Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity

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Part of the Jewish Encounter series

In 1656, Amsterdam’s Jewish community excommunicated Baruch Spinoza, and, at the age of twenty–three, he became the most famous heretic in Judaism. He was already germinating a secularist challenge to religion that would be as radical as it was original. He went on to produce one of the most ambitious systems in the history of Western philosophy, so ahead of its time that scientists today, from string theorists to neurobiologists, count themselves among Spinoza’s progeny.

In Betraying Spinoza, Rebecca Goldstein sets out to rediscover the flesh-and-blood man often hidden beneath the veneer of rigorous rationality, and to crack the mystery of the breach between the philosopher and his Jewish past. Goldstein argues that the trauma of the Inquisition’ s persecution of its forced Jewish converts plays itself out in Spinoza’s philosophy. The excommunicated Spinoza, no less than his excommunicators, was responding to Europe’ s first experiment with racial anti-Semitism.

Here is a Spinoza both hauntingly emblematic and deeply human, both heretic and hero—a surprisingly contemporary figure ripe for our own uncertain age.
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About the author

REBECCA NEWBERGER GOLDSTEIN received her doctorate in philosophy from Princeton University. Her award-winning books include the novels The Mind-Body Problem, Properties of Light, and 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction and nonfiction studies of Kurt Gödel and Baruch Spinoza. She has received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, has been designated a Humanist of the Year and a Freethought Heroine, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2015. She lives in Massachusetts.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Schocken
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Published on
Aug 11, 2009
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780805242737
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Philosophers
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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 This initial volume of the Collected Works of Edith Stein offers, for the first time in English, the unabridged biography of Edith Stein (Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), depicting her life as a child and young adult. Her text ends abruptly because the Nazi SS arrested, then deported, her to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1942. The ebook version contains a fully linked Index, Map and List of Places.

Edith Stein is one of the most significant German-Jewish women of the 20th century. At the age of twenty-five she became the first assistant to Edmund Husserl, the founder of Phenomenology. She was much in demand as a writer and lecturer after her conversion from atheism to Catholicism. Later, as a Discalced Carmelite nun, she maintained her intellectual pursuits until she, like so many others, became a victim of the Nazi persecution that raged across Eastern Europe.


By making this landmark work available in English, the Institute of Carmelite Studies provides an eye-witness account of persons and activities on the scene at the time when psychology and philosophy became separate disciplines.


In addition to photographs and a map, this volume is enhanced with a preface, the foreword and afterword, notes, and a list of places associated with Edith Stein’s life. It is our aim that these, together with Edith Stein’s text, may help bring into relief the many background details of the rich autobiographical work she has left us.


**Chosen "Best Spirituality Book of 1986" by the Catholic Press Association**

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