• Non-Fiction
  • Spinoza The Outcast Thinker (Philosophy for Young People)

Spinoza The Outcast Thinker (Philosophy for Young People)

spinoza the outcast thinker

An entertaining and accessible introduction to the radical philosopher of freedom of thought and religion is the only biography of Spinoza for young adults. The second title in the Philosophy for Young People series.

A brilliant schoolboy in 17th-century Amsterdam, Bento Spinoza⏤formally Baruch and later Benedict de Spinoza⏤quickly learns to keep his ideas to himself. When he is 23, those ideas prove so scandalous to his own Jewish community that he is cast out, cursed, and effectively erased from their communal life. The scandal shows no sign of waning as his ideas spread throughout Europe. At the center of the storm, he lives the simplest of lives, quietly devoted to his work as a lens grinder and to his steadfast search for truth, striving to embody a philosophy of tolerance and benevolence. Spinoza does not live to see his ideas change the world.

What caused such an uproar? Spinoza challenged age-old ideas about God, the Bible, and religion. His God was the sum total of nature, not a father-figure who created the world and takes care of humankind. His bible was a book like any other, not a holy text to be interpreted only by religious authorities. His religion was a commitment to basic moral behavior, not a collection of superstitions or rituals. For such ideas, Spinoza was reviled, but he emerged from his experience as one of history’s most articulate voices for freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion. Those of us who enjoy the fundamental rights of modern democracies are the beneficiaries of Spinoza’s quiet bravery.

Spinoza: The Outcast Thinker is the second book in the new Philosophy for Young People series, introducing readers to seminal philosophers from ancient times up through the present day.---from the publisher

288 pages                                    978-1644212622                                          Ages 13 and up

Keywords:  biography, philosopher, philosophy, Europe, democracy, freedom, 17th century, world history, role of the individual, power of the individual, Social Studies Curriculum, 13 year old, 14 year old, 15 year old

  • Winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature
  • Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Books

"Clarity, accessibility and spot-on relevance to issues facing modern society make this a must read." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Also in this series: Socrates by Devra Lehmann

User reviews

Have you read this book? We'd love to hear what you think. Click the button below to write your own review!