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The First Modern JewSpinoza and the History of an Image$
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Daniel B. Schwartz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142913

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142913.001.0001

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Spinoza Redivivus in the Twenty-First Century

Spinoza Redivivus in the Twenty-First Century

(p.189) Epilogue Spinoza Redivivus in the Twenty-First Century
The First Modern Jew

Daniel B. Schwartz

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter considers the current vogue in appropriations of Spinoza. Broadly speaking, the chapter finds in the recent literature two basic positions on Spinoza's place in the world of Jewish secularism: the “presentists,” who seek to vouch for Spinoza's anticipation of the modern, secular Jew and drive home his relevance to the contemporary culture wars; and the “contextualists,” who look askance at interpretations of Spinoza as a Jewish precursor, judging such readings guilty of everything from historical anachronism at the very least to a groundless “Judaizing” of the Amsterdam philosopher more problematically. This chapter, as with the rest of this volume, maintains a contextualist stance, and discusses this position in more depth in the larger context of the contemporary revival of Spinoza in modern Jewish culture.

Keywords:   Spinoza appropriations, presentists, contextualists, modern Jewish culture, secular Judaism, Baruch Spinoza

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