Activity: Talk or presentation types › Public talk, debate, discussion
Limmud is a progressive Jewish study day, though it was attended by Jews of all denominations from around the southwest and elsewhere in the UK. The talk was an introduction to historical contexts for Philo of Alexandria and a selective introduction to some themes in his philosophy. The latter began with some comments about the common (Chassidic and orthodox) Jewish conceptual dichotomy between "Hellenic" and "Jewish," which I explained we must set aside -- as Philo illustrates. I then aimed to show how he combined erudite and creative handling of Platonism and Stoicism with commentary on the Tanakh in order to sketch an ethics of "following God." I concluded with some reflections on the virtue of "faith" in Philo, which I compared with the "messianicity" of the modern Jewish philosopher Jacques Derrida. We then had time for some lively discussion.