Jerome Moreau finished his dissertation on Abraham in the expositions of Philo last December, and is now working on it in order to have it published. In the meantime he has been as kind as to make it available on the web thus:
Abraham dans l’exégèse de Philon d’Alexandrie. Enjeux herméneutiques de la démarche allégorique.
Thèse de doctorat de Langues, histoire et civilisations des mondes anciens.
Présentée et soutenue publiquement le 14 décembre 2010.
Université Lumière Lyon 2
École doctorale : Sciences sociales
Faculté des Lettres, Sciences du langage et Arts
The work is written in French, but the author summarizes his work in English thus:
“Allegory is one the major topic of the study of the Jewish Alexandrian exegesis, of which Philo is the most prominent author. By studying three of his treatises, in each of which is to be found one of the three types of allegory he happens to be using in his works, we could determine about Abraham’s character how Philo really uses the notion of allegory and the hermeneutical dimension of his exegesis. In the De Abrahamo, the distinction between the literal and the allegorical meaning follows mostly the distinction between sensible and intelligible realities, but this regular pattern is disrupted by a few elements, including the reference to God. In the section of the Questiones we studied, the exegesis’ focalization on the intellect allows Philo to see the intelligible realities as a part of the literal meaning. At last, in the De migratione Abrahami, the literal meaning and the sensible realities disappear: there remains only an exegesis dealing directly with the intelligible realities. More importantly, Philo creates an exegetical language which closely binds together the language of Scripture and the language of philosophy, so as to illustrate, through several scriptural characters which he unifies in one movement, the migration of the intellect towards God. Philo’s hermeneutics, as it finally appears, are focalized on the life of the intellect. Moses’ Law and nature’s law, two revelations of the one Creator, are bound together within him, thanks to a new language: but in this reading, nature’s law is seen as the true model of Moses’ Law, and philosophy as the true model of exegesis. Philo’s exegetical breakthrough is at the same time his main limit.”
I am happy to be able to announce this work, and hope that Jerome Moreau will soon be able to find a publisher for his doctoral work. Untill then, have a look at t/his dissertation version.