RAYMOND POINCARE & WORLD WAR I

November 27, 2006 at 1:40 pm | Posted in Globalization, History, Literary, Military, Research | Leave a comment

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Primary Documents:

President Poincare’s War Address, 4 August 1914

With Germany’s decision to declare war with France on 3 August 1914 the
French government found itself swept along (and somewhat surprised) by a tide of popular
enthusiasm, a jubilant mood evident throughout the European continent. Thus on the
following day, 4 August 1914 – the date Britain joined France and Russia in the war
against Germany – the French President Raymond Poincare
wrote the following speech (his first war address) which was read to the French parliament
by the Minister of Justice. The text of his speech is reproduced below.


Gentlemen:

France has just been the object of a violent and premeditated attack,
which is an insolent defiance of the law of nations. Before any declaration of war had
been sent to us, even before the German Ambassador had asked for his passports, our
territory has been violated. The German Empire has waited till yesterday evening to give
at this late stage the true name to a state of things which it had already created.

For more than forty years the French, in sincere love of peace, have
buried at the bottom of their heart the desire for legitimate reparation.

They have given to the world the example of a great nation which,
definitely raised from defeat by the exercise of will, patience, and labour, has only used
its renewed and rejuvenated strength in the interest of progress and for the good of
humanity.

Since the ultimatum of Austria opened a crisis which threatened the
whole of Europe, France has persisted in following and in recommending on all sides a
policy of prudence, wisdom, and moderation.

To her there can be imputed no act, no movement, no word, which has not
been peaceful and conciliatory.

At the hour when the struggle is beginning, she has the right, in
justice to herself, of solemnly declaring that she has made, up to the last moment,
supreme efforts to avert the war now about to break out, the crushing responsibility for
which the German Empire will have to bear before history. Our fine and courageous army,
which France today accompanies with her maternal thought has risen eager to defend the
honour of the flag and the soil of the country.

The President of the Republic interpreting the unanimous feeling of the
country, expresses to our troops by land and sea the admiration and confidence of every
Frenchman.

Closely united in a common feeling, the nation will persevere with the
cool self-restraint of which, since the beginning of the crisis, she has given daily
proof. Now, as always, she will know how to harmonise the most noble daring and most
ardent enthusiasm with that self-control which is the sign of enduring energy and is the
best guarantee of victory.

In the war which is beginning, France will have Right on her side, the
eternal power of which cannot with impunity be disregarded by nations any more than by
individuals.

She will be heroically defended by all her sons; nothing will break
their sacred union before the enemy; today they are joined together as brothers in a
common indignation against the aggressor, and in a common patriotic faith.

She is faithfully helped by Russia, her ally; she is supported by the
loyal friendship of Great Britain.

And already from every part of the civilised world sympathy and good
wishes are coming to her. For today once again she stands before the universe for Liberty,
Justice, and Reason.

‘Haut les coeurs et vive la France!’

Who’s Who: Raymond Poincare
Updated – Saturday, 11 August, 2001

Raymond Poincare (1860-1934) was born on 20 August 1860 at Bar-le-duc
in Lorraine, the son of an engineer.

Poincare studied at the University of Paris, after which he became a
lawyer.

Elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1887, Poincare held various
cabinet posts between 1893 and 1906, including the ministries of education and finance,
entering the senate in 1903. At 33 he was the youngest person to hold a ministry in the
history of the republic.

Poincare became premier and foreign minister in January 1912 of a
coalition government and succeeded Armand Fallieres as president in January 1913,
defeating Georges Clemenceau.

A conservative and a nationalist, as president Poincare moved to
strengthen France’s armed forces for the eventuality
of war
. A bill increasing the duration of national service to three years was passed,
and alliances with Britain and Russia strengthened.

During the First World War Poincare called upon Georges Clemenceau to
form a government in 1917, despite his personal loathing of the man.

Following the armistice
Poincare called for harsh remedies against Germany, and for future guarantees of French
security. Partly frustrated in this, he consequently regarded the Versailles treaty as too lax in its treatment of
Germany.

Upon completion of his presidential term in January 1920 Poincare
returned to the senate, becoming leader of the coalition of conservative parties, the
‘bloc national’. This in turn brought him to the premiership in January 1922.

As premier Poincare followed up his harsh rhetoric against Germany,
sending troops to occupy the Ruhr in January 1923 to signify his anger at Germany’s
failure to pay the heavy reparations imposed at Versailles. Nevertheless he failed to
coerce Germany into making payments.

At the election of May 1924 the conservatives suffered defeat, causing
Poincare to resign; he was replaced as prime minister by Edouard Herriot. He returned to
the premiership in July 1926 in the midst of a financial crisis. He dealt with this by
initiating an extreme deflationary policy, balancing the budget and stabilising the Franc
at one fifth of its former value, in 1928.

Poincare retired from office in July 1929 citing ill-health.

Raymond Poincare died on 15 October 1934 in Paris.

Raymond Poincare’s Welcoming Address

18 January 1919

Gentlemen:

France greets and welcomes you and thanks you for having unanimously
chosen as the seat of your labours the city which, for over four years, the enemy has made
his principal military objective and which the valour of the Allied armies has
victoriously defended against unceasingly renewed offensives.

Allow me to see in your decision the homage of all the nations that you
represent towards a country which, still more than any others, has endured the sufferings
of war, of which entire provinces, transformed into vast battlefields, have been
systematically wasted by the invader, and which has paid the heaviest tribute to death.

France has borne these enormous sacrifices without having incurred the
slightest responsibility for the frightful cataclysm which has overwhelmed the universe,
and at the moment when this cycle of horror is ending, all the Powers whose delegates are
assembled here may acquit themselves of any share in the crime which has resulted in so
unprecedented a disaster.

What gives you authority to establish a peace of justice is the fact
that none of the peoples of whom you are the delegates has had any part in injustice.
Humanity can place confidence in you because you are not among those who have outraged the
rights of humanity.

There is no need of further information or for special inquiries into
the origin of the drama which has just shaken the world. The truth, bathed in blood, has
already escaped from the Imperial archives. The premeditated character of the trap is
today clearly proved.

In the hope of conquering, first, the hegemony of Europe and next the
mastery of the world, the Central Empires, bound together by a secret plot, found the most
abominable pretexts for trying to crush Serbia and force their way to the East. At the
same time they disowned the most solemn undertakings in order to crush Belgium and force
their way into the heart of France.

These are the two unforgettable outrages which opened the way to
aggression. The combined efforts of Great Britain, France, and Russia broke themselves
against that mad arrogance.

If, after long vicissitudes, those who wished to reign by the sword
have perished by the sword, they have but themselves to blame; they have been destroyed by
their own blindness. What could be more significant than the shameful bargains they
attempted to offer to Great Britain and France at the end of July 1914, when to Great
Britain they suggested: “Allow us to attack France on land and we will not
enter the Channel”; and
when they instructed their Ambassador to say to France: “We will only accept a
declaration of neutrality on your part if you surrender to us Briey, Toul, and
Verdun”?

