. This kind of labour will not scare the scholar, but it will perhaps confuse the non-specialist and the general reader. Finally a further question might now be asked by the non-specialist. Is it fair to assume that, after so many hundred pages devoted entirely to Crowleys life and works, all that could be said about him has been said? Ought scholars still working on the unspeakable occultist just give up their efforts and look for more rewarding objects of research? The answer I am happy to say is no. One example among many is the issue I have just skimmed over in discussing Sutins book, that is to say sexual magic. A comprehensive study of this central aspect of Crowleys activity is still waiting to be written. We need more studies on this and other specific aspects of Crowley, and no general biography will ever be able to answer all questions concerning him. Therefore, one may be permitted to express the hope that the time for full-scale biographies of Crowley is now over, at least for some time and that attention will now shift to detailed, scholarly studies of particular aspects of his life and works. Perhaps it is time to move on, from a neverendingly told story to a search for as yet untold stories. Bibliography
Bouchet, Christian, Aleister Crowley et le Mouvement Thlmite , Chteau Thbaud: Les Editions du Chaos 1998. Chapman, Janine, Quest for Dion Fortune, York Beach: Samuel Weiser 1993. Crowley, Aleister, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography , London: Arkana 1989. , Selected Poems, edited and introduced by Martin Booth, Wellingborough: Aquarian Press 1986. , The Revival of Magick and other essays: Oriflamme 2 , Tempe Las Vegas: New Falcon Publications Ordo Templi Orientis International 1998. , De Arte Magica, in: Theodor Reuss & Aleister Crowley, O.T.O. Rituals and Sex Magick , Thame: I-H-O Books 1999, 383-394. Crowley, Aleister, & Evangeline Adams, The General Principles of Astrology: Liber DXXXVI , Boston York Beach: Weiser Books 2002. Eliade, Mircea, Fragments dun Journal I: 1945-1969 , Paris: Gallimard 1973. Fuller, John Frederick Charles, & Aleister Crowley [attributed], The Temple of Solomon the King: IV, The Equinox 1:4 (1910), 41-196. Gilbert, R.A., The Golden Dawn and the Esoteric Section, London: Theosophical History Centre 1987. , Baphomet & Son: A little Known Chapter in the Life of 666 , Edmonds: Holmes Publishing Group 1997. Godwin, Joscelyn, The Theosophical Enlightenment , Albany: State University of New York Press 1994.

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Hutchinson, Roger, Aleister Crowley: The Beast Demystified, Edimburgh: Mainstream Publishing 1998. Hutton, Ronald, The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft, Oxford: Oxford University Press 1999. Introvigne, Massimo, Il cappello del mago: I nuovi movimenti magici, dallo spiritismo al satanismo, Milan: Sugarco 1990. , Indagine sul satanismo: Satanisti e anti-satanisti dal seicento ai nostri giorni, Milan: Mondadori 1994. , Between Religion and Magic: The Case of Mormonism, in: Michael A. Fuss (ed.), Rethinking New Religious Movements , Rome: Pontifical Gregorian University 1998, 81-100. King, Francis (ed.), Ritual Magic of the Golden Dawn: Works by S.L. MacGregor Mathers and Others, Rochester: Destiny Books 1997. Knight, Gareth, Dion Fortune & the Inner Light, Loughborough: Thoth Publications 2000. Mathers, S.L. MacGregor (ed.), The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage, As Delivered by Abraham the Jew unto his Son Lamech, A.D. 1458 , London: J.M. Watkins 1898. Owen, Alex, The Sorcerer and His Apprentice: Aleister Crowley and the Magical Exploration of Edwardian Subjectivity, Journal of British Studies 36 (1997), 99-133. Pasi, Marco, Aleister Crowley e la tentazione della politica , Milan: FrancoAngeli 1999. , Lanticristianesimo in Aleister Crowley, in: PierLuigi Zoccatelli (ed.), Aleister Crowley: Un mago a Cefal, Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee 1998, 41-67. , Review of Bouchet, Politica Hermetica 15 (2001), 94-96. Regardie, Israel, The Eye in the Triangle: An Interpretation of Aleister Crowley , Phoenix: New Falcon Publications 1993. Ryan, William F., The Great Beast in Russia: Aleister Crowleys Theatrical Tour in 1913 and his Beastly Writings on Russia, in: Arnold McMillin (ed.), Symbolism and After: Essays on Russian Poetry in Honour of Georgette Donchin, London: Bristol Classical Press 1992, 137-161. Starr, Martin P., Aleister Crowley: Freemason!, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum 108 (1995), 150161. Suster, Gerald, The Legacy of the Beast: The Life, Work and Influence of Aleister Crowley, London: Whallen 1988. Sutin, Lawrence, Divine Invasions: A life of Philip K. Dick , New York: Harmony Books 1989. Symonds, John, The Great Beast: The life of Aleister Crowley , London: Rider 1951. , The Great Beast: The life and magic of Aleister Crowley, London: Macdonald & Co. 1971. , La Grande Bestia: Vita e magia di Aleister Crowley, Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee 1972 [Italian translation of The Great Beast (1971)]. , The King of the Shadow Realm: Aleister Crowley: his life and magic , London: Duckworth 1989. , The Beast 666: The Life of Aleister Crowley, London: Pindar Press 1997. Vannoni, Gianni, Massoneria, Fascismo e Chiesa cattolica , Rome Bari: Laterza 1980. Wade, Allan (ed.), The Letters of W.B. Yeats, London: Rupert Hart-Davis 1955. Zoccatelli, PierLuigi, LOrdo Templi Orientis in Italia: Storie e significati, in: PierLuigi Zoccatelli (ed.), Aleister Crowley: Un mago a Cefal , Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee 1998, 103-125.

BOOK REVIEW SECTION Armando Maggi, Satans Rhetoric: A Study of Renaissance Demonology , Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001. ISBN: 0-226-50132. This book is, as the title proclaims, a study of Renaissance demonology, but it is a rather unusual one. It is unusual in part because it does not attempt to confine itself to the Renaissance theoretical or theological ruminations on demonology that might have been expected (that is, it treats an astonishing variety of textual genres, not all of which prima facie are clearly associated with demonology), but also because of the way it insists on its interdisciplinarity (I sometimes felt that non-disciplinarity would be an even better term for it) and on its right to relate to the texts in a manner that is partly personal. For the author is strongly engaged aesthetically, not merely theoretically, with the early modern texts that are his objects of study. In my view the unusual nature of this approach gives the book more strengths than weaknesses; and its utility, and even beauty (not a word one is accustomed to use of scholarly works), derives partly from its persistent refusal to be quite what one might have expected it to be. Others may think differently of course; ones feeling about this book will depend to some extent on ones gut reaction to the approach which places on aesthetic perception an equal value to historical analysis. Satans Rhetoric is comprised of five chapters, each involving a close reading of a particular text, and an introduction and conclusion, both relatively short (but pithy). Perhaps because of the brevity of the introduction, one is not quite prepared by it for what the book actually goes on to do. This is not entirely Maggis fault; it has at least in part to do with the richness of the texts themselves, and the fact that the reader simply needs more exposure to them to see their particular felicities. However it is also true that Maggi puts what seems an unnecessarily heavy (and perhaps slightly defensive) emphasis on the radical nature of his own enterprise in the opening pages. On page 3, for example, he writes: It should be evident by now that my study is founded on a credulous suspension of disbelief, on the basic assumption that, in order to make sense of such an obsolete and insane intellectual system, we must endeavor to let it lay out its essential premises and obsessive goals without superimposing our enlightened beliefs on what those demonological books really meant to say. It may be useful to read this study as a form of intellectual and linguistic translation more than as an act of interpretation. The presence of so many words in quotation marks may not inspire much confidence in the
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writers attitude towards normal scholarship, but in practice there is nothing especially credulous about Maggis approach, which is sound and sufficiently well-informed from a scholarly point of view. The credulousness that he advertises here may in fact be another (more derogatory) version of what I attempted to call attention to above when I noted that the author has a stronger than usual aesthetic engagement with his texts. So much is this true that his use of the word translation (which glances in ways that are not flagged here both at anthropological and poetic senses of the term) needs a few moments further consideration, since what he means by it did not become really clear to me until the end of the book. What he writes is, of course, interpretation, but it could be seen more delicately as the kind of interpretation that occurs within the tradition of poetic imitation a term which includes the sense not only of borrowings of style, wording, and locution, from previous poets, but also of translation (of a poem or other literary work) to another idiom in a way that is fairly free, and amounts to viewing the original through the lens of another language, another personality. Imitation in this sense is, it seems to me, the closest analogue for what Maggi does at his best, and in full flight, over these Renaissance texts: they are represented in a way that is almost without residual alterity, for Maggi succeeds in exposing (one wants to say freeing) some of the intrinsic beauty of their thought structure, while pursuing references and analogues to their ideas freely in Augustine, Aquinas, Foucault, Freud, and Lacan, in ways that do not seem to admit of any one writer being any more dead than any other. Readers who balk at the idea of Freudian analysis being applied to texts of Renaissance demonology need not be too alarmed at this, however, because part of what Maggi brings out is that there is actually a kind of structural similarity (for the most part not pushed too hard or too anachronistically) in the operation of signifiers through the unconscious and dream states (in Freud) and the operation, through real things (but also dreams) of the speech of spirits in the Renaissance texts. Maggis concern throughout is to show how the Renaissance texts understand and articulate the linguistic actions of spirits in communication with, and by means of, the human mind and body. A fact that becomes of key importance for the understanding of spiritual speech (for demonic speech cannot be discussed independently of angelic speech) is that angels and demons were created without imagination or memory. These terms of this argument, which depends very much on Thomistic thinking about demons, are laid out in the text analyzed in chapter one, the De Strigimagarum daemonumque mirandis, a work of witchcraft theory from the early part of the sixteenth century written by Lombard inquisitor Sylvester Prierio. In brief, Prierio lays out that angels (including the fallen angels) have

