Spinoza's Heresy: Immortality and the Jewish Mind

By Steven Nadler | Go to book overview

2 Abominations and Heresies

Engaging in a search for the reasons behind Spinoza's cherem might appear, for a number of very different reasons, pointless. First, such a project seems irremediably speculative. Unlike many of the other cherem cases among the Amsterdam Sephardim, neither the writ of cherem itself nor any other official document tells us what exactly he has done wrong. There is, in fact, so little confirmed and explicit information to go on that all one can really do is hazard an informed guess. Unless further material shows up—in the form of a long-lost letter or proclamation—there is no direct, concrete evidence that specifies what were the specific reasons for his ban. Second—and this reason is only prima facie inconsistent with the first—such a project seems absurdly unnecessary: Is it not obvious why Spinoza was excommunicated? Anyone who has read his major writings, the Ethics and the Theological-Political Treatise, will wonder what could possibly be the mystery here. If Spinoza was, around the time of his cherem, uttering even a small selection of the audacious opinions that appear in these mature treatises, there can be no wonder that he was severely punished by his congregation. Can there truly be any question as to why one of history's boldest and most radical thinkers was banned from his synagogue as a young man?

I am fully sympathetic to the sentiments behind both of these objections. And yet, as I hope to show through an examination of one of the

-16-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Spinoza's Heresy: Immortality and the Jewish Mind
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Spinoza's Heresy iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Contents xv
  • Abbreviations xvi
  • 1: Cherem in Amsterdam 1
  • 2: Abominations and Heresies 16
  • 3: Patriarchs, Prophets, and Rabbis 42
  • 4: The Philosophers 67
  • 5: Eternity and Immortality 94
  • 6: The Life of Reason 132
  • 7: Immortality on the Amstel 157
  • Conclusion 182
  • Bibliography 213
  • Index 223
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 225

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.