Vol 5, No 3 (2009) Philosophia Ancilla Theologiae: Allegory and Ascension in Philo’s on Mating with the Preliminary Studies (De Congressu Quaerendae Eruditionis Gratia)

PHILOSOPHIA ANCILLA THEOLOGIAE: ALLEGORY AND ASCENSION IN PHILO’S ON MATING WITH THE PRELIMINARY STUDIES (DE CONGRESSU QUAERENDAE ERUDITIONIS GRATIA)

Hent De Vries

ABSTRACT

Translated by Jack Ben-Levi. This essay takes Philo of Alexandria’s allegorical reading in ‘De congressu quaerendae eruditionis gratia’ of Genesis 16: 1–6, which recounts Abraham’s temporary relationship with Hagar, as anticipation of the philosophia ancilla theologiae motif that has informed much of Western Christian and philosophical thought. In so doing, it explores the ways in which Philo’s view in ‘On Mating with the Preliminary Studies’ gives new meaning to the ancient Greek curriculum of the enkyklios paideia that would remain decisive for the idea of the artes liberales and the humaniora, from early modernity up until Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics.

KEYWORDS

Philo; education

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