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no imagination and no memory because they are not made to obtain knowledge from sensory data. While unfallen angels may continue to speak Gods word directly, unmediated by any mnemonic or phantasmic intervention of their own, the fallen angels have lost this ability, and must find a way to, in a sense, speak the world instead of God. To compensate for the loss of God in the absence of memory, they develop a certain ability to manipulate and derive information from phenomenal data; in a sense they must substitute human memory for their own, speaking a language of things and actions, leaving traces of presence on the human mind, imagination and memory, through their local motions. For demons, language always remains at an order of removal from what humans normally experience, being without sensory referent; without memory and imagination they have not the human ability to understand what they are saying. Nevertheless their speech of things and actions and phantasms is closer to human language than is the speech of angels. This text of Prierio serves as a good starting point for Maggis interpretive enterprise, since it is concerned more obviously and directly with demonology and witchcraft than most of the others. In chapter two, we remain still for a while at the level of theory, as Maggi elucidates another text with slightly different interests: the De incantationibus seu ensalmis of the Portuguese inquisitor Manuel de Moura, published almost a century later than the De strigimagis, in 1620. Ensalmus is actually a technical term for a particular type of incantation, or instrumental prayer, which uses extensive quotations from the Bible, particularly the Psalms. De Mouras text is thus theoretically concerned with the sense and parameters of magic more than witchcraft, though of course most treatises of this type in this era were interested in both in varying degrees. The particular problem at issue here is the way, in any given ensalmus , demonic communication may collide head on with language from the Bible: how do demons manipulate what is supposed to be the speech of God? This text elaborates on Augustinian principles of relations between God, demons and signs, though goes further with these principles and pushes them harder than earlier writers did. In chapter three Maggi takes a daring leap from the theoretical texts to land with considerable dexterity on a text of ritual practice: the Thesaurus Exorcismorum , an exorcism manual, or more precisely a compilation of exorcism manuals of various authorship, put together by the Franciscan inquisitor Girolamo Menghi in the last quarter of the sixteenth century. Maggi treats these exorcism manuals as a kind of applied demonology, rightly noting the importance of exorcistic practices to the witchcraft theorists (including Kramer and Sprenger who discuss exorcism as a type of verbal remedy against witchcraft). On the whole exorcism is given fairly short shrift in contemporary histories of

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magic and witchcraft, and perhaps partly for this reason I found Maggis analysis of this set of texts particularly refreshing and compelling. As it is possible to see from Maggis analysis, the exorcistic ritual is a kind of demonic communication turned against itself; ritual has much in common with demonic speech in the first place, because it, too, is a kind of speech of things. The texts of exorcistic ritual thus, as analyzed by Maggi, become concrete, active instances of what might otherwise remain mere abstractions about demons and their linguistic constructs. What Maggi also shows (which another author might not have done) is that these texts are not merely fascinating; they are constructed with considerable passion, and they are also beautiful. Chapter four takes another unexpected leap into a territory which has again often been ignored by the historian concerned with witchcraft and demonology: the realm of mystical writing. This chapter concerns the Probation , an account of certain experiences of demonic temptation, persecution and exile from God undergone by the visionary Maria Maddalena de Pazzi in 1585. Maggi writes from a position of close familiarity with the rather unusual texts concerning Maria Maddalena de Pazzi (he is the author of a book, Uttering the Word [Albany: SUNY Press, 1998], and numerous articles about her), and he calls Probation a cornerstone of sixteenth-century demonology (180), which is an interesting though surely unconventional categorization. It may be said at least that it is very much an etic categorization, since these are not terms Maria Maddalena herself would have thought in. To begin with she despised writing, including transcription of her own words; her mysticism centres to such an extent on oral utterance, on speech, that her sisters in the convent of Santa Maria degli Angeli developed a system of recording her uttered words (as well as actions and gestures) on the premise that only in a such a way could her confessor properly evaluate the theological soundness of her visions. All of her visions are recorded as they happen, the blow-by-blow details giving them a dramatic immediacy. Maggi begins the chapter with a short excursus on the relation between demonic speech and melancholy, and goes on to explore how Maria Maddalenas spoken experiences link her melancholia with words and gestures in an enactment which both performs and exorcises the demonic speech that inhabits her body. One can see in these accounts of Maria Maddalenas interaction with spiritual presences why Maggi was tempted to call it a demonological cornerstone, for as a manifestation of demonic actions on the human body it has a kind of unarguable beauty and purity. The fifth and final chapter examines a text in another genre which initially seems to be at a considerable remove from all the rest: this is the Metaposcopia libris tredecim, et octingentis faciei humanae eiconibus complexa of Girolamo Cardano, a work on physiognomy (divination by reading lines on

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faces) first published in 1658. Cardano was a dense and prolific writer whose metaphysical concerns, though more intrinsically theoretical than the exorcistic narratives of either Menghi or Maria Maddalena, still appear very different from those of writers like Prierio and de Moura in this one respect: Cardanos demons are clearly a version of neo-Platonic daimons, and his work is an exploration of demonic activity which has the aim of insight, rather than condemnation, suppression or exorcism. With respect to this text, Maggi poses the key question Does a demonic intervention necessarily mean possession and self-annihilation? (180) and continues Scholars tend to believe that a Ficinian demon has little or nothing to do with the biblical devil or demon. We have seen that demonologists such as Prierio and de Moura are familiar with Marsilio Ficinos interpretation of a Platonic daimon. Both Prierio and de Moura mention and discuss some of Ficinos major works to highlight his alleged errors and also to stress their points of agreement. Furthermore, in their view of a demonic being, Italian Neoplatonic philosophers were inevitably affected by the dominant Catholic theology. In the Renaissance, what a Platonic demon does and knows is both daimonic and diabolical (181). Maggis primary concern here is to demonstrate how the theories and problematics elaborated in the earlier parts of the book are still at work in Cardanos writing; and indeed the issues are fascinatingly similar. In fact this chapter may well be the most important in the book, at least insofar as it points the way towards further scholarship which might undertake the tracing out of these issues in the works of other esoteric and occult writers in this period; one would very much like to see a similar kind of analysis of demonic speech applied to particular works of Agrippa, Ficino and Bruno, for example. In the conclusion, which is as brief, but which I found more accessible than the introduction, Maggi offers a final reading of two contemporary Catholic texts: the Vatican revelation of the Third Secret of Ftima on the 26th of June, 2000, and the 1999 document Memory and Reconciliation, which formulates a Catholic apology for its own crimes against humanity. This apology, as Maggi notes, is also an exorcism; its narrative is similar in certain ways both to the Probation and the Thesaurus Exorcismorum . Both documents provide a fascinating contemporary adumbration of the themes Maggi has treated throughout the book, though approaching them from an unexpected tangent. Maggis initial insistence that his work is one of translation rather than interpretation is reiterated again, more strongly than before, in a kind of concluding credo: I believe, writes Maggi, that the melancholy plaguing Renaissance Europe is our melancholy, that the souls of purgatory ... are still calling us (225). Indeed. So strongly does Satans Rhetoric insist upon its right to relate to these texts in its own way and to pursue its own singular agenda that it seems

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almost unfair to offer a standard form of scholarly critique. It might tentatively be suggested that there is more in the way of medieval intellectual history that could have been brought to bear as background to the texts discussed; one might venture in particular that Augustines own theories, both demonological and linguistic, might have been given more explanatory space; and this reader, at least, would have liked to see more quotation in original languages (while there are Latin quotations sprinkled throughout the book, a good part of what is discussed is given only in English translation). But for anyone who finds the book at all convincing, these will amount to quibbles rather than serious flaws. The book works on its own terms, and there is much of value in it for Renaissance scholars in a variety of areas and disciplines, not least those who study esotericism. Claire Fanger

Walter Stephens, Demon Lovers: Witchcraft, Sex, and the Crisis of Belief. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press 2002, pp. 451. In 1968 Erik Midelfort protested that more pure bunk had been written about witchcraft than about any other field in history. But in the last thirty years a reverse Greshams law has taken effect: good scholarship has edged out the bad. This is certainly true of Walter Stephens new book, which is a compelling work of scholarship elucidating what should have been obvious but somehow wasnt: namely, that European and American witchcraft theories were the logical product of Christian doubt. Stephens contends that witchcraft theorists were neither credulous fools nor prurient misogynists, but tormented skeptics trying to resolve the conflicts in Christian doctrine about the benevolence of God, the existence of spirits and souls, and the efficacy of the sacraments. Neither irrational nor unscientific, witchcraft theorists deployed all the resources available from natural philosophy and theology to vindicate the goodness of God and the truth of the bible. Witchcraft theory, to use Stephens apt phrase, was a kind of theological damage control (p. 366). It was in itself a theodicy that let God off the hook of seeming injustice. Stephens takes a Braudelian long dure approach to witchcraft. While he sees 1400 as a pivotal date marking the point when significant numbers of educated Christians began to believe that human beings, especially women, interacted with demons in intensely physical ways the most pronounced of
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which was through sexual intercourse he argues that this belief was itself the end product of a long period of cumulative doubt that began in the 12 th century. The bed-rock Christian belief in spirits, both angelic and demonic, was undermined by fuller knowledge of Aristotles works from the 12th century onwards. How were Christians to deal with the realization that the philosopher categorically rejected the existence of spirits on the ground that matter and form were inseparable aspects of an entity? The Aristotelian idea that physical events occurred as a result of strictly natural causes not only conflicted with the role accorded to spirits in the Gospels and later Christian thought but it undermined the belief in both divine providence and miracles, which Christians had routinely taken as concrete proof of the truth and superiority of their religion. Aquinas and his followers were profoundly disturbed by the Aristotelian idea that natural causes were the only viable scientific explanations for physical events, a view encouraged by growing contact with the Moslem world and the Wests absorption of the occult sciences of astrology, alchemy, and natural magic, all of which argued for natural rather than spiritual or divine causes. Stephens accepts Salvatore Camporeales characterization of the 14th to the th 16 century as the travail of Christendom. The Black Death, the Great Schism, new methods of theological research, the discovery and dissemination of new texts, printing, mysticism, trade, travel, and the discovery of the new world all undermined established truths and called into question the idea of divine providence and Gods omniscience and benevolence. Misfortune, uncertainty, and insecurity called for a new theodicy, and Stephens argues that this was supplied by the witch theorists. A consistent theme runs through all their writings: the terrible fear that God, spirits, heaven, and hell did not exist. They wrote to assuage their deepest doubts, and these doubts could only be kept at bay by proving that spirits were real and interacted on a physical level with human beings. From Caesarius of Heisterbachs Dialogus miraculorum (1225) to Marlowes Doctor Faustus, Christians were plagued by doubts about the reality of spirits, for if spirits did not actually exist but were figments of the imagination, how could one prove the existence of that most spiritual entity of all, God? Augustine claimed that spirits were incorporeal and that they had aerial bodies (City of God, bks 8 & 9). But if this were the case, how could purely spiritual entities interact with physical human beings? Aquinas tried to resolve the question by asserting that although angels and demons were pure spirit, they could assume bodies made of air that had been condensed by divine power to a suitable shape. Aquinas and subsequent theologians devised a complicated explanation for how devils, who did not have real bodies, could copulate with humans who obviously do: as succubi (those lying under) they received semen

