Aaron Herold’s article, “Spinoza’s Liberal Republicanism and the Challenge of Revealed Religion,” has been accepted for publication in Political Research Quarterly.
Abstract: Spinoza’s Theologico-Political Treatise is a foundational liberal work whose republican teaching also anticipates today’s communitarian critiques. Those critiques re-open the Treatise’s guiding question of whether politics must be grounded in a religious teaching, and they compel us to reconsider Spinoza’s claim that civic dedication can be rooted in an attachment to intellectual freedom. I assess Spinoza’s liberal republicanism by examining how it emerges from a critique of the Bible. I conclude that Spinoza’s attempt to reconcile individual liberty with civic dedication clarifies liberalism’s moral power and ultimate vulnerabilities—vulnerabilities which help explain why revealed religion has re-emerged to challenge it.