Cover image for The Rosicrucian enlightenment revisited
The Rosicrucian enlightenment revisited
Matthews, John, 1948-
Publication Information:
Hudson, NY : Lindisfarne Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvii, 267 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Corporate Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF1623.R7 R642 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In 1995, to honor the role of Central Europe in the spiritual history of the West, the New York Open Center invited students of Rosicrucianism and the Western Mystery traditions to the Czech Republic to discuss the historical backgrounds of Rosicrucianism. Two years later a second meeting was held in Prague to celebrate the Hermetic world of Rudolf II.

The result is this book: in which John Matthews addresses the relationship between the Grail and the Rose; Christopher Bamford speaks of the prehistory of the Rosicrucian reformation in the late Middle Ages--among women mystics, alchemists, Cathars, Franciscan spirituals, as well as in Luther and the great Paracelsus; Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke tells the wild tale of John Dee's mission to central Europe; Joscelyn Godwin unfolds the paradigmatic Rosicrucian life of Michael Maier; Claire Goodrick-Clarke recounts influence of Comenius; Paul Bembridge speaks of Rosicrucian Resurgence at the Court of Cromwell; Robert Powell describes the roles of Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and Rudolf II; and Christopher McIntosh speaks of the Rosicrucian Legacy.

Also included are the texts of the two Rosicrucian Manifestos--the Fama and the Confessio. Illustrated.

Author Notes

John Matthews was born in the North of England in 1948. He has been a professional writer since 1980, and has produced over forty books ranging from Celtic and Arthurian legends to collections of stories, essays, and poetry

He has given workshops in Britain, Central Europe, and America and is primarily concerned with the interpretation of myth. He is an internationally renowned authority on mythology and folklore with a special interest in the Arthurian and Grail traditions and Celtic lore. Matthews best known works are The Grail: Quest for Eternal Life, Taliesin: Shamanism and the Bardic Mysteries in Britain and Ireland, and The Celtic Shaman. Other books include Arthur and the Grail Quest, Within the Hollow Hills, and The Winter Solstice, which won the Benjamin Franklin Award in 1998.

Matthews has also co-authored with his wife, Caitlin Matthews, a study of the Western mystery tradition, The Western Way. Together they designed and wrote the best-selling Arthurian Tarot, which has sold more than 50,000 copies and has been translated into several languages.

(Bowker Author Biography) John Matthews is the author of more than fifty books. He is a lecturer and teacher in the U.K., Europe and the U.S.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In 1972, British historian of the Renaissance Frances Yates published a remarkable book, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment. Yates narrated the tale of Frederick and Elizabeth, the Winter King and Queen of Bohemia, who ascended to the throne in the midst of a great spiritual revival. The key to this revival was the Rosicrucian manifestos, published in 1613, describing the journeys of a mysterious traveler named Christian Rosencrutz. On his travels he said that he had mastered the practices of magic and the entire Kabbalah, and he offered to teach these esoteric arts and wisdom to the West. When the authorities rejected Rosencrutz's offer, he is said to have formed the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross (the translation of Rosencrutz), an organization that offered its followers the opportunity to attain the hidden spiritual truth through the use of these arcane arts. The present volume gathers essays by a number of scholars and others interested in the Rosicrucian Enlightenment. These papers were read in 1995 at a conference in the Czech Republic intended to "honor the role of Central Europe in the spiritual history of the West" and to celebrate Yates's work. John Matthews (The Arthurian Tradition) explores the relationship between the Grail and the Rose. In a perceptive and detailed essay, Christopher Bamford, editor-in-chief of Lindisfarne Books, examines the roots of the Rosicrucian Enlightenment in Renaissance and Reformation thought. His discussion ranges over topics as diverse as St. Francis of Assisi and the alchemist Paracelsus. Other essays cover such topics as the emergence of Rosicrucian thought in Cromwell's court; the work of Sendivogius, the Polish alchemist; and the influence of Rosicrucian thought in contemporary culture. The texts of the Rosicrucian manifestos are also included in the collection. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

A gathering of well-informed scholars provides a sober, sensible, and fascinating overview of the history of the Rosicrucian movement, still one of the most controversial and least understood byways of European philosophy and thought. The volume includes four of the foundational documents of the original Rosicrucians from the early 17th century and carries the Rosicrucians' influence down to the later 19th century. Highly recommended for collections strong in esoterica or the history of religions. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Ralph WhiteJohn MatthewsChristopher BamfordNicholas Goodrick-ClarkeJoscelyn GodwinRobert PowellRafal T. PrinkeClare Goodrick-ClarkePaul BembridgeChristopher McIntosh
Introductionp. ix
Prologuep. 1
1. The Grail and the Rosep. 25
2. The Meaning of the Rose Crossp. 43
3. The Rosicrucian Prelude: John Dee's Mission in Central Europep. 73
4. The Deepest of the Rosicrucians: Michael Maierp. 99
5. Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Rudolf II and the Prague Hermetic Renaissancep. 125
6. The Twelfth Adept: Michael Sendivogius in Rudolfine Praguep. 141
7. The Rosicrucian Afterglow: The Life and Influence of Comeniusp. 193
8. The Rosicrucianism Resurgence at the Court of Cromwellp. 219
9. The Rosicrucian Legacyp. 247