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Jewish Art in the Light of Jewish Tradition

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Chapter Summary

In Syro-Palestinian Judaism there were several varieties of Hellenistic integration. There were Jews who accepted Hellenistic thinking as a means of self-expression, and those who were prepared to abandon their own identity for the new and alien. These various nuances could be found in even greater number in Alexandria, the center of Hellenistic Judaism. Aristobulus and Philo, for example, were both concerned to express Jewish teaching and Jewish lifestyle as the highpoint of the creative power of God's Wisdom in this world. According to Philo, the Jew faithful to the Law follows the Law of Nature most consistently, the law according to which the Stoic also strives to live. The opposite extreme as well is seen in Philo's family: Josephus relates of Philo's nephew, Tiberius Julius Alexander, that he 'did not stand by the practices of his people'.

Keywords: Alexandria; Jewish lifestyle; Philo; Syro-Palestinian Judaism; Tiberius Julius Alexander

10.1163/9789004275157_008
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