DE TRIBUS PRINCIPIIS, oder Beschreibung der Drey Principien Göttliches Wesens

Of the Three Principles of Divine Being, 1619, by Jacob Boehme


Authors: Andrew Weeks and Leigh Penman
Jacob Boehme’s Of the Three Principles of Divine Being, 1619, is vital for understanding his work as a whole, its relationship to its epoch, and its role in intellectual history. Reproduced here using the methods of critical edition, the original of the work and its adjacent translation, together with an extensive introduction and commentary, provide unprecedented access to this essential work of early modern thought and cast a fresh light on the revolutionary theological, philosophical, and scientific developments coinciding with the start of the Thirty Years’ War.

The 1730 edition is annotated with reference to the manuscript sources to clarify ambiguities so that the translation can interpret the text without refracting its meaning. This makes it possible to interpret Boehme’s complex theories of the origin of the divine being and of nature, the human creature, and the female aspect of divinity.

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Andrew Weeks, Ph.D. (1979), University of Illinois, is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Illinois State University and has published monographs on Paracelsus, Weigel, and Boehme, as well as translations of their writings. Most recently he co-edited with James van der Laan The Faustian Century: German Literature and Culture in the Age of Luther and Faustus.

Leigh T.I. Penman, Ph.D. (2009), University of Melbourne, is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland. He is the author of forthcoming monographs on chiliastic heresy and the cosmopolitan concept in early modern Europe, and a co-editor, with Bo Andersson, Lucinda Martin and Andrew Weeks, of Jacob Böhme and his World (2019).
All interested in the life, thought, and historical context of the German shoemaker, philosopher, and mystic Jacob Böhme (1575–1624).