The Christian alchemy of Heinrich Khunrath

I have been researching the Lutheran alchemists again, this time Heinrich Khunrath (1590 – 1605). He was a German physician, hermetic philosopher, and alchemist whose most famous work was Ampitheatrum Sapientae Aeternae (Ampitheatre of Eternal Wisdom).

John Warwick Montgomery has pointed out that Johann Arndt (1555 – 1621), who was an influential author of Lutheran devotional books, composed a commentary on Khunrath’s Ampitheatrum.

Below is the English version of The Entrance To The House of Eternal Mysteries and the accompanying text. The Christian influences are quite explicit here.


“This is the Portal of the amphitheatre of the only true and eternal Wisdom–a narrow one, indeed, but sufficiently august, and consecrated to Jehovah. To this portal ascent is made by a mystic, indisputably prologetic, flight of steps, set before it as shown in the picture. It consists of seven theosophic, or, rather, philosophic steps of the Doctrine of the Faithful Sons. After ascending the steps, the path is along the way of God the Father, either directly by inspiration or by various mediate means. According to the seven oracular laws shining at the portal, those who are inspired divinely have the power to enter and with the eyes of the body and of the mind, of seeing, contemplating and investigating in a Christiano-Kabalistic, divino-magical, physico-chemical manner, the nature of the Wisdom: Goodness, and Power of the Creator; to the end that they die not sophistically but live theosophically, and that the orthodox philosophers so created may with sincere philosophy expound the works of the Lord, and worthily praise God who has thus blessed these friend, of God.”

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