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From Spiritual Regeneration to Collective Reformation in the Writings of Christoph Besold and Johann Valentin Andreae

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‭The article aims to analyze the cultural environment underlying the publication of the first Rosicrucian manifestos, considering in particular some aspects of the work of Christoph Besold (1577–1638) and Johann Valentin Andreae (1586–1654). Under the influence of Johann Arndt, both authors made the process of personal spiritual regeneration the foundation for every program of reform. As a remedy to the difficult situation in Europe on the eve of the Thirty Years’ War, Christoph Besold proposes in his Axiomata a path of purification of the soul and inner rebirth based on the concepts of unio mystica and imitatio Christi. Similarly, Johann Valentin Andreae describes in Civis Christianus the path of transmutation to which the individual believer comes to be subjected. The unbreakable bond that is established in this way between the true believers and Christ provides the basis for the realization of an ideal societas christiana, only in which lies the possibility of an effective intervention for universal reform.‬

Affiliations: 1: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel


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