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.
InBetraying 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.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Review: Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us ModernityUser Review - Brian - Goodreads
Fascinating philosophical history of an almost Renaissance man, Baruch Spinoza. Goldstein does a fine job describing his work and the times. Her stated aim was to understand the man, as well. She ... Read full review
Review: Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us ModernityUser Review - Jimmy - Goodreads
This book is part of a series on famous Jewish thinkers. Spinoza was excommunicated from the Portuguese Jewish community in which he had been educated when he was 23. The group had been called ... Read full review