In 1656, Amsterdam's Jewish community declared Baruch Spinoza excommunicated because he denied the immortality of the soul, the divinity of the ...Show synopsisIn 1656, Amsterdam's Jewish community declared Baruch Spinoza excommunicated because he denied the immortality of the soul, the divinity of the scripture, and challenged the idea that the Torah was literally given by God. His writings remain as provocative today.Hide synopsis
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Dr. Goldstein is a brilliant Professor of Philosopy who was raised as an Orthodox Jewish girl. She had serious troubles dealing with Orthodox Jewish Absolutism - Specifically that God had his "Chosen People" and that the Jews are unique.
Dr. G liberated herself from Orthodoxy and became an outstanding Professor of Philosophy.
The same was ( with a couple o exceptions) true of Spinoza too. He was a believer in God but not the Jehova of the tribes of Israel. He believed in the God of Plato "Truth and Beauty" God is in everything- but he is not petty and jealous as portrayed int he Old Testament. Spinoza was banished by his fellow Jews but he wrote difficult to read but sublime treatises on the nature of God.
Rebecca Goldstein tells a beautiful story in a beautiful way. She writes so clearly, setting out what one needs to know to appreciate the singular contribution of Spinoza's philosophy, courageously worked out by Spinoza nearly 500 years ago and published fearlessly for all the world to benefit. His concept of a rational relationship between man and god, nature, the divine, the mystery, we-know-not-what, is so excitingly possible, and so readily meaningful to modern man that I have bought several copies of Goldstein's book to give to people I love, to give them the opportunity to discover what I have discovered.
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