Published in 1998, this is a fundamental re-assessment of the world-view of the alchemists, natural philosophers and intelligencers of the mid 17th century. Based almost entirely upon the extensive and hitherto little-researched manuscript archive of Samuel Hartlib, it charts and contextualises the personal and intellectual history of Johann Moriaen (c.1592-1668), a Dutch-German alchemist and natural philosopher. Moriaen was closely acquainted with many of the leading thinkers and experimenters of his time, including René Descartes, J.A. Comenius, J.R. Glauber and J.S. KÃ¼ffler. His detailed reports of relations with these figures and his response to their work provide a uniquely informed insight into the world of alchemy and natural philosophy. This study also illuminates the nature and mechanisms of intellectual and technological exchanges between Germany, The Netherlands and England.
'Young’s study is an excellent example of the current state of scholarship in the history of science…I can think of only a few other studies that would provide an equally informative and fascinating introduction into the labyrinthine world of seventeenth-century natural philosophy.' Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. XXX, No. 4 'The author has done an excellent job interpreting the extensive writings of several men involved with the 17th-century ’intelligencer’ Samuel Hartlib, particularly the obscure figure of Johann Moriaen, whose voluminous correspondence was preserved but never studied.' Psychological Reports, Vol. 86 'This book represents painstaking scholarship and careful analysis…It is Young's singular achievement that here for the first time, we have an opportunity to learn about the life and thought of Johann Moriaen…it is an exemplary piece of historical scholarship…' Ambix, no. 47 (3) 2000 'The author is a preeminent correlator on 17th century happenings which he records with penetrating vision, gravity, and profundity of thought with incisive analysis…. Rare indeed are books of this high caliber…' Bernard K Ficarra, President, The Catholic Academy of Sciences (USA) Washington DC '… a learned, valuable study of the world of early modern philosophy, education and, alchemy…' Seventeenth Century News
Part 1: Johann Moriaen: A Biographical Sketch 1. Servant of the Church 2.Servant of God 3. An Intelligencer’s Ethos Part 2: Universal Wisdom 4.Panaceas of the Soul: Comenius and the Dream of Universal Knowledge 5. Curing Creation: Alchemy and Spirituality 6. Universal Medicines: Johann Rudolph Glauber and his Reception in England 7. The Dawn of Wisdom.
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