Leigh Penman is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. He is the author of Hope and Heresy: The Problem of Chiliasm in Post-Reformation Lutheranism (forthcoming), and is currently writing a revisionist history of the concept of the cosmopolitan in early modern Europe.
Between 1616 and 1628, the Sprottau tanner Christoph Kotter (1585–1647) experienced an extraordinary sequence of angelic visions while traversing Upper Lusatia and Lower Silesia. Although recent research has shed light on the earliest publications of these visions — including the editorial involvement of Jan Amos Komenský — we know little about the intellectual environment through which Kotter moved, and Kotter's connections to another contemporary visionary, the Görlitz philosopher Jacob Böhme (1575–1624). Based on intensive prosopographical research concerning Böhme's correspondence networks, this paper presents new manuscript evidence concerning Kotter, his relationship to Böhme, and the earliest readers, patrons, and reception of his prophecies. Additionally, this talk furnishes new perspectives concerning Böhme's readers in Bohemia, as well as Jan Amos Komenský's (1592–1670) knowledge of Böhme's works.