Friday, March 02, 2007

[THO] Jacob Boehme

I'm really enjoying Andrew Weeks book Boehme. He does a great job of surveying the theology of this influential mystic. The more I get a handle on Boehme's ideas the more of his influence I can see in philosophy and theology. Not bad for a cobbler with no formal theological education. Perhaps that is exactly why he dared integrate theosophy, alchemy and mysticism into his ecstatic influenced theologizings. Boehme took chances with mixed results. After reading the Confessions of Jacob Boehme I was struck by just how devotional his text was, not at all what I expected after reading snippets of the Aurora. Especially towards the end Boehme called the Christian to integrity and piety, lest they bring upon themselves condemnation (wrath is one of the two experiences of God, love is the other). At the same time this text offers some interesting views of God (borrowing from his three principles of God) including a denial of creation from nothing (Boehme discards this idea as foolish) and a careful tread along the edge of pantheism. I appreciated the trip along that edge though as this is the insight that mystics often bring us back to - God is closer than you think!

I've almost compiled enough data, I'm just reading a few great articles Kenny's buddy pointed me to regarding 16th Century German socio-economic situations. Sometime this weekend I'll sketch out my paper and identify the missing holes in my research. I haven't decided if I will read a substantial portion of Aurora or not. At this point I have a pretty good sense of Boehme's theology, confusing though it is. And I am missing more mundane information like the name of his wife? Ah the joys of preparing papers.

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