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from human males, which as incubi (those lying above) they deposit in females. As Stephens points out, devils and demons became increasingly corporeal through the centuries, emerging in the 15 th century as a riot of corporeality (p. 110) with horns, reptilian tails, grotesque features, and faces inappropriately situated on their stomachs or posteriors. Even more worryingly, during the period of most intense witch hunts in the 16th and 17 th centuries devils and demons often appeared in increasingly human guise, to the point that they were virtually indistinguishable from human beings. Their interaction with people was thus assured, or was it? The paradox was that as theologians and witch theorists became more detailed and concrete in their scientific explanations for the corporeality of demons, they promoted the very skepticism they were at pains to allay. Stephens claims that the reason why witch theorists were so interested in proving the reality of demonic sex had little to do with an obsession with sex or misogyny but was a consequence of their attempt to provide irrefutable evidence that demons did interact physically with humans. What, after all, could be better proof of physical intimacy than intercourse? Literate interest in copulation with demons was hardly driven by prurience, misogyny, or puritanical fervor. Literate men craved demonstrations that even sexual intercourse, the most intimate sort of bodily contact, was possible with demons. Copulation offered valuable perspectives on the life of demons, their corporeality, and the possibility of acting meaningfully with them (p. 19). Stephens describes witch theorists as metaphysical voyeurs; their deepest desire was not to look through bedroom walls but through those barriers that separated the physical world of human beings from the spiritual life to come (p. 32). While he admits that witch theorists were misogynists, he claims they did not exploit theology in order to demonize women but utilized the prevailing misogyny to reinforce a demonology that supported the religion they seriously doubted. Stephens makes a valid point, but only up to a point. His valiant attempt to apply this logic to Heinrich Kramer, the notorious author of the Malleus maleficarum, and to exculpate him from the charge of writing scholastic pornography is so tortured that it left this readers mind reeling! He writes: Of course the Malleus was misogynistic, but what for Kramer was the use of misogyny? To read his treatment of demonic copulation as a tirade against womens sexual powers is to miss his point entirely. If anything, his tirade is for womens sexuality. The issue was not keeping women in their place or controlling their sexuality. Henrich Kramer did not fear that women were associating with demons: he hoped that they were. His whole theology depended on womens sexual transgressions, and it would have collapsed if he had ever had to admit that womens behavior conformed to the patriarchal ideal of chastity and submissiveness (p.

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37). One suspects that Stephens protests too much. It hard to believe that the long and tortured history of Christian ambivalence to sex and procreation and the misogyny this generated were not important contributing factors to witch theorists emphasis on the perverse sexuality of female witches. After 1400 those accused of witchcraft were no longer charged with practicing specific acts of magic (maleficium ) but simply with attending the Sabbath, where demonic sex was a standard feature. Stephens explanation that demonic sex replaced maleficum as the sine qua non of witchcraft because sexual intercourse offered better proof of demonic and human interaction Kramers interest is not prurience but provability (p. 40) is problematic. Surely, an emphasis on witches and demons making demonic pacts could have provided the same level of proof that physical interaction was possible. The fact that witch theorists were so interested in the specifics of the sexual encounters between witches and demons, so detailed in their descriptions of the size and shape of demonic sex organs (enormous), so curious as to whether women preferred sex with demons or humans, so convinced of the painful and unpleasant nature of demonic intercourse, and so insistent that even demons refrained from crimes against nature (i.e. sodomy or even intercourse in anything but the missionary position) indicates a fixation on sexuality and gender profoundly colored by Christian attitudes to sex and celibacy. It also suggests that there was an increase in the level of misogyny in the late medieval and early modern period that made it possible for female witches to replace male necromancers, heretics, and Jews as the Churchs most dreaded enemy. In their creation of the stereotype of the witch, witch theorists not only tried to eradicate their doubts about the reality of the demonic and divine realms, but they also attempted to assuage their doubts about the efficacy of the Christian sacraments. Stephens points out that the witchcraft rituals imagined by witch theorists were not parodies or travesties of Catholic rites; they were counter-sacramentals, whose very existence were intended to dispel growing doubts about what if any effects the sacraments had (pp. 199ff). The attempt made by scholastic theologians to describe the way the sacraments worked in terms of Aristotelian notions of cause and effect, matter and form, substance and accidents had the unintentional effect of naturalizing or desacramentalizing them (p. 184). This, in turn, raised the question of how the effects of the sacraments could be verified. As Stephens says, The problematic verification of sacramental effects was a crucial stimulus to theories of witchcraft (p. 183). The witchs evil deed, or maleficium , was the counterpart of the good effect (beneficium ) of the sacraments and sacramentals (holy water, using the cross as a prophylactic, holy candles, etc.). Ever since the promulgation of the doctrine of transubstantiation by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), Catholic

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theologians had to counter their own as well as lay doubts about Christs real presence in the consecrated host. It appeared easier to prove this negatively than positively, through the innumerable stories told about the desecration of the hostfirst by Jews and then by witchesand the subsequent miraculous appearance in the host of blood or the figure of the Christ child. The denial of transubstantiation by various groups of heretics from the 13 th to the 15th century reached a climax with the emergence of various Protestant sects. Stephens argues that it is no coincidence that Heinrich Kramer was not only an expert on witches but an ardent defender of transubstantiation (p. 227). Stephens contends that sexual dysfunction and impotency was one of the most distressing anxieties affecting early-modern Europeans. Marriage was an economic institution and childless marriages affected inheritance and alliances between families as well as countries. Impotency and sterility therefore had profound consequences for husbands and wives. It had implications for the sacrament of marriage as well. Catholic theologians defended the sacrament for its efficacy against impotency, but, as in the case of the Eucharist, the reputed ability of witches to negate the effect of the sacrament provided a needed explanation when the sacrament proved ineffective. In this regard, as in many others dealing with inexplicable misfortune, witchcraft provided an effective theodicy. Witches, not God, were at fault. Witchcraft could also explain why the sacrament of baptism failed to protect the great number of baptized children who died in infancy. Again, the witch, not God, was to blame. Witch theorists claimed, that witches were especially interested in procuring unbaptized children for their disgusting nostrums because unbaptized children were more easily harmed. This idea conveniently reinforced the notion of baptism as an effective prophylactic, while simultaneously explaining why it sometimes failed. Like Carlo Ginzburg, Stephens interprets the replacement of the earlier demonic stereotypes of Jews, heretics, necromancers, and magicians with the witch as a sign of heightened skepticism and fear among Christians (p. 221). Historians have pointed out the various ways in which the myths about lepers, Jews, necromancers, heretics and witches resembled each other. As enemies of society, they were accused of doing those things society most abhorred killing children, destroying marriages, causing death and disaster, ruining crops, and undermining religion. But Stephens adds another common element to this list, one that emerges logically from his analysis of witchcraft theories as defenses against the nagging fear that spirits, and hence God, did not exist. As he says, A desire to be convinced of the reality of spirit was the psychic glue that held the witch myth together. ... This conceptual adhesive accounts for otherwise puzzling resemblances between myths about witches, Jews, necromancers, and heretics (366).

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Scholars before Stephens have noted that the witch hunting was not the antithesis of science or antithetical to the so-called scientific revolution but an actual part of it. But his detailed analysis of how witchcraft theorists dealt with questions of evidence and proof adds greatly the discussion. Underlying the witchcraft debate were fundamental issues concerning the authority and credibility of the Christian revelation, the constitution of the created world, the nature of man, and the basis of ethics and morality. Every one of these involved the larger problem of what constitutes knowledge and how knowledge may be obtained. Stephens reveals how ambivalent witchcraft theorists were to the prevailing Aristotelian conviction that real proof and certainty come from sensory data and bodily experiences. Inquisitors like Kramer were convinced that the physical experiences described by witches (under torture, to be sure) provided valid evidence. They were the expert witnesses, whose testimony affirmed that demonic copulation was not a figment of Kramers overactive imagination, a thought that Kramer himself voices, revealing his own doubts: The theory that modern witches are tainted with this sort of diabolic filthiness does not depend so much on our own opinion, as on the expert testimony of the witches themselves, which has made all these things credible (p. 35). The problem with Kramers line of reasoning was two-fold. It raised the issue that would become central in the 17th century of whether sensory experience can provide accurate knowledge of external reality; and it brought into question the value of second-hand testimony. Both issues come to the forefront in Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandolas treatises on witchcraft. Pico was one of the first to employ the skepticism of Sextus Empiricus to undermine philosophy in order to support faith. In Strix (1523), his dialogue between an Inquisitor, a skeptic, and a moderator (himself), Pico takes travel reports as an example. The Inquisitor asks the skeptic if he believes what he hears about crossing the Atlantic or arriving in the gulf of India. When the skeptic admits he does, the inquisitor is quick to point out that there is no different between the accounts of travelers and those describing witches and the Sabbath; both are second-hand. Their truth lies in the credibility of the narrator. The skeptic is convinced and agrees with the moderator that when many people are of the same opinion about something, and agree about it as if speaking with one voice, it cannot seem credible that someone goes on claiming the right to deny it (p. 235). Thus for Pico the truth of witchcraft lay in narratives given by trustworthy people who have witnessed the activities of witches. A similar conclusion was reached by Bartolomeo Spina, who argues that human society would cease to exist if we only believed what we have ourselves experienced (p. 174). In this regard it should be pointed out that Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer see the same process of witnessing and emphasis

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on the probity of the witnesses as the process through which Boyles chemistry and the new science was validated. One might object, and scholars have, that the scientific revolution was validated by more than just witnessing, that a model of experimental research was put in place that depended on the successful repetition of experiments. Stephens points out that in some cases witch theorists took an experimental approach, describing experiments in regard to such things as the ointments that supposedly enabled witches to fly to Sabbaths. The fact that the experiments failed, however, was taken by them as proof that the activities of witches were unnatural because they were demonic. In other words, the ointment used by witches had no natural inherent power; demons actually did the flying. This may not seem to us to be a valid scientific conclusion, but it does reveal that witch theorists were deeply involved in the scientific debates of their time. This review does not do justice to the richness and complexity of the issues raised by Stephens. His book is a model of scholarship and should interest anyone concerned with the belief systems of the late medieval and early modern periods. It will especially interest historians of science and intellectual historians investigating the complex relationship between religion, magic, and science on the eve of the scientific revolution. Allison P. Coudert

