John Dee was an Anglo-Welsh mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, teacher, occultist, and alchemist. He was the court astronomer for, and advisor to, Elizabeth I, and spent much of his time on alchemy, divination and Hermetic philosophy. As an antiquarian, he had one of the largest libraries in England at the time. As a political advisor, he advocated for the founding of English colonies in the New World to form a "British Empire", a term he is credited with coining. Dee was an intense Christian, but his religiosity was influenced by Hermetic and Platonic-Pythagorean doctrines pervasive in the Renaissance. He believed that numbers were the basis of all things and key to knowledge. From Hermeticism he drew a belief that man had the potential for divine power that could be exercised through mathematics. His goal was to help bring forth a unified world religion through the healing of the breach of the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches and the recapture of the pure theology of the ancients.
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