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New Meetup: Burnsville Book Club - "The Courtier and the Heretic" by Matthew Stewart

From: Eric
Sent on: Thursday, November 4, 2010 9:34 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for Minnesota Atheists Meetup Group!

What: Burnsville Book Club: "The Courtier and the Heretic" by Matthew Stewart

When: Wednesday December 1,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Davanni's
14639 CR 11
Burnsville, MN 55337

We'll be discussing The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World by Matthew Stewart

The discussion begins at 7pm in the Davanni's "Party Room", but many of us arrive at 6:30 to have a little dinner. The evening usually concludes around 9pm after everyone has an opportunity to share their book recommendations and other ideas for group events.

From Booklist via

A mere footnote for most historians, the meeting in 1676 between Leibniz and Spinoza opens to a discerning eye the intellectual forces destined to reshape the entire Western world. Stewart supplies that discerning eye as he chronicles the events and arguments linking the illustrious German polymath to the controversial Dutch lens grinder. In refreshingly lucid terms, he explains the controversies surrounding Spinoza as the consequence of the radical religious and political doctrines he articulated in works fiercely debated throughout Europe. By highlighting the way Spinoza's metaphysics justified secular and democratic challenges to traditional regimes, Stewart also reveals the piquant irony in the way that metaphysics hypnotized the most brilliant of the status quo's defenders--Gottfried Leibniz, who first eagerly absorbed Spinoza's thought, then recognized in it a perilous threat to traditional beliefs in God and immortality. Because Spinoza's doctrines have won acceptance from the architects of the modern world even as Leibniz's traditional religious beliefs have persisted among many who inhabit that world, the drama Stewart recounts will rivet readers skeptical and devout alike.
Bryce Christensen
Copyright ? American Library Association. All rights reserved

In January we'll be discussing the new book by Sam Harris: The Moral Landscape

In February we'll be discussing Sex Rites: The Origins of Christianity by Diana Agorio.

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