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A great conference on the receptions of Philo in modern Europe is to be held in Lyon, France, upcoming Nov7-9th. A total of 25 lectures will be presented. See also more here.
“Ce colloque international, réunissant des universitaires et des chercheur(e)s
européens, américains et australiens, est consacré à la réception de l’œuvre de
Philon d’Alexandrie à l’époque moderne, étape essentielle, et pourtant très peu
étudiée, dans une longue chaîne qui se déploie de l’époque patristique jusqu’au
nouvel essor des études philoniennes des cinquante dernières années. Deux axes
de recherche ont été choisis : 1) une première approche concerne la philologie
et l’histoire du livre ; 2) une seconde souhaite préciser les usages diversifiés de Philon dans les commentaires exégétiques, les traités théologiques, l’érudition historique, et plus largement les controverses.” (from the brochure).
I give the comprehensive program below, hoping the lectures will be published in the near future (alas, too many conference papers are published much too long after the actual conference).
MERCREDI 7 NOVEMBRE
Matinée : ENS de Lyon, bâtiment Buisson, salle D8001
9h : Accueil et ouverture du colloque par Olivier Bara et Marina Mestre Zaragoza (direction de l’IHRIM) et Smaranda Marculescu (IHRIM, ENS de Lyon)
9h15 : Frédéric Gabriel (CNRS – IHRIM, ENS de Lyon), «La redécouverte de Philon à
l’époque moderne : un tournant philologique et herméneutique »
Président de séance : David T. Runia
9h30 : Gregory E. Sterling (Yale University), « Adrianus Turnebus and the Editio Princeps of Philo (1552) »
10h30 : pause café
10h50 : Michael Cover (Marquette University), «Paris and Augsburg revisited: David Hoeschel, Bürgerhumanismus, and the ecumenical completion of Turnèbe’s Philo »
Après-midi : auditorium de la Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon, Part-Dieu
Président de séance : Claudio Moreschini
14h : Marie-Luce Demonet (Université de Tours, CESR), «L’ordre du monde dans la première traduction française du De Mundo (1539) par Louis Meigret»
15h : Luigi-Alberto Sanchi (CNRS – IHD, Paris), «Alexandrie, modèle d’un hellénisme
inclusif : Guillaume Budé, lecteur de Philon»
16h : pause café
16h15 : Smaranda Marculescu (IHRIM, ENS de Lyon), «Philo latinus : autour de la traduction de Gelenius»
17h-18h45 : présentation de livres à la Réserve de la Bibliothèque municipale par Jérôme Sirdey (Conservateur du fonds ancien)
JEUDI 8 NOVEMBRE
Matinée : ENS de Lyon, bâtiment Buisson, salle D8001
Présidente de séance : Marie-Luce Demonet
8h30 : Lucia Maddalena Tissi (Labex HaStec, LEM, Paris), «Genere Iudaeo, professione
Platonico. Philon dans le De perenni philosophia d’Agostino Steuco»
9h15 : Claudio Moreschini (Università di Pisa, Istitutum Patristicum Augustinianum), «La
panaugia secondo Patrizi e la tradizione di Filone nel XVI secolo italiano»
10h : pause café
10h30 : François Roudaut (Université de Montpellier, IRCL), «L’influence de Philon dans
l’oeuvre théologique et philosophique de Pontus de Tyard (1522-1605) »
11h15 : Thomas Leinkauf (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster), «Philo – Graecus, Hebraicus, Proto-Christianus. The presence of Philo Alexandrinus or Judaeus in non-scolastic texts of the 16th century »
Après-midi : salle de séminaire de l’Institut des Sources chrétiennes (22 rue Sala, 2e
Président de séance : Gregory E. Sterling
14h15 : Nicholas Hardy (University of Birmingham), «Philo, theological controversy, and the construction of hellenistic Judaism in the post-Reformation era »
15h : Scott Mandelbrote (University of Cambridge – Peterhouse), «Philo and early modern biblical criticism»
15h45 : pause café
16h15 : Brigitte Tambrun (CNRS – LEM, Paris), «Philon dans les querelles sur la Trinité
(XVIIe s.-début XVIIIe s.) »
17h : Gianni Paganini (Università del Piemonte Orientale, Vercelli – Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei), «Moïse législateur. Un thème philonien aux origines du théologico-politique
17h45 : Matthieu Somon (Université catholique de Louvain, Fondation Sedes sapientiae),
