Steven Frankel "is currently writing a book on the philosophy of Spinoza"

Aldus is te lezen in de laatste zin van zijn pagina bij de Xavier University waar hij filosofieprofessor is. Wegens enige teksten die ik van hem tegenkwam, lijkt het me nuttig hier e.e.a. over hem bijeen te brengen. Op Google en wordt hij 'weggedrukt’ door een naamgenoot van het California Institute of Technology of door een psychiater met dezelfde naam. Hoe dan ook, ik kwam nergens een publicatielijst van hem tegen, maar kon wel aardig wat vinden.

Elders op de website van Xavier University staat te lezen: “Professor Steven Frankel received his Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago in 1997. Upon graduation, Professor Frankel joined the faculty at the American University of Paris, where he received the Board of Trustees Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2001. In 2003, Professor Frankel moved to Xavier where he teaches for the Department of Philosophy and Philosophy, Politics, and the Public (PPP).  At Xavier, he established an international exchange program with Marne-la-Vallée University in Paris and a summer study program with L'Institut Thomas More.

Professor Frankel's scholarly work focuses on the relationship between philosophy and religion.  He work has appeared in over a dozen journals including the Review of Metaphysics, Interpretation, Archiv für Geshichte der Philosophie, The Review of Politics, International Philosophical Quarterly, Teaching Philosophy, and the Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy. He is currently at work on two books: a guide to French intellectual and cultural life and an introduction to the philosophy of Spinoza. [Cf.] [Over cursussen die hij gaf zie hier]

Ik ging (weer eens) naar hem op zoek n.a.v. een voetnoot in het boek over Leszek Kolakowski dat ik pas besprak en waarin naar het volgende artikel verwezen werd (dat ik nog niet te pakken heb kunnen krijgen):

 Steven Frankel, “Determined to Be Free: The Meaning of Freedom in Spinoza's Theologico-Political Treatise.” In: The Review of Politics, Volume 73, Issue 01, Winter 2011, pp 55-76 [Cf.]

Daarover lezen we in Joshua Parens, Maimonides and Spinoza: Their Conflicting Views of Human Nature [University of Chicago Press, 2012 –]:

“It is often suggested that he [Spinoza] does so because he believes deeply in the Enlightenment faith in moral and political progress. Steven Frankel has recently argued quite convincingly that Spinoza is not quite as naïve a believer in moral progress as he has often been presented as being, as the founder of modern liberal democracy. On the contrary, Spinoza promotes belief in political equality and political freedom as the new prejudices of the new liberal democratic state. This interpretation is certainly more compatible with Spinoza's ongoing philosophic elitism than the traditional story about the Enlightenment faith in moral progress. It should be added, however, that Frankel does not deny that Spinoza presents the turn from theocracy to democracy as a form of progress—even if it is underwritten by prejudice just as much as was theocracy.” [p.56]

 Van zijn hand is het volgende hoofdstuk in het recente boek over Leo Strauss waarop ik onlangs in dit blog wees:

Chapter 2, "Spinoza's Critique of Religion. Reading the Low in Light of The High". In: Martin D. Yaffe, Richard S. Ruderman, Reorientation: Leo Strauss in the 1930s. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, p 33-56 –

De redacteuren schrijven hierover in hun inleiding: “Steven Frankel looks at the dramatic change in Strauss's understanding of the seminal Jewish apostate Baruch Spinoza. It was, after all, Spinoza, more than any other thinker, who initially convinced Strauss of the impossibility of a return to classical thought. Frankel focuses on the so-called autobiographical Preface to the 1962 English translation of Strauss's Spinoza's Critique of Religion. He shows that that Preface, rather than being genuinely autobiographical, is in fact a kind of series of "Socratic dialogues" pitting various philosophical authorities against one another—Martin Buber against Heidegger, Cohen against Spinoza, Rosenzweig against Maimonides, and liberalism against Zionism. Frankel helps us to see that Strauss, rather than trying to show or illuminate the specific his-torical influences that shaped his youthful (limited) understanding of Spinoza and related questions, had, by 1962, become capable of seeing the ways in which the apparently time-bound disputes of the 1920s and 1930s were in fact iterations (strikingly new ones in many ways) of various permanent questions. [p. 4]

 Van zijn hand is het volgende hoofdstuk in het boek over Spinoza en de middeleeuwse joodse filosofie waarop ik onlangs in dit blog wees:

Chapter 4. “Spinoza's rejection of Maimonideanism” Steven Frankel. In: Steven Nadler (Ed.), Spinoza and Medieval Jewish Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 2014

Redacteur Nadler geeft aan dat Frankel in zijn essay ingaat op de complexiteiten en inconsistenties van Spinoza's relatie tot Maimonides.

