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Philanthrôpia judaica

Le débat autour de la "misanthropie" des lois juives dans l'Antiquité

Series:

Katell Berthelot

This volume deals with the accusations of misanthropy directed against the Jews during the Hellenistic and Roman period, and with the Jewish attempts to answer those charges.
The first part of the book examines the different meanings of the words philanthropia, misanthropia, apanthropia, philoxenia and misoxenia, and analyses the relevant Greek, Egyptian and Roman sources, in order to clarify the significance of the accusation of misanthropy for each writer.
The second part deals with the Jewish answers to these accusations, especially with Philo's and Josephus' attempts to show the humane character of the Mosaic Law.
This book is the first attempt to write a comprehensive history of this type of anti-Jewish discourse in Antiquity and of the Jewish reactions it provoked.

Katell Berthelot

Abstract

In this article I have tried to show that both Strabo's text (16.2.34-46) and Diodorus' text (34-35.1.1-5) about the Jews can be attributed to Posidonius of Apamea and that they do not contradict each other; nor do they contradict Josephus' testimony in the Against Apion (2.79), where it is very difficult anyway to determine what exactly goes back to Posidonius. His vision of the Jews can be summarized as follows: although he considered Moses as a wise and pious man who founded an admirable political and religious community, for political and philosophical reasons Posidonius greatly despised and disliked the Judaism of his time, which he regarded as a degenerate version of the Mosaic project.

Katell Berthelot

Katell Berthelot

Katell Berthelot

Abstract

According to the Torah, the Hebrews were commanded either to expel or to exterminate the Canaanites who were living in Canaan at the time of the conquest. Philo seems to feel rather ill-at-ease about the literal meaning of these biblical passages. Besides allegory, he uses four hermeneutical strategies: 1) to pass over the problematic texts in silence; 2) to play with the meaning of certain Greek words; 3) to justify the destruction of the Canaanites from a moral point of view; 4) to rewrite the biblical account.

Katell Berthelot

Abstract

Philo’s perception of Rome is less positive than has generally been argued. Although Philo appreciated the pax romana and the religious freedom generally enjoyed by Jews in the Roman Empire, he was nevertheless critical of Rome. In particular, he rejected the idea that the Roman empire was the outcome of divine providence and would last forever. He opposed the spiritual kingship of Israel to the worldly and transitory dominion of Rome. Moreover, he expected Roman rule to fade away in the end, and Israel to blossom as no other nation ever had in the past.

Series:

Katell Berthelot

This book analyzes how humanism was conceived of in different philosophical schools during the Hellenistic and early Roman period, and how these ideas were debated in ancient Jewish thought. The term humanism refers to the idea that every person has duties towards his/her fellow human beings, for the sole reason that they all share a common nature or are bound by a form of kinship.
The book also tries to determine to which extent Gen 1:26-27 (creation of human beings in God's image) and Lev 19:18 (the commandment to love one's neighbour, who is like oneself) could be interpreted in a humanistic way by ancient Jewish writers.