Bridging Traditions

Alchemy, Chemistry, and Paracelsian Practices in the Early Modern Era

Edited by Karen Hunger Parshall, Michael T. Walton, Bruce T. Moran

Hardback - £39.95

Publication date:

01 June 2015

Length of book:

328 pages


Truman State University Press

ISBN-13: 9781612481340

Bridging Traditions explores the connections between apparently different zones of comprehension and experience—magic and experiment, alchemy and mechanics, practical mathematics and geometrical mysticism, things earthy and heavenly, and especially science and medicine—by focusing on points of intersection among alchemy, chemistry, and Paracelsian medical philosophy. In exploring the varieties of natural knowledge in the early modern era, the authors pay tribute to the work of Allen Debus, whose own endeavors cleared the way for scholars to examine subjects that were once snubbed as suitable only to the refuse heap of the history of science.

“This collection of essays is a fitting tribute to Allen Debus’s radically contrarian and visionary work. On topics ranging from Paracelsian medicine in Spain to the enigma of John Dee, the essays demonstrate that Debus’s legacy continues, though shaped and reshaped by new perspectives. Just as Debus confounded the traditional narrative of the Scientific Revolution by following the trail of alchemy and magic to discover a different Scientific Revolution, Bridging Traditions probes deeply into issues once snubbed as suitable only for the trash bin of history. An engaging and thought-provoking volume, Bridging Traditions will be important reading for anyone interested in early modern science and medicine.”

—William Eamon, Regents and Distinguished Achievement Professor of History Emeritus, New Mexico State University