1300 36 33 32

Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677)--often recognized as the first modern Jewish thinker--was also a founder of modern liberal political philosophy. This book is the first to connect systematically these two aspects of Spinoza's legacy. Steven B. Smith shows that Spinoza was a politically engaged theorist who both advocated and embodied a new conception of the emancipated individual, a thinker who decisively influenced such diverse movements as the Enlightenment, liberalism, and political Zionism. Focusing on Spinoza's Theologico-Political Treatise, Smith argues that Spinoza was the first thinker of note to make the civil status of Jews and Judaism (what later became known as the Jewish Question) an essential ingredient of modern political thought. Before Marx or Freud, Smith notes, Spinoza recast Judaism to include the liberal values of autonomy and emancipation from tradition. Smith examines the circumstances of Spinoza's excommunication from the Jewish community of Amsterdam, his skeptical assault on the authority of Scripture, his transformation of Mosaic prophecy into a progressive philosophy of history, his use of the language of natural right and the social contract to defend democratic political institutions, and his comprehensive comparison of the ancient Hebrew commonwealth and the modern commercial republic. According to Smith, Spinoza's Treatise represents a classic defense of religious toleration and intellectual freedom, showing them to be necessary foundations for political stability and liberal regimes. In this study Smith examines Spinoza's solution to the Jewish Question and asks whether a Judaism, so conceived, can long survive.

Buy Spinoza, Liberalism and the Question of Jewish Identity book by Steven B. Smith from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780300076653
ISBN-10: 0300076657
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 16mm)
Pages: 290
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 12-Nov-1998
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions

Reviews

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Spinoza, Liberalism and the Question of Jewish Identity book by Steven B. Smith and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a member - it's free to sign up!)

Write Review


Books By Author Steven B. Smith

Modernity and its Discontents by Steven B. Smith

Modernity and its Discontents

Hardback, September 2016
$62.99
Political Philosophy by Steven B. Smith

Political Philosophy

Paperback, November 2012
$35.09
Writings of Abraham Lincoln by Steven B. Smith

The Writings of Abraham Lincoln

Paperback, May 2012
$40.49
Cambridge Companion to Leo Strauss by Steven B. Smith

The Cambridge Companion to Leo Strauss

Paperback, May 2009
$52.16