RThPh 2002/I, p. 15-28.

Jacquelin LAGRÉE
Théologie et Tolérance
Louis Meyer et Spinoza

Résumé
Spinoza est généralement considéré comme un penseur de la tolérance parce qu’il a fermement défendu la liberté de penser dans le Traité théologico-politique.
Un commentateur récent (F. Mignini) a inversement soutenu que Spinoza se situait plutôt «au-delà de la tolérance». Pour réexaminer cette question, l’étude se propose de comparer les positions de Louis Meyer et de Spinoza sur la question des passions religieuses et sur la lecture de l’Écriture sainte. À la lecture frileuse d’un Meyer qui, confondant sens et vérité dans le cas de l’Écriture sainte, interdit toute interprétation scripturaire éloignée de la vérité de la science de la nature, on peut opposer la générosité herméneutique de Spinoza. Non seulement ce dernier admet une pluralité de sens recevables, à condition qu’ils facilitent la pratique de la justice et de la charité, mais il montre comment les générations successives de lecteurs s’adaptent à un texte lui-même adapté à la compréhension du plus grand nombre. Cela permet enfin de distinguer des niveaux et des lieux de pertinence de la tolérance.

J. LAGRÉE, Theology and tolerance: Louis Meyer and Spinoza, RThPh 2002/I, p. 15-28.
From Plato to Kant, philosophy hardly ever questions the subject of writing and sees it as a simple means of expression. The work of Nietzsche marks a turning point: by both a philological and philosophical consideration of the «art of style», it questions the act of writing itself, and then the act of reading. A genealogical study of certain paradigmatic texts concerning the Eternel Return might elucidate the implications of Nietzsche’s writing which transgresses unconditional readability and comprehensibility. Spinoza is generally considered as a thinker of tolerance because in his Tractatus
Theologico-Politicus he firmly defends freedom of thought. A recent commentator (F. Mignini), has placed Spinoza, on the contrary, «beyond tolerance». To re-examine the question, this study compares the positions of Louis Meyer and of Spinoza on religious passions and the reading of Holy Scripture. The hermeneutical generosity of Spinoza can be seen as against the over-senstive reading of Meyer, who, confusing meaning and truth in the case of Scripture, disallows any interpretation that is removed from the truth of natural science. Not only does Spinoza admit a plurality of acceptable meanings, so long as they facilitate the practice of justice and charity, he also shows how successive generations of readers adapt to a text, itself adapted to meet the understanding of the greatest number. This permits us, finally, to distinguish between levels and pertinent places of tolerance.