Spinoza's Web


The significance of Spinoza (1632?1677) for the history of philosophy does not stand in need of documentation. He constructed his philosophy as a comprehensive system. While Spinoza was weaving an intricate theoretical web of his own, networks sprang up in which his ideas were hotly debated. Spinoza was part and parcel of the intellectual landscape of the Dutch Golden Age, in which philosophy played a much more vital role than is commonly appreciated.

This project is based on the thesis that in the reception and interpretation of Spinoza?s thought his works, reputed character and biography are inextricably linked. It wants to develop scholarly tools for the study of his life, works and influence, and to clarify his philosophical impact by bringing out the context in which he flourished. The lines of research will result in four products:
- The Spinoza Web, an online data repository of all sources relating Spinoza?s life, works, letters, correspondents and networks;
- A Bibliography of Spinoza?s Works from 1663 to 1796, an exhaustive description of all early editions and translations;
- Van Velthuysen and His Circle, a monograph on a pivotal intellectual and his network;
- Weaving the Web: The Development of Spinoza?s System, an integrated presentation of the stages of Spinoza?s thought, in connection with the historical context.

Spinoza?s thought has always exercised an attraction well beyond the groves of academe. The project will meet the highest standard of scholarship, but it is designed to be of service to a much larger audience, too.


Book or monography

  • W. van Bunge, H. Krop, P. Steenbakkers, J. van de Ven(2014): The Bloomsbury Companion to Spinoza , London & New York
  • M.A. Bloksma(2018): Spinoza, A Miraculously Healthy Philosopher pp. 53 , Rijnsburg
  • J.M.M. van de Ven(2019): Printing Spinoza
  • P. Steenbakkers(2019): Weaving the Web , ?
  • A. Gootjes(2019): Lambertus van Velthuysen (1622-1685) and the New Philosophy (Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza) in the Dutch Republic , ?

Chapter in book

  • P. Ziche, P. Steenbakkers(2016): Spinoza Research pp. 9 - 24 , Voorschoten
  • F. van der Pol, A. Gootjes(2019): The Doctrine of Election in Reformed Perspective pp. ? - ? , Göttingen
  • A. Gootjes, J. Spaans, J. Touber(2019): Enlightened Religion pp. ? - ? , Leiden

Scientific article

Professional publication

  • P. Steenbakkers(2014): Das Wort Gottes und die wahre Religion pp. 127 - 137
  • A. Gootjes(2015): Le réseau cartésien d’Utrecht face au Tractatus theologico-politicus pp. 49 - 54

Publication meant for a broad audience

  • P. Steenbakkers(2015): Benedictus de Spinoza (1632–1677) pp. 220 - 255

Publications for the general public


Project number


Main applicant

Prof. dr. P.M.L. Steenbakkers

Affiliated with

Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit Geesteswetenschappen, Departement Wijsbegeerte

Team members

Dr. A.J. Gootjes, Dr. A.J. Gootjes, Dr. J.M.M. van de Ven


01/04/2014 to 06/11/2017