donderdag 14 juni 2018

James Samuel Preus (1933 - 2001) godsdienst scholar schreef enige studies over #Spinoza



Hij heeft merkwaardigerwijs geen Wikipediapagina of andere pagina waar dan ook. Ook is er geen obituary van hem te vinden, terwijl hij toch als godsdienstwetenschapper enige belangrijke studies schreef, om te beginnen met
James Samuel Preus, From Shadow to Promise: Old Testament Interpretation from Augustine to the Young Luther. Harvard University Press, 1969 [Ik vermoed dat het een uitwerking van zijn dissertatie geweest zal zijn].
J. Samuel Preus, Explaining Religion: Criticism and Theory from Bodin to Freud. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1987; reprint Scholars Press, 1996
J. Samuel Preus traces the development and articulation of a modern "naturalistic" approach to the study of religion by examining ideas about the origin of religion in the works of nine western thinkers: Jean Bodin, Herbert of Cherbury, Bernard Fontenelle, Giambattista Vico, David Hume, Auguste Comte, Edward Brunett Tylor, Emile Durkheim, and Sigmund Freud. He argues that beginning in the sixteenth century increasing critical detachment from theological presuppositions and commitments made it possible for the question of origins to be posed from an altogether non-religious point of view. This new modernist paradigm was characterized by the conviction that religion could be explained in scientific terms, like any other object of critical investigation. [Cf.]
Ik kom zo op zijn werk over Spinoza, dat uiteraard de aanleiding is voor dit blog. Ik sprokkel voor dit blog hier en daar gegevens vandaan.

Books.google leert dat hij is: “Ruth N. Halls Professor of Religious Studies Emeritus at Indiana University.” Z’n leefdata geeft worldcat.
Zoeken op de website van Indiana University leert dat hij nog een voorletter heeft; hij wordt hier n.l. omschreven als Professor of Religious Studies J. Samuel N. Preus. En uit een PDF van een Newsletter uit 1995 kon ik zijn fotootje opdiepen. 
Op 28 febr. en 1 maart 2002 werd aan de Indiana University een symposium gehouden “on religious traditions honors memory of Samuel Preus:” “who taught in the Religious Studies Department from 1973 until his retirement in 1998. Preus, who died last year, specialized in the history of biblical interpretations, the Reformation and modern European intellectual history. He was the department's director of graduate studies for several years.”[Cf.]
Dat alles daar ik wilde weten wie de auteur was van
J. Samuel Preus, Spinoza and the Irrelevance of Biblical Authority. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001; reprint januari 2009 - 248 pagina's – books.google

