Felgenhauer, Paul

Felgenhauer, Paul a Protestant theosophist and mystic, was the son of a Lutheran clergyman in Bohemia. He was born at Putschwiz, in Bohemia, in 1620. He studied medicine at the University of Wittenberg, but soon after returning to his native country appeared (1620) in public as a writer on theological subjects. In his Chronology he maintained that Christ was born in the year 4235 after the creation of the world, and as the world was not to last more than 6000 years, it ought to come to an end in A.D. 1765. As, however, the time was to be shortened on account of the elect, he assumed that the end of the world would occur before that year, although he claimed no special revelations on the subject. In his Zeitspiegel he denounced the corruption of the Church and of the Lutheran clergy. The persecution of Protestantism in Bohemia compelled him to leave his country. He first (1623) went to Amsterdam, where he published a number of mystic and alchemic writings, the theological views of which may be reduced to Sabellianism and Monophysitism, resting on a pantheistic and cabalistic basis. The large circulation of some of his works alarmed the Lutheran clergy, and many wrote against him. Not satisfied with this, the clergy of Hamburg, Lubeck, and Lineburg requested the ministry at Amsterdam to arrest the circulation of the works of Felgenhauer, and the spreading of his views, if necessary, by force. From 1635 to 1639 he lived at Bederkesa, near Bremen, where he held meetings of his adherents. Expelled from Bremen, he returned to Holland, where he, however, soon left again for Northern Germany. In 1657 he was arrested by order of the governments of Zelle and Hanover, and imprisoned at Syke. The efforts of several Lutheran clergymen to convert him to the Lutheran creed failed. About 1659 he lived in Hamburg. The year of his death is not known. A complete list of his works (forty-six in number) is given in Adelung, Gesch. der menschl. Narrheit, 4:400. -Herzog, Real-Encykl. iii, 348; Arnold, Kirch.- u. Ketzerhistorie, vol. iii, ch. v. (A. J. S.)

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