A book forged in hell
A review of A book forged in hell by Rob Mason
Steven Nadler's: A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza's scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age is about Baruch Spinoza's book which appeared in 1670, Theological Political Treatise: a turning point in the history of biblical criticism, which argued for greater freedom of thought and expression. Steven Nadler provides an up-to-date version of it's claims and their background in religious and philosophical terms. In essence the message that comes through is that scripture as we have it is not literally the word of God and therefore what has come down through the generations as the Bible is a work of human literature that carries a divine message: Love Thy Neighbour, or as we might understand it today: try to get along with people.
Readers with a broad interest in philosophy are recommended to read Steven Nadler's book as a means to understanding this subject.
In 1881 Fredreich Nietzsche wrote to a freind, Franz Overbeck, commenting on his affinity with Spinoza: "I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! I have a precursor, and what a precursor! I hardly knew Spinoza: that I should have turned to him just now, was inspired by "instinct." Not only is his overt tendency like mine--namely to make all knowledge the most powerful affect--but in five main points of his doctrine I recognize myself; this most unusual and loneliest thinker is closest to me precisely in these matters: he denies the freedom of the will, teleology, the moral world-order, the un-egoistic, and evil. Even though the divergencies are admittedly tremendous, they are due more to the difference in time, culture, and science. -Friedrich Nietzsche, in a postcard to Franz Overbeck, Sils-Maria, July 30, 1881.