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Paracelsus: An Alchemical Life
by Bruce T. Moran
Reaktion Books, 2019
Cloth: 978-1-78914-144-3 | eISBN: 978-1-78914-176-4

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Throughout his controversial life, the alchemist, physician, and social-religious radical known as Paracelsus combined traditions that were magical and empirical, scholarly and folk, learned and artisanal. He read ancient texts and then burned “the best” of them. He endorsed both Catholic and Reformation beliefs, but he also believed devoutly in a female deity. He traveled constantly, learning and teaching a new form of medicine based on the experience of miners, bathers, alchemists, midwives, and barber-surgeons. He argued for changes in the way the body was understood, how disease was defined, and how treatments were created, but he was also moved by mystical speculations, an alchemical view of nature, and an intriguing concept of creation.

Bringing to light the ideas, diverse works, and major texts of this important Renaissance figure, Bruce T. Moran tells the story of how alchemy refashioned medical practice, showing how Paracelsus’s tenacity and endurance changed the medical world for the better and brought new perspectives to the study of nature.

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