One of the most enigmatic figures in history, Nostradamus - apothecary, astrologer and soothsayer - is a continual source of fascination. Indeed, his predictions are so much the stock-in-trade of the wildest merchants of imminent Doom that one could be forgiven for forgetting that Michel de Nostredame, 1503-1566, was a figure firmly rooted in the society of the French Renaissance. In this bold new account of the life and work of Nostradamus, Denis Crouzet shows that any attempt to interpret his Prophecies at face value is misguided. Nostradamus was not trying to predict the future. He saw himself, rather, as 'prophesying', i.e. bringing the Word of God to humankind. Like Rabelais, for whom laughter was a therapy to help one cope with the misery of the times, Nostradamus thought of himself as a physician of the soul as much as of the body. His unveiling of the menacing and horrendous events which await us in the future was a way of frightening his readers into the realisation that inner hatred was truly the greatest peril of all, to which the sole remedy was to live in the love and peace of Christ. This inspired interpretation penetrates the imaginative world of Nostradamus, a man whose life is as mysterious as his writings. It shows him in a completely new dimension, securing for him a significant place among the major thinkers of the Renaissance.
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About the Author
Denis Crouzet is Professor of Modern History at the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne. His work focuses on the French Wars of Religion and the use of violence in the Renaissance.
Table of Contents
Translators PrefaceIntroduction. Fragments of History1. The Place Beyond Words2. A Self-Contradictory Utterance3. Treasures Beneath an Oak Tree4. A Would-Be Astrophile5. Thresholds Dependant on Subjectivity6. An Evangelist Cogito7. For the Common Profit of Mankind8. A Burning Mirror9. Divine Light10. From the All to the One11. The Word of Creation12. An Episteme of Reason13. Sacredness and Nothingness14. The Energetics of Obscurity15. Powers of Evil16. Man Against Man17. All the Sins of the World18. The Horror that Invites Horror19. Faith: Trial and Tribulations20. From Alpha to Omega21. The Philology of Angst22. The Panic Paradox23. The Eschataology of the Rainbow24. The Ontological Turn25. Liberty in ChristBy Way of Conclusion: Why Nostradamus?NotesChronologySources and Bibliography