Paschalis M. Kitromilides

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Spinozist Ideas in the Greek Enlightenment

Abstract: In this paper I discuss the religious ideas and religious criticism voiced by a Greek eighteenth-century philosopher, Christodoulos Efstathiou from Acarnania, also known by the pejorative surname Pamblekis (1730?–1793). He is known in Greek intellectual history on the basis of three works, Αληθής Πολιτική (True Politics) published in 1781, Περί Φιλοσόφου (On Philosopher), published in 1786, and Περί Θεοκρατίας (On Theocracy), published in 1793. The paper presents an analysis of the criticism of the clergy, the Church and organized religion voiced in the latter work. It is argued that Christodoulos’s religious ideas were inspired by the historical criticism of religion that emanated from the ideas of Spinoza and thus he could be considered a rare representative of the Radical Enlightenment in the Greek Enlightenment tradition and its broader Southeastern European context.

Keywords: Radical Enlightenment, religious criticism, anticlericalism, Spinozism, Orthodox Church