Spinoza weer terug op de kaart vanwege "the religious or theological ‘turn’"?

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U weet wel: naar analogie van de door Rorty zo getypeerde "linguistic turn" is de sinds enige jaren op alle fronten weer teruggekeerde belangstelling voor godsdienst en theologie – in de praktijk en in de wetenschap – te typeren als een godsdienstige of theologische wending. Soms krijg je zelfs het gevoel dat we weer helemaal terug zijn in de 17e eeuw. Als iemand vraagt: "waarom bezig zijn met Spinoza?" ligt hier één van de antwoorden.

Ik begin met een voetnoot uit de inleiding van een boek dat ik in dit blog ga signaleren, welke die indruk versterkt:

[Voetnoot 27] “The attitude in Radical Orthodox circles to Spinoza is symptomatic. Conor Cunningham’s dismissal of Spinoza reads like the worst sort of eighteenth-century heresy-hunting, claiming perversely and hyperbolically, “In the world of Spinoza there can be no difference between a Holocaust and an ice cream.” (Conor Cunningham, Genealogy of Nihilism: Philosophies of Nothing and the Difference of Theology (London: Routledge, 2002), 68) Just like Blond*, Cunningham attempts to bring about a return to the religious through inspiring fear and superstition in his readers. We should, it is implied, run screaming into the arms of the Church on encountering this nihilistic spectre. Apparently, this theology does not know the difference between scholarship and assertion, blindly referencing Spinoza scholars like Yovel and Deleuze out of context to support his own peculiar reading. For example, he claims Spinoza was trying to trick his readers by hiding behind Scholastic concepts and, as evidence for this view, quotes Deleuze: “It is for this reason that Deleuze says that ‘the Ethics is a book written twice simultaneously’.” (Ibid, 68) However, the point Deleuze is making (in Spinoza: Practical Philosophy, trans. Robert Hurley (San Francisco: City Lights, 1988), 28) has nothing to do with Spinoza’s use of Medieval terminology, but is rather to do with the inextricably linked metaphysical and practical lines of thinking in the Ethics.” [zie hier deze inleiding]