Spinoza's Heresy: Immortality and the Jewish Mind
Clarendon Press, 2001 - 225 Seiten
At the heart of Spinoza's Heresy is a mystery: why was Baruch Spinoza so harshly excommunicated from the Amsterdam Jewish community at the age of twenty-four? In this philosophical sequel to his acclaimed, award-winning biography of the seventeenth-century thinker, Steven Nadler argues that Spinoza's main offence was a denial of the immortality of the soul. But this only deepens the mystery. For there is no specific Jewish dogma regarding immortality:there is nothing that a Jew is required to believe about the soul and the afterlife. It was, however, for various religious, historical and political reasons, simply the wrong issue to pick on in Amsterdam in the 1650s. After considering the nature of the ban, or cherem, as a disciplinary tool in the Sephardic community, and a number of possible explanations for Spinoza's ban, Nadler turns to the variety of traditions in Jewish religious thought on the postmortem fate of a person's soul. This is followed by anexamination of Spinoza's own views on the eternity of the mind and the role that that the denial of personal immortality plays in his overall philosophical project. Nadler argues that Spinoza's beliefs were not only an outgrowth of his own metaphysical principles, but also a culmination of anintellectualist trend in Jewish rationalism.
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Aboab acquired intellect actually existing adequate ideas afterlife Agent Intellect Amsterdam argues attribute Averroes believe causal cherem claims community’s conception congregation conversos Costa denial Descartes divine doctrine duration Dutch essence eternal mind eternal punishment eternal reward Ethics evil Excommunicated fact Gehinnom Gersonides God’s halachic happiness Hilchot human mind Ibid immortality individual infinite insists Israel issue Jewish community Jews Judaism kind of knowledge living ma’amad Maimonides Marrano material intellect matter Menasseh Menasseh ben Israel metaphysical Mishnah Mishneh Torah mode moral Mortera Moses nature necessarily nefesh olam haba one’s opinions particular passions perfection person’s death personal immortality philosophical political Portuguese postmortem Prado question rabbis rational religion resurrection reward and punishment righteous Sanhedrin separate intellects Sephardim Sheol simply sinners soul Spinoza Spinoza’s cherem Spinoza’s views spirit substance synagogue Talmud Torah theodicy things third kind thought tion tradition Treatise true understanding Uriel da Costa virtue wicked
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