A Comprehension of Spinoza's God: through the Dichotomy of Labels

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A Comprehension of Spinoza's God : through the Dichotomy of Labels. / Norell, Tania.

2015. 76 s.

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TY - THES

T1 - A Comprehension of Spinoza's God

T2 - through the Dichotomy of Labels

AU - Norell, Tania

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - The 17th century philosopher Spinoza is known for his concept of God as One Substance, God or Nature and therefore considered as a monist and categorized as a naturalist. He has been labeled an atheist and God-intoxicated man, as well as a determinist and pantheist, which I perceive to be dichotomies. The problem, as I see it, is that Spinoza’s philosophy and concept of God has mainly been interpreted through a dualistic mind-set, traditional to philosophers and theologians of the West, but Spinoza has a monistic worldview, and this has consequences in regards to the comprehension of what Spinoza’s concept of God entails and what a relationship “with” God implies. The labels panentheist and necessitarianist are discussed and the label of theologian argued. The thesis methodology is constructive because the purpose is to provide a theoretical foundation that has the potential to be applied in dialogues about God between the vast varieties of believers and non-believers alike, as well as across boundaries of contradicting worldviews and academic disciplines, and this focus on functionalism is inspired by a theory that calls for the furthering of inter-disciplinary dialogue between the subject areas philosophy of religion and theology specifically. My personal worldview is that there might well be One Substance, God or Nature, but that does not necessarily mean that there is one truth that is valid, but rather that all truth claims may be of value. The thesis therefore provides yet another lens through which one can view and relate to the attitude of there being an “Other” or “others.”

AB - The 17th century philosopher Spinoza is known for his concept of God as One Substance, God or Nature and therefore considered as a monist and categorized as a naturalist. He has been labeled an atheist and God-intoxicated man, as well as a determinist and pantheist, which I perceive to be dichotomies. The problem, as I see it, is that Spinoza’s philosophy and concept of God has mainly been interpreted through a dualistic mind-set, traditional to philosophers and theologians of the West, but Spinoza has a monistic worldview, and this has consequences in regards to the comprehension of what Spinoza’s concept of God entails and what a relationship “with” God implies. The labels panentheist and necessitarianist are discussed and the label of theologian argued. The thesis methodology is constructive because the purpose is to provide a theoretical foundation that has the potential to be applied in dialogues about God between the vast varieties of believers and non-believers alike, as well as across boundaries of contradicting worldviews and academic disciplines, and this focus on functionalism is inspired by a theory that calls for the furthering of inter-disciplinary dialogue between the subject areas philosophy of religion and theology specifically. My personal worldview is that there might well be One Substance, God or Nature, but that does not necessarily mean that there is one truth that is valid, but rather that all truth claims may be of value. The thesis therefore provides yet another lens through which one can view and relate to the attitude of there being an “Other” or “others.”

KW - Spinoza

KW - Spinoza’s God

KW - Atheist

KW - God-intoxicated man

KW - Pantheist

KW - Determinist

KW - Panentheist

KW - Necessitarianist

M3 - Master's Thesis

ER -