Sylvain Matton (ed.), Documents oublis sur lalchimie, la kabbale et Guillaume Postel offerts Franois Secret, Genve, Droz 2001, 462 pp. Dans son avant-propos, Sylvain Matton explique que les auteurs des tudes composant louvrage ont voulu illustrer la mthode du matre consistant prcisment privilgier le document (souvent oubli ou inconnu). Ces multiples documents disperss mais remis en lumire, souvent avec laide ou lindication de Franois Secret, illustrent de manire objective son influence sur ltude du 16e sicle europen. Encore plus qu limage de son uvre, les contributions des Mlanges en sont en quelque manire autant de fruits rels. Lhommage, suivant la chronologie historique, dbute par Henri-Dominique Saffrey qui offre sa traduction dune liste de divinations chez les Grecs. Cette liste est conserve dans lHypommesticon , ouvrage de Joseph de Tibriade, juif converti du 10e sicle. Or, elle provient en grande partie de la Lettre Anbon de Porphyre. Saffrey stonne de la grande diffusion de cette lettre Anbon de Porphyre et inversement du silence qui entoure le De Mysteriis de Jamblique
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(40). Cette rponse de Jamblique Porphyre devrait pourtant tre davantage considre, selon Saffrey, car on y retrouve plusieurs citations du matre syrien qui sont retransmises dans lHippomesticon de Joseph de Tibriade. Nicolas Sd offre deux traductions de traits kabbalistes: le commentaire du Sepher Yesirah par Mose ben Nahman et le Trait de Palais clestes , qui connut une large diffusion. Mose Nahmanide de Gerone, autorit importante pour les kabbalistes chrtiens, ainsi que lavait montr Franois Secret, est lauteur dun commentaire du Sepher Yesirah qui ne fut cependant pas connu des kabbalistes chrtiens (49). Mais son appartenance la mystique de lcole gronaise est un document typique de cet aspect de la mtaphysique de la philologie mdivale juive (50). Le Trait des Palais clestes, qui connut une dition Venise ds 1601, se veut une description topographique et architecturale du septime firmament (61). Trnes, sraphins, chrubins, archanges, myriades danges et YHDRYL sont dcrits et situs, tout au long des sept courts chapitres qui composent cet ouvrage contemplatif populaire rdig au 10e ou 11e sicle. Marie Madeleine Fontaine travaille sur un exemplaire du De veritate unius Legis de Pietro del Monte, paru Milan en 1509, dont un exemplaire de ldition de 1522 ayant appartenu Guillaume Postel est conserv aujourdhui la bibliothque Mazarine. Le texte du condottiere, dont luvre tait connue en France au moins en 1522 et sans doute auparavant (104), est un plaidoyer contre lalchimie qui nest quopratoire, et une fois mise en chec sur ce terrain, elle choue tre une science (106). M.M. Fontaine traduit, sous forme de rsum, les chapitres 20 24 du livre VIII du De veritate consacr la rfutation de lalchimie. Le texte du condottiere devenu philosophe vaut par la quantit et la qualit de ses arguments thoriques et exprimentaux. Parmi ceux-ci, la distinction propose par le militaire savant concerne le renversement du paradigme alchimique selon lequel tous les mtaux seraient dabord du vif-argent (121). Il dclare en effet affirmer que le vif-argent, fix ou non, est dune autre espce que tous les autres mtaux (ibid.). En appendice, M.M. Fontaine relve les notes de lecture de Postel dans lexemplaire, pour constater que notre aptre cosmopolite approuve totalement lattaque de Monte contre les gens dglise, leur corruption et le vol des biens de lglise (129). Le 9 octobre 1578, la facult de Thologie de Paris censura cinquante-neuf thses paracelsiennes. Didier Kahn traite en dtail de loubli de cette condamnation (la censure de la Sorbonne nous offre un document prcieux sur le paracelsisme en France, entirement oubli, p. 166). Afin dexhumer cette condamnation absente des plus rcentes recherches dans le domaine, il dite deux feuillets du fonds Dupuy (conserv la Bibliothque nationale de France), qui contient la liste des 59 thses. Kahn parvient aussi retracer lorigine de la grande majorit dentre elles. Cette contribution permet de reculer

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et de prciser la date de la toute premire condamnation du mdecin suisse par une autorit religieuse (163). Jean Letrouit exhume lui aussi deux lettres autographes acquises par le Collge de France la fin du 19e sicle. Il sagit de lettres rdiges par deux hbrasants: le calabrais Guidacerus, dont les livres furent offerts Postel par Franois 1er, et Gilbert Genebrard. La lettre de Guidacerus (et non Guidacerius, prcise Letrouit) est un document authentique de toute raret, qui est pass entre les mains de Tayspil, drasme et de Gilles de Busleyden (185). La lettre de Genebrard est, elle aussi, dune authenticit indubitable (189). Lvocation de la langue grecque dans les deux documents en cause montre, rappelle Letrouit, que les hbrasants chrtiens de la Renaissance taient aussi dexcellents hellnistes ( ibidem). En 1964, Franois Secret a publi quatorze lettres de Postel adresses Theodor Zwinger et conserves la Bristish Library. Quelques annes plus tard, Carlos Gilly retrouvait deux autres lettres du mme corpus et oublies dans le transport. Le mme spcialiste en prsente ici une troisime qui serait la premire de la srie et qui est signe du pseudonyme de Ch. Synesius que Gilly rapproche dautres pseudonymes de Postel. La Bibliothque Municipale de Rouen conserve six volumes ayant appartenu Postel. Valrie Neveu sattarde sur le plus remarquable: un exemplaire du Zohar dans ldition de Crmone annot par notre auteur mais compltement oublie ce jour. Le corpus en cause est majeur et contient sept ouvrages kabbalistiques: aprs le Zohar vient le Midrash , puis une compilation talmudique intitule Ein Israel , du rabbin espagnol Jacob ben Salomon, aprs lexpulsion de 1492 et de sa suite, Bet Israel , rdige par le fils du premier. Puis, un Midrash sur les Psaumes, abondamment annot par son acqureur, un commentaire sur le Pentateuque exposant les quatre niveaux de lecture dont le plus haut est videmment lexgse kabbalistique. Enfin, le septime ouvrage est celui de Mose Mamonide, consacr lui aussi une compilation talmudique. Ces sept ouvrages acquis par Postel et sur lesquels il a travaill, permettent de mieux connatre le Postel hbrasant, selon Valrie Neveu, car lexamen des notes et commentaires offre une rcurrence des mme thmes: lie, la Mre Jeanne, le Pape anglique, le second avnement du Christ, la prminence gauloise, le gouvernement juste, la critique de la papaut (274). Le dominicain Joseph Ciantes (mort en 1670), fut nomm en 1626 par le pape pour prcher aux Juifs de Rome. Une tude rcente rattachait encore cet apologiste catholique au kabbalisme chrtien. Laszl Thot, voulant vrifier cette hypothse, nous offre de longs extraits et une analyse de deux traits majeurs de Ciantes, le De Sanctissima Trinitate et le De Sanctissima incarnatione , dans lesquels Ciantes cite abondamment les textes kabbalistiques connus son poque. Lanalyse propose par Thot dbouche sur un ren-

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versement de perspective: Ciantes tait un antikabbaliste (337); son souci de prdicateur et dvque tait la conversion des Juifs. Au demeurant, lutilisation apologtique, par Ciantes, de la doctrine des trois Lumires et son rapport avec le dogme de la Trinit, si elle nest pas absolument originale, demeure rare et riche dune doctrine trangement oublie. Enfin, le second trait de lapologiste, consacr lIncarnation, contient, selon Thot, un enchanement dargumentation antikabbalistique trs dense (341). Aprs un bref survol de lvocation de la rose dans la tradition alchimique, Mino Gabriele dite trois sonnets dun auteur anonyme du dbut du 16 sicle conservs dans un manuscrit de Florence et traitant de cette figure importante dans la description du Grand uvre. Sylvain Matton prolonge, loccasion de ces Mlanges Franois Secret, la publication des uvres de Jean Vauquelin des Yveteaux en ditant le Cantique des cantiques de Salomon interprt dans le sens physique. Lditeur de lalchimiste normand profite de sa prsentation de louvrage pour dresser une typologie des diffrents usages des textes bibliques dans les traits dalchimie depuis le 14e sicle. Ainsi, de lAurora consugens en passant par Michael Maier et Pierre-Jean Fabre puis Jean Vauquelin des Yveteaux (1651-1716), Matton propose un classement des auteurs qui ont lu ou utilis les critures saintes dans leur dmarche de dcryptage de la recette philosophale. La lecture du texte du pote Vauquelin montre lvidence que lexgse alchimique des Saintes critures perdure la fin du XVIIe sicle. Vauquelin procde cependant prudemment, en attribuant cette lecture des naturalistes quil place la suite des lectures respectives des Pres de lglise et des rabbins talmudistes. En rflchissant sur la prface que Postel rdigea pour une dition de saint Jean Chrysostome, Jean-Franois Maillard dgage la politique cosmopolite de Postel (201) et lanthropologie qui la fonde. Sur la plan politique, son radicalisme gallican assaisonn dattaques anti-romaines et anticlricales (p. 211) aboutit une doctrine extrmiste: lcumnisme de Postel entend non point tolrer mais radiquer la Rforme en la dpassant par sa propre doctrine de la Restitution (203). Cette doctrine, au triple aspect eschatologique, spirituel et politique (207), se fonde sur une anthropologie prnant une double nature corporelle, les corps grossiers et thriques (220). Et ce serait du corps thrique quil sagirait dans les rsurrections, les apparitions et autres miracles que Postel collige. Dans ce contexte de mission apologtique, Maillard suggre que cette conception thurgique du miracle est hrite de la kabbale (217), qui fournirait aussi Postel la doctrine de la mtempsychose, pierre angulaire de la Restitution (210). Malgr le peu de succs que connut cette mission, le surnom de cosmopolite rsume, selon Maillard, lapostolat de Postel, dont lilluminisme flamboyant (201) le rattacherait au courant joachimite (203).

