Land of the Body
Studies in Philo's Representation of Egypt
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, No. 208

by Sarah J.K. Pearce
October 2007
Mohr Siebeck                                                             
Distributed by
ISBN: 9783161492501                  
379 pages, 6 3/8 x 9 1/4"
$195.00 Hardcover

This book presents the first extended study of the representation of Egypt in the writings of Philo of Alexandria. Philo is a crucial witness, not only to the experiences of the Jews of Alexandria, but to the world of early Roman Egypt in general.

As historians of Roman Alexandria and Egypt are well aware, we have access to very few voices from inside the country in this era; Philo is the best we have. As a commentator on Jewish Scripture, Philo is also one of the most valuable sources for the interpretation of Egypt in the Pentateuch. He not only writes very extensively on this subject, but he does so in ways that are remarkable for their originality when compared with the surviving literature of ancient Judaism.

In this book, Sarah Pearce tries to understand Philo in relation to the wider context in which he lived and worked. Key areas for investigation include: defining the 'Egyptian' in Philo's world; Philo's treatment of the Egypt of the Pentateuch as a symbol of 'the land of the body'; Philo's emphasis on Egyptian inhospitableness; and his treatment of Egyptian religion, focusing on Nile veneration and animal worship.

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