Original Research - Special Collection: Holiness

Philo of Alexandria: Holiness as self-possession and selftranscendence

Paul B. Decock
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 4 | a3458 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i4.3458 | © 2016 Paul B. Decock | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 May 2016 | Published: 01 December 2016

About the author(s)

Paul B. Decock, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; St. Joseph’s Theological Institute, Cedara, South Africa


Philo’s writings can be seen as a crucial link between Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity, particularly in his way of drawing on Greek philosophy in reading the scriptures. Pierre Hadot has pointed out how Graeco-Roman philosophy was seen at that time as a practical subject aiming at the care of self in its twofold movement of interiorisation and exteriorisation. This article explores how Philo draws on these aspects of philosophy to articulate his Jewish understanding of the journey towards perfection or holiness.


Philo of Alexandria; Holiness


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