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Betraying Spinoza
Betraying Spinoza
The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity

Author:Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

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Number of Pages:287



On July 27, 1656, Amsterdam’s Jewish community declared Baruch Spinoza excommunicated, and, at the age of twenty-three, he became the most famous heretic in Judaism. His “abominable heresies”? He denied the immortality of the soul and challenged the accepted belief that the Torah was literally given by God. His work remains as resonant and provocative today as it was when it first appeared. In Betraying Spinoza, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein sets out to rediscover the flesh-and-blood man often buried beneath the veneer of rigorous rationality and to provide a comprehensive cultural and religious context for the formation of his ideas. Here is a Spinoza both hauntingly emblematic and deeply human, both heretic and hero—a surprisingly contemporary figure ripe for our own uncertain age.