Spinoza: Theological-Political Treatise

Spinoza: Theological-Political Treatise

by Jonathan Israel
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0521530970

ISBN-13: 9780521530972

Pub. Date: 06/28/2007

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise (1670) is one of the most important philosophical works of the early modern period. In it Spinoza discusses at length the historical circumstances of the composition and transmission of the Bible, demonstrating the fallibility of both its authors and its interpreters. He argues that free enquiry is not only consistent with the

Overview

Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise (1670) is one of the most important philosophical works of the early modern period. In it Spinoza discusses at length the historical circumstances of the composition and transmission of the Bible, demonstrating the fallibility of both its authors and its interpreters. He argues that free enquiry is not only consistent with the security and prosperity of a state but actually essential to them, and that such freedom flourishes best in a democratic and republican state in which individuals are left free while religious organizations are subordinated to the secular power. His Treatise has profoundly influenced the subsequent history of political thought, Enlightenment 'clandestine' or radical philosophy, Bible hermeneutics, and textual criticism more generally. It is presented here in a new translation of great clarity and accuracy by Michael Silverthorne and Jonathan Israel, with a substantial historical and philosophical introduction by Jonathan Israel.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521530972
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2007
Series:
Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy Series
Edition description:
ANN
Pages:
331
Sales rank:
424,246
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.83(d)

Table of Contents


Introduction     viii
Chronology     xxxv
Further reading     xxxviii
Note on the text and translation     xlii
Theological-Political Treatise     1
Preface     3
On prophecy     13
On the prophets     27
On the vocation of the Hebrews, and whether the prophetic gift was peculiar to them     43
On the divine law     57
On the reason why ceremonies were instituted, and on belief in the historical narratives, i.e. for what reason and for whom such belief is necessary     68
On miracles     81
On the interpretation of Scripture     97
In which it is shown that the Pentateuch and the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel and Kings were not written by the persons after whom they are named. The question is then asked whether they were written by several authors or by one, and who they were     118
Further queries about the same books, namely, whether Ezra made a definitive version of them, and whether the marginal notes found in the Hebrew MSS are variant readings     130
Where the remaining books of the Old Testament are examined in the same manner as the earlier ones     144
Where it is asked whether the Apostles wrote their Epistles as apostles and prophets or as teachers, and the role of an Apostle is explained     155
Onthe true original text of the divine law, and why Holy Scripture is so called, and why it is called the word of God, and a demonstration that, in so far as it contains the word of God, it has come down to us uncorrupted     163
Where it is shown that the teachings of Scripture are very simple, and aim only to promote obedience, and tell us nothing about the divine nature beyond what men may emulate by a certain manner of life     172
What faith is, who the faithful are, the foundations of faith defined, and faith definitively distinguished from philosophy     178
Where it is shown that theology is not subordinate to reason nor reason to theology, and why it is we are persuaded of the authority of Holy Scripture     186
On the foundations of the state, on the natural and civil right of each person, and on the authority of sovereign powers     195
Where it is shown that no one can transfer all things to the sovereign power, and that it is not necessary to do so; on the character of the Hebrew state in the time of Moses, and in the period after his death before the appointment of the kings; on its excellence, and on the reasons why this divine state could perish, and why it could scarcely exist without sedition     208
Some political principles are inferred from the Hebrew state and its history     230
Where is shown that authority in sacred matters belongs wholly to the sovereign powers and that the external cult of religion must be consistent with the stability of the state if we wish to obey God rightly     238
Where it is shown that in a free state everyone is allowed to think what they wish and to say what they think     250
Annotations: Spinoza's supplementary notes to the Theological-Political Treatise     260
Index     276

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