Spinoza: God-intoxicated man

In June 2020 Clare Carlisle and Yitzhak Melamed wrote an article on Spinoza’s panentheism for the Times Literary Supplement. Read the article here.

‘Spinoza asks what it means to know – and love – the God which grounds our being.’

Spinoza: God-intoxicated man

Spinoza’s Religion: The Ethics of Being in God

Clare Carlisle’s book Spinoza’s Religion: The Ethics of Being in God will be published by Princeton University Press in autumn 2021. This book proposes a new reading of the Ethics that discloses a panentheist principle of “being-in-God” at the heart of Spinoza’s metaphysics and ethics.  Spinoza’s Religion shows how Spinoza criticised “modern Christians” whose theology separated God from nature, while echoing panentheist insights articulated by biblical authors and pre-modern Christian theologians such as Augustine, Anselm and Aquinas.  Carlisle argues that Spinozism forges an alternative modernity that preserves being-in-God as both an ontological principle and a religious ideal.  Read an extract of Spinoza’s Religion here.

Jewish Panentheism

Yitzhak Melamed is currently working on Jewish Panentheism (Pantheism) and Its (very few) Critics: 1200-1970, co-authored with Jonathan Garb, Gershom Scholem Professor of Kabbalah at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Panentheism and pantheism were rarely considered heresy in the Rabbinic tradition, and this book traces the development of panentheistic conceptions in medieval Kabbalistic, philosophical, and liturgical texts. In light of this history, Melamed and Garb examine early and late modern Jewish controversies surrounding panentheism, from the Nieto affair, through the early Mithnagdic attack on Hassidism, to the anxieties of 20th-century German-Jewish thinkers who sought to disassociate “Judaism” from panentheism.

Prof. Melamed’s previous works on this theme include: 

–  ‘No Empty Place’, in Jewish Review of Books (Summer 2018)

–  ‘Spinozism, Acosmism, and Hassidism: A Closed Circle’, in Der Begriff des Judentums in der klassischen deutschen Philosophie, Ed. Amit Kravitz and Jörg Noller (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018)

–  ‘Cohen, Spinoza and the Nature of Pantheism’, in Jewish Studies Quarterly, 25/2 (2018)