It is in the light of these memories, gentlemen, that all the
conclusions you will have to draw from the war will take shape.

Your nations entered the war successively, but came, one and all, to
the help of threatened right. Like Germany, Great Britain and France had guaranteed the
independence of Belgium.

Germany sought to crush Belgium. Great Britain and France both swore to
save her. Thus, from the very beginning of hostilities, came into conflict the two ideas
which for fifty months were to struggle for the dominion of the world – the idea of
sovereign force, which accepts neither control nor check, and the idea of justice, which
depends on the sword only to prevent or repress the abuse of strength.

Faithfully supported by her Dominions and Colonies, Great Britain
decided that she could not remain aloof from a struggle in which the fate of every country
was involved. She has made, and her Dominions and Colonies have made with her, prodigious
efforts to prevent the war from ending in the triumph of the spirit of
conquest and the destruction
of right.

Japan, in her turn, only decided to take up arms out of loyalty to
Great Britain, her great Ally, and from the consciousness of the danger in which both Asia
and Europe would have stood, for the hegemony of which the Germanic Empires had dreamt.

Italy, who from the first had refused to lend a helping hand to German
ambition, rose against an age-long foe only to answer the call of oppressed populations
and to destroy at the cost of her blood the artificial political combination which took no
account of human liberty.

Rumania resolved to fight only to realize that national unity which was
opposed by the same powers of arbitrary force. Abandoned, betrayed, and strangled, she had
to submit to an abominable treaty, the revision of which you will exact.

Greece, whom the enemy for many months tried to turn from her
traditions and destinies, raised an army only to escape attempts at domination, of which
she felt the growing threat.

Portugal, China, and Siam abandoned neutrality only to escape the
strangling pressure of the Central Powers.

Thus it was the extent of German ambitions that brought so many
peoples, great and small, to form a league against the same adversary.

And what shall I say of the solemn resolution taken by the United
States in the spring of 1917 under the auspices of their illustrious President, Mr.
Wilson, whom I am happy to greet here in the name of grateful France, and, if you will
allow me to say so, gentlemen, in the name of all the nations represented in this room?

What shall I say of the many other American Powers which either
declared themselves against Germany – Brazil, Cuba, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti,
Honduras – or at least broke off diplomatic relations – Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador,
Uruguay?

From north to south the New World rose with indignation when it saw the
empires of Central Europe, after having let loose the war without provocation and without
excuse, carry it on with fire, pillage, and massacre of inoffensive beings.

The intervention of the United States was something more, something
greater, than a great political and military event: it was a supreme judgment passed at
the bar of history by the lofty conscience of a free people and their Chief Magistrate on
the enormous responsibilities incurred in the frightful conflict which was lacerating
humanity.

It was not only to protect themselves from the audacious aims of German
megalomania that the United States equipped fleets and created immense armies,
but also, and above all, to
defend an ideal of liberty over which they saw the huge shadow of the Imperial Eagle
encroaching farther every day.

America, the daughter of Europe, crossed the ocean to wrest her mother
from the humiliation of thraldom and to save civilization. The American people wished to
put an end to the greatest scandal that has ever sullied the annals of mankind.

Autocratic governments, having prepared in the secrecy of the Chancelleries and the General Staff a map programme of universal domination, at the time fixed by their genius for intrigue let loose their packs and sounded the horns for the chase, ordering science at the very time when it was beginning to abolish distances, bring men closer, and make life sweeter, to leave the bright sky towards which it was soaring and to place itself submissively at the service of violence, lowering the religious idea to the extent of making God the complacent auxiliary of their passions and the accomplice of their crimes; in short, counting as naught the traditions and wills of peoples, the lives of citizens, the honour of women, and all those principles of public and private morality which we for our part have endeavoured to keep unaltered through the war and which neither nations nor individuals can repudiate or disregard with impunity.

While the conflict was gradually extending over the entire surface of the earth the clanking of chains was heard here and there, and captive nationalities from the depths of their age-long jails cried out to us for help.

Yet more, they escaped to come to our aid. Poland came to life again and sent us troops. The Czecho-Slovaks won their right to independence in Siberia, in France, and in Italy. The Jugo-Slays, the Armenians, the Syrians and Lebanese, the Arabs, all the oppressed peoples, all the victims, long helpless or resigned, of great historic deeds of injustice, all the martyrs of the past, all the outraged consciences, all the strangled liberties revived at the clash of our arms, and turned towards us, as their natural defenders.

Thus the war gradually attained the fullness of its first significance, and became, in the fullest sense of the term, a crusade of humanity for Right; and if anything can console us in part at least, for the losses we have suffered, it is assuredly the thought that our victory is also the victory of Right.

This victory is complete, for the enemy only asked for the armistice to escape from an irretrievable military disaster. In the interest of justice and peace it now rests with you to reap from this victory its full fruits in order to carry out this immense task. You have decided to admit, at first, only the Allied or associated Powers, and, in so far as their interests are involved in the debates, the nations which remained neutral.

You have thought that the terms of peace ought to be settled among ourselves before they are communicated to those against whom we have together fought the good fight. The solidarity which has united us during the war and has enabled us to win military success ought to remain unimpaired during the negotiations for, and after the signing of, the Treaty.

It is not only governments, but free peoples, who are represented here.
Through the test of danger they have learned to know and help one another. They want their
intimacy of yesterday to assure the peace of tomorrow. V ainly would our enemies seek to
divide us. If they have not yet renounced their customary manoeuvres, they will soon find
that they are meeting today, as during the hostilities, a homogeneous block which nothing
will be able to disintegrate.

Even before the armistice you placed that necessary unity under the
standard of the lofty moral and political truths of which President Wilson has nobly made
himself the interpreter.

And in the light of those truths you intend to accomplish your mission.
You will, therefore, seek nothing but justice, “justice that has no favourites,”
justice in territorial problems, justice in financial problems, justice in economic
problems.

But justice is not inert, it does not submit to injustice. What it
demands first, when it has been violated, are restitution and reparation for the peoples
and individuals who have been despoiled or maltreated. In formulating this lawful claim,
it obeys neither hatred nor an instinctive or thoughtless desire for reprisals. It pursues
a twofold object – to render to each his due, and not to encourage crime through leaving
it unpunished.

What justice also demands, inspired by the same feeling, is the
punishment of the guilty and effective guaranties against an active return of the spirit
by which they
were
tempted; and it is logical to demand that these guaranties should be given, above all, to
the nations that have been, and might again be most exposed to aggressions or threats, to
those who have many times stood in danger of being submerged by the periodic tide of the
same invasions.

What justice banishes is the dream of conquest and imperialism,
contempt for national will, the arbitrary exchange of provinces between states as though
peoples were but articles of furniture or pawns in a game.

