Prime Removal by Graeme Hunter

Prime Removal

The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World
by Matthew Stewart
Norton, 2006
(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 . . .