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Jean-Pierre Brach dite un trait de Postel demeur manuscrit; il sagit dun opuscule consacr la signification des polydres rguliers, rdig probablement avant 1546 (223). Ce manuscrit de six folios est une dissertation adresse aux thologiens de la Sorbonne qui sinspire sans le nommer du De quantitate animae dAugustin (224). Brach rsume en ces termes la finalit vise par notre intellectuel dans ce petit ouvrage: La question centrale, consistant transposer du Time au Christ les valences analogiques des polydres, rpond essentiellement une volont dtablissement ou de confirmations rationnels des vrits chrtiennes. Sappuyant comme de juste sur diverses donnes scripturaires, Postel entend fonder symboliquement mais aussi bien, more geometrico une mtaphysique de la Sagesse (232). Devant cette synthse dont Brach souligne plusieurs reprises loriginalit dans le contexte de la littrature kabbalistique chrtienne (ibid.), il nest peut-tre pas exagr de considrer la dmarche de Postel comme prparant les mtaphysiques qui suivront et qui lui ressembleront par leur modelage sur la gomtrie. Wallace Kirsop sest pench sur un exemplaire du De Orbis Terrae Concordia , actuellement la bibliothque Mitchell de Sydney. Solidement tablie ds la premire moiti du 18e sicle (246), la rputation de Postel fut, dune part, consacre par des bibliographes, tel de Bure, qui appuie son jugement favorable notamment sur la rationalit prsente dans le De Orbis. Dautre part, ds la fin du mme sicle, Postel aurait connu une perte de faveur que le bibliographe Martin-Sylvestre Boulard a explique par le changement de systme sur les opinions religieuses, lesprit de tolrance (249). Jean-Marie Laurent dite et commente un manuscrit dalchimie rdig par Franois-Nicolas Nol, Maon rgulier ayant vcu la fin du 18e sicle, et qui propose lui aussi une double lecture articule sur la thologie chrtienne et sur lalchimie thorique. Ce manuscrit traite notamment du parallle entre la Sainte Trinit et les trois principes de la nature visible nos yeux (447). On y retrouve aussi la conception sotrique de la science (la gomtrie) en cause reposant sur les hiroglyphes invents par les sages (452). Enfin, cet ouvrage se trouve encore enrichi par un travail fort utile, savoir une bibliographie des travaux de Franois Secret (de 1954 1998). Elle a t tablie par Didier Kahn et Jean-Franois Maillard, avec la collaboration de Jean-Pierre Brach. En parlant de documents oublis dans le titre de ces Mlanges, les diteurs ont sans doute voulu souligner la rcurrence de loubli dans presque toutes les recherches ici jointes. Mais il faut savoir aussi, crit Marc Fumaroli, que Franois Secret a lui-mme sorti tout un monde de loubli: Nous avons t introduits par lui un monde ancien, endormi dans les entrailles du pass : lsotrisme de la Renaissance. Claude Gagnon

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Michael Hunter (ed.), The Occult Laboratory: Magic, Science and Second Sight in Late 17th-Century Scotland. A new edition of Robert Kirks The Secret Commonwealth and other texts, with an introductory essay, Woodbridge: The Boydell Press 2001. In this unusual anthology, Michael Hunter presents an intriguing set of texts from the last two decades of the 17th century dealing with the ability of certain people in the Scottish Highlands to foresee future events. He believes that Robert Boyle initiated the collection of these documents, which include: Robert Boyles notes on his interview with Lord Tarbat on second sight (1678); A Collection of Highland Rites and Customs, which offers a miscellany of information about Highland institutions, beliefs, and practices, including second sight; Robert Kirks The Secret Commonwealth , an investigation of Scottish notions about fairies some of which were derived from men with second sight, and his A Short Treatise of the Scotish-Irish Charms and Spells; James Gardens letters in answer to John Aubreys queries about Scottish antiquities and customs; Samuel Pepyss collection of letters on second sight; John Frasers , a vigorous defense and explanation of second sight; and Edward Lhuyds and Robert Wodrows questionnaires about Scottish customs and beliefs with the responses of John Fraser and John MacLean. In his informative introductory essay Hunter contends that the subject of second sight was of special interest to English intellectuals and natural philosophers of the period because of the increasing encroachment of science on the domain of religion. He argues that Boyle and many of his colleagues in Englands Royal Society were deeply concerned by what they saw as the growth of skepticism and atheism and the role that science may have inadvertently played in promoting both. The debate about witchcraft was a case in point. During the 17th century a growing number of naturalistic and medical explanations had been given for the supposed actions of witches and spirits, and these were taken by many as a direct assault on Christianity. Hobbes, Descartes, and Spinoza were singled out as especially pernicious in this regard, for by denying the existence of spirits, they were accused of undermining the belief in God. Joseph Glanvill, a vociferous advocate of the Royal Society, considered a disbelief in spirits the first step in the inevitable march to atheism: He that thinks there is no Witch, believes a Devil gratis. . . And when men are arrived to this degree of diffidence and infidelity, we are beholden to them if they believe either Angel or Spirit, Resurrection of the Body, of Immortality of Souls. These things hang together in a Chain of Connecxtion, at least in these mens Hypothesis ; and tis but an happy chance if he that hath lost one
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link hold another (Some Philosophical Considerations Touching the Being of Witches and Witchcraft. . . . London, 1667, 4). For all their interest in science and empiricism, Boyle and his colleagues were deeply religious and took it for granted that the world was full of supernatural events and forces. Not only did they attempt to document the existence of these, but they wanted to explain their causes and significance. In Hunters view this explains Boyles interest in second sight. Earlier in his life Boyle subsidized the publication of an account of a poltergeist in France (Francios Perreaud, The Devil of Mason, 1658), and he corresponded with Joseph Glanvill about the desirability of collecting empirically verifiable accounts of witches and spirits (the most extensive of these appeared after Glanvills death in Sadducisimus Triumphatus , 1681). Hunter suggests that by the time Boyle interviewed the Scottish nobleman Lord Tarbat in 1678 he may have been looking for empirical evidence for the supernatural that was less sensationalist and open to charges of fraud and credulity than accounts of witchcraft. In entitling this collection of texts The Occult Laboratory Hunter illustrates the significant role that antiquarian and ethnographic studies played in the religious and scientific debates of the period. For in this instance the occult laboratory was nothing less than the Scottish Highlands, which from the English point of view proved to be an exotic location for collecting and testing abnormal data. The effect that European encounters with foreign peoples and places had in undermining traditional religious and scientific views is a subject of special interest to early modern historians. The documents assembled by Hunter provide an example closer to home of the way ethnographical and antiquarian literature stimulated readers to re-evaluate common assumptions in the light of new factual evidence. While those collecting this evidence hoped to use it apologetically as irrefutable evidence for the supernatural, their objective was undermined by the very copiousness and questionable quality of the evidence assembled. For example, in The Secret Commonwealth Robert Kirk presents elaborately detailed information about the nature and activities of ELVES, FAUNES and FAIRIES. Among other things we are told that their bodies are of congealed air, that some of their books are much like the Rosicrucian stile (83), that they are organized into tribes and orders and steal human women out of child-bed to nurse their offspring. They celebrate marriages, bury their dead, speak like their human counterparts, and dress in similar plaid apparel. As Hunter points out, the harder apologists for the supernatural worked to produce their matters of fact, the more their evidence became the target of wits and scoffers (30). Kirks account also illustrates the role of ethnographic literature in introducing heterodox ideas to the European reading public. According to his re-

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port Scottish fairies do not believe in death in any conventional, Christian sense, but espouse a kind of perpetual reincarnation consistent with their vitalistic view of the universe: For tis one of their Tenets, That nothing perisheth, but (as the Sun and year) everie thing goes in a Circle; Lesser or Greater, and is renewed and refreshed in its revolutions, as tis another, That Every Body in the Creatione, moves (which is a sort of Life:) and that nothing moves but what has another animall moving on it, and so on, to the utmost minutest corpuscle thats capable to be a receptacle of Lyfe (82). One wonders if this way of thinking represents a Scottish version of the kind of religious materialism or vitalistic pantheism Carlo Ginzburg sees as characteristic of the substratum of peasant beliefs in the early modern period. In this connection it is interesting to note that the idea of reincarnation came into vogue among English intellectuals in 1661 with the anonymous publication of A Letter of Resolution concerning Origen and the Chief of his Opinions, attributed to George Rust. Glanvill cautiously supported the idea in his Lux Orientalis of the following year and Henry More followed suit. Pre-existence and reincarnation became a cornerstone of the kabbalistic philosophy of Isaac Luria, introduced to Europeans with the publication of the Kabbala denudata (1677, 1684). Kirk mentions the preexistence of Souls, living into [sic] aereal vehicles, and suggests that these may help give a singular hint of the possibilitie of the thing [second sight], if not a direct proof of the whole assertion (97). Preexistence became so widely accepted that several authors felt compelled to refute the idea (Samuel Parker, An Account of the Nature & Extent of the Divine Domiinion of Goodness ..., 1666; E.W. No Praexistence ..., 1667). The significance of this collection of documents lies in their implications for understanding the evolving attitudes towards magic and the supernatural in the late 17th century and the effect these attitudes had in determining boundaries between the natural and the supernatural. Underlying the interest in second sight were the same issues that surfaced in the debate over witchcraft about the authority and credibility of the Christian revelation, the role of God and spirits in the physical universe, and the epistemological problem of what constitutes sound scientific knowledge. The investigation of phenomena such as witchcraft and second sight was therefore not an anomalous aspect of the period of the scientific revolution but an integral part of it. To arrive at the modern definition of what constitutes a scientific fact or theory required new concepts of what constituted valid scientific evidence together with legitimate and convincing explanations. In this regard it is rewarding to consider the confusing mix of natural and supernatural proofs and explanations given in these documents for second sight. The fact that it is mentioned in the Bible and confirmed by numerous and reliable ancient and contemporary sources is

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taken as adequate proof by Kirk and many others, including Samuel Pepys (170). However, such second-hand reports were no longer sufficient to convince Lord Tarbat, who preferred his own eye-witness observations: I will choose rather to put myself than my friends on the hazard of being laughed at for Incredible Relationes (91). Yet, Lord Tarbat included many second-hand accounts of second sight in his report and seemed convinced by them. A wide variety of explanations are suggested for how and why people have second sight: it can be obtained by means of a magical rite, in which hair (which bound a Corps to the Bier) is run around a persons body and he looks downward, as did Elijah 1 King 18.42, and back thorow his legs until he see a funerall advance ... or back thorow a hole where was a knot of fir (86). Alternatively, second sight can be obtained through contact with someone already possessing the skill, as a gift of good or bad spirits (86-87), or simply by paying someone to teach the skill for a pound or 2 of tobacco (150). In other instances it is said to be hereditary and a special prerogative of Seventh-sons. In this case it may result from miraculous operations or some secret virtue in the womb of the parent, but it may also proceed naturally onlie from the Sanative Balsome of their healthful constitutions. Although he was at a loss to explain the cause of so extraordinary a phaenomenon (94), Lord Tarbat vaguely noted that it might be due to a quality in the eyes of some people in those parts, concurring with a quality in the air also (94). In line with these more naturalistic explanations is the idea that for some people second sight may simply be acquired as an artificiall improvement of their naturall sight ; Resembling in their own kind, the usuall artificiall helps of Optic Glasses (as prospectives, Telescopes, and Microscopes) (87). Evaluating the varied kinds of evidence adduced to prove the reality of second sight as well as the explanations for it were essential steps in the development of modern science and scientific methodology. Michael Hunters collection of documents and his illuminating introductory essay will be of great interest to anyone interested in the belief systems of the early modern period. They will especially interest historians of science and intellectual historians investigating the complex relationship between religion, magic, and science on the eve of the Enlightenment. Allison P. Coudert