The time is no more when diplomatists could meet to redraw with
authority the map of the empires on the corner of a table. If you are to remake the map of
the world it is in the name of the peoples, and on condition that you shall faithfully
interpret their thoughts, and respect the right of nations, small and great, to dispose of
themselves, and to reconcile it with the right, equally sacred, of ethnical and religious
minorities – a formidable task, which science and history, your two advisers, will
contribute to illumine and facilitate.

You will naturally strive to secure the material and moral means of
subsistence for all those peoples who are constituted or reconstituted into states; for
those who wish to unite themselves to their neighbours; for those who divide themselves
into separate units; for those who reorganize themselves according to their regained traditions; and, lastly, for all those whose freedom you have already sanctioned or are about to sanction.

You will not call them into existence only to sentence them to death
immediately. You would like your work in this, as in all other matters, to be fruitful and lasting.

While thus introducing into the world as much harmony as possible, you will, in conformity with the fourteenth of the propositions unanimously adopted by the Great Allied Powers, establish a general League of Nations, which will be a supreme guarantee against any fresh assaults upon the right of peoples.

You do not intend this International Association to be directed against anybody in future. It will not of set purpose shut out anybody, but, having been organized by the nations that have sacrificed themselves in defence of Right, it will receive from them its statutes and fundamental rules. It will lay down conditions to which its present or future adherents will submit, and, as it is to have for its essential aim to prevent, as far as. possible, the renewal of wars, it will, above all, seek to gain respect for the peace which you will have established, and will find it the less difficult to maintain in proportion as this peace will in itself imply greater realities of justice and safer guaranties of stability.

By establishing this new order of things you will meet the aspiration of humanity, which, after the frightful convulsions of these bloodstained years, ardently wishes to feel itself protected by a union of free peoples against the ever-possible revivals of primitive savagely.

An immortal glory will attach to the names of the nations and the men who have desired to co-operate in this grand work in faith and brotherhood, and who have taken pains to eliminate from the future peace causes of disturbance and instability.

This very day forty-eight years ago, on January 18, 1871, the German Empire was proclaimed by an army of invasion in the Chateau at Versailles. It was consecrated by the theft of two French provinces; it was thus vitiated from its origin and by the fault of the founders; born in injustice, it has ended in opprobrium.

You are assembled in order to repair the evil that it has done and to prevent a recurrence of it. You hold in your hands the future of the world. I leave you, gentlemen, to your grave deliberations, and I declare the Conference of Paris open.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VII, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

Primary Documents:

Raymond Poincare’s

Welcoming Address at the Paris Peace Conference

18 January 1919

With Germany’s decision to seek an armistice – or face domestic as well as military collapse – arrangements were set in place to convene a peace conference in Paris; the city was unanimously selected by the Allied powers.

The conference began somewhat belatedly in mid-January with opening addresses from many of the key Allies.

Reproduced below is the welcoming address given to delegates by French President Raymond Poincare.

Click here to read the opening address by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson; click here to read British Prime Minister David Lloyd George’s address; click here to read Italian Prime Minister Sidney Sonnino’s address; click here to read French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau’s address.

Click
here
to read an account of the run up to the opening session by the official British observer
Sisley Huddleston. (see Sisley Huddleston CFG blog post elsewhere in this blog)

Click here to read the German delegation’s
protest against the final Allied peace terms. Click
here
to read the Allied response. Click
here
to read a Dutch newspaper editorial condemning the Allied terms. Click here to read a journalist’s account of the
signing ceremony.

Click
here
to read the text of the eventual peace treaty.

Comment: President Poincare is mentioned in the movie, “Joyeux Noel, set in December 1914.

MAIMONIDES: YEMEN EPISTLE

November 27, 2006 at 12:11 pm | Posted in Arabs, Globalization, History, Islam, Israel, Latin America, Middle East | Leave a comment

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The Yemen Epistle

IGGERET TEMAN

Maimonides

The Yemen Epistle arose because of religious persecution and heresy in 12th Century Yemen. The average Jewish population of Yemen for many centuries was very small. The Jews were scattered throughout the country, but they were successful in business and acquired books about the history of their faith.

The faith strengthened. There was a revolt against Saladin as sultan in the last quarter of the twelfth century, and extremist Shiite Muslims began to persecute the Jewish faith in the Yemen at this time. There were few scholars among the Yemeni Jews at that time: a putative prophet arose; he preached a syncretistic religion that combined Judaism and Islam, and claimed that the Bible had foretold his coming.

The persecution and increasing apostasy led one of Yemen’s most respected Jewish scholars, Jacob ben Nathanael al-Fayyumi, to write for counsel to Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, better known as Maimonides.

Maimonides replied in an epistle written in Arabic that was later translated into Hebrew and entitled Iggeret Teman (The Yemen Epistle). This letter made a tremendous impression on Yemenite Jewry, and effectively stopped the new religious movement. It also served as a source of strength, consolation and support for the faith in the continuing persecution.

Maimonides interceded with Saladin in Egypt, and shortly thereafter the persecution came to an end.

Wikisource has original text related to this article: Epistle to Yemen

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Yemen_Epistle

BNP PARIBAS: BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES

November 27, 2006 at 11:49 am | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research | Leave a comment

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BNP Paribas arranges $247.5m of natural catastrophe protection

http://www.invest.bnpparibas.com

BNP Paribas website: http://www.bnpparibas.com

About BNP Paribas:

Registered office 16 Boulevard des Italiens,
75009 Paris

BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) is a
European leader in banking and

financial services, and ranks among the world’s top 15 banks by
market

capitalization and total assets. It has more than 140 000
employees, 110

000 of whom are based in Europe. The group occupies leading
positions in

three significant fields of activity: Corporate and Investment
Banking,

Asset Management & Services and Retail Banking. It is present
in 85

countries and has a strong presence in all the key financial
centres.

Present throughout Europe, in all its business lines, France and
Italy are

its two domestic markets in retail banking. BNP Paribas enjoys a

significant and growing presence in the United States and leading
positions

in Asia and in emerging markets.

London – BNP Paribas, as co-manager, has arranged $247.5m of
catastrophe

bonds for Foundation Re II Ltd., a Cayman Island exempted company.

Foundation Re II Ltd issued the bonds to finance a new, multi-year

reinsurance cover for Hartford Fire Insurance Company (HFIC), a subsidiary

of HFSG. HFSG is one of the United States’ largest financial services and

insurance companies. RMS Inc. modelled the
natural catastrophe risk.

The bonds were issued in two Classes. Class A will generate up to $180m in

the event of severe United States hurricanes during the period to 17th

November, 2010. Class G will generate up to $67.5m in the annual aggregate

for hurricanes, earthquakes and tornado/hailstorms in the United States

during the two calendar years to 31st December, 2008. The bonds were rated

BB+ (Class A) and B (Class G) by Standard & Poor’s.

