Studia humana (SH) is a multi-disciplinary peer reviewed journal publishing valuable
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Regula Forster

Regula Forster studied German, Arabic, and philosophy. She earned her PhD from the University of Zurich with a thesis on the pseudo-Aristotelian Secretum secretorum. After having served as junior and associate professor of Arabic Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, she joined the University of Tübingen as full professor of Islamic history and culture in 2020.



Reaching the Goal of Alchemy – or: What Happens When You Finally Have Created the Philosophers’ Stone?

Issue: 9:1 (the thirty third issue)
Alchemy is the art of transforming base metals into precious ones, usually silver and/or gold. The most important method conceived to reach this goal was the creation of the elixir, also called the philosophers’ stone, which, applied to the prime-matter, would lead to an accelerated process of ripening of metals, eventually ending in gold. How did Arabo-Islamic alchemists suppose that the transmutation worked? What were the conditions the adept had to fulfil in order to succeed? And what did they think would happen when one finally has created the philosophers’ stone? Will the economy collapse because gold and silver will lose their validity? Will the alchemist simply lean back and enjoy? Or will the world end, because man has finally attained the knowledge that should be God’s only?