Philo on Jewish Identity & Culture

By Maren Niehoff
July 2001
J. C. B. Mohr
ISBN: 3-16-147611-5
320 pages
$177.50 hardcover

This book is the first systematic enquiry into the ways Philo saw himself as a Jew and perceived of Jewish culture in the multiethnic environment of first century Alexandria. Applying the theories of ethnicity and culture developed by Federick Barth and Clifford Geertz, the book gives emphasis to the nature and dynamics of social constructs which shaped Philo's discourse and religion.

Furthermore, Rome is for the first time taken into account as a political, cultural, and religious factor which exercised an all-encompassing influence. Philo's writings are thus interpreted with a view to the question how he negotiated not two, but three main traditions, namely the Jewish, the Roman, and the Greek, and how his positions integrated him into the contemporary Roman discourse.

Judaism; Religious History
Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism, No. 86

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