Religion and the civil state in the Tractatus Politicus

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2 Scopus citations


This chapter examines Spinoza's recommendation that all the patricians in an aristocracy "should be of the same Religion, a very simple and most Universal Religion, such as we described in that Treatise." What does Spinoza mean here by the "very simple and most Universal Religion?", he asks. Garber argues against the view that Spinoza intends the dogmas of the TTP outlining a religion of reason to replace traditional religions. Religion for Spinoza, Garber argues, is practice, not faith, and it involves imperatives to be followed and not dogmas or beliefs to be held. The "very simple and most Universal Religion," he argues, consists only of the imperative to love one's neighbor as oneself, and to love God above all. The dogmas of Universal Faith are needed only for those not capable of attaining religion through reason: for the rational agent, the imperatives are not laws, given by a divine lawgiver, but eternal truths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpinoza's Political Treatise
Subtitle of host publicationA Critical Guide
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781316756607
ISBN (Print)9781107170582
StatePublished - Aug 2 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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