The miracle of Moses

Heythrop Journal 50 (2):181-188 (2009)
In this paper, I draw out a tension between miracles, prophecy, and Spinoza’s assertions about Moses in the Theological-Political Treatise (TTP). The three seem to constitute an inconsistent triad. Spinoza’s account of miracles requires a naturalistic interpretation of all events. This categorical claim must therefore apply to prophecy; specifically, Moses’ hearing God’s voice in a manner which does not seem to invoke the imagination or natural phenomena. Thus, Spinoza seemingly cannot maintain both Moses’ exalted status and his account of miracles. I consider some possible solutions, but find that they are either untrue to Spinoza’s position, or would undercut his categorical argument against miracles. I therefore conclude that Spinoza leaves an unresolved tension in the TTP
Keywords miracles   Spinoza
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-2265.2009.00450.x
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