Introduction and Valentin Weigel and Anti-Clerical Tradition, The Forgotten Reformation

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The intention was to focus on an aspect of the transformation initiated by Luther but ignored by scholars of the confessional, magisterial, and radical reformations: the reforming initiatives that transcended the doctrinal, devotional, and ecclesiastic realms to encompass a more general reconfiguration of philosophy, science, politics, and medicine. Whether or not these reforming impulses were promulgated as part of a general or universal reformation (as was the case with the Rosicrucian manifestoes or the later writings of Jacob Böhme), they followed in the wake of Luther’s epochal undertaking and justified themselves implicitly or explicitly in reference to it. If, during the Reformation celebration, these broader reforming impulses were largely neglected, there are longstanding reasons for their exclusion. Paracelsus has been, and still is, uncritically consigned to Renaissance Studies or the history of science and medicine, while Valentin Weigel and Böhme are relegated from their late-Reformation contexts to those of mysticism and Pietism. Our goal was, among other things, to counter the one-sided and rigid allocation of our forgotten reformers by directing attention to a broader perspective.


This article was originally published as “Introduction” and “Valentin Weigel and Anti-Clerical Tradition,” The Other Reformation, ed. Bo Andersson, Urs Leo Gantenbein, Andrew Weeks. Daphnis, vol. 48, no. 1-2, pp. 1-3, 140-159. 2019.