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In this essay I survey the development of the Kabbalistic Godhead; exploring sources from the Hebrew Bible, through rabbinic literature and medieval Jewish philosophy, and culminating in thirteen century kabbalah and the Zohar. Following this discussion, I discuss primary theological elements incorporated within this conception, such as the understanding of the ten sefirot, which comprise the Godhead, the mystical understanding of the Tetragrammaton as correlating to the divine essence, God’s identification with the Torah and commandments, and the feminine element of the Godhead. This examination of the configuration of the Godhead and its various elements naturally leads to a discussion of the “complex unity” of God. In this examination I discuss the relation of different divine persona within the Godhead, the evil or demonic element of the Godhead, and lastly the differing conceptions of the Godhead as a kataphatic or apophatic entity. Finally, I examine the phenomenon of mystical union between the human being and the Godhead.
Locke omitted the Trinitarian dogma from his elucidation of the Christian religion in "The Reasonableness of Christianity." This omission implicitly made belief in the Trinity unnecessary to salvation and attracted much criticism, leading John Edwards and others to accuse Locke of Socinianism. Locke refused to clarify his position on the Trinity even when Edwards and Stillingfleet pressured him to do so. His public silence on the Trinity was surprising to many, because the "Reasonableness" appeared in the middle of the heated Trinitarian controversy of the late seventeenth century. Locke actually expressed, unsystematically and at times ambiguously, his views on Christ’s nature and mission in his public writings on religion and in various manuscript notes, and he focused on Trinitarian issues in "Adversaria Theologica" and other manuscripts. His Christological reflections and his consideration of Trinitarian issues denote a heterodox, non-Trinitarian conception of the Godhead, which presents both Socinian and Arian elements, although he never expressly denied the Trinity. Irenic and prudential reasons contributed to his choice to avoid public discussion of the Trinitarian dogma.
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