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Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity

Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity Cover

ISBN13: 9780805242096
ISBN10: 0805242090
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Contemporaries called him 'Satan incarnate' and 'the most impious atheist who ever lived upon face of the earth.' But he is now revered as arguably the greatest philosopher since Plato, as the political theorist who first enunciated the general principles for a secular democratic society, and in many ways a modern saint. Baruch, later Benedict, de Spinoza (1632-77) devoted his adult life to thinking... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Goldstein errs in adopting [an] over-personal approach, but she is obviously working hard to make a difficult thinker appealing to common readers." Washington Post

Review:

"Goldstein uses biographical sketches of Spinoza's life to put forward the idea that, although his philosophy did not echo a Jewish viewpoint, it was influenced by the Jewish culture in which he was raised." Library Journal

Synopsis:

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.

Synopsis:

A DIFFERENT WAY OF LOOKING AT HERITAGE: For the first time in a boxed set, a perfect addition to your familys library, are 3 of the remarkable titles in the Jewish Encounters series: Betraying Spinoza, Maimonides, and The Life of David. Discover 3,000 years of Jewish life, history and culture with the series that The Washington Post calls “lively and distinguished”.

The critically acclaimed Jewish Encounters series brings together writers of the first rank with people, ideas and events from the Jewish past.

About the Author

Rebecca Goldstein's novels include The Mind-Body Problem. A MacArthur Fellow and Whiting Award winner, she teaches philosophy, at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and lives in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Frank Strada, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Frank Strada)
One of the most intellectually and emotionally stimulating books I've read in a long time, Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity, not only presents a clear picture of Spinoza's life and philosophy, but also puts the reader in the midst of Europe and Judaism in the beginning of the Scientific Revolution. Goldstein knows her Spinoza, an underappreciated philosopher who should be listed as one of the foremost thinkers of the Enlightenment. She's the only Spinoza scholar to actually get me to read Spinoza in the original. Written for the layman, this book should be read by any thinking person who wants to more completely understand how we got to where we are today in the history of ideas.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780805242096
Publisher:
Schocken Books Inc
Subject:
Netherlands
Author:
Goldstein, Rebecca
Author:
Various
Author:
Nuland, Sherwin B.
Author:
Pinsky, Robert
Subject:
Philosophers
Subject:
Spinoza, Benedictus de
Subject:
Jewish philosophers - Netherlands
Subject:
Religious
Subject:
Biography-Philosophers
Publication Date:
20060531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
7.80x5.32x1.11 in. .87 lbs.

Related Subjects

Biography » Philosophers
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » Sociology » Jewish Studies
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Religion » Judaism » History
Religion » Judaism » Jewish Biographies

Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 304 pages Schocken Books - English 9780805242096 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Goldstein errs in adopting [an] over-personal approach, but she is obviously working hard to make a difficult thinker appealing to common readers."
"Review" by , "Goldstein uses biographical sketches of Spinoza's life to put forward the idea that, although his philosophy did not echo a Jewish viewpoint, it was influenced by the Jewish culture in which he was raised."
"Synopsis" by , 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.

"Synopsis" by , A DIFFERENT WAY OF LOOKING AT HERITAGE: For the first time in a boxed set, a perfect addition to your familys library, are 3 of the remarkable titles in the Jewish Encounters series: Betraying Spinoza, Maimonides, and The Life of David. Discover 3,000 years of Jewish life, history and culture with the series that The Washington Post calls “lively and distinguished”.

The critically acclaimed Jewish Encounters series brings together writers of the first rank with people, ideas and events from the Jewish past.

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