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The First Modern Jew
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The First Modern Jew: Spinoza and the History of an Image

Daniel B. Schwartz

Abstract

Pioneering biblical critic, theorist of democracy, and legendary conflater of God and nature, Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677) was excommunicated by the Sephardic Jews of Amsterdam in 1656 for his “horrible heresies” and “monstrous deeds.” Yet, over the past three centuries, Spinoza's rupture with traditional Jewish beliefs and practices has elevated him to a prominent place in genealogies of Jewish modernity. This book provides a riveting look at how Spinoza went from being one of Judaism's most notorious outcasts to one of its most celebrated, if still highly controversial, cult ... More

Keywords: Baruch Spinoza, Sephardic Jews, Jewish beliefs, Jewish modernity, Judaism, secular Jew, Jewish intellectuals, Jewish writers, Jewishness, Jewish identity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780691142913
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691142913.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniel B. Schwartz, author
George Washington University