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Keith Green

Your student, Jo Van Cauter's dissertation is timely. This is one of the features of Spinoza's views about religion that is not well-discussed (and, I think, perhaps a primary impediment to the Leo Strass reading, overall.) It is interesting---per your remark that both Simeon and the Christ Child, and Jesus among the scholars, are to be found in a gospel that many NT scholars regard as interpreting Jesus essentially as a prophet---and subjected to the rejection that some of the prophets experienced. Yet Spinoza clearly does not regard treating Jesus as a prophet because he has a different kind of knowledge, and "aims to improve men's minds"--according to one TTP passage--rather than their behavior.

Aaron Alvarez

I don't know enough about the Jewish community or Catholic theology that Spinoza would have access too but it is possible that he may be downplaying some of the interpretations that go against community. The account in Luke for instance is mirrored in some views of Saints as breaking away from the community and state. An example of this is Mar Qarbagh. Joel Walker has a translation of some of the narratives about him. There is an analogy between the demystifying and reduction of claims of the Zoroastrian religion, the Seleucid state and familial relations. The analogy links the claims to the imagery of the Christ Child as part of a developmental account of his path to the crucification. This is duplicated through multiple Saint Figures in the piece.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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