Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Who were those rascally Rosicrucians?

Advertised in magazines, claimed by an offshoot of the Theosophical Society, the thing of con artists everywhere, the Rosicrucians have been sort of gullible fare for people in the U.S. (and possibly in England) for a long time. But, yes, the general identity of who these people were has been solved. The answer comes from The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 by John L. Brooke. In the first part of the book, Brooke talks about underground streams of thought that were running along each other during the Reformation. Who the Rosicrucians were is probably this: radical Protestants who absorbed Hermetic, alchemical, and Kabbalistic teachings into their Christianity.

Simple as that.

The Manifestos are Christian in character, the goal esotericism.

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