Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew who Gave Us Modernity
Part of the Jewish Encounter series
In 1656, Amsterdam's Jewish community excommunicated Baruch Spinoza, and, at the age of twenty-three, he became the most famous heretic in Judaism. He was already germinating a secularist challenge to religion that would be as radical as it was original. He went on to produce one of the most ambitious systems in the history of Western philosophy, so ahead of its time that scientists today, from string theorists to neurobiologists, count themselves among Spinoza's progeny.
In Betraying Spinoza, Rebecca Goldstein sets out to rediscover the flesh-and-blood man often hidden beneath the veneer of rigorous rationality, and to crack the mystery of the breach between the philosopher and his Jewish past. Goldstein argues that the trauma of the Inquisition' s persecution of its forced Jewish converts plays itself out in Spinoza's philosophy. The excommunicated Spinoza, no less than his excommunicators, was responding to Europe' s first experiment with racial anti-Semitism.
Here is a Spinoza both hauntingly emblematic and deeply human, both heretic and hero--a surprisingly contemporary figure ripe for our own uncertain age.
Results 1-3 of 72
One of the rabbis of the community , Manasseh ben Israel , said to have been the
most famous Jew of Amsterdam and certainly the most worldly of the Sephardic
rabbis , counting many Gentiles as his friends , was painted by Rembrandt .
1596 René Descartes is born 1614 Jews in Amsterdam buy land for cemetery
outside Amsterdam ; at least two Jewish congregations already functioning
covertly in the city 1615 Jewish settlement in Amsterdam officially recognized ;
Scholem , in Sabbatai Sevi : “ As regards its role in Sabbatian history , the Jewish
community of Amsterdam may well compete with Italy for the first place . . . .
Circumstances in Amsterdam were indeed uniquely propitious for the success of
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - drbrand - LibraryThing
The world is the all-embracing web of necessary truths, intelligible through and through―and our own individual salvation rests in our knowing this. Goldstein writes a deeply engaging biography of ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - MarkBeronte - LibraryThing
In 1656, Amsterdam’s Jewish community excommunicated Baruch Spinoza, and, at the age of twenty–three, he became the most famous heretic in Judaism. He was already germinating a secularist challenge to ... Read full review
Baruch Bento Benedictus
In Search of Baruch
The Project of Escape
6 other sections not shown