Paracelsian Moments: Science, Medicine, and Astrology in Early Modern Europe

Gerhild Scholz Williams & Charles D. Gunnoe Jr., eds.

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At the center of the scientific ferment of the early modern era was a quirky and creative German physician, Paracelsus, whose religious-alchemical worldview served as an inspiration for countless scientific innovators. This collection is about Paracelsus and the wide range of issues he explored. (SCE&S 64)

 

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Product Description

Sixteenth Century Essays & Studies, Vol. 64

Scientific ideas inspired by religious, magical, and alchemical themes competed alongside traditional Aristotelian science and the emerging mechanical philosophy in the early modern era. At the center of this ferment was a quirky and creative German physician, Paracelsus, whose religious-alchemical worldview served as an inspiration for countless scientific innovators.

This collection is about Paracelsus and the wide range of issues he explored, and ones taken up by many who were directly or indirectly affected by the same mental universe that sustained his thought and writings.

 

Contents

Paracelsiana

Paracelsus’s Biography among His Detractors.....Charles D. Gunnoe Jr.
Paracelsus and the Boundaries of Medicine in Early Modern Augsburg.....Mitchell Hammond
To Be or Not to Be a Paracelsian: Something Spagyric in the State of Denmark.....Jole Shackelford
“A Spedie Reformation”: Barber-Surgeons, Anatomization, and the Reformation of Medicine in Tudor London.....Lynda Payne
Seeing “Microcosma”: Paracelsus’s Gendered Epistemology.....Hildegard Elisabeth Keller
Paracelsus on Baptism and the Acquiring of the Eternal Body....Dane Thor Daniel
Paracelsus and van Helmont on Imagination: Magnetism and Medicine before Mesmer.....Heinz Schott

Natural Magic and Natural Wonders

Unholy Astrology: Did Pico Always View It That Way?.....Sheila Rabin
Wine and Obscenities: Astrology’s Degradation in the Five Books of Rabelais.....Dené Scoggins
Robert Boyle, “The Sceptical Chymist,” and Hebrew.....Michael T. Walton
Johannes Praetorius: Early Modern Topography and the Giant Rübezahl.....Gerhild Scholz Williams
Demons, Natural Magic, and the Virtually Real: Visual Paradox in Early Modern Europe.....Stuart Clark

Authors

Reviews

In its visually and intellectually enjoyable presentation, and in the unity of its composition, Paracelsian Moments shows conference proceedings at their finest. To a large part, this is due to the expertise of the contributing authors. Their detailed footnotes and acknowledgments of collaborations with international Paracelsus scholars attest to the fact that they have a genuine interest in unraveling the figure of Paracelsus from the mythical web that his contemporaries had spun around him.

Ambix

The editors and contributors are to be commended for addressing narrowly defined topics and beginning a discussion of larger broader themes: historical authority and validity, early modern perceptions of reality and certainty. Although many of these essays will invite debate, this volume is a notable accomplishment.

Renaissance Quarterly

A worthwhile volume full of exciting new work on early modern science and medicine.

Journal of Early Modern History

The collection also has a useful if hardly exhaustive bibliography of Paracelsus and Paracelsianism, and a good index.... It will be of interest primarily to specialist historians of early modern science, magic, and medicine.

Sixteenth Century Journal