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Anne-Charlott Trepp & Hartmut Lehmann (Hrsg.), Antike Weisheit und kulturelle Praxis: Hermetismus in der Frhen Neuzeit (Verffentlichungen des Max-Planck-Instituts fr Geschichte 171), Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2001, 475 S., mit 18 Abbildungen, ISBN 3-525-35374-X Mit dem Hermetismus steht ein religions-philosophisches Paradigma im Blickpunkt, das der abendlndisch-christlichen Kultur auf den ersten Blick sehr fern zu stehen scheint. Mit diesem Satz beginnen die einleitenden Bemerkungen von Anne-Charlott Trepp zu einer um es vorweg zu sagen auergewhnlich guten Sammlung von Beitrgen zu einem Themenfeld, das in letzter Zeit vermehrt das Interesse von Historikerinnen und Historikern findet. Aus religionswissenschaftlicher Sicht kann dieses Interesse nur als Glck bezeichnet werden, denn in der Geschichtswissenschaf t sind nicht nur grere Forschungsressourcen vorhanden als in kleinen Fchern wie der Religionswissenschaft, auch inhaltlich ist der spezifische historische Zugriff auf das Thema eine wichtige, ja unverzichtbare Bereicherung. Der zitierte Satz ist gerade deshalb aufschlussreich, weil er direkt ins Problem der historischen und religionswissenschaftlichen Analyse hinein fhrt: Lsst sich die Dichotomisierung von Christentum und Hermetismus (bzw. Esoterik) und die oft unausgesprochene Gleichsetzung von Christentum und Abendland berhaupt aufrecht erhalten? Ist der Hermetismus tatschlich eine Tradition jenseits des Christentums (der Singular hlt sich hartnckig)? Brauchen wir nicht, um die Europische Religionsgeschichte verstehen zu knnen, ein Vokabular, welches die prozessualen und sich gegenseitig in den Blick nehmenden und damit auch hervorbringenden Optionen der Welterklrung und religisen Praxen angemessen abbildet? Erwartungsgem vertreten die 18 Beitrge des Bandes diesbezglich keine gemeinsame Position. Das zeigt sich bereits in der Uneinheitlichkeit der Begriffswahl: Die Herausgeber wollen den Begriff Esoterik bewut nicht verwenden; zum einen, weil er in der Frhen Neuzeit nicht gebruchlich war, und zum anderen, weil er nur allzu leicht Assoziationen mit der New Age-Bewegung unserer Tage weckt. Eine prinzipielle Diskussion zur Frage der Begrifflichkeit steht jedoch noch aus (Trepp auf S. 10). Letzteres trifft vermutlich zu, doch eine dezidiertere Einbeziehung von Diskussionen um den wissenschaftlichen Gebrauch des Esoterik-Begriffes, der ein analytisches Instrument bereit stellt, das seine Strke gerade der idealtypischen Konstruktion verdankt, wre hier durchaus angemessen gewesen. Die Entscheidung der Herausgeber wird auch nicht von allen Autoren mitgetragen. So macht Thomas Leinkauf darauf aufmerksam, dass auch die Begriffe Hermetismus und Hermetik eine anachronistische Bildung [sind], ein durch uns ex post eingefhrtes sprachliches
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Instrument (S. 43). Andere Beitrge etwa von Martin Mulsow, Monika Neugebauer-Wlk und Thomas Lffler ordnen den Hermetismus wiederum einem allgemeineren Modell von Esoterik unter, wodurch breitere Diskurse, die im eigentlichen Hermetismus auskristallisierten, besser in den Blick genommen werden knnen. Die Uneinheitlichkeit der Begriffe ist jedoch kein Nachteil des Bandes, vielmehr spiegelt sie die Vielschichtigkeit des esoterisch-hermetischen Diskurses der Frhen Neuzeit wider; die Autorinnen und Autoren waren klug genug, die Begriffe aus den Gegenstnden zu entwickeln und vorgefasste Definitionen mit Vorsicht anzuwenden. hnliches gilt auch fr die erwhnte Frage des Verhltnisses von Christentum und Hermetismus bzw. von rationaler Wissenschaft und Esoterik. Die Gegenstnde sperren sich gegen eine vereinfachende Dichotomisierung. Wenn Hermann Geyer die Verschmelzung von Alchemie und Theologie in Johann Arndts Vier Bchern vom wahren Christentum thematisiert; Rudolf Schlgl den Hermetismus als Sprache der unsichtbaren Kirche bezeichnet; Burkhard Dohm sich die Gtter der Erden: Alchimistische Erlsungsvisionen in radikal-pietistischer Poesie vornimmt; Kaspar von Greyerz den religisen Konnotationen in Wissenschaft, Endzeiterwartungen und Alchemie im England des 17. Jahrhunderts nachsprt; oder wenn Peter Hanns Reill am Beispiel des Johann Salomo Semler Religion, Theology, and the Hermetic Imagination in the Late German Enlightenment darstellt dann ist es gerade die Auflsung der einfachen Zuschreibungen, die als gemeinsamer Nenner der Beitrge anzusprechen ist. Nur so wird der Blick frei auf ein plurales Feld , auf dem religise, kulturelle, philosophische und wissenschaftliche Identitten der europischen Neuzeit in gegenseitiger Referenz gebildet wurden. Kaum einer bringt dies klarer auf den Punkt als Hartmut Lehmann. In seinem programmatischen Aufsatz Probleme einer Europischen Religionsgeschichte der Frhen Neuzeit (der eigentlich an den Anfang oder das Ende des Bandes gehren wrde) setzt er sich kritisch mit dem Diktum Monika Neugebauer-Wlks auseinander, das Grundmuster Europischer Religionsgeschichte der Frhen Neuzeit drfe als bekannt gelten und Europische Religionsgeschichte sei in dieser Epoche nichts anderes als die Geschichte des Christentums und seiner Konfessionalisierungen (S. 236). Dem stellt Lehmann das Bild eines multireligisen Europa entgegen, in dem offene polytheistische Systeme, monotheistische Konfessionen, hermetische, neostoische und endzeitlich-apokalyptische Vorstellungen in einem intensiven Austausch standen. Diese Ausweitung der Perspektive ist besonders dann notwendig, wenn man den Versuch unternehmen mchte, den Hermetismus in kultureller, sozialer, politischer, geistiger und religiser Hinsicht in den zwei Jahrhunderten zwi-

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schen der Renaissance und der Aufklrung prziser zu errtern (S. 237). Einen willkommenen Anfang dazu macht Lehmann, indem er im Anschluss an Martin Riesebrodt die standeshomogenen und standesheterogenen Kulturmilieus untersucht, in denen der Hermetismus eine je unterschiedliche Rolle spielte. Die Verortung von Hermetismus (und Esoterik) innerhalb der frhneuzeitlichen Gesellschaften und die Frage nach den jeweiligen Trgerschichten zeigt eine Vielfalt von Traditionslinien, Aneignungsmglichkeiten und Wirkungen in breitere ffentlichkeiten hinein, eine Vielfalt, die noch immer der systematischen Analyse bedarf, deren Grenzlinien jedoch ganz sicher nicht zwischen Christentum und Hermetismus verlaufen. Es ist eine Strke des Bandes, dass die Beitrge sich dezidiert und materialreich mit konkreten Beispielen auseinander setzen, ohne den Blick auf die Grundfragen zu verlieren. Die Beispiele sind exempla im besten Sinne, etwa wenn Monika Neugebauer-Wlk feststellt: Nicolai, Herder und Tiedemann reprsentieren drei geradezu typische Verhaltensweisen gegenber dem hermetischen Denken im ausgehenden 18. Jahrhundert : Herder, der hermetische Denker, Nicolai, der Hermetikforscher, Tiedemann, der Hermetikgegner (S. 448). Vorbildlich ist auch der Aufsatz von Anne-Charlott Trepp ber Natur und Religion im Zeitalter der Konfessionalisierung und des Dreiigjhrigen Krieges, da sie einerseits eine radikale Historisierung von esoterischen Positionen vornimmt und an Einzelfllen, nmlich dem Leben des Wedler Pfarrers Johann Rist, veranschaulicht, andererseits aber von diesem exemplarischen Leben Rckschlsse auf die historischen Bezge hermetischen Denkens zieht. Dabei erweist sich die gegenseitige Durchdringung von religisen Weltdeutungen, hermetischen Modellen und naturkundlicher Forschung: [I]m frhneuzeitlichen Deutschland und vermutlich nicht nur hier war die religise Deutung der Natur nicht nur untrennbar mit ihrer Erforschung verbunden, sie konstituierte sie geradezu (S. 108). Sieht man einmal ab von Thomas Lfflers Beitrag ber Anverwandlung als gegenwartsdiagnostische Sinnkonstruktion: Ernst Jnger und die hermetische Tradition, der als einziger aus dem zeitlichen Rahmen fllt (von Lfflers abwegigen Konstruktionen des modernen Spiritismus [S. 464] oder der esoterische[n] Religionssurrogate [S. 449] ganz zu schweigen), bietet der Band faszinierende Einblicke in die kulturellen Aushandlungsprozesse esoterischer Positionen in einem konkreten historischen Raum. Kritisch zu vermerken ist indes, dass diese historischen Rume mit perspektivischen Vorentscheidungen in den Blick genommen werden, die man berspitzt als christozentrisch bezeichnen knnte. Auch wenn Muslime und Juden mageblich am esoterischen Diskurs der Frhen Neuzeit beteiligt waren, sind ihre kulturellen Rume aus den meisten Beitrgen des Bandes ausgespart. Whrend sich Martin Mulsow