«Moïse réinventé à l’aune de Philon »
18h40 : présentation des Sources chrétiennes par Guillaume Bady (CNRS – HISOMA)
VENDREDI 9 NOVEMBRE
ENS de Lyon, bâtiment Buisson, salle D8001
Président de séance : Gianni Paganini
8h30 : Joanna Weinberg (University of Oxford), «Rabbi or Sectarian: the debate over Philo of Alexandria among Jews in early modern Italy »
9h15 : Myriam Silvera (Università di Roma « Tor Vergata »), « L’œuvre de Philon à l’attention du rabbin Menasseh ben Israel »
10h : pause café
10h30 : Pierre-François Moreau (ENS de Lyon, IHRIM), « Spinoza, Philon et le pseudoPhilon»
11h15 : Giovanni Benedetto (Università degli Studi di Milano), « Philo Platonicus : a seventeenth century controversy »
12h : David T. Runia (Australian Catholic University, University of Melbourne), « How in
scholarship an end and a beginning can overlap: Joh. Alb. Fabricius (1668-1736) and the 1729 edition of Philo’s Opera omnia »
Présidente de séance : Myriam Silvera
14h15 : Martine Pécharman (CNRS – CRAL, EHESS), « Le néoplatonisme de Cambridge et
l’autorité de Philon »
15h : Marco Rizzi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), « Philon dans l’œuvre de John Selden : entre droit et érudition dans l’Angleterre du XVIIe siècle »
15h45 : pause café
16h : Jérémy Delmulle (IRHT, Paris), « Sur la religion des Thérapeutes. La controverse entre Bernard de Montfaucon et Jean IV Bouhier (1709-1713) »
17h : Remerciements et fin du colloque
For those able to attend: Colloque ouvert au public, aucune inscription nécessaire.
A New Norwegian PhD Dissertation (written by a Danish scholar) is about to be defended in a public disputatio in Oslo, at the MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society, Monday Sept 3.
Its title is:
“The Spirit of Faith: A Comparative Study of Philo’s and Paul’s Reading of the Abraham Story.”
In the morning (at 10:15), the candidate will deliver his test lecture, given by the evaluation commitee: “Paul and the methods and goals of Greek paideia”.
Then, from 12:15, he will defend his thesis in a discussion, open for the public, with his two opponents, professor dr. John M.G. Barclay, Durham, og professor dr. Gitte Buch-Hansen, Copenhagen.
The second last issue of Journal for the study of Judaism has an interesting article dealing with Philo of Alexandria:
Deborah Forger, ‘Divine embodiment in Philo of Alexandria,’ Journal for the Study of Judaism 49.2 (2018) 223-262.
Its abstract runs like this:
Because later polemics established Jews and Christians as binary opposites, distinguished largely by their views on God’s body, scholars have not sufficiently explored how other Jews in the early Roman period, who stood outside the Jesus movement, conceived of how the divine could become embodied on earth. The first-century Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria often operates as the quintessential representative of a Jew who stressed God’s absolute incorporeality. Here I demonstrate how Philo also presents a means by which a part of Israel’s God could become united with human materiality, showing how the patriarchs and Moses function as his paradigms. This evidence suggests that scholarship on divine embodiment has been limited by knowledge of later developments in Christian theology. Incarnational formulas, like that found in John 1.14 were not the only way that Jews in the first and second century CE understood that God can become united with human form.
In her conclusions, she also states that “Far from being one monolithic way that ancient Jews imagined that God could become embodied, what my analysis reveals is that there where likely multiply ways that Jews in the first few centuries of the Common Era envisioned that God, or a part of God, could become united with bodily, or material, form. By exploring a particular snapshot of Jewish history, instead of employing a teleological lens that works backward from a later known outcome in Christian theology, Philo’s descriptions of humanity’s divinely-inspired soul can be revealed for what they are: a competing model of divine embodiment.”
