Jacob Boehme

Boehme, Jakob

Jakob Boehme (bē´mə, Ger. yä´kôp bö´mə), 1575–1624, German religious mystic, a cobbler of Görlitz, in England also called Behmen. He was a student of the Bible and was influenced by Paracelsus. In his major works, De signatura rerum (tr. The Signature of all Things, 1912) and Mysterium magnum, Boehme describes God as the abyss, the nothing and the all, the primordial depths from which the creative will struggles forth to find manifestation and self-consciousness. Evil is a result of the striving of single elements of Deity to become the whole; conflict ensues as man and nature strive to achieve God who, in himself, contains all antithetical principles. Boehme exerted a profound influence on the philosophies of Baader, Schelling, Hegel, and Schopenhauer. Boehme claimed divine revelation and had many followers in Germany and Holland. Societies of Behmenites were formed in England; many of them were later absorbed by the Quakers.

See The Confessions of Jacob Boehme, ed. by W. S. Palmer (1954); study by D. Walsh (1983); biography by F. Hartmann (1985).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Jacob Boehme: Selected full-text books and articles

The Way to Christ By Jacob Boehme; Peter Erb Paulist Press, 1978
Men Who Have Walked with God By Sheldon Cheney Alfred A. Knopf, 1945
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VIII "Jacob Boehme, the Shoemaker-Illuminate of the Reformation"
One Flesh: Paradisal Marriage and Sexual Relations in the Age of Milton By James Grantham Turner Clarendon Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: "The Abomination of Fiction: Sexuality in the Systems of Boehme and van Helmont" begins on p. 141
The Integral Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo: A Commemorative Symposium By Haridas Chaudhuri; Frederic Spiegelberg George Allen & Unwin, 1960
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 21 "The Integral Approach in Sri Aurobindo and Jacob Boehme"
Enlightenment and Action from Descartes to Kant: Passionate Thought By Michael Losonsky Cambridge University Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: "Jakob Boehme's Language of Nature" begins on p. 110
Christian Mystics: Their Lives and Legacies throughout the Ages By Ursula King Routledge, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "Jacob Boehme (1575-1624)" begins on p. 177
Dominant Themes of Modern Philosophy: A History By George Boas Ronald Press, 1957
Librarian’s tip: "Boehme" begins on p. 277
Lectures on the History of Philosophy By Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel; E. S. Haldane; Frances H. Simson University of Nebraska Press, vol.3, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Jacob Boehme" begins on p. 188
Biographical Dictionary of Christian Theologians By Patrick W. Carey; Joseph T. Lienhard Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Boehme, Jacob" begins on p. 78
FREE! Historical Studies in Philosophy By Émile Boutroux; Fred Rothwell Macmillan, 1912
Librarian’s tip: "Jacob Boehme, the German Philosopher" begins on p. 169
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