The Influence of Abraham Cohen de Herrera's Kabbalah on Spinoza's Metaphysics by Miquel Beltràn

Journal of the History of Philosophy 55 (3):544-545 (2017)
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Abstract

Addressing the alleged "great secrets" contained in Scripture, Spinoza wrote in the Theological Political Treatise : "I have also read, and for that matter, known personally, certain Kabbalistic triflers. I've never been able to be sufficiently amazed by their madness". Were these words Spinoza's only reference to the Kabbalah, we would hardly have any reason to believe that his attitude toward the Kabbalistic literature was anything but dismissive. However, in a 1675 letter to Henry Oldenburg, Spinoza stressed that he shared the view that "all things are in God" with certain ancient traditions of the Hebrews, "corrupted as they have been in many ways"...

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Yitzhak Melamed
Johns Hopkins University

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