Of poets, prophets, and printers: projects to print heterodox religious literature in the united provinces and the Holy Roman Empire in the early seventeenth century

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This article identifies the personalities and circumstances behind two previously unknown heterodox religious publishing projects of the seventeenth century. The first was based in Leiden in the United Provinces, while the second originated in Dresden in Electoral Saxony. The Leiden project was likely led by the German jurist Johann Angelius Werdenhagen, who in 1628 had Jacob Böhme’s Weg zu Christo and Anna Ovena Hoyer’s Gespräch Eines Kindes mit seiner Mutter printed in Leiden at the presses of Govert Basson. This project demonstrates Werdenhagen’s centrality in the early distribution of Böhme’s theosophical doctrines in the United Provinces. The Dresden project was funded by Rosine Vogtin, who from 1642 commissioned the office of Gimel Bergen to print works by Jacob Böhme and Ludwig Friedrich Gifftheil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-197
Number of pages27
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • clandestine
  • heresy
  • Jacob Böhme
  • manuscripts
  • printing
  • prophecy
  • theosophy

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