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About this product
- DescriptionAt the heart of Spiza's Heresy is a mystery: why was Baruch Spiza so harshly excommunicated from the Amsterdam Jewish community at the age of twenty-four? In this philosophical sequel to his acclaimed, award-winning biography of the seventeenth-century thinker, Steven Nadler argues that Spiza's main offence was a denial of the immortality of the soul. But this only deepens the mystery. For there is specific Jewish dogma regarding immortality: there is thing that a Jew is required to believe about the soul and the afterlife. It was, however, for various religious, historical and political reasons, simply the wrong issue to pick on in Amsterdam in the 1650s. After considering the nature of the ban, or cherem, as a disciplinary tool in the Sephardic community, and a number of possible explanations for Spiza's ban, Nadler turns to the variety of traditions in Jewish religious thought on the postmortem fate of a person's soul. This is followed by an examination of Spiza's own views on the eternity of the mind and the role that that the denial of personal immortality plays in his overall philosophical project. Nadler argues that Spiza's beliefs were t only an outgrowth of his own metaphysical principles, but also a culmination of an intellectualist trend in Jewish rationalism.
- Author BiographySteven Nadler is Professor of Philosophy, and a member of the faculty of the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- Author(s)Steven Nadler
- PublisherOxford University Press
- Date of Publication06/12/2001
- Place of PublicationOxford
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintClarendon Press
- Content Notebibliography, index
- Weight398 g
- Width146 mm
- Height224 mm
- Spine18 mm
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