The performance of the bonds is dependent on the impact of Property Claim

Services’ (PCS) Insured Industry Property Loss Estimates on a customised

index.

BNP Paribas was also the Total Return Swap provider for Foundation Re II

Ltd. in connection with the collateral assets. Goldman Sachs was the lead

manager and sole bookrunner.

Mark Azzopardi, Head of Insurance & Pensions within Fixed Income at BNP

Paribas said: “This is the third successful series of catastrophe bond

transactions which we have closed for Foundation Re companies in the last

two years, taking the total capacity in force to $600m. This series of

transactions demonstrates how significant, long-term, fixed-price capacity

can be sourced effectively from the capital markets.”

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) is a
European leader in banking and

financial services, and ranks among the world’s top 15 banks by
market

capitalization and total assets. It has more than 140 000
employees, 110

000 of whom are based in Europe. The group occupies leading
positions in

three significant fields of activity: Corporate and Investment
Banking,

Asset Management & Services and Retail Banking. It is present
in 85

countries and has a strong presence in all the key financial
centres.

Present throughout Europe, in all its business lines, France and
Italy are

its two domestic markets in retail banking. BNP Paribas enjoys a

significant and growing presence in the United States and leading
positions

in Asia and in emerging markets.

“This publication appears as a matter of record only and is not a financial

promotion as defined by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000

(Financial Promotion) Order 2005.

BNP Paribas (2007).  BNP Paribas London Branch, 10

Harewood Avenue, London NW1 6AA tel: (44 20) 7595 2000 fax: (44 20) 7595

2555 www.bnpparibas.com. BNP Paribas is incorporated in France
with limited

liability. Registered office 16 Boulevard des Italiens, 75009
Paris
. BNP

Paribas is regulated by the FSA for the conduct of its designated

investment business in the UK and is a member of the London Stock Exchange.

BNP Paribas London Branch is registered in England and Wales under no.

FC13447. Registered office at the above address.”

——————————————————————————-

For further information, we invite you to go to :

– the BNP Paribas website : http://www.bnpparibas.com

– or directly to the BNP Paribas IR website :

http://www.invest.bnpparibas.com

BNP Paribas arranges $247.5m of natural catastrophe protection

mailing-list@bnpparibas.com

Monday, November 27, 2006

 

ASIAN INVESTOR

November 27, 2006 at 10:58 am | Posted in Asia, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research | Leave a comment

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AsianInvestor

AsianInvestor

Asian Investor Newsletter: Monday, November 27
2006

AsianInvestor
Magazine
Current Issue

Visit the
homepage

SUBSCRIPTIONS
(Magazine and online archives)
Stephen Tang
stephen.tang@asianinvestor.net
Tel: (852) 2122 5239

EDITORIAL
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Jame.Dibiasio@asianinvestor.net
Tel: (852) 2122 5237

ADVERTISING
Randhir Prakash
Randhir.Prakash@asianinvestor.net
Tel: (852) 2122 5228

TOP STORIES:

People
Moves
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names regional managing director

Hale to the chief: Korea manager Evan Hale appointed John Ford’s successor in Hong
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Its onshore fund management team will manage a product giving foreign investors access to
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Shanghai data provider and California think tank link up to ease investment decision
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Jack Lin will drive institutional business development for Asia ex-Japan.
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The new Singapore property arm of Prudential appoints a CEO and six other senior
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Lotus India AMC, a joint venture between Fullerton Fund Management and Sabre Capital,
appoints Tridib Pathak as chief investment officer.
Fund
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Fixed-income director Alan Wilde believes the unwinding of the interest rate bet could
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VinaCapital raises over $300 million in London.
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The new MGPA offering takes a reduced risk profile and an exclusively Japanese flavour.
Securities
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Citi
and Northern Trust score big China mandate

China’s National Council for Social Security Fund selects custodians for its impending
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Banks selling Fidelity’s equity funds clean up.

Asian Investor Newsletter: Monday, November 27 2006

"AsianInvestor" editors@financeasia.com

AsianInvestor editors@newsletter.financeasia.com

Monday, November 27, 2006

SAMIR AMIN: DELINKING

November 27, 2006 at 4:51 am | Posted in Books, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Philosophy, Research | Leave a comment

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Samir Amin

Samir Amin (b. 3 September 1931) is an Egyptian political author. He currently lives in Dakar, Senegal.

Amin was born in Cairo, the son of an Egyptian father and a
French mother (both medical doctors). He spent his childhood and youth in Port Said; there he attended a French High School, leaving in
1947 with a Baccalauréat. From 1947 to 1957 he studied in Paris, gaining a diploma in political science (1952) before graduating in statistics (1956) and economics (1957). In his autobiography Itinéraire intellectuel (1990) he wrote that in order to spend substantial time in “militant action” he could devote only a minimum of work
preparing for university exams.

Arriving in Paris, Amin joined the French Communist Party (PCF), but he later distanced himself from Soviet Marxism and associated for some time with Maoist circles, and even influenced future leaders of the Khmer Rouge for some years. He also published with other students a magazine, Étudiants Anticolonialistes.
In 1957 he presented his thesis, supervised by François Perroux among others, originally titled The origins of underdevelopment – capitalist accumulation on a world scale but retitled The structural effects of the international integration of precapitalist economies. A theoretical study of the mechanism which creates so-called underdeveloped economies.

After finishing his thesis, Amin went back to Cairo, where he was from 1957 to 1960 manager of Études de l’Organisme de Développement Économique. Subsequently Amin left Cairo, to become advisor in the Ministry of Planning in Bamako (Mali) from 1960 to 1963. In 1963 he was offered a fellowship at the Institut Africain de Développement Économique et de Planification (IDEP). Until 1970 he worked there as well as being a professor at the university of Poitiers, Dakar and Paris (of Paris VIII, Vincennes). In 1970 he became a chief of the IDEP, which he managed until 1980. In 1980 Amin left the IDEP and became a director of the Third World Forum in Dakar.

He has written more than 30 books including Imperialism & Unequal Development, Specters of Capitalism: A Critique of Current Intellectual Fashions, Obsolescent Capitalism: Contemporary Politics and Global Disorder and The Liberal Virus.
His memoirs are to be published in October of 2006.

