Gabriel Richard Mason (1884 – 1979) de eerste Amerikaan die op Spinoza promoveerde schreef ook een Spinoza gedicht


The Spinoza Quarterly
uit 1933 waaruit ik in het
vorige blog het Spinoza sonnet van Julius Drachsler bracht,
gaf ook een Spinoza gedicht te lezen van Gabriel R. Mason.

Uiteraard ging ik
opzoek naar meer gegevens over hem en kwam bij de volgende tekst die ik overneem
uit Lewis S. Feuer, Varieties of
Scientific Experience
[Transaction Publishers. 1995 –].

Daaruit blijkt o.a. dat de eerste promotie over Spinoza in Amerika  plaats vond in 1911, en wel met Gabriel R. Mason,
Spinoza and Schelling
[New York University, Graduate School of Arts and
Science, 1911 – cf.] Of, completer:

Gabriel R. Mason. B.A., 1903, College of the City of New York; M.A.,
1907, New York University. Thesis: "The Relation of the God of Spinoza to the Absolute of Schelling." Educator. Instructor, Public School No. 62, New York City. [onder het jaar 2011, cf.]  

“The first American to write a doctoral thesis on Spinoza,
Gabriel R. Mason, was indeed one of the young East Side Jews who was in
rebellion against the orthodoxy of his parents. Gabriel, himself born in Russia
in 1884, was brought by his parents to the United States at the age of eight in
1893. During the year after his Bar-Mitzvah, as he was shedding "the
ritual and the superstitions of the Jewish religion," he sought for some
sort of intellectual support, or more accurately the reassurance of a tradition
within Jewish history of his philosophical rebellion against orthodoxy. To his
delight, he came in his senior year at college upon Spinoza, learning that
"for these same views Spinoza was excommunicated by the Jews of the
Amsterdam Synagogue." Thus, he writes, "I was attracted to this road
[Naturalism] by the lovable personality and profound philosophy of
Spinoza…." Mason had a notable career as an educator, serving for many
years as a principal of a public elementary school and high school, when such
posts were the highest academic places to which Jewish scholars, except for
unusual exceptions, could aspire. But Mason also was for 44 years a member of
the Socialist Party during periods especially before and during the First World
War when such a membership brought one close to the permissible boundaries of
academic freedom. And if Spinoza lived close to the Collegiant sect, Mason
found fellowship in the Ethical Society. “