This book is an inquiry into the early reception of Spinoza’s philosophy of religion in the Netherlands. The study aims to investigate the way in which Spinoza influenced directly or indirectly the religious and intellectual climate of his days. Part I pictures the unique role and position of Spinoza as a philosopher, and how the views observed by his friends were established on Spinozistic structures and themes.
Anti-Spinozism, however, was exceedingly vehement. The author portrays some of Spinoza’s most important adversaries. The polemical issues with respect to Spinoza are discussed at lenght. They won the favour of the audience, and due to the distorted reproduction of his ideas, Spinoza had to work in a world that was alien to him. The opposition of his former friend Albert Burgh – who was to become a very important official in the Vatican – in particular appears to be indicative in the mentallity of critique and rejection.
Part II is devoted to some central notions derived from the modern theory of reception. They show that the viewpoint of the reader plays a decisive rol in the history of ideas. This insight provides a new focus on the reception of Spinoza, and on the author’s method of reconstruction in the field of the history of philosophy and religion.
This book is intended for readers working or studying in the fields of philosophy and ethics, the philosophy of religion, the history of philosophy, religion and theology.
Spinoza and the Netherlanders | H.J. Siebrand | 1988