Of all the traditional sciences it is alchemy--based as it is in metallurgy--that is directly concerned with the coming of the industrial order. In alchemical terms modern man lives in the Ferric Age and his state is best analogized to the properties of the metal iron, hard, cold, unbending but quick to succumb to corrosion and rust. The great ancient wisdom traditions of the world all anticipated this present age for it was already implicit in the technological and other changes that brought on the dawn of history. These ancient traditions - dismissed as childish superstitions by the scientist--contain ideas essential to the self-understanding that contemporary man so desperately needs. This is the central contention of the writings brought together in Primordial Alchemy & Modern Religion. Drawing upon many unexpected sources--especially Plato and the ancient Greeks--these wide-ranging, generous essays provide timely reiterations of ancient alchemical traditions and trace some pivotal themes that have continued in the theology and symbolism of the modern religions. This work restores some important keys for the recovery of a lost heritage of primordial wisdom, offering fresh perspectives on aspects of the Western and Islamic alchemical traditions in particular, and at the same time exploring the most distant roots of the modern impasse.