Item description for Abraham Cohen De Herrera: Gate of Heaven (Studies in European Judaism, 5) by Kenneth Krabbenhoft & Kenneth Krabbenhoft...
With the publication of Abraham Cohen de Herrera's Gate of Heaven, a widely influential work of Jewish mysticism is available for the first time in an unabridged, annotated English edition.
In this work, originally written in Spanish for the marrano community of Amsterdam, Herrera (d. 1635) follows the syncretic model of Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola in reconciling the teachings of the Sefer Yezirah, the Zohar, Moses Cordovero, Isaac Lurian and the Lurianic school (in particular Israel Sarug), with Aristotelian, Platonic, and Neoplatonic metaphysics, medieval Islamic and Jewish theology, and Scholasticism. This thorough synthesis explains the work's appeal to philosophers like Spinoza, Leibniz, Henry More, Hegel, and Jacob Bruckner.
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Puerta del Cielo Nov 6, 2009
Herrera stood at the crossroads of two specifically early-modern traditions: the metaphorical esoteric system developed by Isaac Luria in the early - to mid sixteenth century, and early-modern philosophical syncretism, that is, the process of reconciliation of Dominican, Franciscan, and Augustinian theology with pagan, Jewish, and Islamic thought that culminated in the fifteenth century with Ficino and Pico and was carried on in the Counter Reformation humanism of Francisco Suárez, among others.
The fact that Herrera wrote this, his most influential work, and the few other works attributed to him in Spanish makes him unique in both the history of kabbalah and in the history of Spanish literature; it also accounts for the complex story of the transmission and reception of his ideas, which (except for the circulation of the Spanish manuscript in Jewish circles in the Netherlands) was accomplished not by the dissemination of the original Spanish text but through the Hebrew translation of Gate of Heaven that was made after his death by R. Isaac Aboab da Fonseca, who took it upon himself to abridge and alter Herrera's text considerably.
The present edition and translation, which is the first complete translation of Puerta del Cielo in any language, is another stage in the transmission of Herrera's ideas to a broader reading public. The hope is that the availability of this remarkable work in English will make Herrera's unique contribution to Spanish letters, kabbalah, and the history of European thought better known and understood.