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Greek Writers and Philosophers

A new book is about to be published, written by Erkki Koskenniemi:

Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus
A Study of Their Secular Education and Educational Ideals
Series: Studies in Philo of Alexandria, Volume: 9
Leiden; Brill, 2018.

The advertisement has just ‘popped up’ on the Brill site, and it runs thus:
“In Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus Erkki Koskenniemi investigates how two Jewish writers, Philo and Josephus, quoted, mentioned and referred to Greek writers and philosophers. He asks what this tells us about their Greek education, their contacts with Classical culture in general, and about the societies in which Philo and Josephus lived. Although Philo in Alexandria and Josephus in Jerusalem both had the possibility to acquire a thorough knowledge of Greek language and culture, they show very different attitudes. Philo, who was probably educated in the gymnasium, often and enthusiastically refers to Greek poets and philosophers. Josephus on the other hand rarely quotes from their works, giving evidence of a more traditionalistic tendencies among Jewish nobility in Jerusalem.”

Price; as expected; (too) expensive: EUR €138.00USD $166.00, but tell your institution’s library to get it!

Philo and Josephus on Sarah

Two Finnish(?) scholars have recently published an article on how Philo and Josephus deal with the figure of Sarah:

Hanna Tervanotko & Elisa Uusimäki, “Sarah the Princess: Tracing the Hellenistic Afterlife of a Pentateuchal Female Figure,” Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 32/2 (2018): 271–290.

The Abstract runs like this:

This article analyses Philo of Alexandria’s and Josephus Flavius’s interpretations of Sarah from the viewpoint of social and political power attached to her. Both ascribe the figure royal attributes (i.e., she is depicted as a princess or queen) and other features that promote her as a virtuous model and an individual of public standing. A variety of emphases, philological and philosophical interpretations alike, jointly serve to construct Sarah’s exemplarity. The aim of this article is to demonstrate that different dimensions of biblical female figures may be revealed when their role as spouses and mothers is not taken as the starting point of analyses in studies concerning the reception history of biblical women.

 

Per Bilde – Collected Studies

Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (V&T Academic) has published a collection of studies in memory of the Danish scholar Per Bilde, who died in May 2014:

Eve-Marie Becker, Morten H. Jensen, Jacob Mortensen(Hg.),
Per Bilde, Collected Studies on Philo and Josephus
Edited by Eve-Marie Becker, Morten Hørning Jensen and Jacob Mortensen
1. Auflage 2016. 316 Seiten gebunden. ISBN 978-3-525-54046-6. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Studia Aarhusiana Neotestamentica (SANt). – Band 007.

The volume contains a Prologue, and then 11 studies by Per Bilde, all previously published.
The following studies deal explicitly with Philo:
1. The Roman Emperor Gaius (Caligula)’s Attempt to Erect his Statue in the Temple of Jerusalem.(orig.1987)
6. The Essenes in Philo and Josephus (Orig. 1998)
9. The Jews in Alexandria in 38-41 CE (Orig. 2006)
10. Philo as a Polemist and Political Apologist: An Investigation of his Two historical Treatises Against Flaccus and The Embassy to Gaius.(Orig 2007 (Danish); 2009 (Eng.))
11. Der Konflikt zwischen Gaius Caligula un den Juden uber du Aufstellung einer Kaiserstatue im Tempel von Jerusalem.(Orig. 2012)

As mentioned in an earlier posting of mine (see here), there was held a one-day conference at the Århus University May 28, 2015. It would have been nice to have the lectures from this conference published too; but as far as I know, they have not been published yet.

 

Religio Licita?

The relation of the Roman state to Jewish settlements (and probably also vice versa), is a problem still debatable, and the first mentioned topic is still being discussed in scholarly studies. A collection of studies was published by DeGruyter this winter:

“Religio licita?”
Rom und die Juden
[Rome and the Jews]
Ed. Hasselhoff, Görge K. / Strothmann, Meret
Series: Studia Judaica 84. Berlin/New York; DeGruyter, 2016/2017. viii, 230 pages.89,95 € / $126.00 / £67.99

“This volume examines the pertinence of the designation religio licita to Judaism and its relevance for describing the relationship between the Roman state and Judaism. This question applies not only to Judaism but also to the process of differentiation between Judaism and Christianity, for from the beginning of the 3rd century, the term was used exclusively by Christian writers.” (publisher’s note)

Looking into the book at Google Books you can see the list the contents of this volume, and read some of its stuff.

