Spinoza's Atheist God

Dr Dimitris Vardoulakis"The Atheist God: Spinoza’s Laws of Religion and Politics" was an event organised by Writing and Society Centre member Dimitris Vardoulakis as part  of the Sydney Seminar for the Arts and Philosophy. It was held at the State Library of New South Wales and recorded by ABC Radio National's Big Ideas program.

Dutch Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza was born in 1632 and died in 1677 and of all the philosophers of the 17th century, perhaps none have more relevance today than he. He has often been regarded as the great atheist of the Western tradition and yet he refers to God throughout his writings.

The Ethics opens with a definition of God and closes with a discussion of divine love. The Treatise of Political Theology deals extensively with the institution of Mosaic Law and the role that religion plays in the formation of states. So how are we to reconcile this paradox between a perceived atheism and his constant references to the Divine?

Listen to this event via the Big Ideas podcast.

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