Pre-spiritual (c. 1292)

This was a brief period from which only two works remain (see works 1 and 2), written one after the other. Arnau de Vilanova was convinced that all of creation, history and the Bible were full of mysteries and hidden meanings which God will gradually reveal. Precisely Arnau felt called to decipher the hidden meaning of the letters of the alphabet and to apply it to God’s names. There is absolutely nothing superfluous in the Bible; every element, the letters, the way they are written and their sound have a profound reason for being. Some scholars believed that the forerunners of Arnau’s first project can be found in the Jewish Kabbalah, but the critical edition of these works has made it clear that Arnau’s point of departure was the work De semine Scripturarum. When properly interpreted, the names of God manifest his essence and his trinity.

Alfabets Illustration:Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Arabic alphabets in Libre de puritats, 15th c., Vatican, BAV, ms. Barb. Lat. 3589, f. 31r
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