The Fourth Fundamental: Miracles and the Resurrection, Part IV

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 22 August 2007 0 Comments
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I have enjoyed your writing for some time. As a

devotee of the philosopher Spinoza, I would be interested in your comments on

this very special man.


I have not read Spinoza in over fifty years. I
majored in Philosophy at the University of North Carolina and,
under the inspired teaching of people like Louis Katzoff,
William. H. Poteat and Maynard Adams, I read most of the great
thinkers in the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. So
much of a university education, however, is wasted on university
age students so I did not understand the context in which these
philosophers lived and worked, nor did I comprehend all of the
elements that had helped to destroy the classical lines of
authority and in the process produced the need for people like
Spinoza to locate value in new places and to relate to the
sources of knowledge in new ways.

I am interested that you call yourself a devotee of
Spinoza. I suspect there are few who share that passion. I
have not run into a member of the Spinoza fan club since my
college days when we each had our favorites. Mine was Blaise
Pascal and a small group of us met weekly in Chapel Hill to read
and discuss Pascal's "Pensees." I, however, abandoned my
relationship with Pascal long ago and when I read him recently,
he was about 180




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