 

 

Philo at SBL Annual Meeting (II)

In addition to the Philo Seminar mentioned below, there will also be several other Group Sessions and Seminar papers that will deal with topics in which they will also ask for input from Philo’s works.
Here is a list of those papers I found when searching the online Program Book at the SBL site.

S19-137 Meals in the Greco-Roman World
11/19/2016 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Bonham D (3rd Level) – Grand Hyatt (GH)

Theme: Meal and Teaching

Meredith Warren, University of Sheffield, Presiding
Steven C. Muir, Concordia University of Edmonton and Frederick S. Tappenden, McGill University
Not by Bread Alone, but by Every Word from the Mouth of the Lord – The Confluence of Eating and Teaching in the Ancient Mediterranean (35 min)
Birgit van der Lans, University of Bergen
Quarrelling over opinions’ (Rom. 14:1): verbal disorder and competitive speech at Greco-Roman meals (35 min)
Angela Standhartinger, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany
The School of Moses at Table. Sympotic Teaching in Philo’s De vita contemplativa (35 min)
Soham Al-Suadi, Universität Bern – Université de Berne, Respondent (20 min)

Discussion (25 min)

 

S19-246 Religious Experience in Antiquity
11/19/2016 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Texas B (4th Level) – Grand Hyatt (GH)

Theme: Open Session
The Religious Experience in Antiquity section investigates the experiential elements of religions from the ancient near east to late antiquity, with a particular interest in examining (1) the relationship between texts and experience, (2) religious practices in the context of ritual, prayer, ecstasy, dreams and visions, 3) the role of embodied experiences (cognitive, neurological, and sensory) in the generation of religious ideas and commitment.

Angela Kim Harkins, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Presiding
Silviu N. Bunta, University of Dayton
Transformational mysticism in the liturgy of Hebrews (25 min)
Paul V. M. Flesher, University of Wyoming
Scripture Reading and Communal Prayer in the First-Century Gamla Synagogue: What Architecture Reveals about Religious Practice and Experience (25 min)
Nathalie LaCoste, University of Toronto
Fluid Identities: How Experiences with Water Shaped the Jews of Egypt (25 min)
Jason N. Yuh, University of Toronto
Paul’s Kodak Moment: Analyzing Gal 3:27’s Reference to Baptism through Studies of Memory, Embodiment, and Ritual (25 min)
Frederick S. Tappenden, McGill University
Contexts and Foundations: Paul’s Apocalyptic Imagination and the Confluence of Participation and Resurrection (25 min)
Discussion (25 min)

 

S21-156 Wisdom in Israelite and Cognate Traditions
11/21/2016 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: 211 (2nd Level – West) – Convention Center (CC)

Theme: The Book of Ecclesiastes

Samuel Adams, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Presiding
Elisa Uusimäki, Helsingin Yliopisto – Helsingfors Universitet
The Maskil of the Dead Sea Scrolls among the Hellenistic Jewish Sages (25 min)
Thomas Wagner, Bergische Universität Wuppertal
Reflecting creation traditions – Qohelet’s use of the Priestly creation account (25 min)
Hee Suk Kim, Chongshin University, Qohelet as an Ambiguous Image of Ruah (25 min)
Break (10 min)
Knut M. Heim, Denver Seminary, Ecclesiastes and Emotion (25 min)
Katharine Dell, University of Cambridge
All is decay: Intertextual links between Ecclesiastes and Lamentations (25 min)
Discussion (15 min)

 

S21-309 Christian Theology and the Bible
11/21/2016 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Conference Room 6 (3rd Level) – Marriott Rivercenter (MRC)

Theme: The theological significance of Hagar in Genesis and Galatians

This is the first of a four-year series on biblical figures who appear in both Testaments and their significance for Christian theology. This session focuses on Hagar, one of the few women to appear in both Old and New Testaments. Papers explore how theologians have understood her at different stages in history, and what her role might be in constructive Christian theology today.

Claire Mathews McGinnis, Loyola University Maryland, Presiding (5 min)
Andrew M. Harmon, Marquette University
“The Clever Handmaiden of Perfect Virtue”: Reappraising Ambrose of Milan’s Portrait of Hagar (30 min)
Justin Rogers, Freed-Hardeman University
Philo or Paul? The Hagar Allegory in Alexandrian Patristic Theology (30 min)
Andrea D. Saner, Eastern Mennonite University
Inheriting Hagar with Grace (30 min)
Discussion (45 min)

 

S21-315 Early Jewish Christian Relations
11/21/2016 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Independence (3rd Level) – Grand Hyatt (GH)
Marcie Lenk, Shalom Hartman Institute, Presiding

