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Spinoza and Other Heretics, Volume 1: The Marrano of Reason

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This ambitious study presents Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) as the most outstanding and influential thinker of modernity--and examines the question of whether he was the first secular Jew. A number-one bestseller in Israel, Spinoza and Other Heretics is made up of two volumes--The Marrano of Reason and The Adventures of Immanence. Yirmiyahu Yovel shows how Spinoza grounded a This ambitious study presents Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) as the most outstanding and influential thinker of modernity--and examines the question of whether he was the first secular Jew. A number-one bestseller in Israel, Spinoza and Other Heretics is made up of two volumes--The Marrano of Reason and The Adventures of Immanence. Yirmiyahu Yovel shows how Spinoza grounded a philosophical revolution in a radically new principle--the philosophy of immanence, or the idea that this world is all there is--and how he thereby anticipated secularization, the Enlightenment, the disintegration of ghetto life, and the rise of natural science and the liberal-democratic state. The Marrano of Reason finds the origins of the idea of immanence in the culture of Spinoza's Marrano ancestors, Jews in Spain and Portugal who had been forcibly converted to Christianity. Yovel uses their fascinating story to show how the crypto-Jewish life they maintained in the face of the Inquisition mixed Judaism and Christianity in ways that undermined both religions and led to rational skepticism and secularism. He identifies Marrano patterns that recur in Spinoza in a secularized context: a this-worldly disposition, a split religious identity, an opposition between inner and outer life, a quest for salvation outside official doctrines, and a gift for dual language and equivocation. This same background explains the drama of the young Spinoza's excommunication from the Jewish community in his native Amsterdam. Convention portrays the Amsterdam Jews as narrow-minded and fanatical, but in Yovel's vivid account they emerge as highly civilized former Marranos with cosmopolitan leanings, struggling to renew their Jewish identity and to build a new Jerusalem in the Netherlands.


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This ambitious study presents Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) as the most outstanding and influential thinker of modernity--and examines the question of whether he was the first secular Jew. A number-one bestseller in Israel, Spinoza and Other Heretics is made up of two volumes--The Marrano of Reason and The Adventures of Immanence. Yirmiyahu Yovel shows how Spinoza grounded a This ambitious study presents Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) as the most outstanding and influential thinker of modernity--and examines the question of whether he was the first secular Jew. A number-one bestseller in Israel, Spinoza and Other Heretics is made up of two volumes--The Marrano of Reason and The Adventures of Immanence. Yirmiyahu Yovel shows how Spinoza grounded a philosophical revolution in a radically new principle--the philosophy of immanence, or the idea that this world is all there is--and how he thereby anticipated secularization, the Enlightenment, the disintegration of ghetto life, and the rise of natural science and the liberal-democratic state. The Marrano of Reason finds the origins of the idea of immanence in the culture of Spinoza's Marrano ancestors, Jews in Spain and Portugal who had been forcibly converted to Christianity. Yovel uses their fascinating story to show how the crypto-Jewish life they maintained in the face of the Inquisition mixed Judaism and Christianity in ways that undermined both religions and led to rational skepticism and secularism. He identifies Marrano patterns that recur in Spinoza in a secularized context: a this-worldly disposition, a split religious identity, an opposition between inner and outer life, a quest for salvation outside official doctrines, and a gift for dual language and equivocation. This same background explains the drama of the young Spinoza's excommunication from the Jewish community in his native Amsterdam. Convention portrays the Amsterdam Jews as narrow-minded and fanatical, but in Yovel's vivid account they emerge as highly civilized former Marranos with cosmopolitan leanings, struggling to renew their Jewish identity and to build a new Jerusalem in the Netherlands.

44 review for Spinoza and Other Heretics, Volume 1: The Marrano of Reason

  1. 4 out of 5

    Zohar

    I've read it in Hebrew. Absoultuly fascinating! I've read it in Hebrew. Absoultuly fascinating!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Lenoff

    Good read, took a while to get through though

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amir

    This is probably the one book of history and philosophy that I found most relevant to my world view.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Whitney

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shlomi Zilberman

  6. 5 out of 5

    Titaq

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alan Tenenbaum

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bermúdez

  10. 4 out of 5

    Micah

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cheski

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laurence Kirmayer

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rhiannon

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sariel Bier

  15. 4 out of 5

    Defaceo

  16. 5 out of 5

    Scot

  17. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Elliott

  18. 5 out of 5

    Eugene

  19. 4 out of 5

    Noah

  20. 4 out of 5

    Niklas Olaison

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julian Meynell

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rodger Krouse

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  24. 4 out of 5

    Barry Alexander

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ruken Erdede

  26. 5 out of 5

    Craig Bolton

    Spinoza and Other Heretics. Vol. 1 by Yirmiyahu Yovel (1992)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elazar

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ron

  30. 4 out of 5

    K.B. Hallman

  31. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Boulden

  32. 4 out of 5

    A.

  33. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  34. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  35. 4 out of 5

    Neil Cotter

  36. 4 out of 5

    Erica

  37. 4 out of 5

    Διόνυσος Ελευθέριος

  38. 5 out of 5

    Lc

  39. 5 out of 5

    Ignacio Gallup-Diaz

  40. 4 out of 5

    Molly Major

  41. 5 out of 5

    Pyqos

  42. 4 out of 5

    John Ervin

  43. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  44. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Kuperman

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