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Political Consideration

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that it was the discourse of the day, with its political and cultural implications, that fostered new blends of rationalism and Hermeticism in early modern Europe. It traces two important ingredients of Alsteds encyclopaedic endeavor, Ramism and reformed Aristotelianism. The picture becomes more complex if we add Hermeticism. For this ingredient, the chapter looks at the University of Marburg. The chapter examines that Alsteds whole career was characterized by an attempt to reconcile different philosophical and religious approaches and to turn them into a single concept of learning. His Hermetic passions, although not revealed in public during his theological phase between 1612 and 1620, had in fact never ceased to occupy him. And in his masterwork, the extraordinarily well organized Encyclopaedia septem tomis distincta from 1630, all these elements resurfaced in an interesting way.

Keywords: Alsteds encyclopaedia; cultural implications; political consideration



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