Main books by Samir Amin

  • (1957): Les effets structurels de l’intégration internationale des économies
    précapitalistes. Une étude théorique du mécanisme qui a engendré les éonomies dites
    sous-développées (thesis)
  • (1964): L’Egypte nassérienne
  • (1965): Trois expériences africaines de développement: le Mali, la Guinée et le Ghana
  • (1966): L’économie du Maghreb, 2 vols.
  • (1967): Le développement du capitalisme en Côte d’Ivoire
  • (1969): Le monde des affaires sénégalais
  • (1969): The Class struggle in Africa
  • (1970): Le Maghreb moderne (translation: The Magrheb in the Modern World)
  • (1970): L’accumulation à l’échelle mondiale (translation: Accumulation on a world scale)
  • (1970, with C. Coquery-Vidrovitch): Histoire économique du Congo 1880-1968
  • (1971): L’Afrique de l’Ouest bloquée
  • (1973): Le développement inégal (translation: Unequal development)
  • (1973): L’échange inégal et la loi de la valeur
  • (1973) Neocolonialism in West Africa
  • (1974, with K. Vergopoulos): La question paysanne et le capitalisme
  • (1975, with A. Faire, M. Hussein and G. Massiah): La crise de l‘impérialisme
  • (1976): L’impérialisme et le développement inégal (translation: Imperialism and unequal development)
  • (1976): La nation arabe (translation: The Arab Nation)
  • (1977): La loi de la valeur et le matérialisme historique (translation: The law of value and historical materialism)
  • (1979): Classe et nation dans l’histoire et la crise contemporaine (translation:
    Class and nation, historically and in the current crisis)
  • (1980): L’économie arabe contemporaine (translation: The Arab economy today)
  • (1981): L’avenir du Maoïsme (translation: The Future of Maoism)
  • (1982, with G. Arrighi, A. G. Frank und I. Wallerstein): La crise, quelle crise?
    (translation: Crisis, what crisis?)
  • (1982): Irak et Syrie 1960 – 1980
  • (1984): Transforming the world-economy? : nine critical essays on the new international economic order.
  • (1985): La déconnexion (translation: Delinking: towards a polycentric world)
  • (1988): L’eurocentrisme (translation: Eurocentrism)
  • (1988, with F. Yachir): La Méditerranée dans le système mondial
  • (1988): Impérialisme et sous-développement en Afrique (expanded edition of 1976)
  • (1989): La faillite du développement en Afrique et dans le tiers monde]
  • (1990) Transforming the revolution: social movements and the world system
  • (1990): Itinéraire intellectual; regards sur le demi-siecle 1945-90 (translation:
    Re-reading the post-war period: an Intellectual Itinerary)
  • (1991, with G. Arrighi, A. G. Frank et I. Wallerstein): Le grand tumulte
  • (1991): L’Empire du chaos (translation: Empire of chaos)
  • (1991): Les enjeux stratégiques en Méditerranée
  • (1994): L’Ethnie à l’assaut des nations
  • (1995): La gestion capitaliste de la crise
  • (1996): Les défis de la mondialisation
  • (1997): Critique de l’air du temps
  • (1999): Spectres of capitalism: a critique of current intellectual fashions
  • (2000): L’hégémonisme des États-Unis et l’effacement du projet européen
  • (2002): Mondialisation, comprehendre pour agir
  • (2003): Obsolescent Capitalism
  • (2004): The Liberal Virus: Permanent War and the Americanization of the World
  • (2005 with Ali El Kenz) Europe and the Arab world; patterns and prospects for the new relationship
  • (2006) Beyond US Hegemony: Assessing the Prospects for a Multipolar World

Some writings by Samir Amin available on-line

The American Ideology [1]

Third World Forum: An interview with Samir Amin [2]

Imperialism and Globalization [3]

Empire of chaos challenged: an interview with Samir Amin [4]

Maldevelopment: Anatomy of a global failure [5]

U.S. Imperialism, Europe, and the Middle East [6]

India, a Great Power? [7]

Imperialism and Globalization [8]

World Poverty, Pauperization & Capital Accumulation [9]

U.S. Hegemony and the Response to Terror [10]

Empire and Multitude [11]

A Note on the Death of André Gunder Frank (1929-2005) [12]

The Political Economy of the Twentieth Century [13]

Africa: living on the fringe [14]

The lesson of Kampuchea [15]

Writings about Samir Amin

  • Aidan Forster-Carter: The Empirical Samir Amin, in S. Amin: The Arab Economy Today,
    London 1982, pp. 1 – 40
  • Duru Tobi: On Amin’s Concepts – autocentric/ blocked development in Historical
    Perspectives, in: Economic Papers (Warsaw), Nr. 15, 1987, pp. 143 – 163
  • Fouhad Nohra: Théories du capitalisme mondial. Paris 1997
  • Gerald M. Meier, Dudley Seers (eds.): Pioneers in Development. Oxford 1984

External links

Samir Amin

PHILO OF ALEXANDRIA

November 27, 2006 at 2:43 am | Posted in Books, History, Israel, Judaica, Philosophy, Research | Leave a comment

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PHILO OF ALEXANDRIA

(20 B.C.E.-50 C.E.)

Philo of Alexandria, a Hellenized Jew, is a figure that spans two cultures, the Greek and the Hebrew. When Hebrew mythical thought met Greek philosophical thought in the first century B.C.E. it was only natural that someone would try to develop speculative and philosophical justification for Judaism in terms of Greek philosophy. Thus Philo produced a synthesis of both traditions developing concepts for future Hellenistic interpretation of messianic Hebrew thought, especially by Clement of Alexandria, Christian Apologists like Athenagoras, Theophilus, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and by Origen. He may have influenced Paul, his contemporary, and perhaps the authors of the Gospel of John (C. H. Dodd) and the Epistle to the Hebrews (R. Williamson and H. W. Attridge). In the process, he laid the foundations for the development of Christianity in the West and in the East, as we know it today. Philo’s primary importance is in the development of the philosophical and theological foundations of Christianity. The church preserved the Philonic writings because Eusebius of Caesarea labeled the monastic ascetic group of Therapeutae and Therapeutrides, described in Philo’s The Contemplative Life, as Christians, which is highly unlikely. Eusebius also promoted the legend that Philo met Peter in Rome. Jerome (345-420 C.E.) even lists him as a church Father. Jewish tradition was uninterested in philosophical speculation and did not preserve Philo’s thought. According to H. A. Wolfson, Philo was a founder of religious philosophy, a new habit of practicing philosophy. Philo was thoroughly educated in Greek philosophy and culture as can be seen from his superb knowledge of classical Greek literature. He had a deep reverence for Plato and referred to him as “the most holy Plato” (Prob. 13). Philo’s philosophy represented contemporary Platonism which was its revised version incorporating Stoic doctrine and terminology via Antiochus of Ascalon (ca 90 B.C.E.) and Eudorus of Alexandria, as well as elements of Aristotelian logic and ethics and Pythagorean ideas. Clement of Alexandria even called Philo “the Pythagorean.” But it seems that Philo also picked up his ancestral tradition, though as an adult, and once having discovered it, he put forward the teachings of the Jewish prophet, Moses, as “the summit of philosophy” (Op. 8), and considered Moses the teacher of Pythagoras (b. ca 570 B.C.E.) and of all Greek philosophers and lawgivers (Hesiod, Heraclitus, Lycurgus, to mention a few). For Philo, Greek philosophy was a natural development of the revelatory teachings of Moses. He was no innovator in this matter because already before him Jewish scholars attempted the same. Artapanus in the second century B.C.E identified Moses with Musaeus and with Orpheus. According to Aristobulus of Paneas (first half of the second century B.C.E.), Homer and Hesiod drew from the books of Moses which were translated into Greek long before the Septuagint.

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Table of Contents (Clicking on the links below will take you to those parts of this article)

1. Life

2. Philo’s Works and Their Classification

3. Technique of Exposition

4. Emphasis on Contemplative Life and Philosophy

5. Philosophy and Wisdom: a Path to Ethical Life

6. Philo’s Ethical Doctrine

7. Philo’s Mysticism and Transcendence of God

8. Source of Intuition of the Infinite Reality

9. Philo’s Doctrine of Creation

a. Philo’s Model of Creation

b. Eternal Creation

10. Doctrine of Miracles: Naturalism and Comprehension

11. Doctrine of the Logos in Philo’s Writings

a. The Utterance of God

b. The Divine Mind

c. God’s Transcendent Power

d. First-born Son of God

e. Universal Bond: in the Physical World and in the Human Soul

f. Immanent Reason

g. Immanent Mediator of the Physical Universe

h. The Angel of the Lord, Revealer of God

i. Multi-Named Archetype

j. Soul-Nourishing Manna and Wisdom

k. Intermediary Power

l. God”

m. Summary of Philo’s Concept of the Logos

12. List of abbreviations to Philo’s works

13. Editions of Philo’s works and their translations

14. Major Works on Philo

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1. Life

Very little is known about the life of Philo. He lived in Alexandria, which at that
time counted, according to some estimates, about one million people and included largest
Jewish community outside of Palestine. He came from a wealthy and the prominent family and
appears to be a leader in his community. Once he visited Jerusalem and the temple, as he
himself stated in Prov. 2.64. Philo’s brother, Alexander, was a wealthy, prominent Roman
government official, a custom agent responsible for collecting dues on all goods imported
into Egypt from the East. He donated money to plate the gates of the temple in Jerusalem
with gold and silver. He also made a loan to Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great.
Alexander’s two sons, Marcus and Tiberius Julius Alexander were involved in Roman affairs.
Marcus married Bernice, the daughter of Herod Agrippa I, who is mentioned in Acts (25:13,
23; 26:30). The other son, Tiberius Julius Alexander, described by Josephus as “not
remaining true to his ancestral practices” became procurator of the province of Judea
(46-48 C.E.) and prefect of Egypt (66-70 C.E.). Philo was involved in the affairs of his
community which interrupted his contemplative life (Spec. leg. 3.1-6), especially during
the crisis relating to the pogrom which was initiated in 38 C.E. by the prefect Flaccus,
during the reign of emperor Gaius Caligula. He was elected to head the Jewish delegation,
which apparently included his brother Alexander and nephew Tiberius Julius Alexander, and
was sent to Rome in 39-40 B.C.E. to see the emperor. He reported the events in his
writings Against Flaccus and The Embassy to Gaius.

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2. Philo’s Works and Their Classification

The major part of Philo’s writings consists of philosophical essays dealing with the
main themes of biblical thought that present a systematic and precise exposition of his
views. One has the impression that he attempted to show that the philosophical Platonic or
Stoic ideas were nothing but the deductions made from the biblical verses of Moses. Philo
was not an original thinker, but he was well acquainted with the entire range of Greek
philosophical traditions through the original texts. If there are gaps in his knowledge,
they are rather in his Jewish tradition as evidenced by his relying on the Greek
translation of the Hebrew Bible. In his attempt to reconcile the Greek way of thinking
with his Hebrew tradition he had antecedents such as Pseudo-Aristeas and Aristobulus.

Philo’s works are divided into three categories:

1. The first group comprises writings that paraphrase the biblical texts of Moses: On
Abraham, On the Decalogue, On Joseph, The Life of Moses, On the Creation of the World, On
Rewards and Punishments, On the Special Laws, On the Virtues. A series of works include
allegorical explanations of Genesis 2-41: On Husbandry, On the Cherubim, On the Confusion
of Tongues, On the Preliminary Studies, The Worse Attacks the Better, On Drunkenness, On
Flight and Finding, On the Giants, Allegorical Interpretation (Allegory of the Law), On
the Migration of Abraham, On the Change of Names, On Noah’s Work as a Planter, On the
Posterity and Exile of Cain, Who is the Heir, On the Unchangeableness of God, On the
Sacrifices of Abel and Cain, On Sobriety, On Dreams. Here belong also: Questions and
Answers on Genesis and Questions and Answers on Exodus (aside from fragments preserved
only in Armenian).

2. A series of works classified as philosophical treatises: Every Good Man is Free (a
sequel of which had the theme that every bad man is a slave, which did not survive); On
the Eternity of the World; On Providence (except for lengthy fragments preserved in
Armenian); Alexander or On Whether Brute Animals Possess Reason (preserved only in
Armenian) and called in Latin De Animalibus (On the Animals); a brief fragment De
Deo (On God), preserved only in Armenian is an exegesis of Genesis 18, and belongs to the
Allegory of the Law.

3. The third group includes historical-apologetic writings: Hypothetica or Apologia Pro
Judaeos which survives only in two Greek extracts quoted by Eusebius. The first extract is
a rationalistic version of Exodus giving a eulogic account of Moses and a summary of
Mosaic constitution contrasting its severity with the laxity of the gentile laws; the
second extract describes the Essenes. The other apologetic essays include Against Flaccus,
The Embassy to Gaius, and On the Contemplative Life. But all these works are related to
Philo’s explanations of the texts of Moses.

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3. Technique of Exposition

Philo uses an allegorical technique for interpretation of the Hebrew myth and in this
he follows the Greek tradition of Theagenes of Rhegium (second half of the sixth century
B.C.E.). Theagenes used this approach in defense of Homer’s theology against the
detractors. He said that the myths of gods struggling with each other referred to the
opposition between the elements; the names of gods were made to refer to various
dispositions of the soul, e.g., Athena was reflection, Aphrodite, desire, Hermes,
elocution. Anaxagoras, too, explained the Homeric poems as discussions of virtue and
justice. The Sophist Prodicus of Ceos (b. 470 B.C.E.), contemporary of Socrates,
interpreted the gods of Homeric stories as personifications of those natural substances
that are useful to human life [e.g., bread and Demeter, wine and Dionysus, water and
Poseidon, fire and Hephaestus]. He also employed ethical allegory. His treatise, The
Seasons, contains a Parable of Heracles, paraphrased in Xenophon’s Memorabilia
(2.1.21-34), which tells the story of Heracles who, at crossroad, was attracted by Virtue
and Vice in the form of two women of great stature (Sacr. 20-44). The allegory was used by
the cynic Antisthenes (contemporary of Plato) and Diogenes the Cynic. Stoics expanded the
Cynics’ use of Homeric allegory in the interest of their philosophical system. Using this
allegorical method, Philo seeks out the hidden message beneath the surface of any
particular text and tries to read back a new doctrine into the work of the past. In a
similar way Plutarch allegorized the ancient Egyptian mythology giving it a new meaning.
But in some aspects of Jewish life Philo defends the literal interpretation of his
tradition as in the debate on circumcision or the Sabbath (Mig. 89-93; Spec. leg. 1.1-11).
Though he acknowledges the symbolic meaning of these rituals, he insists on their literal
interpretation.

