David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
History of Philosophy Quarterly 21 (2):167-182 (2004)
The last chapter of Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise (TTP) is a brief for freedom of religion. In our enthusiasm for Spinoza's conclusion it is easy to overlook the blatant contradiction between this thesis and the central claim of the immediately preceding chapter that "right over matters of religion is vested entirely in the sovereign." There Spinoza emphasizes the necessity that there be but one sovereign in the state and the threat that autonomous religious authorities would pose to the authority of this sovereign. This last claim is, in turn, bolstered by his analysis of the deficiencies of the Hebrew state in the chapter before, chapter 18, according to which it was the usurpation of political authority by priests that ultimately undermined the state. In other words, in chapters 18 and 19, Spinoza makes the case for the strict political control of religion only to conclude his treatise by arguing, in chapter 20, that the purpose of the state is, in reality, freedom and that that freedom manifests itself, in part, in freedom of religion. How could this latter not pose exactly the sort of threat to the sovereign and the state that leads Spinoza to insist on the sovereign's absolute control of religion? How can Spinoza insist that religion be both free and controlled by the state? This paper aims to answer this question and, in the process, explains a number of troubling features of the Theological-Political Treatise
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michael A. Rosenthal (2001). Spinoza's Dogmas of the Universal Faith and the Problem of Religion. Philosophy and Theology 13 (1):53-72.
Edwin Curley (2000). Castellio Vs. Spinoza on Religious Toleration. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 7:89-110.
Benedictus de Spinoza (2007). Theological-Political Treatise. Cambridge University Press.
Justin Steinberg (2009). Spinoza on Civil Liberation. Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (1):pp. 35-58.
Benedictus de Spinoza (1883/2004). A Theologico-Political Treatise. Dover Publications.
Yitzhak Y. Melamed & Michael A. Rosenthal (eds.) (2010). Spinoza's 'Theological-Political Treatise': A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.
Yitzhak Y. Melamed (forthcoming). “Spinoza’s Respublica Divina:” in Otfried Höffe (Ed.), Baruch de Spinozas Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (Berlin: Akademie Verlag (Klassiker Aulegen), Forthcoming). In Otfried Höffe (ed.), Baruch de Spinozas Tractatus theologico-politicus. Akademie Verlag (Klassiker Aulegen).
Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2010). The Metaphysics of Spinoza's Theological Political Treatise. In Yitzhak Melamed (ed.), Spinoza's Theological Political Treatise: A Critical Guide. Cambridge.
Edmund F. Byrne (2010). Why and How Secular Society Should Accommodate Religion: A Philosophical Proposal. Edwin Mellen Press.
Susan James (2010). Narrative as the Means to Freedom: Spinoza on the Uses of Imagination. In Yitzhak Y. Melamed & Michael A. Rosenthal (eds.), Spinoza's 'Theological-Political Treatise': A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press. 250.
Michael Della Rocca (2008). Spinoza. Routledge.
Michael A. Rosenthal (2010). Miracles, Wonder, and the State in Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise. In Yitzhak Y. Melamed & Michael A. Rosenthal (eds.), Spinoza's 'Theological-Political Treatise': A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press. 231.
Susan James (2012). Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion, and Politics: The Theologico-Political Treatise. OUP Oxford.
James S. Preus (2001). Spinoza and the Irrelevance of Biblical Authority. Cambridge University Press.
Andre Santos Campos (2010). The Individuality of the State in Spinoza's Political Philosophy. Archiv für Geschichte Der Philosophie 92 (1):1-38.
Added to index2011-01-04
Total downloads17 ( #82,059 of 1,089,155 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,735 of 1,089,155 )
How can I increase my downloads?