Menu JTA Search

Devotees Establishing Institute to Preserve Spinoza Objects

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

Just outside Paris a building is being prepared to serve as a “mecca” for Spinoza scholars and followers throughout the world. The building will house a Spinoza institute, archives and library and other objects associated with the great Jewish philosopher.

The author and moving spirit of the project is Fino de Mairo, a titled woman who has devoted her life and much of her fortune to the study of Spinoza’s life and works and to the preservation of Spinoziana. It is believed that Fino de Mairo has some aristocratic Sephardic blood in her veins. A long time ago she resolved to set up a Spinoza house, and is now quietly carrying out her resolution.

Fino de Mairo, who has herself published several treatises and given lectures about Spinoza, has helped many a young Spinoza scholar get his work into print and was instrumental in making the celebration at Paris two years ago commemorating the 300th birthday of the philosopher a success.

Among those who assisted Fino de Mairo in her work was the late Professor Carl Gebhardt of Frankfurt, who travelled in many countries to complete his various studies of Spinoza which have been published in several volumes. Through his efforts the house where Spinoza lived at the Hague was purchased and converted into a Spinoza museum and study hall.

The house was one of ill fame when purchased, and for this reason and the fact that Gebhardt believed Spinoza to be of Germanic descent, the Parisian followers of Spinoza refused to recognize the Hague building as their “temple” to their philosopher and are setting up a monument of their own in France. They are also planning a publication, for which Fino de Mairo has already prepared a refutation of the Germanic origin theory of Professor Gebhardt.

NEXT STORY