The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the
by Matthew Stewart
(351 pages, $25.95, hardcover)
reviewed by Graeme Hunter
The waning of the Middle Ages left behind a spiritual vacuum that has never been filled. For every self-assured modern who derides the pseudo-comforts, pretended legitimacy, and fallacious certainty of the past, there has always been a reluctant modern who wished them back again, or wished at least for something comparable to take their place. Perhaps the private scholar and author Matthew Stewart is right to say that each of us, as heirs of the modern period, can detect elements of the booster and the critic in his own divi . . .