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


In this book the author seeks to find historiographical and textual evidence that Abraham Cohen de Herrera ‘s main kabbalistic work, Puerta del Cielo, influenced Spinoza’s metaphysics as it is expounded in his later work, the Ethica. Many of the most important ontological topics maintained by the philosopher, like the concept of the first cause as substance, the procession of the infinite modes, the subjective or metaphorical reality of the attributes, and the two different understandings of God, were anticipated in Herrera’s mystical treatise. Both shared a particular consideration of panentheism that entails acosmism. This influence is proven through a comparative examination of the writings of both authors, as well as a detailed research on previous Jewish philosophical thought.

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Miquel Beltrán, Ph.D. (1990), is Professor of Jewish ethics at the University of the Balearic Islands. He published monographs and articles on Spinoza and Maimonides, and also a transcription of Herrera’s Puerta del Cielo. He has been researcher at the CSIC and the CNRS.
“This is a rich, stimulating, and even exciting work, and is clearly one that should be addressed and studied by anyone with a serious interest in Spinoza’s relation to the Kabbalah.”
Yitzhak Melamed, John Hopkins University. In: Journal of the History of Philosophy, Vol. 55, No. 3 (July 2017), pp. 544–545.
All interested in Spinoza’s metaphysics and the development of Jewish Mysticism, and anyone concerned with the philosophy of early modernity in the Low Countries and in Jewish thought and theology.
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