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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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Allegory and Asceticism

Allegory and Asceticism

(p.126) 6 Allegory and Asceticism
Jewish Women Philosophers of First-Century Alexandria

Joan E. Taylor (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Judaism is conceptualized by Philo and by many others as the philosophia of God, communicated to Moses who functions as the teacher of Israel. There are only a few in Israel who are truly the students of Moses. For Philo, these are most particularly those who adopt an allegorical type of exegesis. The use of allegorical interpretation is linked with inspiration and to degrees of asceticism. The members of the Mareotic group are included in the category of the students of Moses, since they adopt the allegorical exegesis of Philo himself, a type of exegesis that can be traced back to Aristobulus in the second century BCE. They are also extremely ascetic, but their interpretations may not all have been approved of by Philo. Philo was not alone in his enterprises in Alexandria, for Philo's writing indicates that there were other intellectual Jews like himself who looked beyond the literal meaning of scripture to a spiritual or hidden meaning.

Keywords:   Philo, asceticism, allegorical interpretation, Judaism, Alexandria, scripture, Moses, exegesis, Mareotic group, Jews

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