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ber den prgenden Einfluss der Lurianischen Konzeption des Zimzum und des Gilgul im Klaren ist (S. 377f.; 381), die aus jdischer Sicht eine heilsgeschichtliche Interpretationsfolie fr Katastrophenzeiten (nmlich die Vertreibung aus Spanien) bereit stellte, fehlt dieser Kontext bei Rudolf Schlgls Diskussion der Arnoldschen Wiedergeburtsidee (S. 182f.). Ein weiteres Beispiel: In seinem ansonsten sehr aufschlussreichen Essay ber Geheimnis und Geheimhaltung in den Hermetica der Frhen Neuzeit diskutiert Florian Ebeling Michael Sendivogius Hinweis, dass man einen hermetischen Text nicht schnell und einfach verstehen knne (S. 76), ohne in Rechnung zu stellen, dass es gerade der komplexe Zusammenhang zwischen Verhllung und Offenbarung ist, der die jdische Mystik seit dem Mittelalter kennzeichnete. Sptestens wenn Sendivogius von den innerste[n] Schatzkammern (ebd.) spricht, htte ein Hinweis Ebelings auf die Hekhalot-Mystik und die Sefirot-Tradition folgen mssen, welche allenthalben von derartigen Metaphern Gebrauch machen; Josef Gikatilla und die Autoren des Zohar waren es, die dem europischen Diskurs ber Geheimnis, Geheimhaltung, ber das Verborgene und das Offenbarte jene Impulse verliehen, die noch in der Philosophie des 19. Jahrhunderts sprbar sind. Auch das Motiv der Gefhrlichkeit des mystischen Weges (S. 79) hat eine lange Vorgeschichte in mittelalterlichen jdischen berlegungen. Fr den Islam wre hnliches zu konstatieren, ebenso fr die europischen Polytheismen. Mit dieser Kritik mchte ich keinesfalls die unbestrittene Qualitt der Beitrge schmlern, sondern lediglich auf einen blinden Fleck aufmerksam machen, der in der Esoterikforschung insgesamt anzutreffen ist. Nimmt man aber die Rede vom kulturell und religis pluralen europischen Feld ernst, so kann man weder Christentum gegen Hermetik ausspielen noch auch das Christentum und dessen Negation, die sich doch nur davon ableitet als Leitbild der Analyse verwenden. Auch sollte man die Tatsache, dass in christlichen Kontexten die Kabbala vor allem ber die eklektischen bersetzungen christlicher Autoren rezipiert wurde, nicht zum Anlass nehmen, nun seinerseits jdische Lebenswelten auszuklammern (die Erforschung des esoterischen Antisemitismus ist ein dringendes Desiderat). Trotz dieser Kritik bleibt das Fazit, dass mit Antike Weisheit und kulturelle Praxis eine beeindruckende Sammlung von Fallanalysen und Grundsatzdiskussionen vorliegt, die auf dem neusten Stand der Forschung ist und kommende Fragestellungen mageblich prgen wird (zuknftige Publikationen der Reihe sollten unbedingt ein Sachregister enthalten). Nicht nur im Hinblick auf die Geschichte der westlichen Esoterik, sondern auch im Hinblick auf die Dynamiken Europischer Religionsgeschichte ist dem Band eine breite Leserschaft zu wnschen. Kocku von Stuckrad

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Marie-Claire Latry, Le fil du rve: Des couturires entre les vivants et les morts (Collection Anthropologie du monde occidental), Paris: LHarmattan 2001. ISBN: 2-7475-1929-5. 302 pp. Le titre de louvrage de Marie-Claire Latry, Le fil du rve , pourrait suggrer au lecteur potentiel quil va tre entran sur les traces de Charles Nodier ou de Freud si ltrange sous-titre Des couturires entre les vivants et les morts ne venait en clairer le sens. Ce fil qui court tout au long du livre et lui donne son unit, sa structure et sa progression comme lindiquent les titres des diverses parties, Suspendues un fil, Fil fil, Fil rouge, ce fil est bien celui quutilisent les couturires, le fil dans toute sa ralit mais son sens mtaphorique saffirme au cours de louvrage. Cest une ralit sociale que Marie-Claire Latry, docteur en ethnologie, tudie de faon prcise et documente dans la premire partie Un mtier de rve, la ralit des ateliers de couture en Aquitaine, et, tout particulirement, de lun deux situ Bgles, banlieue de Bordeaux, mais, comme elle se plat le faire, elle joue sur le double sens de lexpression de rve puisque le rve y devient un second mtier. Lenqute mene de 1984 1994 par lauteur, restitue la vie de ces ateliers, la hirachie qui rgne entre les ouvrires, leur statut social plus lev que celui quelles auraient eu dans le milieu agricole dont elles sont issues, leur relation leurs familles, leur got du travail bien fait et la part quy prend chacune en fonction de sa place au sein de latelier. On y retrouve tous les dtails de ce monde en voie de disparition, son dcor avec les ouvrires groupes autour de la table de travail charge des boutons, bobines de fil, coton DMC, faufil (57), la rgle de bois pour russir la rondeur des jupes, les aiguilles et leur pelote, le centimtre-ruban pour prendre les mesures aussitt inscrites sur un cahier spcial, et enfin les ciseaux et laimant (46), les sances dessayage inversant le rapport social entre la cliente bourgeoise, immobilise par les pingles, et la couturire qui lui donne des ordres. Parmi ces couturires, certaines, comme Anne-Marie, appele la femmequi-dort, ont un don particulier, celui de dormeuses, cest--dire quelles ont la possibilit de voir au-del de la vie relle travers les rves de leurs compagnes ou de leurs clientes, rves quelles ont le pouvoir de dchiffrer et interprter. Marie-Claire Latry insiste sur la polysmie du verbe voir. De lacuit de la vue et la prcision du regard ncessaires dans un mtier reposant sur lesthtique parfaite du produit fini, on glisse la vision dun autre monde et ce don de visionnaire des couturires dormeuses est toujours li la pubert, la fminit, au sang auquel, par un jeu subtil dassociations et de correspondances, se rfre le fil rouge. La femme-qui-dort, aprs avoir
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dml les cheveaux complexes des rves que chacun vient lui soumettre pour quelle les interprte, entrera trs vite, par ce don, dans lintimit des morts qui apparaissent dans ces rves pour dlivrer des messages aux vivants mais aussi, parfois, pour leur nuire. Ces couturires dormeuses, toujours entre les vivants et les morts, ont alors une autre fonction, celle de djouer les plans malfiques des morts malveillants et de les empcher de nuire dans la ralit. Le rve est ainsi vu comme un pont jet entre les morts et les vivants (106) entre le rel et lau-del. Et les dormeuses deviennent thrapeutes, gurisseuses, se livrant parfois de vritables sances de dsenvotement qui les laissent puises. Ce lien quelles assument entre les morts et les vivants leur donne aussi le pouvoir de pressentir, dannoncer ou de retarder la Mort, donc un pouvoir sur le rel: Les rveuses de la couture font de leur onirologie une activit cognitive de connaissance et de comprhension du rel. Connaissant les rves qui assurent quotidiennement le contact avec les morts familiaux, elles en tirent en effet un enseignement sur la configuration de laudel et le sort des dfunts qui semblent si proches des vivants, placs ct deux, les sauvant in extremis dune mort accidentelle (106). Ceci en interprtant des images toujours lies au fil, au tissu, la trame de leur mtier et de la vie: La proximit de la mort se dit avec les gestes et les ouvrages de la couture. La mort est la faucheuse qui veut prendre son habit la rveuse (98). Pour cette facult de cognition qui leur permet dentrer en rapport avec lau- del ces dormeuses sont aussi appeles, somnambules, magntiseuses ou mdium, Leur tat hypnotique entrane ncessairement un rapprochement avec ltat dextase et pose lauteur la question des rapports de ces dormeuses la foi, intense chez certaines comme Rosa Agulla que des faits miraculeux ont assur quand elle avait dix ans, de la prsence ses cts de Dieu (197). Marie-Claire Latry passe en revue toutes les consquences de ces tats, lomniscience, le ddoublement que les spirites appellent voyages et sorties hors du corps, et mme les dplacements dobjets sous leffet, disait-on alors, dmissions dlectricit par le corps de la jeune fille la pubert et tudis aujourdhui sous le nom de phnomnes de psychokinse se produisant en effet toujours, affirment les spcialistes de la question, au moment de la pubert. Lauteur tudie ensuite la valeur symbolique des outils des couturires fer repasser, aiguilles, pingles, aimant, objets de fer, objets contondants, piquants dans leur rapport au corps et aux superstitions. Marie-Claire Latry appuie son tude sur une solide documentation sur le magntisme animal et lhypnotisme au 19me sicle, sur lhystrie, la folie, le spiritisme. Les grands spcialistes de ces questions, A. de Rochas, E. Azam,

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C. Richet, Maxwell, P. Janet, entre autres, figurent dans sa trs riche bibliographie. Mais elle puise aussi trs amplement dans les contes et lgendes, les rcits de superstitions locales, et dans les textes occitans dont les nombreuses citations dans une langue quelle connat bien sont rendues accessibles au lecteur par une traduction. Cette tude, profondment enracine dans lAquitaine sur le plan gographique et culturel pose, au-del du cercle des couturires bordelaises, les grandes questions du rapport du rel lau-del par lintermdiaire du rve naturel ou provoqu par lhystrie, le somnambulisme, lhypnose ou ce que lon appelle maintenant les facults extra-sensorielles reprsentes ici par ce don transmis aux dormeuses. Mais ce rve renvoie toujours au rel par sa fonction psychologique, celle daider une personnalit se construire ou se reconstruire comme le dit en conclusion Marie-Claire Latry: Le rve permet un sujet, ainsi marqu par lclatement, de se penser et de se dire parce que le songe glisse comme une exprience vcue, et sprouve comme une sensation corporelle. ... Engageant une conception de la personne, le rve des couturires nous permet de mieux comprendre que le songe soit une action symbolique, une ritualite tnue de la quotidiennet (288). On peut toutefois regretter que dans cette tude le spiritisme et la mtapsychique ne soient pas assez clairement diffrencis alors quaprs Maxwell, et dj chez Charles Richet, ce souci se manifeste. Une rflexion personnelle critique appuye sur des tudes plus rcentes aurait pu montrer le dcalage entre les approches actuelles de ces phnomnes et celles des ouvrages de rfrence. Lvocation des cas de dplacements dobjets sous leffet de ce quon appealit alors une ventuelle concentration fminine de llectricit et llectro-choc que celle-ci provoque sur le cerveau (210) aurait du tre rapproche des tudes actuelles sur la psychokinse. Enfin, il et t souhaitable de voir figurer en bibliographie des ouvrages plus rcents sur lhypnose comme ltude de rfrence du Dr. Rager. Malgr ces rserves, ce livre par loriginalit de son sujet et la rigueur avec laquelle il est trait, devrait intresser, et mme passionner de nombreux lecteurs. Viviane Barry

RECENT AND UPCOMING CONFERENCES


Aries aspires to keep its readers informed about recent and upcoming conferences relevant to the study of Western esotericism; but for this, the editors are largely dependent on the information they receive. Readers are therefore invited to send Conference Programs as well als Calls for Papers and announcements of upcoming conferences to the editorial address, if possible in electronic form. In doing so, please take into account that Aries is published in the months of January and July, and that copy must have reached the editors four months in advance (i.e., October 1 and April 1 resp.).