J. Cornelis de Vos, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Paul and the Parting of the Arguments in Galatians (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
A. Grayson Benko, Brite Divinity School (TCU)
The God who Grafts: Genos and Genealogy in Romans 11:16-24 (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Hyun Ho Park, Graduate Theological Union
From Jewish Mission to Gentile Mission: Triple Stories of Peter and the Border Crossing in Acts 9:32-10:48 (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Sung Uk Lim, Yonsei University
Philo’s Sophia vs. John’s Jesus in Gender Trouble (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Paul M. C. Elliott, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion
Philonic Borrowings in the Letters of Ambrose (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

 

S21-356 Wisdom and Apocalypticism
11/21/2016 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Lone Star E (2nd Level) – Grand Hyatt (GH)
Theme: Philo vis-a-vis Wisdom and Apocalypticism

Jason Zurawski, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Presiding
Ellen Birnbaum, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Is There Wisdom in Philo’s Rationales for the Book of Genesis? (30 min)
Michael Cover, Marquette University
“Consecrating all the Excellences of Speech” (Mut. 220): Philo on the Right Use of Apocalyptic Tragedy and Gnomic Wisdom (30 min)
Break (5 min)
Archie Wright, Regent University
Questions of Eschatology and other Apocalyptic Themes in Philo’s Demonology (30 min)
Gregory E. Sterling, Yale Divinity School
When Ontology Meets Eschatology (30 min)
Discussion (25 min)

S22-114 Book of Deuteronomy
11/22/2016 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: 304A (3rd Level) – Convention Center (CC)

Theme: The Reception of Deuteronomy in the Hellenistic Period: Authority, Transmission and Transformation

Cynthia Edenburg, Open University of Israel, Presiding
Bernard Levinson, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
The Reception of Deuteronomy in the Second Temple Period as a Window into the Formation of the Pentateuch (30 min)
Hindy Najman, University of Oxford
Reading Deuteronomy and Writing a New Law: reflections on the reception and transformation of Deuteronomy in the Hellenistic Period (30 min)
Francis Borchardt, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Hong Kong
Idolatry, Retribution, and the Judean Homeland: Deuteronomic Ideology in 4 Maccabees (30 min)
Torrey Seland, VID-School of Mission &Theology, Norway
Philo of Alexandria and Deuteronomy (30 min)
David Lincicum, University of Notre Dame
Deuteronomy and Deuteronomic Tradition in the Epistle of Barnabas: A Reconsideration (30 min)

Judeans in the Greek Cities of the Roman Empire

A new book is about to be published by Brill that should be interesting to Philo readers, especially those interested in his social history, social world or political world and circumstances:

Bradley Ritter, Judeans in the Greek Cities of the Roman Empire. Rights, Citizenship and Civil Discord.
(Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 170) Leiden; Brill, May 2015 (€126,00 / $163.00).

The publishers presentation is thus:

In the first century CE, Philo of Alexandria and Josephus offer vivid descriptions of conflicts between Judeans and Greeks in Greek cities of the Roman Empire over various issues, including the Judeans’ civic identity, the extent of their obligations to local cities and cults, and the potential security threat they posed to those cities. This study analyzes the narratives of these conflicts, investigating what citizenship status Judeans enjoyed, their political influence and whether they enjoyed the right to establish institutions for observing their ancestral worship. For these narratives to be understood properly, it should be assumed that many Judeans were already citizens of their cities, and that this status played a central role in those conflicts.

You can find a description of the contents here. Contents. I am looking forward to this book, both because it is relevant for my own present writing, and because it might provide some more insights for understanding the social world of Philo, especially sinece it appears to be written by a classicist.

 

 

Per Bilde in Memoriam

Per Bilde was lecturer/professor at Århus University from 1965 to 2007, when he retired. He was a specialøist in Josephian studies; in his later years, however, he wrote several works on the historical Jesus. A brief bibliography can be found here (from the Norwegian BIBSYS’s catalogue).

In memory of prof Bilde,who died in May 2014, there will be a one-day conference at the Århus University May 28, at 2.15 PM to 4:30 PM.
Two of the three lectures to be held will be (partly) on Philo; here is the program:

14.15 Welcome
14.30-15.00 Prof. Tessa Rajak: “Per Bilde’s impact on studies in Philo (and Josephus)”

15.00-15.15 Coffee break

15.15-15.45 Prof. Mogens Müller: “Per Bilde’s (Danish) contributions on Philo and Josephus”
15.45-16.15 Prof. Steve Mason: “Per Bilde’s impact on studies in Josephus”