July 1-2 2018 at the University of Haifa
Spinoza is often viewed through two distinct lenses. There is a Jewish Spinoza, the heretical critic of the Torah, and an opponent to the rabbis. This Spinoza is seen as a thinker seeped in the writings of Crescas, Maimonides, and Gersonides, and often thought of as the father to both the Haskalah and to secular Judaism. There is also a Dutch Spinoza, a freethinking member of the Amsterdam circle. This Spinoza, is seen as learned in Descartes and Hobbes, and as a philosopher of the Dutch Golden Age. Surrounded by a milieu of Liberal Protestant Christians, scientists, and doctors this Spinoza is embraced in the Netherlands today as a symbol of toleration, democracy, and liberalism.
The two Spinozas are jarringly brought together at Spinoza’s “burial site.” Spinoza’s bones rest somewhere within the yard of the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) of The Hague, near a memorial (partially provided by the Haifa Spinozaem) inscribed with the Hebrew word “עמך” (your people).
Today, in both Israel and in the Netherlands, Spinoza is treated as a national heritage. In both countries the philosopher is honored with street names, stamps, and artworks. His name is invoked in the political discourse of both countries, and in both Israel and in the Netherlands, Spinoza is offered as an example of national genius.
The Netherlands-Israel Spinoza Seminar explores the Jewish and Dutch Spinoza together. The inaugural seminar shall be held this year at the University of Haifa, and will focus upon Spinoza’s TTP and its reception. Participants will have the opportunity to visit the “Klefman copy” of the Tractatus Theologico Politicus, which features five annotations written in Spinoza’s own hand (and which constitute the core of the Adnotationes ad Tractatum theologico-politicum included in all modern editions of the TTP.)
Henri Krop (Erasmus University): “The Tractates theologico-politicus and the Dutch: Its predecessors and critics.” (Keynote)
Elhanan Yakira (Hebrew University): “Spinoza and the Religious” (Keynote)
Noa Lahav (University of Haifa): “Spinoza’s TTP and Jewish-Israeli Identity”
Piet Steenbakkers (Utrecht University): “Models, Human and Divine, in Spinoza’s Ethics and Theological-Political Treatise”
Yehuda Halper (Bar-Ilan University): “Second Temple Politics and the Composition of the Bible according to Spinoza.”
Jo Van Cauter (Leiden University): “Popular Enlightenment, a Dutch perspective”
Mark Malkovich (Hebrew University) “Spinoza’s use of Rhetoric in the Ethics and in the TTP”
Atsuko Fukuoka (University of Tokyo): “The Tractatus theologico-politicus and Dutch Debates on the Church-State Relationship”
Yoram Stein (Leiden University): “Spinoza and the Problem of Context, or, How to Interpret Spinoza Spinozistically.”
Registration is free, but must made in advance.
Contact: Daniel Schneider (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Download the poster here: Spinoza main poster 2018-final