Henry More against the Lurianic Kabbalah. The Arguments in the Fundamenta

Author/s Giuliana Di Biase
Publishing Year 2022 Issue 2022/1 Language English
Pages 17 P. 19-35 File size 211 KB
DOI 10.3280/SF2022-001002
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The Cambridge Platonist Henry More was fiercely averse to the Lurianic Kabbalah, with which he became acquainted through the two tomes of the Kabbala denudata (1677; 1684). More contributed to the first tome substantially and was highly influential in shaping the reception of this work, edited by Christian Knorr von Rosenroth. He denounced the incompatibility of the Christian religion with Luria’s system and in his last contribution, the Fundamenta, he put forward an apagogical argument meant to show the inconsistency of Luria’s teaching. The article aims at exploring the nature of More’s argument so as to highlight the philosophical essence of his criticism, the intention of which was to emphasize the incompatibility of the Kabbalah with any form of rational speculation. Luria’s doctrine appeared to More to be a compromise between materialism and spiritualism, a sort of hybrid theory that was even worse than materialism, given its misleading theistic appearance as well as the lack of internal coherence. This compromise was also morally unacceptable, being symptomatic of weakness of the will.

Keywords: Kabbalah, Luria, spirit, living matter, creatio ex nihilo, apagogical argument.

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Giuliana Di Biase, Henry More against the Lurianic Kabbalah. The Arguments in the Fundamenta in "RIVISTA DI STORIA DELLA FILOSOFIA" 1/2022, pp 19-35, DOI: 10.3280/SF2022-001002