De Arte Cabbalistica

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De Arte Cabbalistica (Latin for On the Art of Kabbalah) is a 1517 text by the German Renaissance humanist scholar Johann Reuchlin, which deals with the Kabbalah. In it, he puts forward the view that the theosophic philosophy of Kabbalah could be of great use in the defense of Christianity and the reconciliation of science with the mysteries of faith.

The text builds on his earlier work De Verbo Mirifico.


Reuchlin utilized ancient grimoires written in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew as the basis of his book and thanks Thomas Anshelm (the publisher responsible for releasing the book) for collecting these works.

Much of the content of the book comes from the Zohar, one of the earliest books about Jewish ritual magic that was widely available to Europeans. Reuchlin's goal in writing De Arte Cabbalistica, like many occultists that followed him, was to syncretize the lore of Jewish mysticism with that of Gnosticism and Christian mysticism. Some contemporary authors have suggested Reuchlin hoped the book would endear him to the Catholic Church because it showed that Jews could be good Christians without violating the tenets of their religion.

The text is divided into three separate sections. In addition to presenting straightforward information in the style of a textbook, the non-fiction text is frequently interrupted by dialogues between three fictional scholar-philosophers: a Kabbalist named Simon, a Pythagorean named Philolaus, and a Pagan Marranus.


De Arte Cabbalistica was first published in March 1517 in the German city of Hagenau by Thomas Anshelm.