Why Spinoza still matters

Religious zealotry, political intolerance, and the precarious status of free-thinkers.

In Aeon magazine, a strong essay worth reading again by Steven Nadler on “Why Spinoza Still Matters.”

At a time when Americans seem willing to bargain away their freedoms for security, when politicians talk of banning people of a certain faith from our shores, and when religious zealotry exercises greater influence on matters of law and public policy, Spinoza’s philosophy — especially his defence of democracy, liberty, secularity and toleration — has never been more timely.

I recommend also Douglas Den Uyl’s short book God, Man, and Well-Being: Spinoza’s Modern Humanism.

The image is Samuel Hirszenberg’s Spinoza (1907), from the A. A. Deineka Picture Gallery, Kursk, Russia.

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