Why would the work of the 17th century philosopher Benedict de Spinoza concern us today? How can Spinoza shed any light on contemporary thought? In this intriguing book, Moira Gatens and Genevieve Lloyd show us that in spite of or rather because of Spinoza's apparent strangeness, his philosophy can be a rich resource for cultural self-understanding in the present. Collective Imaginings draws on recent re-assessments of the philosophy of Spinoza to develop new ways of conceptualising issues of freedom and difference. This ground-breaking study will be invaluable reading to anyone wishing to gain a fresh perspective on Spinoza's thought.