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Authors: Albert Geljon and David Runia
The Jewish exegete and philosopher Philo of Alexandria has long been famous for his complex and spiritually rich allegorical treatises on the Greek Bible. The present volume presents first translation and commentary in English on his treatise De plantatione (On planting), following on the volume devoted to On cultivation published previously by the same two authors. Philo gives a virtuoso performance as allegorist, interpreting Noah’s planting of a vineyard in Genesis 9.20 first in theological and cosmological terms, then moving to the spiritual quest of both of advanced souls and those beginning their journey. The translation renders Philo’s baroque Greek into readable modern English. The commentary pays particular attention to the treatise’s structure, its biblical basis and its exegetical and philosophical contents.
New Perspectives on Tradition and Transformation
Editors: Albert Geljon and Nienke Vos
Based on the paradigmatic shift in both liturgical and ritual studies, this multidisciplinary volume presents a collection of case studies on rituals in the early Christian world. After a methodological discussion of the new paradigm, it shows how emblematic Christian rituals were influenced by their Greco-Roman and Jewish contexts, undergoing multiple transformations, while themselves affecting developments both within and outside Christianity. Notably, parallel traditions in Judaism and Islam are included in the discussion, highlighting the importance of ongoing reception history. Focusing on the dynamic character of rituals, the new perspectives on ritual traditions pursued here relate to the expanding source material, both textual and material, as well as the development of recent interdisciplinary approaches, including the cognitive science of religion.
Ancient Christianity had an ambivalent stance toward violence. Jesus had instructed his disciples to love their enemies, and in the first centuries Christians were proud of this lofty teaching and tried to apply it to their persecutors and to competing religious groups. Yet at the same time they testify to their virulent verbal criticism of Jews, heretics and pagans, who could not accept the Christian exclusiveness. After emperor Constantine had turned to Christianity, Christians acquired the opportunity to use violence toward competing groups and pagans, even though they were instructed to love them personally and Jewish-Christian relationships flourished at grass root level. General analyses and case studies demonstrate that the fashionable distinction between intolerant monotheism and tolerant polytheism must be qualified.

Abstract

The notion of divine infinity is important in Gregory of Nyssa's theology; it is even argued by Ekkehard Mühlenberg that Gregory was the first to ascribe infinity to God. In this article key texts on divine infinity in Gregory, taken from Contra Eunomiun, De Vita Moysis, and In Canticum Canticorum, are discussed. It appears that Mühlenberg's interpretation has to be nuanced. Furthermore, dealing with divine infinity Gregory was able to link his thought with that of Philo of Alexandria. In the second part of this article, we discuss the question of God's infinity in Philo. Henri Guyot defends the thesis that Philo was the first to put forward the notion of divine infinity. Although Guyot's thesis can be criticised—Philo never calls God infinite—there are starting-points for this view in Philo.

In: Vigiliae Christianae

Abstract

This article offers a translation of and some comments on the commentary on Ps 24 (23 LXX) by Didymus the Blind. Didymus regards the Psalm as indicating the moral progress of the soul towards perfection. He interprets the second half of the Psalm as a reference to Christ’s dwelling on earth and his ascension. In his exegsis Didymus relies heavily on predecessors, like Clement of Alexandria and Origen.

In: Vigiliae Christianae
Authors: Albert Geljon and D.T. Runia
The Jewish exegete and philosopher Philo of Alexandria has long been famous for his allegorical treatises on the Greek Bible. The present volume contains the first translation and commentary in English on his treatise De agricultura ( On cultivation), which gives an elaborate allegorical interpretation of Genesis 9:20. Noah’s role as a cultivator is analysed in terms of the ethical and spiritual quest of the soul making progress towards its goal. The translation renders Philo’s baroque Greek into readable modern English. The commentary pays particular attention to the treatise’s structure, its biblical basis and its exegetical and philosophical contents. The volume will be valuable for the insights it gives into an unusual but highly influential method of biblical interpretation.
In: Violence in Ancient Christianity
In: Violence in Ancient Christianity
In: Violence in Ancient Christianity
In: Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation