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Spinoza Against Conversion: Politics, Philosophy, and Religion

Self-Paced Seminar

Instructor: Daniel Colucciello

Course Description: Over the past several decades the thought of Spinoza has experienced a significant reactivation. The large part of this reactivation has to do with theorists of immanence (Deleuze) or of an affirmative biopolitics (Negri). Another part of this reactivation follows a more negative line, along the trajectory set out by Althusser. This course addresses these reactivations in terms of the philosophy of immanence and of political ontology. However, it also considers the intersection between these and the concerns of political theology. The proposal of this course is that while reactivations of Spinoza proceed along separated (though often intersecting) registers of politics, philosophy, and religion, these registers are inseparable in Spinoza's own work.

This four-week, 1 credit course will consist of a reading of Spinoza’s Ethics that gives specific attention to the hypothesis that, for Spinoza, politics, philosophy, and religion are held together in terms of an antagonism towards conversion.


Your Instructor


Daniel Colucciello Barber, PhD
Daniel Colucciello Barber, PhD

Daniel Colucciello Barber is Assistant Professor at Pace University (New York) in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. He is the author of Deleuze and the Naming of God: Post-Secularism and the Future of Immanence (Edinburgh UP, 2014) and On Diaspora: Christianity, Religion, and Secularity (Cascade, 2011), and is currently working on a two-volume project, Against Conversion.

He received his PhD from Duke University, where he worked in Religious Studies and the Program in Literature, and was previously a Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter in the Institut für Kulturwissenschaft at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and a Research Fellow at the ICI Berlin.


Class Curriculum


  Introduction: Philosophy and/or Religion Read Ethics, Book One & Book Two
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  Affect Without Conversion Read Ethics, Book Three
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  Against Captivity Read Ethics, Book Four
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  Politics and/or Beatitude Read Ethics, Book Five
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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
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What if I am unhappy with the course?
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