Spinoza on the Hebrew Bible: A Grammar That Is Not a Grammar About a Language That Is Not a Language
Hosted By: The National Library of Israel (NLI)
One of the most controversial figures in Jewish history, Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) considered the language of the biblical Hebrews to be buried under layers of Diasporic transmission and abuse. As a philosopher, he considered language to be of secondary importance, an instrument of the body rather than of the (superior) mind. Yet just a few years before his death at the age of 44, he devoted his strengths to the composition of a “Grammatical Compendium of the Hebrew Language”.The result was nothing short of a revenge on Hebrew linguistics.
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“Spinoza on the Hebrew Bible: A Grammar That Is Not a Grammar About a Language That Is Not a Language”
Prof. Zwiep will discuss Spinoza’s possible motives for writing this puzzling treatise and try to place it within his philosophical oeuvre, as well as take a look at his Jewish and Christian sources, his curious research methods and, as he himself called it, the ‘absurd results’ of his linguistic analysis.
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