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Götisk kabbala och runisk alkemi :Johannes Bureus och den götiska esoterismen

by Karlsson, Thomas, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
Gothicism in general, and the Swedish Gothicism in particular, had a close connection to the esoteric currents that were flourishing all over Europe in the Early Modern Period. Apocalyptic predictions and prophecies useful to Gothic propaganda were derived from contemporary esoteric streams, but alongside these came Hermetic and Neo-Platonic speculations of a more individual character that emphasized man’s gradual ascension toward a higher state. The foremost representative for this union of Gothicism and Esotericism was Johannes Bureus (1568-1652). Although a pioneer of runology and Swedish grammatical studies, Bureus felt he made his greatest contributions in the sphere of mysticism. Influenced by the concept of a Philosophia Perennis, Bureus believed this eternal philosophy was not only expressed by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Hebrews, but also by the ancient Norse. Bureus represents what could be termed an Esoteric Gothicism. In his work, the ideal of Gothicism melds with Esotericism in the form of Alchemy, Kabbalah, Hermeticism, Astrology, and Magic. Bureus himself called his esoteric system a Nordic Kabbalah, a “Notaricon Suethica,” or a “Kabala Upsalica.” Bureus’s Esotericism is explicated primarily in his manuscripts such as the Cabbalistica, Antiquitates Scanziana, and especially Adulruna Rediviva (the latter produced in seven versions over a forty-year period), but also in his major opus, dedicated to his pupil Queen Christina, the printed apocalyptic book Nordlanda Lejonsens Rytande. In examining Esoteric Gothicism we can discern a further tendency within Gothicism beyond the national chauvinism typically seen as exemplifying the movement. In Bureus’s work, Gothic motifs are combined with runes and Old Norse themes in an imaginative manner, but most characteristic of Bureus is how he uses the results to describe a highly individual path of initiation which leads to unity with God. Bureus’s ideas may seem eccentric to a modern reader, but properly situating them in their historical context reveals the role he played in an influential current in European intellectual and spiritual history, a current often referred to by scholars as Western Esotericism.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:HUMANITIES and RELIGION; Religion/Theology; History of religion; Western Esotericism; Gothicism; Kabbalah; Alchemy; The Swedish Great Power period; Millennialism; History of Religion; religionshistoria

ISBN:978-91-628-8030-9

Date of Publication:01/01/2010

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