Raymond Abellio aujourdhui (org.: Centre culturel international de Cerisyla-Salle), 02-09.09.2002. Papers included: Jean-Luc Drouin, Lectures historiques des trois tomes des Mmoires de Raymond Abellio; Christine Tochon-Danguy, Raymond Abellio et la collaboration; Nicolas de Serebriakov, Fictions et ralits, ou le fantasme comme support de ralisation selon Raymond Abellio; Viviane Barry, Limage de la femme dans les romans de Raymond Abellio; Jean-Loup Herbert, Lecture musulmane de Raymond Abellio; Jrme Rousse-Lacordaire, Raymond Abellio et le Thologie de la Libration; Jacques Lacarrire, Visage du nouveau terrorisme dans loeuvre dAbellio; Jean-Baptiste De Foucauld, Raymond Abellio entre totalitarisme et totalit; Michel Camus, Raymond Abellio et la phnomnologie; Basarab Nicolescu, Raymond Abellio et la conversion de la science; Antoine Faivre, La tentation de la structure absolue (Raymond Abellio dans lhistoire dun thme rcurrent de lsotrisme occidental moderne); Bernard Guibert, La structure absolue chez Abellio et chez Marx; Anne Biadi-Imhof, La structure absolue dans lexprience des faits sociaux; ric Coulon, lments dintroduction la gnose abllienne; Jean-Pierre Brach, Raymond Abellio et la symbolique des nombres; Daniel Verney, Raymond Abellio et lastrologie comme laboratoire dune connaissance future; Jean-Louis Schlegel, Lsotrisme de Raymond Abellio aujourdhui et demain. Information: tel: (+33) (0)2 33 46 91 66. Les mditations mythologiques de Bruno Pinchard, un chemin dans lsotrisme occidental (org.: Marthe Laurant, Etienne Kling), Paris, 25.10.2002. Information: Marthe Laurant, 1, Chemin du Bois Macaire, F-02290 Vzaponin, France, tel: (+33) (0)3 23 55 70 18, email: jplaurant@olisys.fr or Etienne Kling, 58, Bd. Leclerc, F-092200 Neuilly, France, tel: (+33) (0)1 43 80 11 32.
Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2003 Aries Vol. 3, no. 2

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Renaissance Learning and Letters: In memoriam Giovanni Aquilecchia (org.: The Warburg Institute with the support of The Instituto Internazionale per gli Studi Filosofici [Naples] and The British Academy University College London), London, 15-16.11.2002. Papers included: Lina Bolzoni, Il letterato come giocatore in Pietro Aretino; Peter Brand, Placing the Torrismondo : some questions about Tassos tragedy; Carlo Ginzburg, Machiavelli and his hidden enemy; Conor Fahy, Giovanni Aquilecchia as an editor of texts; Hilary Gatti, From Telesio to Galileo: Aquilecchias contribution to the history of Renaissance science; Germana Ernst, Il popolo una bestia varia e grossa .... Passioni, retorica e politica in Tommaso Campanella; Dilwyn Knox, Ficinos cosmogony in De amore; Miguel A. Granada, Per fuggir biasmo o per giovar altrui. A proposito dell elogio del Nolano ne La cena de le ceneri di Giordano Bruno; Nuccio Ordine, Ridere in prospettiva: Brunelleschi e il Grasso legnaiuolo; Angelo Romano, Lepistolario latino di Giovanni Giustiniani da Candia; Letizia Panizza, Pasquino and his pasquinate turned Protestant: Celio Secundo Curiones Pasquilus exstaticus . Information: Elizabeth Witchell, tel. (+44) (0)20 7862 8949, email: Elizabeth.Withcell@sas.ac.uk , Internet: www.sas.ac.uk/warburg Gli orienti del pensiero di Elmire Zolla (1926-2002) Contributi critici in memoriam (org.: Centro Pannunzio Associazione di libere pensiero), Torino (Italy), 16.11.2002. Information: Sede centrale, Palazzo Audisio dOltremare, Via Maria Vittoria, 35, I-10123 Torino, Italy, tel: (+39+ (0)11/812 30 23, fax: (+39) (0)11/812 13 47, Internet: www.centropannunzio.it Colloque International Littrature et thorie de la connaissance 1890-1930 (org.: Universit Marck Bloch) Strasbourg (France), 21-23.11.2002. Papers included: Jacques Bouveresse, Littrature et connaissance; JeanMarie Paul, Eduard von Hartmann: Psychologie et mtaphysique dans La Philosophie de linconscient ; Godehard Link, Der Topos des Ignorabimus von du Bois-Reymond bis Hilbert; Verena Mayer, Ganze und Teile holistische Konstitutionsbeziehungen in der Philosophie um 1900; Christine Maillard, Auch eine Erkenntnisstheorie: Alfred Dblins philosophische Schriften Das Ich ber der Natur (1927) und Unser Dasein (1933); Aurlie Chon, Littrature et sciences occultes: la thorie de la connaissance suprasensible chez Gustav Meyrink, la lumire des romans Der Golem (1915) et Der Engel von westlichem Fenster (1927). Information: Christine Maillard, Dpartement dEtudes Allemandes, UMB, email: maillard.christine@wanadoo.fr

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Symposium: The Dream and the Sciences of the Human (org.: Christine Haugen, (Warburg Institute), Michael Neve (Wellcome Centre), Vivian Nutton (Wellcome Centre)), London, 06-07.12.2002. Speakers: Jane Baun, Alice Browne, George Calofonos, Jason Davies, Manfred Engel, Kristine Haugen, Ccile Nissen, Franois Quiviger, George Rousseau, Alessandro Scafi, Charles Stewart, Carlo Vecce. Information: Sally Bragg, tel. (+44) (0)20 7679 8103, email: s.bragg@ucl.ac.uk Astrologie et pouvoir (org.: Politica Hermetica / cole Pratique des Hautes tudes, section Sciences religieuses), Sorbonne, Paris 7-8 december 2002. Jean-Jacques Glassner, Astrologie et politique dans lEmpire assyrien; Marc Kalinowski, LInstitution du Bureau du Grand Astrologue et ses consquences sur lordre imprial en Chine; Anne Regourd, Ordre dans la cit et pratiques astrologiques: le K.f imtihn al-munajjimn dal Qabs, astrologue de la cour de lmir Sayf al-Dawla (IV/Xe s.); David Juste, Astrologie et pouvoir dans lEurope mdivale; Isabelle Pantin, Astrologie et pouvoir dans lAllemagne luthrienne, le cas Rheticus; Jacques Halbronn, LAstrologie sous Cromwell et Mazarin; Evelyne Latour, LEre du Verseau comme projet de socit; Jacques Matre, LAstrologie franaise actuelle: type de rationalit ou htrodoxie protestataire. Information: jplaurant@olisys.fr Vrijmetselarij in Nederland. Een kennismaking met de wetenschappelijke studie van een geheimgenootschap (org.: OVN, stichting ter bevordering van wetenschappelijk Onderzoek naar de geschiedenis van de Vrijmetselarij in Nederland), Leiden, 14.03.2003. Papers: Andrew Prescott, The study of Freemasonry as an academic discipline; Wouter Hanegraaff, De geschiedenis van de vrijmetselarij in relatie tot de studie van de westerse esoterie; Anton van de Sande, Anti-maonnieke attitudes van 1734 tot heden; Andr Hanou, Vrijmetselarij en de Nederlandse literatuur van de Verlichting; Andra Kroon, De invloed van de Nederlandse vrijmetselaren op de handelsbetrekkingen met Azi in de 18e en 19e eeuw; Jan Snoek, Vrijmetselarij en vrouwen van de 18 e eeuw tot heden: van adoptieloges tot gemengde vrijmetselarij en vrouwenorden; Marty Bax, Mozes Salomon Polak (1801-1874): een joodse propagandist van vrijmetselarij, spiritisme en theosofie; Malcolm Davies, Musici en maonnieke liederen in Nederlandse vrijmetselarijloges. Informatie: Andra Kroon, Postbus 92004, 1090 AA Amsterdam, email: stichtingovn@yahooc.om

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Platonism at the Origins of Modernity: The Platonic Tradition and the Rise of Modern Philosophy, Org. Sarah Hutton and Douglas Hedley. British Society for the History of Philosophy. Clare College, Cambridge 27-29.3.2003. Speakers include: Michael Allen, Robin Attfield, Leslie Armour, Marialuisa Baldi, Jean Louis Breteau, Stuart Brown, Stephen Clark, Dilwyn Knox, James Hankins, Douglas Hedley, Philippe Hoffmann, Sarah Hutton, Laurent Jaffro, Christia Mercer, Dermot Moran, Victor Nuovo, John Rogers, Wilhelm Schmidt Biggemann, Alain Segonds, Han van Ruler, David Saunders, Alain Segonds, Ian Stewart, Karin Verelst, Catherine Wilson. Information: David Leech, Wolfson Court, Clarkson Rd., Cambridge CB3 OEH. d1240@cam.ac.uk and http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/bshp/bshp.htm Henry Corbin. Entre Orient et Occident (org.: Casa de Velzquez), Madrid, 07-09.04.2003. Speakers will include: Christian Jambet, Pierre Lory, Jean-Jacques Wunenburger, Victoria Cirlot, Antonio Gonzalo Carb. Information: tel: (+34)(0)91 455 15 80, fax: (+34)(0)91 455 15 97, Internet: www.casadevelazquez.org Magical, Religious, Occult and Mystical Discourse . Famagusta (Cyprus), 30.05-01.06.2003. Information: Johann Pillai, email: johann.pillai@emu.edu.tr Managers as Spiritual Leaders? Self-Realisation through Work? Alternative Spirituality in the Corporate World (org.: Martin Ramstedt and Lisa G. Salamon) Open University, Milton Keynes (United Kingdom), 30.0501.06.2003. The 8th International Humanities Conference All & Everything 2003 , Bognor Regis (United Kingdom), 02-06.04.2003. Papers included: H.J. Sharp, Beyond the Fourth Way and Comments on Dr. Philip Groves; Dimitri Peretzi, On the Third Line of Work; Joseph Azize, Toward a Historical Study of Gurdjieff and his Legacy; Will Mesa, The Two Fundamental Cosmic Laws in Relation to the Trajectory of Ones Search; Wim van Dullemen, An Analysis of One of Gurdjieffs Hymns; Gerald Porter, What does Feeding the Moon mean?; Len Brown, His Endlessness and Mr. Gurdjieff. Information: Internet: tel: (+44) (0)1243 826222, fax: (+44) (0)1243 826325, Internet: www.allandeverything.net

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Seminar on Giordano Bruno (org.: Warburg Institute, London, Instituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici and Centro Internazionale di Studi Bruniani (Naples)), London, 04-07.06.2003. Information: (+39) (0)81 2452183, Internet: www.giordanobruno.it Theosophical History Conference (org.: The Foundation for Theosophical Studies), London, 14-15.06.2003. Information: Colin Boyce, Information Officer, email: theosophical@ freenetname.co.uk