The Pale God

The Pale God

Israeli Secularism and Spinoza's Philosophy of Culture

eBook - 2011
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Academic Studies Press
The Pale God examines the relationship between secularism and religious tradition. It begins with a description of the secular options as expressed by Israeli intellectuals, and describes how these options have led to a dead end. A new option must be sought, and one of the key sources for this option is the works of Spinoza. The author explains that unlike Nietzsche, who discussed “the death of God,” Spinoza tried to undermine the authority of religious virtuosos and establish the image of a rational “Pale God.” Such changes could channel religious tradition to the basic principles of secular political rule. The author demonstrates that the secular option is inherent in Israeli society, fits the type of secularism that Zionism instilled in theJewish people, and complements the traditional trends deeply rooted in that society.

Book News
Some lament that Israeli society has become impoverished and bereft of a past because of secularization, says Katz (Ben Gurion U., Israel) while others contend that Judaism is a burden that prevents the creation of a new national society. He surveys proposed solutions to the problems, explains why they lead to a dead end, and suggests a solution derived from the philosophy of Spanish/Dutch Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632-77). He covers three options for secularism in Israel, why Spinoza, imagination and the masses: an outline of the objects of politics, political secularism, the role of the philosopher in his society in time of secularization, and tradition as an optional form of secularism in Israel. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Boston : Academic Studies Press, 2011
ISBN: 9781618110787
Characteristics: 1 online resource (vi, 214 pages)
Additional Contributors: Ron, Miriam
Feldman, Jacky


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