Gichtel Johann Georg

Gichtel Johann Georg, a German mystic, was born at Ratisbon in 1638. He studied theology and law at the University of Strasburg, and was afterwards Distinguished as a lawyer. He became a follower of Jacob Bohme, and prepared for publication the first edition of his works (Amsterdam, 1682). He finally devoted himself to the propagation of his theosophic and ascetic views. Gichtel considered his own announcements of divine commands as superior to the Scriptures in authority. He was imprisoned as a dangerous visionary, struck off the list of barristers, and finally exiled. He retired in 1667 to Holland, where he died poor in 1710. His opinions have found occasional adherents to this day at Amsterdam, Leyden, and even in Germany. They were called Gichtelians, or Brothers of the Angels (Engelsbrüder), and believed themselves equal to the inhabitants of heaven on account of their celibacy, peculiar mode of life, etc. One of the most zealous adherents of Gichtel was professor Alandt de Raadt, who, however, subsequently fell out with him, when a merchant, by the name of Ueberfeld, became intimate with Gichtel. Bands of adherents were found in Berlin, Halle, Magdeburg, Altona, where Gliising (died 1728) was at their head, and other places, and partly maintained themselves to the 19th century. Gichtel's Letters were published by Gottfried Arnold (1701, 2 volumes; 1708, 3 volumes); and finally a complete collection of his writings, under the style Practische Theosophie (Leyden, 1722, 6 volumes). See Reinbeck, Gichtel's Lebenslauf und Lehren (Berl. 1732); Harless, Gichtel's Leben u. Irrthumer, in Evang. Kirch.Zeit. 1831, No. 77; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 20:454; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 5:145.

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