Hiro Hirai deposited “Athanasius Kircher’s Chymical Interpretation of the Creation and Spontaneous Generation,” in: Chymists and Chymistry: Studies in the History of Alchemy and Early Modern Chemistry, ed. Lawrence M. Principe (New York: Science History Publications, 2007), 77-87. on Humanities Commons 4 years ago
The Jesuit father Athanasius Kircher (1602–1680) tried to interpret the Creation of the world and to explain the origin of life in the last book of his geocosmic encyclopedia, “Mundus subterraneus” (Amsterdam, 1664–1665). His interpretation largely depended on the ‘concept of seeds’ which was derived from the tradition of Renaissance ‘chymical’ (chemical and alchemical) philosophy. The impact of Paracelsianism on his vision of the world is also undeniable. Through this undertaking, Kircher developed a corpuscular perspective to explain the spontaneous generation of living beings. The present study examines Kircher’s theory and its relationship with his chymical interpretation of the Creation in order to place it in its own intellectual and historical context and will uncover one of its most important sources.
2. Creation, Chaotic Matter and Panspermia
3. The Three Principles and The Influence of Paracelsianism
4. Plastic Power
5. Spontaneous Generation and Corpuscles of Life