Jakob Boehme

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Boehme, Jakob


Born 1575 in Altseidenberg; died Nov. 17, 1624, in Görlitz. German philosopher, advocate of pantheism. By profession a shoemaker.

Characteristic of Boehme’s works are a fusion of natural philosophy and mysticism, exalted style, and the presence of a great number of biblical and poetic images. God, according to Boehme, is one with nature and encompasses everything within himself—heaven and hell, the inner and the outer, good and evil; he creates himself from “nothing” by splitting his original, undifferentiated unity in half and giving the two parts opposing characteristics: light and dark, good and evil. The elemental-dialectic ideas of Boehme heavily influenced the subsequent development of German philosophy (F. Baader, F. von Schelling, G. W. F. Hegel). K. Marx and F. Engels used Boehme’s term “torment (Qual) of the material” to mean a goal, a life spirit, or a straining for the characteristics of the principle of self-motivation (see Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 2, p. 142).


Sammtliche Werke, vols. 1–7. Leipzig, 1922.
Glaube und Tat. Berlin, 1957.
In Russian translation:
Aurora, ili Utrenniaia zaria v voskhozhdenii. Moscow, 1914. (Translated from German.)


Leven, V. G. “Iakob Beme i ego uchenie.” Vestnik istorii mirovoikul’tury, 1958, no. 5.
Feierbakh, L. Istoriiafilosofii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1967.
Grunsky, H. Jacob Bohme. Stuttgart, 1956.
Stoudt, J. J. Sunrise to Eternity. Philadelphia, 1957.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
When the cobbler-mystic Jakob Boehme, who recuperated the dialectic from the Ancients, sought in the early seventeenth century to explain all history in a single parable, he described the Tree of Life, expropriated by the Merchant for ill-gotten gains and its fruits poisoned; eons later it would be reappropriated by the common people, its life-giving power renewed.
To those who believed in "inspired" thinking, as did such enthusiasts as John Webster and Jakob Boehme (and, despite appearances to the contrary, Henry More), as well as to those who, like Baruch de Spinoza, espoused "resolute" thinking, the key to overcoming irresolution could only be divine inspiration, since for them the mind is primarily an involuntary automaton inclined by nature to reflect the external world truly and accurately.
When Christopher Smart Went to bed in the meat market You were there Kenneth Rexroth Giving encouragement to the best minds of his generation When Jakob Boehme Was busted by ten Christ-hating policemen You were there Kenneth Rexroth Breathing comfort.
Kamil provides spacious, thorough, and imaginative accounts of Palissy's intersections with Paracelsus (Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim), Hermeticism, alchemy, the doctrines of Jakob Boehme, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, geomancy, and various doctrines about memory, especially those of Robert Fludd.