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Spinoza’s Critique of Religion

Leo Strauss articulates the conflict between reason and revelation as he explores Spinoza’s scientific, comparative, and textual treatment of the Bible. Strauss compares Spinoza’s Theologico-political Treatise and the Epistles, showing their relation to critical controversy on religion from Epicurus and Lucretius through Uriel da Costa and Isaac Peyrere to Thomas Hobbes.

Strauss’s autobiographical Preface, traces his dilemmas as a young liberal intellectual in Germany during the Weimar Republic, as a scholar in exile, and as a leader of American philosophical thought.

"[For] those interested in Strauss the political philosopher, and also those who doubt whether we have achieved the ’final solution’ in respect to either the character of political science or the problem of the relation of religion to the state." —Journal of Politics

"A substantial contribution to the thinking of all those interested in the ageless problems of faith, revelation, and reason." —Kirkus Reviews

Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Chicago. His contributions to political science include The Political Philosophy of Hobbes, The City and the Man, What is Political Philosophy?, and Liberalism Ancient and Modern.

334 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1965

Philosophy: History and Classic Works

Religion: Philosophy of Religion, Theology, and Ethics

Table of Contents

Preface to the English Translation
Pt. 1: The Tradition of the Critique of Religion
I: The Tradition of the Critique of Religion
II: Uriel da Costa
III: Isaac de la Peyrere
IV: Thomas Hobbes
Pt. 2: Spinoza’s Critique of Religion
V: The Critique of Orthodoxy
VI: The Critique of Maimonides
VII: The Critique of Calvin
VIII: The Analysis of Revealed Religion
IX: The State and the Social Function of Religion
X: Spinoza’s Conception of the Bible and Bible Science

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