The Trials of Spinoza
5.5 x 7.8 inches, 66pp 0
ISBN : 9781906497842
Rs 395.00 (HB)
Baruch Spinoza (1632–77) is considered one of the great rationalist thinkers of the seventeenth century. His magnum opus, Ethics, in which he criticized the dualism of Descartes, solidified his reputation and greatly influenced the Enlightenment thinkers who would build from his work.
Born in Amsterdam into a family of Sephardic Jews who had to take refuge there after they were expelled from Portugal, the precocious young scholar imbibed skepticism at an early age. By the time he was twenty-four, he had challenged what he called the ‘fairy tales’ of the Old Testament and was excommunicated by the local synagogue. In this biographical play, Tariq Ali contextualizes Spinoza’s philosophy by linking it to the turbulent politics of the period, in which Spinoza was deeply involved.
Ali originally wrote The Trials of Spinoza as part of a series on philosophy for British Channel Four television, and this publication also includes a DVD of that original television production. This work will be welcomed as a testament to the continuing interest in and relevance of Spinoza’s work and as an example of Ali’s eloquent and always politically engaged writing.
Tariq Ali is a writer, critic and film-maker. He has written over a dozen books on world history and politics as well as scripts for both stage and screen. The first novel of his Islam Quartet, Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree, has been translated into several languages and was awarded the Archbishop San Clemente del Instituto Rosalia de Castro Prize for the best foreign language fiction published in Spain in 1994. The third, The Stone Woman was published by Verso in 2000.