Chapter

True Religion

Susan James

in Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion, and Politics

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199698127
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740558 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199698127.003.0009
 							 							True Religion

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Spinoza now sets out to explicate the religious doctrine taught by Scripture and to reinforce his claim that it does not threaten the division between theology and philosophy or challenge the freedom to philosophize. Following a line of ecumenically inclined writers (Arminians, Socininans and Mennonites among them), the Treatise advocates a minimal theology. All that the Bible teaches is that we must love our neighbours by treating them justly and charitably. Biblical doctrine is thus compatible with religious pluralism and does not pronounce on philosophical matters. This chapter examines Spinoza's nuanced defence of this position. It explores the affective basis of his account of a truly religious life, identifies the distinctive role that he allots to tenets of faith, and traces the challenges he mounts to the theology of the Dutch Reformed Church.

Keywords: theology and philosophy; true religion; minimal doctrine; ‘Love your neighbour’; Arminians; Mennonites; Socininans; tenets of faith; Dutch Reformed Church

Chapter.  13264 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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