God's Acting, Man's Acting: Tradition and Philosophy in Philo of Alexandria by Francesca Calabi
The topic tackled in this book is Philo’s account of the complex, double-sided nature of God’s acting – the two-sided coin of God as transcendent yet immanent, unknowable yet revealed, immobile yet creating – and also the two sides of acting in humans – who, in an attempt to imitate God, both contemplate and produce. In both contexts, divine and human, Philo considers that it would not be proper to give precedence to either side – the result would be barren. God’s acting and man’s acting are at the same time both speculative and practical, and it is precisely out of this co-presence that the order of the world unfolds. Philo considers this two-sided condition as a source of complexity and fertility. Francesca Calabi argues that, far from being an irresolvable contradiction, Philo’s two-fold vision is the key to understanding his works. It constitutes a richness that rejects reduction to apparently incompatible forms and aspects.
Francesca Calabi is Associate Professor of Philosophy in Late Antiquity at the University of Pavia. She works on Philo and on Aristotle, and collaborates in a new commentary of Plato's Republic. She has also edited the Italian translation of Philo's Decalogue, Josephus' Against Apion, and of the Letter of Aristeas.