Boehme, Jakob

(Behmen, Jakob) (1575-1624) Mystic and theologian, born Altseidenberg, Germany; died Gorlitz. He had little education, but having studied the Bible and several mystics, as a devout Lutheran, he preached and wrote on religious and philosophical subjects. His first book, published without his knowledge, 1612, aroused bitter opposition. The Elector of Saxony protected him against persecution as a heretic, 1624. He taught a sort of dualism in the nature of God as an explanation of good and evil, one of his basic theories being the apprehension of a principle by its opposite. His followers, called Böhmists or Behminists, were numerous in Germany, Holland, and England. His complete works were translated and published in England, 1644-1662. His theories were studied by several philosophers, including Isaac Newton, William Blake, Georg Wilhelm Hegel, and Friedrich Schelling.

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