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Steven Nadler. Spinoza's Heresy: Immortality and the Jewish Mind.
Oxford and New York: The Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press, 2004. xii + 226 pp. index. bibl. $24.95. ISBN: 0-19-926887-8.
Even as they prospered financially, Amsterdam's thriving community of "Portuguese" merchants were burdened by the mandate imposed by the city's regents in 1619 when they granted these ex-converso refugees from Iberia the right to openly practice their Judaism. The Dutch authorities expected them to regulate the social, moral, and religious life of their community and to ensure that it kept to a strict observance of Jewish law. This led the community to be especially sensitive to the concerns of their Christian …