A ray of light: Jakob Böhme

Could you resist investigating the letters of a shoemaker whose life was transformed by his observation of light on a pewter vessel? If not, you’re in luck because this week in EMLO we welcome into the union catalogue Jakob Böhme (1575–1624), who in 1600 underwent just such an experience in the town of Görlitz .

The publication of this calendar of Böhme’s correspondence presents us with an opportunity to witness the virtual reunification between the shoemaker and his friend and supporter Abraham von Franckenberg, whose own correspondence calendar was published in the union catalogue last year. Von Franckenberg, a Silesian nobleman, took up Böhme’s cause and wrote the biography that provides the details of this particular enlightening experience. The calendar of Böhme’s correspondence in EMLO will be supplemented further — with existing records updated and new letters added — over the next few months. What you find in place at present has been taken from the letters collected in an epistolary of 1730, the metadata for which are to be found also in the inestimable inventory compiled by Monika Estermann and published in Wiesbaden in 1993. We hope very much what you encounter in EMLO is useful and enlightening (although perhaps not in the pewter bowl sense) and that you’ll keep an eye on Jakob Böhme from this point forward as his catalogue expands.


Jakob Boehme: Representation of his Cosmogony in ‘Vierzig Fragen von der Seele’ or Forty Questions of the Soul (1620). (Source of image: Wikimedia Commons)

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