The Dark Side of the Enlightenment: Wizards, Alchemists, and Spiritual Seekers in the Age of Reason

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Stephen Kotkin. Andrew Roberts. James Wyllie. Orlando Figes.

The Dark Side of the Enlightenment: Wizards, Alchemists, and Spiritual Seekers in the Age of Reason

Francois Neveux. Belton Y. George Orwell.

All About the Enlightenment The Age of Reason

Alon Confino. Primo Levi. Caroline Moorehead. Tony Judt. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Your rating has been recorded. Write a review Rate this item: 1 2 3 4 5. Preview this item Preview this item. Fleming shows how the impulses of the European Enlightenment, generally associated with great strides in the liberation of human thought from superstition and traditional religion, were challenged by tenacious religious ideas or channeled into the darker pursuits of the esoteric and the occult. His topics include the stubborn survival of the miraculous, the Enlightenment roles of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry and the widespread pursuit of magic and alchemy.

Though we tend not to associate what was once called alchemy with what we now call chemistry, Fleming shows that the difference is merely one of linguistic modernization. Alchemy was once the chemistry, of Arabic derivation, and its practitioners were among the principal scientists and physicians of their ages. No point is more important for understanding the strange and fascinating figures in this book than the prestige of alchemy among the learned men of the age.

Fleming follows some of these complexities and contradictions of the "Age of Lights" into the biographies of two of its extraordinary offspring. The first is the controversial wizard known as Count Cagliostro, the "Egyptian" freemason, unconventional healer, and alchemist known most infamously for his ambiguous association with the Affair of the Diamond Necklace, which history has viewed as among the possible harbingers of the French Revolution and a major contributing factor in the growing unpopularity of Marie Antoinette.

Impressively researched and wonderfully erudite, this rich narrative history sheds light on some lesser-known mental extravagances and beliefs of the Enlightenment era and brings to life some of the most extraordinary characters ever encountered either in history or fiction. Read more Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Why spiritual and supernatural yearnings, even investigations into the occult, flourished in the era of rationalist philosophy.

Reviews Editorial reviews. Publisher Synopsis "John Fleming has written a fascinating, compulsively readable account of the shadowy world that lay just beyond the clear, clean, well-ordered boundaries of the Age of Reason. User-contributed reviews Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Be the first. Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. History, 18th Century.

Occultism -- history. Science -- history. Mysticism -- history. Time sifts the good from the bad better than any generation. That is why the ancients distrusted the new as unproven. The age of We moderns are in many respects much wiser than the ancients but in one respect they had one piece of wisdom that we don't a respect for the old over the new.

THE DARK SIDE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT by John V. Fleming | Kirkus Reviews

The age of enlightenment was an age of ferment with the famous Latin words " Aude Sapere" Dare to know famously repeated in this age. People distrusted the Orthodoxy of the ancient regime. What was valuable about all of this heretical thinking comes down to us in our politics and science which has built much of the modern world.