This is a challenging (and for some, perhaps, provocative?) thesis. My first impression is that she draws somewhat too far ranging conclusions base on a somewhat meagre basis. May be a closer reading will change my first impressions……
Elisa Uusimaki (University of Helsinki, Finland), has published an article dealing with the issue of “How does Philo of Alexandria depict the formation of a wise person?”
Elisa Uusmaki,’A Mind in Training: Philo of Alexandria on Jacob’s Spiritual Exercises,’ Journal for the Study of Pseudepigrapha 27.4 (2018): 265-288.
Its abstract runs like this:
“How does Philo of Alexandria depict the formation of a wise person? This article pays attention to the centrality of spiritual training in Graeco-Roman philosophy, and argues that Philo likewise regards the process of seeking wisdom as entailing mental practice. The analysis focuses on two passages of Quis rerum divinarum heres sit and Legum allegoriarum where Philo attributes lists of spiritual exercises to the figure of Jacob. As such, these accounts illustrate how Philo makes use of scriptural interpretation as he imagines the execution of a life dedicated to wisdom. The listed exercises are largely familiar from Graeco-Roman philosophical traditions, yet they coexist with and contribute to the performance of Philo’s ancestral tradition. This melange of cultural elements suggests that Philo discusses Jacob’ s inner cultivation in order to enable his audience to grasp (one prospect of) how to lead a Jewish philosophical life in the Roman Alexandria.”
In order to wet your appetite even more, I quote this from her first paragraph (sorry, the Greek did not come through):
How did Philo of Alexandria’ imagine the practical performance of philosophical life, that is, the mental training considered to advance one’s search for wisdom (sofia)? In this article, I propose one answer to the question by demonstrating how Philo associates two narratives on Jacob, the eponymous and exemplary patriarch, with the practice (askesis) of diverse spiritual exercises (Her. 252-53; Leg. 3.18-19). In the context of Graeco-Roman philosophy, such exercises were undertaken to shape the mind and attitude of the practising subject who pursued wisdom. Before the textual analysis, further elaboration on the ancient conception of philosophy and Philo’s notion of the cultivation of a person towards being a philosopher (filosofos), or even a sage (sofos) who possesses virtue (arete), is needed.
Philo of Alexandria has several comments on the ancient theater of his time, and a few studies have been published dealing with his views and attitudes (see e.g., Koskenniemi; now an issue of the Journal ‘Journal of Ancient Judaism‘ is devoted to the theme Jews and Drama, and included here are also a couple of articles o Philo and the theater:
- Jeff Jay, ‘Spectacle, Stage-Craft, and the Tragic in Philo’s In Flaccum: A Literary-Historical Analysis,’ 222-240,
- Courtney J. P. Friesen, ‘Virtue and Vice on the Stage: Theatrical Ambivalences in Philo of Alexandria,’ 241-256.
I have not seen this issue yet, and can not provide any further information, its website, alas, does not present any abstracts either.
The yearly SNTS meeting was this year arranged in Athens, Greece. What a wonderful place to have a meeting focusing on New Testament studies. While some might suggest Jerusalem as the place most filled with symbolism for biblical studies, Athens might come as a good # 2.
In addion to that, the conference found place at the Titania hotel, that with its great restaurant at the top floor provided a magnificent view to the Acropolis and Athens. Three Philo scholars from Norway were attending the meeting, and among them, the doyen of Norwegian Philo studies, prof Peder Borgen. Here you see him seated in the restaurant withtwo of his former doctoral students, prof Per Jarle Bekken to the right (Borgen’s left side), and me on the other side. It was great to have Borgen with us, and to see him – in his age of 90 1/2 years- enjoying and participating in the sessions.
On Saturday 11th, there was an very interesting excursion to Corinth and Epidaurus, a trip also enjoyed by prof Borgen, his wife and two daughters.
The great theatre at Epidaurus
Prof. em. Karl-Gustav Sandelin has been challenged – and helped – by a grandchild to set up a personal webpage, and here is the nice result:
Have a look!