Arbeiten zur Kirchengeschichte first began publication in 1925 and can claim to be one of the most tradition-rich historical book series. It presents research on the history of Christian churches and dogmas through the ages but also publishes papers on related disciplines such as archeology, history of art and literary studies. One of the series’ leading features is its consistent striving to combine historical-methodical precision with systematic contextualization of each examined topic. In recent years the series has increasingly publishedstudies on themes relating to the history of Christian culture and ideas, viewed within a methodically open perspective on the history of Christianity.
The author presents with this intellectual biography of the Lutheran alchemist Count Michael Maier an academic study of western esotericism in general and to the study of alchemy and rosicrucianism in particular.
The author charts the development of Maier's Hermetic worldview in the context of his service at the courts of Emperor Rudolf II and Moritz of Hessen-Kassel. The problem of the nature of early Rosicrucianism is addressed in detail with reference to Maier's role in the promotion of this "serious jest" in the years immediately prior to the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War. The work is set in the context of ongoing debates concerning the nature of early modern alchemy and its role in the history of Western esotericism.
I.Introduction: Jung and Early Modern Alchemy
II.Maier's Formative Years
III.Bohemia and England
IV.The Rosicrucian 'Imposture'
V.The Completion of the Work
VI.Conclusion: Maier and the Historiographyof Alchemy