Jakob Böhme, 1575? - 1624

Jakob Böhme, a Christian religious reformer and mystic, was an important influence on the New England Transcendentalists, especially Amos Bronson Alcott.  Böhme experienced a mystic awakening in 1600 which he explored in his first book, Aurora (1612).  In later works--The Way to Christ (1622), The Mysterium Magnum (1623), and De Signatura Rerum (1623)--he praised the spiritual life, criticized the growing formalism of the Lutheran church, expressed traditional German mystic teachings, discussed Paracelsan speculative alchemy, and considered questions of freedom, good, and evil.  Alcott, who purchased the English translation (by John Sparrow and John Elliston) in William Law's four-volume edition in 1842, extolled Böhme as "the master mind of these last centuries."