First Advisor

Angela Coventry

Date of Award

5-22-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Philosophy and University Honors

Department

Philosophy

Subjects

Monotheism, God (Judaism), Monism -- Effect of Jewish philosophy on, Benedictus de Spinoza (1632-1677) -- Philosophy

DOI

10.15760/honors.866

Abstract

Benedict de Spinoza’s (1632-1677) excommunication from the strict Jewish-Portuguese community of Amsterdam didn’t erase all of the years of studying Judaic and Kabbalistic thought. His theory of G-d (monism) is deeply connected to Kabbalistic monotheism (the Judiac mystic theory of G-d). This thesis explores the similarities and differences between Spinoza’s monism and Kabbalistic monotheism in order to shine new light on Spinoza’s proof of the existence of G-d, and the nature of how we exist in relation to Him. By moving through descriptions of the two theories, it becomes evident that both have similar structures. There is one infinite G-d, all that exists is within Him, and we are created from Him. The differences arise when the theories explain how we interact with G-d, and how much we can really know about Him. While the differences are immense, Spinoza’s monism connecting structurally with Kabbalistic monotheism shows that even though he rejected the school of thought he was raised in, what he knew lent itself to a beautiful theory of G-d and human existence.

Rights

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/33041

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