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Title:Theology and Politics in Maimonides, Spinoza, Hegel, and Nietzsche
Author(s):Barmore, Jerry W.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Melnick, Arthur
Department / Program:Philosophy
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, General
Abstract:In this comparative study an effort is made to trace out some features of the theologico-political problem as this presents itself within the context of the shift away from transcendentalism to immanentism which, at least in its modern phase, was initiated by Spinoza. Spinoza's vision is contrasted with that of three other thinkers: Maimonides, Hegel, and Nietzsche. While Maimonides clearly represents the traditional, transcendentalist perspective and explicitly champions theocracy as a political ideal, Spinoza, Hegel, and Nietzsche may be grouped together as partisans of a common philosophical agenda, an agenda deliberately crafted in opposition to the traditional perspective on whose behalf Maimonides speaks. Spinoza, Hegel, and Nietzsche share a common determination to treat this-worldly reality as the sole locus of divinity, yet (this study shows) they fail to attain accord in their respective handlings of the theologico-political problem. Each of these thinkers seeks to give some account as to how an immanentist theology must understand itself in relation to its historical predecessors and contemporary rivals, which it is designed to replace. They also grapple with the question as to how the consecration of the immanent might change our understanding of our own significance as inhabitants of a (now supreme) this-worldly reality. How is humanity to understand its immanent predicament? Does the sacrifice of the transcendent broaden the domain of human freedom, opening up new, and even unprecedented avenues of action within the world, or does it force upon us a more sober assessment of how limited our power is over our own nature and destiny? What form should our response to our immanent condition take, and what is ultimately at stake in that response? As is shown here, in spite of (perhaps even because of) their having rejected any appeal to the transcendent, the immanentists find themselves saddled with their own theologico-political problems.
Issue Date:2004
Description:217 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3153242
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2004

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