Abstract

Baruch de Spinoza, one of the most important philosophers of his time, and certainly the most radical, was excommunicated from Amsterdam's Sefardic synagogue at the age of twenty-four. The immediate reasons for the cherem pronounced against him remain hidden, although there are some good reasons for thinking that he was already propounding the heretical views that are found in his later writings. In this essay, however, I look closely at the political context for Spinoza's excommunication, especially in the relationship between Amsterdam's Jews and Dutch society.

Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 40-52
Launched on MUSE
2001-07-01
Open Access
No
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