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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Baruch Spinoza's Aristotelian critique of Judaism, and religion in general, in the seventeenth century marked the beginning of a period of intense Jewish self-evaluation that continues to this day. This chapter unpacks Spinoza's criticisms to show that the ultimate ethical existence, that is, a virtuous existence, is one which entails attention to three interpenetrating relations: between the self and God, between the self and others, and with oneself. Obedience and love, Spinoza asserts, are the ultimate character traits that instantiate the highest forms of ethical existence in these realms.

Keywords: Baruch Spinoza, Judaism, ethical existence, virtuous existence, self, God, obedience, love

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