|Primary Format: Cloth|
|Size:||6 x 9 in.|
|Subject(s):||Jewish Studies Philosophy|
Spinoza's Challenge to Jewish Thought: Writings on His Life, Philosophy, and Legacy
Edited by Daniel B. Schwartz
With excellent clarity and comprehensiveness, Schwartz presents the reader with the full range of Jewish responses to Spinoza ... providing exhaustive evidence that both Spinoza’s presence as figure and his thought are everywhere and inescapable in Jewish modernity. This is the first volume to bring together the full array of responses to Spinoza from the 17th century to the present. Furthermore, Schwartz’s decision to include well-chosen excerpts as well as explanatory introductory short essays that contextualize them within the appropriate Jewish cultural trends, movements and historical landscape, along with biographical portraits of the writers, makes these texts accessible and comprehensible ... thereby painting a picture of Jewish modernity as a whole ... clearly demonstrating that Spinoza remains a living presence for Jews and for Judaism and not just a historical footnote of only academic or antiquarian interest. ... He does so with judicious fairness and inclusiveness and comprehensiveness. It is this modern Jewish landscape that Schwartz presents so well and so clearly in the introduction.
This collection of Jewish views on, and responses to, Spinoza over the centuries is an extremely useful addition to the literature. That it has been edited by an expert on Spinoza’s legacy in the Jewish world only adds to its value.
—Steven Nadler, University of Wisconsin
Like the figure of Jesus, Spinoza served as a mirror for modern Jewish thinkers and various attempts and failures to draw the boundaries of ‘modern Judaism.’
—Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Johns Hopkins University
Expelled from the Jewish community of seventeenth-century Amsterdam, Spinoza attained an enduring presence in Jewish thought. This paradox is documented with due nuance in these judiciously selected and annotated responses to Spinoza’s legacy to the modern world.
—Paul Mendes-Flohr, University of Chicago Divinity School
Schwartz offers an excellent general survey to orient the reader, and he provides succinct introductions to each of the carefully translated and edited texts. This book will be indispensable to the teacher and student of modern Jewish thought.
—Michael Rosenthal, University of Washington
DANIEL B. SCHWARTZ is Associate Professor of History, George Washington University.