2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Philo of Alexandria
Philo of Alexandria (20 BCE - 50 CE) is considered the most important representative of Hellenic Judaism. His writings are composed largely of scriptual essays, commentaries on particular versus or topics in the Scriptures, and general essays on traditional philosophical and religious topics. Philo was the first philosopher to make a distinction between knowing God's existence and knowing God's essence. This led him to become the founder of Negative Theology. Philo proposed that the only manner of conceptualizing God is to say that He is not, that is, to deny all qualities predicated to Him. He believed that man could be unified with God by means of a non-discursive process, and that God related to the world through the Logos. Philo believed in a hierarchy of beings that anticipates Gnostic and Neoplatonic doctrines. In 40 CE, Philo was sent to appear before Emperor Caligula to seek retribution for the wrongs inflicted on the Jews by the Gentile population. His main works include Concerning the Artisan of the World, That God is an Immutable Being, On the Contemplative Life, and On the Eternity of the World.
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