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In the treatise On the Change of Names (part of his magnum opus, the Allegorical Commentary), Philo of Alexandria brings his figurative exegesis of the Abraham cycle to its fruition. Taking a cue from Platonist interpreters of Homer’s Odyssey, Philo reads Moses’s story of Abraham as an account of the soul’s progress and perfection. Responding to contemporary critics, who mocked Genesis 17 as uninspired, Philo finds instead a hidden philosophical reflection on the ineffability of the transcendent God, the transformation of souls which recognize their mortal nothingness, the possibility of human faith enabled by peerless faithfulness of God, and the fruit of moral perfection: joy divine, prefigured in the birth of Isaac.
Rhetoric, Linguistics and Philosophical Theology in Origen, Contra Celsum 4.1-22
Can the Divine itself come down to earth? The Platonist Celsus rejected it as most shameful, Origen however defended this idea as an essential part of Christian doctrine. This book comments on passages from Origen’s Against Celsus 4 in which both authors put forward their arguments. The Greek text is discussed from three perspectives: linguistics, rhetoric and philosophical theology. This approach includes a focus on the communication between author and readers, the structure of the discourse, and the persuasive strategies used by Celsus and Origen. Attention is also given to conceptions of God and his relation to the world, which form the backdrop to their arguments. Moreover, their theological conceptions are related to the wider philosophical discourse of the Greco-Roman age.
Volume Editors: and
This volume celebrates the scholarship of Professor Johan C. Thom by tackling various important topics relevant for the study of the New Testament, such as the intellectual environment of early Christianity, especially Greek, Latin, and early Jewish texts, New Testament apocrypha and other early Christian writings, as well as Greek grammar. The authors offer fresh insights on philosophical texts and traditions, the cultural repertoire of early Christian literature, critical editions, linguistics and interpretation, and comparative analyses of ancient writings.
Regards sur cinquante ans de recherche (1967-2017)
Volume Editors: and
This volume gathers the proceedings of the Paris conference in Philonic studies (2017), consisting of 23 papers by contributors from 8 countries. Fifty years after the Lyon conference, it aimed at taking a retrospective look at the intellectual contexts and the academic fields in which Philonic studies have penetrated, as well as the ways in which they evolved.
The work of the Alexandrian became of major importance in the history of philosophy. It has been studied as a source of cultured Christianity, in connection with Second Temple Judaism and the Alexandrian Jewish community, but also in the context of research on rabbinic Judaism, New Testament and philosophy of the imperial era.

Ce volume rassemble les actes du colloque de Paris (2017), qui réunit 23 intervenants de 8 nationalités. Cinquante ans après le colloque de Lyon, il s’agissait de réfléchir aux milieux intellectuels et aux disciplines universitaires dans lesquels les études philoniennes avaient pénétré le monde de la recherche, les bases sur lesquelles elles avaient évolué. L’œuvre de l’Alexandrin a pris une importance majeure dans l’histoire de la philosophie ; elle a été explorée comme source du christianisme lettré, en lien avec le judaïsme de l’Époque du Second Temple et la communauté juive d’Alexandrie, mais aussi dans le cadre des études sur le judaïsme rabbinique, dans le développement des études sur le Nouveau Testament et sur la philosophie de l’époque impériale.
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In The Platonizing Sethian Background of Plotinus’s Mysticism, Zeke Mazur offers a radical reconceptualization of Plotinus with reference to Gnostic thought and praxis.
A crucial element in the thought of the third-century CE philosopher Plotinus—his conception of mystical union with the One—cannot be understood solely within the conventional history of philosophy, or as the product of a unique, sui generis psychological propensity. This monograph demonstrates that Plotinus tacitly patterned his mystical ascent to the One on a type of visionary ascent ritual that is first attested in Gnostic sources. These sources include the Platonizing Sethian tractates Zostrianos (NHC VIII,1) and Allogenes (NHC XI,3) of which we have Coptic translations from Nag Hammadi and whose Greek Vorlagen were known to have been read in Plotinus’s school.
Providence, Dualism, and Will in Later Greek and Early Christian Philosophy
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Is God involved? Why do bad things happen to good people? What is up to us? These questions were explored in Mediterranean antiquity with reference to ‘providence’ (pronoia). In Did God Care? Dylan Burns offers the first comprehensive survey of providence in ancient philosophy that brings together the most important Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac sources, from Plato to Plotinus and the Gnostics.

