Spiza's Theological-Political Treatise was published anymously in 1670 and immediately provoked huge debate. Its main goal was to claim that the freedom of philosophizing can be allowed in a free republic and that it cant be abolished without also destroying the peace and piety of that republic. Spiza criticizes the traditional claims of revelation and offers a social contract theory in which he praises democracy as the most natural form of government. This Critical Guide presents essays by well-kwn scholars in the field and covers a broad range of topics, including the political theory and the metaphysics of the work, religious toleration, the reception of the text by other early modern philosophers and the relation of the text to Jewish thought. It offers valuable perspectives on this important and influential work.
Yitzhak Y. Melamed is Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at The Johns Hopkins University. He works primarily on early modern philosophy, German idealism, metaphysics and medieval philosophy. He is the author of Spinoza's Metaphysics of Substance and Thought (forthcoming), as well as several articles on early modern philosophy, German idealism and metaphysics, and the editor of Eternity (forthcoming). Michael A. Rosenthal is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Washington. He is the author of numerous articles on Spinoza and early modern philosophy, which have appeared in journals including Archiv fur Geschichte der Philosophie, Journal of the History of Philosophy, and Journal of Political Philosophy. He is currently working on a book on the Theological-Political Treatise. He was recently a Visiting Fellow at the Forschungskolleg fur Humanwissenschaften in Bad Homburg, Germany.