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All Space Will Pass Away: The Spiritual, Spaceless and Incorporeal Heaven of Valentin Weigel (1533–1588)

  • Alessandro ScafiEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 41)

Abstract

The cosmology of Valentin Weigel (1533–1588) offers an example of the changing understanding of space and the universe between medieval and modern times. The aim of this essay is to explore his discussion of the nature of space in the treatise Vom Ort der Welt (On the Place of the World, 1576) in relation to his views concerning the Christian heaven and the resurrected body. Adopting the distinction between “locative” and “utopian” tendencies in religion drawn in the field of religious studies by Jonathan Z. Smith, Weigel’s views on earthly space and historical time in relation to heaven and eternity bear the hallmark of a utopian vision. Weigel was an advocate of the true Christian faith—received as a gift of the Holy Spirit acting within the soul and forming a spiritual brotherhood—as opposed to the visible and organised Church, and combined mystical, Lutheran and Paracelsian theories to provide an original way to envisage the relation between time and eternity, space and infinity, human realm and divine dimension. He envisioned the material and visible world as floating against the infinite abyss of God, saw the Kingdom of Heaven as accessible from within and radically opposed spirit and matter, light and darkness, freedom and bondage.

Keywords

Human Nature Visible World Christian Tradition Utopian Vision Divine Dimension 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Warburg Institute, School of Advanced StudyUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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