De uitgever over dit boek: Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise (1670) is a landmark both in democratic political theory and in the history of biblical interpretation. Spinoza championed liberty of thought, speech and writing by discrediting the Bible as the standard for truth and a source of public law. Applying a new historical criticism, he showed that biblical teaching and law were irrelevant for a modern pluralistic state and its intellectual life. J. Samuel Preus highlights Spinoza's achievement by reading the Treatise in the context of a literary conflict among his contemporaries about biblical interpretation - a conflict fraught with political implication. Preus's exposition of neglected primary sources surrounding Spinoza's work offers evidence regarding his rhetorical strategy and intent in the Treatise. The book provides not only a valuable contribution to Spinoza scholarship but an important account of the origins of modern methods of biblical interpretation.
Enige getuigenissen over dit werk
Roy A. Harrisville, Pandora's Box Opened: An Examination and Defense of Historical-Critical Method and Its Master Practitioners [Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2014 – books.google] op p. 77:
“The questioning of biblical authority led to Spinoza's invention of the "historical method." That he intended to use this method to reduce biblical authority to irrelevance, and that the language he used in its employ was calculated to "tranquilize unwary readers and camouflage his own subversive purpose” [verwijst naar dit boek van Preus, p. 13 n. 39] seems too artful an estimate. At any rate, of the two fronts at which Spinoza aimed his fire, the one insisted that the Bible had to be suited to reason, and the other that reason had to be suited to the Bible.”
Ook Jonathan Israel citeert hem: « The Theological-Political Treatise has been called, with some justification, ‘the most important seventeenth-century work to advance the study of the Bible and religion generally’, being the book which ‘disarmed the religious interpreters who would enforce conformity.’ » Aldus citeert Jonathan Israel in zijn Inleiding op de Theological-Political Treatise uit dit boek van Preus p. X ; waarna hij – na nog een paar maal naar hem verwezen te hebben - onder “Further reading” verwijst naar:
“On Spinoza’s Bible criticism, see J. Samuel Preus, Spinoza and the Irrelevance of Biblical Authority (Cambridge, 2001); J. Samuel Preus, ‘A Hidden Opponent in Spinoza’s Tractatus’, Harvard Theological Review, 88 (1995), pp. 361-88;
En Travis L. Frampton schrijft in Spinoza and the Rise of Historical Criticism of the Bible [A&C Black, 2006] op p. 8 en 9 over James Samuel Preus [cf. books.google]:
“J. Samuel Preus has shown how the TT-P is still relevant for contemporary biblical scholarship that, since the Enlightenment, has maintained a fixation on historicity to the detriment of literary meaning. Spinoza read the Bible as literature rather than as historical fact. In his treatise, he highlighted key literary features of the Hebrew Bible, keeping in mind his prerequisite that theological matters be kept apart from philosophical matters — and vice versa. According to Preus, "by recognizing the irreducible anthropomorphism of the Bible (which he called 'poetic' as well as 'parabolic' and ‘metaphorical'), Spinoza can be indirectly credited with helping to open the way for literary interpretation, which cannot proceed with a demythologized text?" [Verwijst naar J. Samuel Preus, “Anthropomorphism and Spinoza’s Innovation”] One must enter into the biblical world, with all its language, story, and metaphor, in order to make sense of it. His innovative hermeneutic, which anticipated modem liter-ary theory, kept the meaning of the story distinct from matters of natural science, philosophy, astronomy, and mathematics.”
Tenslotte verwijs ik naar twee reviews:
Nancy Levene, Review of Spinoza and the Irrelevance of Biblical Authority by J. Samuel Preus, in: The Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 94, No. 1 (Winter, 2004), pp. 191-201
Brayton Polka, Review of Spinoza and the Irrelevance of Biblical Authority by J. Samuel Preus, in: [Brill] Nederlands archief voor kerkgeschiedenis / Dutch Review of Church History, Vol.82, No. 1 (2002), pp. 209-212
Méér werk van Preus over Spinoza

Uit de Duitse Spinoza Bibliografie haal ik dat hij verder nog over Spinoza schreef (deels al genoemd):
J. Samuel Preus, “Spinoza, Vico, and the Imagination of Religion.” In: Journal of the History of Ideas 50, 1 (1989), 71-93
J. Samuel Preus, “A Hidden Opponent in Spinoza's Tractatus.” In: Harvard Theological Review 88, 3 (1995), 361-388
J. Samuel Preus, “Anthropomorphism and Spinoza's Innovation.” In: Religion Volume 25, 1 (1995), 1-8


Tenslotte is vermeldenswaard een reeks van vier artikelen van hem onder de overkoepelende titel
J. Samuel Preus, “The Bible and Religion in the Century of Genius.” in: Religion, Volume 28, (1998), Issue 1 & 2: [cf. abstracts bij tandfonline]:
  Part   I: Religion on the Margins : 'Conversos' and collegiants, Issue 1, pp. 3-14
  Part  II: The Rise and Fall of the Bible, Issue 1, pp. 15-27
  Part III: The Hidden Dialogue in Spinoza's 'Tractatus', Issue 2, pp. 111-124
  Part IV: Prophecy, Knowledge and Study of Religion, Issue 2, pp. 125-138

Vermeldenswaard vind ik dat zijn Spinoza-boek nog in 2015 in het Italiaans is vertaald:
 J. Samuel Preus, Spinoza e la Bibbia. L'irrilevanza dell'autorità. Paideia  [collana Studi biblici, #181], 2015
We komen weer iets meer over hem te weten waar de uitgever meedeelt: hij was een vooraanstaand historicus van religieus onderzoek, een discipline die hij doceerde aan de Harvard Divinity School en aan de Indiana University. Zijn studies richten zich in het bijzonder op de geschiedenis van de interpretaties van de Bijbel in relatie tot de culturele geschiedenis van de Reformatie en het moderne Europa. [Cf.]

Hij was dus ook verbonden aan de Harvard Divinity School, maar  ook op de website van deze onderwijsinstelling is geen obituary over hen te vinden - worden alleen enige titels van publicaties van hem gegeven. Uit deze pagina blijkt de 'N' te staan voor 'Nesbitt' en zijn volledige naam luidt dus:  James Samuel Nesbitt Preus. Stapje voor stapje zijn we steeds iets meer van hem te weten gekomen.

 

1 opmerking:

  1. Aan het eind van het blog heb ik een dag later nog wat info over Preus kunnen ntoevoegen.

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