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date: 08 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues first that there exists a close relationship between Spinoza’s Bible criticism and his radical naturalism, his conception of human knowledge and science, and second, that this particular conjoining of elements underpins an entire “Radical Enlightenment,” which over many centuries challenged the edifice of Judaeo-Christian-Muslim theology at every level. Spinoza reasons that nobody can demonstrate that Bible-based theology contains any truth at all, and why all men of good will must acquiesce in this whether they like it or not, urging that it is only by separating philosophy from theology and accepting that the theology proclaimed by revealed religion cannot provide universal truths that a more compelling basis for society’s moral and legal order can be found and promoted.

Keywords: Radical Enlightenment, Spinoza, materialism, atheism, philosophes, anti-philosophes, Bible criticism

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