Leibniz and the Kabbalah

  • Allison P. Coudert

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Allison P. Coudert
    Pages 1-14
  3. Allison P. Coudert
    Pages 15-24
  4. Allison P. Coudert
    Pages 25-34
  5. Allison P. Coudert
    Pages 78-98
  6. Allison P. Coudert
    Pages 99-111
  7. Allison P. Coudert
    Pages 112-135
  8. Allison P. Coudert
    Pages 136-154
  9. Allison P. Coudert
    Pages 155-157
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 158-225

About this book


The general view of scholars is that the Kabbalah had no meaningful influence on Leibniz's thought. } But on the basis of new evidence I am convinced that the question must be reopened. The Kabbalah did influence Leibniz, and a recognition of this will lead to both a better understanding of the supposed "quirkiness,,2 of Leibniz's philosophy and an appreciation ofthe Kabbalah as an integral but hitherto ignored factor in the emergence of the modem secular and scientifically oriented world. During the past twenty years there has been increasing willingness to recognize the important ways in which mystical and occult thinking contributed to the development of science and the emergence 3 of toleration. However, the Kabbalah, particularly the Lurianic Kabbalah with its monistic vitalism and optimistic philosophy of perfectionism and universal salvation, has not yet been integrated into the new historiography, although it richly deserves to be. On the basis of manuscripts in libraries at Hanover and Wolfenbiittel, it is clear that Leibniz's relationship with Francis Mercury van Helmont (1614- 1698) and Christian Knorr von Rosenroth (1636-1689), the two leading Christian Kabbalists of the period, was much closer than previously imagined and that his direct knowledge of their writings, especially the collection of 4 kabbalistic texts they published in the Kabbala Denudata, was far more detailed than most scholars have realized. During 1688 Leibniz spent more than a month at Sulzbach with von Rosenroth.


Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Jan Baptist van Helmont Kabbalah Leibniz Studies Lurianic Kabbalah Voltaire theodicy

Authors and affiliations

  • Allison P. Coudert
    • 1
  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityArizonaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1995
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-4465-5
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-2069-4
  • Series Print ISSN 0066-6610
  • Buy this book on publisher's site