Our member, Mr. Francisco Carrasquer Launed, who received the Prize of Literature in Aragon in 2006, has recently published an interesting book titled “Servet, Spinoza y Sender. Miradas de Eternidad” (Servetus, Spinoza, and Sender: Looking at Eternity) (2007). This work, that includes a prologue by Dr. Alcalá, is a reflection on Servetus' thought and links it to the cosmology of the great Dutch-Jewish philosopher, of Sephardic origin, Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677). Mr. Carrasquer has thus opened a new line of research in the field of Servetian studies.
This is an essay in which the author, who is deeply familiar with Dutch culture, builds a philosophical bridge between those two thinkers. Spinoza created a philosophical structure after his disappointment with his ancestors' faith, dismissing the act of Creation and giving God a comprehensive “name”: Nature. And God-Nature is eternal, i.e., without a beginning or an end, and therefore without a creation. For Spinoza, man is nature and nature is God.
As Carrasquer points out, the main point of disagreement between Servetus and Spinoza is found in the figure of Jesus. Spinoza created a non-personal God that we can reach through a sort of intellectual love (amor Dei intellectualis), whereas the essence of Christianity precisely lies in the propagation of the idea that God became flesh in Jesus. Nevertheless, when this obstacle is overcome (the “Servetian non-viability of Christ”, according to the author himself), there is an essential element in which Servetus and Spinoza agree: both raise the human condition to the divine category, even though following different arguments. Spinoza does it through amor Dei intellectualis, whereas Servetus uses the knowledge of Jesus.
As for Sender, the author states that he could be a cornerstone between Servetus and Spinoza, to the degree that Sender appreciates the divine “idea” of Jesus (not Jesus as a “real” manifestation of God, as Servetus said), and defends that this “idea” about Christ is the result of millennia of human action in favour of those ways that proclaim freedom and love. Therefore, Sender took the idea about Christ and linked it to human action and intellect for freedom and love (that is why Carrasquer states that Spinoza's intellectual love for God becomes a loving intellect -intelecto amoroso- in Sender).
The essay ends with three appendixes that include an article by Carrasquer himself (“Spinoza, father of ecology?”), an essay by Guido Van Suchtelen (“Preamble to Baruch Spinoza's Ethica”) and finally, an essay by H.G. Hubbeling (“Introduction to Spinoza's correspondence. Life and Work of Baruch Spinoza”).
From this forum, we want to congratulate Dr. Carrasquer for the publication of this book and thank him specially for including the Michael Servetus Institute among the institutions that are mentioned in the dedication of the book.
“Servet, Spinoza y Sender. Miradas de Eternidad”
Ed. Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza
Text by Sergio Baches Opi
Translation into English by Jaume de Marcos