Article ID: CBB307825298

Cross and Crucible: Alchemy in the Theology of Paracelsus (2020)


Paracelsus was not only a reformer of medicine with a preference for medical alchemy, but also emerged as a radical church reformer. However, he only rarely used the imagery of alchemy as a parable for theological salvation. Fire as the driving force for every alchemical process was also suitable as an image for the purification of souls. A central idea of alchemy, to transfer a substance from its still impure original state into the purified final state, was very much in line with Paracelsus’s doctrine of the Last Supper, according to which the mortal human who had descended from Adam is to be brought to a new birth through baptism with the Holy Spirit. As an alchemist, Paracelsus was keenly interested in the transfiguration of Christ, which he first explained alchemically, but later magically, probably according to the model of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola.

Included in

Article Didier Kahn; Hiro Hirai (2020) Paracelsus, Forgeries and Transmutation: Introduction. Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (pp. 1-3). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Book Classen, Albrecht; (2011)
Religion und Gesundheit: Der heilkundliche Diskurs im 16. Jahrhundert (/isis/citation/CBB001200404/)

Article Forshaw, Peter J.; (2013)
Cabala Chymica or Chemia Cabalistica---Early Modern Alchemists and Cabala (/isis/citation/CBB001213518/)

Book López Pérez, Miguel; Kahn, Didier; Rey Bueno, Mar; (2010)
Chymia: Science and Nature in Early Modern Europe (1450--1750) (/isis/citation/CBB001023359/)

Article Telle, Joachim; (2004)
Paracelsus in pseudoparacelsischen Briefen (/isis/citation/CBB000740393/)

Book Gunnoe, Charles D.; (2011)
Thomas Erastus and the Palatinate: A Renaissance Physician in the Second Reformation (/isis/citation/CBB001213127/)

Article Hiro Hirai; (2021)
Daniel Sennert, Chymistry, and Theological Debates (/isis/citation/CBB126568830/)

Book Ball, Philip; (2006)
The Devil's Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science (/isis/citation/CBB000773329/)

Book Rey Bueno, Mar; (2002)
Los Señores del Fuego: Destiladores y Espagíricos en la Corte de los Austrias (/isis/citation/CBB000650525/)

Book Webster, Charles; (2008)
Paracelsus: Medicine, Magic and Mission at the End of Time (/isis/citation/CBB001035884/)

Book Debus, Allen G.; (2002)
The Chemical Philosophy (/isis/citation/CBB000201812/)

Chapter Bobory, Dóra; (2010)
Paracelsus in Pannonia: Alchemy and Medicine in Count Boldizsár Batthyány's Circle (/isis/citation/CBB001023508/)

Article Marco Zini; (2018)
Paracelso (1493-1541). Quando l'alchimia diventa terapia. La farmacologia alchemica (/isis/citation/CBB462945226/)

Article Linda A. Newson; (2020)
Alchemy and Chemical Medicines in Early Colonial Lima, Peru (/isis/citation/CBB042314859/)

Book Bruce T. Moran; (2019)
Paracelsus: An Alchemical Life (/isis/citation/CBB405207590/)

Chapter Simon, Elliott M.; (2010)
Pico, Paracelsus and Dee: The Magical Measure of Human Perfectibility (/isis/citation/CBB001220294/)

Book Principe, Lawrence M.; (2007)
Chymists and Chymistry: Studies in the History of Alchemy and Early Modern Chemistry (/isis/citation/CBB000700925/)

Authors & Contributors
Kahn, Didier
Rey Bueno, Mar
Debus, Allen G.
Principe, Lawrence M.
Telle, Joachim
Ball, Philip
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Medical History
Atti e Memorie, Rivista di Storia della Farmacia
Corona Brealis
Science History Publications
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Yale University Press
Science and religion
Paracelsus, Theophrast von Hohenheim
Boerhaave, Herman
Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni
Descartes, René
Time Periods
16th century
17th century
Early modern
15th century
18th century

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment