Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion, and Politics, by Susan James (review) [Book Review]

Journal of the History of Philosophy 51 (2):318-319 (2013)

Abstract

Event synopsis: Professor Susan James inverses Leo Strauss’ reading of Spinoza. Whereas Strauss emphasized the hidden subtext of Spinoza’s arguments, James revives the explicit debates of his time within which Spinoza's Theologico-Political Treatise was situated. But this is not a simple historical reconstruction. James’ close reading of the Treatise offers a radically new perspective on Spinoza’s revolutionary book – a reading that presents startling new perspective on the political, metaphysical and theological implications of the book. Given the importance of Spinoza’s political writings in contemporary radical democratic approaches to the state, James intervention has the potential to reshape the way we think of a Spinozan politics

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