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4. Emphasis on Contemplative Life and Philosophy

The key emphasis in Philo’s philosophy is contrasting the spiritual life, understood as
intellectual contemplation, with the mundane preoccupation with earthly concerns, either
as an active life or as a search for pleasure. Philo disdained the material world and
physical body (Spec. leg. 3.1-6). The body was for Philo as for Plato, “an evil and a
dead thing” (LA 3.72-74; Gig. 15), wicked by nature and a plotter against the soul
(LA 3.69). But it was a necessary evil, hence Philo does not advocate a complete
abnegation from life. On the contrary he advocates fulfilling first the practical
obligations toward men and the use of mundane possessions for the accomplishment of
praiseworthy works (Fug. 23-28; Plant. 167-168). Similarly he considers pleasure
indispensable and wealth useful, but for a virtuous man they are not a perfect good (LA
3.69-72). He believed that men should steer themselves away from the physical aspect of
things gradually. Some people, like philosophers, may succeed in focusing their minds on
the eternal realities. Philo believed that man’s final goal and ultimate bliss is in the
“knowledge of the true and living God” (Decal. 81; Abr. 58; Praem. 14);
“such knowledge is the boundary of happiness and blessedness” (Det. 86). To him,
mystic vision allows our soul to see the Divine Logos (Ebr. 152) and achieve a union with
God (Deut. 30:19-20; Post. 12). In a desire to validate the scripture as an inspired
writing, he often compares it to prophetic ecstasy (Her. 69-70). His praise of the
contemplative life of the monastic Therapeutae in Alexandria attests to his preference of
bios theoreticos over bios practicos. He adheres to the Platonic picture of the souls
descending into the material realm and that only the souls of philosophers are able to
come to the surface and return to their realm in heaven (Gig. 12-15). Philo adopted the
Platonic concept of the soul with its tripartite division. The rational part of the soul,
however, is breathed into man as a part of God’s substance. Philo speaks figuratively
“Now, when we are alive, we are so though our soul is dead and buried in our body, as
if in a tomb. But if it were to die, then our soul would live according to its proper life
being released from the evil and dead body to which it is bound” (Op. 67-69; LA
1.108).

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5. Philosophy and Wisdom: a Path to Ethical Life

Philo differentiated between philosophy and wisdom. To him philosophy is “the
greatest good thing to men” (Op. 53-54), which they acquired because of a gift of
reason from God (Op. 77). It is a devotion to wisdom, and a way to acquire the highest
knowledge, “an attentive study of wisdom.” Wisdom in turn is “the knowledge
of all divine and human things, and of the respective causes of them” that is,
according to Philo, contained in the Torah (Congr. 79). Hence it follows that Moses, as
the author of the Torah, “had reached the very summit of philosophy” and
“had learnt from the oracles of God the most numerous and important of the principles
of nature” (Op. 8). Moses was also the interpreter of nature (Her. 213). By saying
this Philo wanted to indicate that human wisdom has two origins: one is divine, the other
is natural (Her. 182). Moreover, that Mosaic Law is not inconsistent with nature. A single
law, the Logos of nature governs the entire world (Jos. 28-31) and its law is imprinted on
the human mind (Prob. 46-47). Because of this we have a conscience that affects even
wicked persons (QG 4.62). Wisdom is a consummated philosophy and as such has to be in
agreement with the principles of nature (Mos. 2.48; Abr. 16; Op. 143; Spec. leg. 2.13;
3.46-47, 112, 137; Virt. 18). The study of philosophy has as its end “life in
accordance with nature” and following the “path of right reason” (Mig.
128). Philosophy prepares us to a moral life, i.e., “to live in conformity with
nature” (Prob. 160). From this follows that life in accordance with nature hastens us
towards virtues (Mos. 2. 181; Abr. 60, Spec. leg. 1.155), and an unjust man is the one
“who transgresses the ordinances of nature” (Spec. leg. 4.204; Cf. Decal. 132;
Virt. 131-132; Plant. 49; Ebr. 142; Agr. 66). Thus Philo does not discount human reason,
but contrasts only the true doctrine which is trust in God with uncertain, plausible, and
unreliable reasoning (LA 3.228-229).

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6. Philo’s Ethical Doctrine

Philo’s ethical doctrine is Stoic in its essence and includes the active effort to
achieve virtue, the model of a sage to be followed, and practical advice concerning the
achievement of the proper right reason and a proper emotional state of rational emotions
(eupatheia). To Philo man is basically passive and it is God who sows noble qualities in
the soul, thus we are instruments of God (LA 2.31-32; Cher. 127-128). Still man is the
only creature endowed with freedom to act though his freedom is limited by the
constitution of his mind. As such he is responsible for his action and “very properly
receives blame for the offences which he designedly commits.” This is so because he
received a faculty of voluntary motion and is free from the dominion of necessity (Deus
47-48). Philo advocates the practice of virtue in both the divine and the human spheres.
Lovers only of God and lovers only of men are both incomplete in virtue. Philo advocates a
middle harmonious way (Decal. 106-110; Spec. leg. 4. 102). He differentiates four virtues:
wisdom, self-control, courage, and justice (LA 1.63-64). Human dispositions Philo divides
into three groups – the best is given the vision of God, the next has a vision on the
right i.e., the Beneficent or Creative Power whose name is God, and the third has a vision
on the left, i.e., the Ruling Power called Lord (Abr. 119-130). Felicity is achieved in
the culmination of three values: the spiritual, the corporeal, and the external (QG 3.16).
Philo adopts the Stoic wise man as a model for human behavior. Such a wise man should
imitate God who was impassible (apathes) hence the sage should achieve a state of
apatheia, i.e., he should be free of irrational emotions (passions), pleasure, desire,
sorrow, and fear, and should replace them by rational or well-reasoned emotions
(eupatheia), joy, will, compunction, and caution. In such a state of eupatheia, the sage
achieves a serene, stable, and joyful disposition in which he is directed by reason in his
decisions (QG 2.57; Abr. 201-204; Fug. 166-167; Mig. 67). But at the same time Philo
claims that the needs of the body should not be neglected and rejects the other extreme,
i.e., the practice of austerities. Everything should be governed by reason, self-control,
and moderation. Joy and pleasure do not have intrinsic values, but are by-products of
virtue and characterize the sage (Fug. 25-34; Det. 124-125; LA 80).