Burns demonstrates how the philosophical problems encompassed by providence transformed in the first centuries CE, yielding influential notions about divine care, evil, creation, omniscience, fate, and free will that remain with us today. These transformations were not independent developments of ‘Pagan philosophy’ and ‘Christian theology,’ but include fruits of mutually influential engagement between Hellenic and Christian philosophers.
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In Early Christians Adapting to the Roman Empire: Mutual Recognition Niko Huttunen challenges the interpretation of early Christian texts as anti-imperial documents. He presents examples of the positive relationship between early Christians and the Roman society. With the concept of “recognition” Huttunen describes a situation in which the parties can come to terms with each other without full agreement. Huttunen provides examples of non-Christian philosophers recognizing early Christians. He claims that recognition was a response to Christians who presented themselves as philosophers. Huttunen reads Romans 13 as a part of the ancient tradition of the law of the stronger. His pioneering study on early Christian soldiers uncovers the practical dimension of recognizing the empire.
Eine Studie zu Ps-Dionysius-Rezeption, triplex via und analogem Weltbild bei Maximus Confessor
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In The Concept of Unity as the Principle of Coherence in Maximus Confessor Jonathan Bieler lays out the importance of the concepts of transcendent divine unity, goodness and truth for understanding the coherence of the whole of Maximus’ thought, which brings together theology, anthropology and Christology into a unified vision that is based on an analogy between creator and creation. Interpreting the concepts of Maximus’ thought remains a contentious subject in Maximian scholarship. By evaluating the interior coherence and historical situation of Maximus’ thought in general and by studying the influence of Ps-Dionysius the Areopagite’s methodology on Maximus’ Christology in particular the author shows the context in which Maximus’ well-known conceptual distinctions can be understood in a helpful way. Jonathan Bieler erläutert in Der Einheitsbegriff als Kohärenzprinzip bei Maximus Confessor die zentrale Rolle der Begriffe der göttlichen Einheit, Güte und Wahrheit für ein Verständnis der Kohärenz von Maximus’ Denken, das Gotteslehre, Anthropologie und Christologie zu einer einheitlichen Sicht versammelt, beruhend auf einer Analogie zwischen Schöpfer und Geschöpf. Die Interpretation von Maximus’ Konzepten ist ein umstrittenes Gebiet in der Forschung. Durch eine Auswertung der inneren Kohärenz und der historischen Situation des Maximus und durch eine Untersuchung des Einflusses, den Ps-Dionysius Areopagitas Methodik auf die Christologie des Maximus ausgeübt hat, zeigt der Autor den Kontext auf, in dem Maximus’ begriffliche Unterscheidungen auf eine hilfreiche Weise verstanden werden können.
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In Augustine and Plotinus: the Human Mind as Image of the Divine Laela Zwollo provides an inside view of two of the most influential thinkers of late antiquity: the Christian Augustine and the Neo-Platonist Plotinus. By exploring the finer points and paradoxes of their doctrines of the image of God (the human soul/intellect), the illustrious church father’s complex interaction with his most important non-biblical source comes into focus. In order to fathom Augustine, we should first grasp the beauty in Plotinus’ philosophy and its attractiveness to Christians. This monograph will contribute to a better understanding of the formative years of Christianity as well as later ancient philosophy. It can serve as a handbook for becoming acquainted with the two thinkers, as well as for delving into the profundity of their thought.
An English Translation with Supporting Studies
The Contra Eunomium is probably Gregory of Nyssa’s most challenging work with regards to his theological and philosophical thought, and one that continues to draw the deeper attention of contemporary scholars.
This volume devoted to Contra Eunomium I constitutes, in a certain way, a new version of the Proceedings of the 6th International Colloquium on Gregory of Nyssa (1988). It offers a revised English translation of Contra Eunomium I by S. G. Hall, accompanied by twenty-two supporting studies from a broad range of philological, philosophical, and theological perspectives. These studies include a selection of the most relevant papers of the 1988 Proceedings, supplemented with new contributions that explore relevant issues developed by contemporary research.