Wel aardig is nog te vermelden – het gaat immers om een klein wereldje – dat Frankel  zijn review van Steven Nadler’s 2001-boek in Hebraic Political Studies, Vol 4 (2009) Nr 4 aldus beëindigde:

“Spinoza’s Heresy forces us to revisit the debate between Maimonides and Spinoza on the nature of Judaism and its relation to philosophy. The difficulty in re-creating this debate and taking seriously Maimonides’ account of Judaism is that we are inclined to agree with Spinoza. We tend to agree, in other words, that reason and revelation cannot have any honest relationship, since each seeks to make the other submit to its authority. As a result, we read Maimonides as having an untenable political project and Spinoza as having no political agenda at all. In order to take either thinker seriously, we have to return to a number of fundamental questions about the nature of Judaism and about the relationship of philosophy to the city. I suspect that in doing so we may begin to see that, for Maimonides, the expression of philosophy is a profound concern for the Jewish people. Similarly, we might be able to make sense of Spinoza’s treacherous betrayal of the Jewish community.” [Cf PDF]

Al eerder schreef Frankel over Spinoza en Maimonides:

 Steven Frankel, “Spinoza’s Response to Maimonides. A Practical Strategy for Resolving the Tension between Reason and Revelation.” In: International Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 45, Issue 3, September 2005
Abstract: Spinoza resolves the tension between reason and revelation by granting reason complete authority and autonomy in all philosophical and natural matters, and by denying revelation any claims to knowledge. Despite this dramatic partisanship, he attempts to make this solution attractive to believers by creating a hermeneutic that allows a limited claim to knowledge for revelation. This article attempts to explain how he arrived at this strategy and why he believed it would succeed. [
Cf. URL]

 Steven Frankel, "The Invention of Liberal Theology: Spinoza's Theological-Political Analysis of Moses and Jesus." In: The Review of Politics, Vol. 63, No. 2. (Spring, 2001), pp. 287-315. De PDF daarvan is te vinden op de roofsite van Gary Zabel. [Eerder verwees ik daarnaar in dit blog, in reacties waarop Yorin Stein op Frankel’s artikel inging].

 Steven Frankel, "Spinoza's Children: The History of Jewish Secularism", Book Review of David Biale's  Not in the Heavens: The Tradition of Jewish Secular Thought.  Princeton  Princeton University Press, 2011.    in: H-Judaic, March 8, 2011 [cf. URL/ overgenomen in


 Steven Frankel. Review of Melamed, Abraham, Wisdom's Little Sister: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Jewish Political Thought. H-Judaic, H-Net Reviews. October, 2012. [Cf. URL]  

 Steven Frankel, “Spinoza's Dual Teachings of Scripture: His Solution tot the Quarrel between Reason and Revelation. In: Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, 84 (2002), 273-96

Over dit essay is te lezen in voetnoot 59 op blz. 182 in het dit jaar verschenen James A. Diamond, Maimonides and the Shaping of the Jewish Canon [Cambridge University Press, 2014]:

“Buber's reading of Spinoza back into the Old Testament affords an opportunity to reconsider another of Spinoza's oppositional constructs between Moses the legislator on the one hand and Paul and Jesus the philosophers on the other. His total bifurcation of reason and revelation with respect to the Old Testament inconsistently (disingenuously?) reunites in the New. As Steven Frankel convincingly argues, Paul addresses different audiences, commingling a moral teaching for the masses with a philosophic teaching for the elite which he mutes so that the former hears the moral while allowing "the careful readers with philosophic potential to pursue Paul's philosophic wisdom." This is precisely the way Maimonides reads the Old Testament. What Spinoza denies Moses he grants to Paul and Jesus. See Frankel's "Spinoza's Dual Teachings of Scripture: His Solution to the Quarrel between Reason and Revelation," Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 84 (2002): 273-96, at 286. [cf.]

 Steven Frankel, “The Piety of a Heretic: Spinoza’s Interpretation of Judaism,” Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophyphy, 11.2 (November 2002): 117–134

 Necessarily Eternal, A Catablog of (All) Things Spinoza, is er ruim anderhalf jaar geleden mee gestopt, maar heeft nog dit overzicht van “Prof. Steven Frankel (Philosophy, Xavier University) has kindly sent me a list of his articles on Spinoza, which is posted below. Those from 2001 to 2005 have all been included in the links on top left corner of this site.” [Cf. URL]

Enfin, er lijken mij zeer goede redenen te zijn om uit te zien naar het boek over Spinoza waaraan Steven Frankel aan het schrijven is.


Aanvulling 25 febr. 2015

Toen ik dit blog maakte was ik nog niet op zijn pagina bij terecht gekomen. Hij geeft inzage in ruim 20 papers!