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Jewish Women Philosophers of First-Century AlexandriaPhilo's 'Therapeutae' Reconsidered$
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Joan E. Taylor

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291410

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291410.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 October 2021

The Philosophia of Ioudaismos

The Philosophia of Ioudaismos

(p.105) 5 The Philosophia of Ioudaismos
Jewish Women Philosophers of First-Century Alexandria

Joan E. Taylor (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Philo does not expect his audience to think of his philosophers in De Vita Contemplativa as being associated with cultic activities at an actual temple. Instead, he uses them as exemplars of the bios theoretikos, the classic meditative/contemplative life. The Mareotic group are those who truly are ‘the good’, the very image of perfect philosophers. They are explicitly called ‘philosophers’. They are driven by impulses for and trained in philosophy; they live and cultivate a life of philosophy, interpret allegorically the inherited philosophy, and follow the contemplative part of philosophy. Philo jumps from cultic language to philosophical language. This would have seemed perhaps more striking to his audience than to us, for cult and philosophy were two discrete conceptual categories in antiquity. To understand how Philo could make the jump, and how he could expect his audience to do so, we need to look at ‘religion’ as a whole, and basic understandings of Judaism, in the Graeco-Roman world.

Keywords:   Philo, De Vita Contemplativa, philosophy, cult, Judaism, contemplative life, religion

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