Johann Heinrich Alsted, professor of philosophy and theology at the Calvinist academy of Heborn, was a man of many parts. A deputy to the famous Synod of Dort and greatest encyclopaedist of his age, he was also a pioneer of Calvinist millenarianism and a devoted student of astrology, alchemy,Lullism, and the works of Giordano Bruno. From the mainstream Reformed tradition, Alsted and his circle inherited the zeal for further reformation of church, state, and society; but with this they blended hermetic dreams of a general reformation and the restoration of primordial perfection to the fallen human nature through Lullist andalchemical panaceas. However paradoxical from a strictly Calvinist standpoint, this loose synthesis helped prepare the programme of Alsted's greatest student, Jan Amos Cominius, and the following generation of central European universal reformers. Alsted's intellectual biography opens up unexpected perspectives on the reforming movements of the seventeenth century, and provides an invaluable introduction to many of the central ideas, individuals and institutions of this neglected era of central European intellectual history.