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7. Philo’s Mysticism and Transcendence of God

Mysticism is a doctrine that maintains that one can gain knowledge of reality that is
not accessible to sense perception or to reason. It is usually associated with some mental
and physical training and in the theistic version it involves a sensation of closeness to
or unity with God experienced as temporal and spatial transcendence. According to Philo,
man’s highest union with God is limited to God’s manifestation as the Logos. It is similar
to a later doctrine of intellectual contact of our human intellect with the transcendent
intellect developed by Alexander of Aphrodisias and Ibn Rushd and different from the
Plotinian doctrine of the absorption into the ineffable one. The notion of the utter
transcendence of the First Principle probably goes back as far as Anaximander who
postulated the Indefinite (apeiron) as this Principle (arche) and could be found in
Plato’s concept of the Good, but the formulation is accredited to Speusippus, the
successor of Plato in the Academy. Philo’s biblical tradition in which one could not name
or describe God was the major factor in accepting the Greek Platonic concepts and emphasis
on God’s transcendence. But this position is rather alien to biblical and rabbinical
understanding. In the Bible, God is represented in a “material” and
“physical” way. Philosophically, however, Philo differentiated between the
existence of God, which could be demonstrated, and the nature of God which humans are not
able to cognize. God’s essence is beyond any human experience or cognition, therefore it
can be described only by stating what God is not (via negativa) or by depriving him of any
attribute of sensible objects and putting God beyond any attribute applicable to a
sensible world (via eminentiae) because God alone is a being whose existence is his
essence (Det. 160). Philo states in many places that God’s essence is one and single, that
he does not belong to any class or that there is in God any distinction of genus and
species. Therefore, we cannot say anything about his qualities “For God is not only
devoid of peculiar qualities, but he is likewise not of the form of man” (LA 1.36);
he “is free from distinctive qualities” (LA 1.51; 3.36; Deus 55). Strictly
speaking, we cannot make any positive or negative statements about God: “Who can
venture to affirm that … he is a body, or that he is incorporeal, or that he has such
and such distinctive qualities, or that he has no such qualities? … But he alone can
utter a positive assertion respecting himself, since he alone has an accurate knowledge of
his own nature” (LA 3.206). Moreover, since the essence of God is single, therefore
its property must be one which Philo denotes as acting “Now it is an especial
attribute of God to create, and this faculty it is impious to ascribe to any created
being” (Cher. 77). The expression of this act of God, which is at the same time his
thinking, is his Logos (Prov. 1.7; Sacr. 65; Mos. 1.283). Though God is hidden, his
reality is made manifest by the Logos that is God’s image (Somn. 1.239; Conf. 147-148) and
by the sensible universe, which in turn is the image of the Logos, that is “the
archetypal model, the idea of ideas” (Op. 25). Because of this we can perceive God’s
existence, though we cannot fathom his essence. But there are degrees and levels to our
cognizance of God. Those at the summit and the highest level may grasp the unity of the
powers of God, at the lower level people recognize the Logos as the Regent Power, and
those still at the lowest level, immersed in the sensible world are unable to perceive the
intelligible reality (Fug. 94; Abr. 124-125). Steps in mystic experience involve a
realization of human nothingness, a realization that the one who acts is God alone, and
abandonment of our sense of perception (Her. 69-71; Plant. 64; Conf. 95; Ebr. 152). A
mystic state will produce a sensation of tranquility, and stability; it appears suddenly
and is described as a sober intoxication (Gig. 49; Sacr. 78; Somn. 1.71; Op. 70-71).

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8. Source of Intuition of the Infinite Reality

According to Philo the highest knowledge man may have is the knowledge of infinite
reality which is not accessible by the normal senses, but by unmediated intuition of
divinity. Humans were endowed with the mind, i.e., ability to reason and the outward
senses. We received the first in order that we might consider the things that are
discernable only by the intellect, the end of which is truth, and the second for the
perception of visible things the end of which is opinion. Opinions are unstable, based on
probability, and untrustworthy. Thus by this divine gift men are able to come to a
conclusion about the existence of the divinity. They can do it in two ways: one is the
apprehension of God through contemplation of his creation and forming a “conjectural
conception of the Creator by a probable train of reasoning”(Praem. 43). And in the
process the soul may climb the ladder to perfection by using natural means i.e., natural
dispositions, instruction, i.e., being educated to virtue, or by meditation. The other is
a direct apprehension by being instructed by God himself when the mind elevates itself
above the physical world and perceives the uncreated One through a clear vision (Praem.
28-30, 40-66; LA 97-103). This vision is accessible to the “purified mind” to
which God appears as One. To the mind uninitiated in the mysteries, unable to apprehend
God alone by himself, but only through his actions, God appears as a triad constituted by
him and his two powers, Creative and Royal (Abr. 97-103). Such a direct vision of God is
not dependent on revelation but is possible because we have an impression of God in our
mind, which is nothing but a tiny fragment of the Logos pervading the whole universe, not
separated from its source, but only extended (Det. 90; Gig. 27; LA 1.37; Mut. 223; Spec.
leg. 4.123). And we receive this portion of the Divine Mind at birth being endowed with a
mind which makes us resemble God (Op. 65-69). At birth two powers enter every soul, the
salutary (Beneficent) and the destructive (Unbounded). The world is created through these
same powers. The creation is accomplished when ” the salutary and beneficent (power)
brings to an end the unbounded and destructive nature.” Similarly, one or the other
power may prevail in humans, but when the salutary power “brings to an end the
unbounded and destructive nature” humans achieve immortality. Thus both the world and
humans are a mixture of these powers and the prevailing one has the moral determination:
“For the souls of foolish men have the unbounded and destructive rather than the
powerful and salutary [power], and it is full of misery when it dwells with earthly
creatures. But the prudent and noble [soul] receives the powerful and salutary [power]
and, on the contrary, possesses in itself good fortune and happiness” (QE 1.23).
Philo evidently analyzes these two powers on two levels. One is the divine level in which
the Unlimited or the Unbounded is a representation of God’s infinite and immeasurable
goodness and creativity. The Logos keeps it in balance through the Limit. The other level
is the human one where the Unlimited or the Unbounded represents destruction and
everything morally abhorrent. Human reason is able, however, to maintain in it some kind
of balance. This mind, divine and immortal, is an additional and differentiating part of
the human soul which animates man just like the souls of animals which are devoid of mind.
The notion of God’s existence is thus imprinted in our mind that needs only some
illumination to have a direct vision of God (Abr. 79-80; Det. 86-87; LA 1.38). Thus we can
arrive at it through the dialectical reasoning as apprehension of the First Principle.
Philo differentiates two modes for perceiving God, an inferential mode and a direct mode
without mediation: “As long, therefore, as our mind still shines around and hovers
around, pouring as it were a noontide light into the whole soul, we, being masters of
ourselves, are not possessed by any extraneous influence” (Her. 264). Thus this
direct mode is not in any way a type of inspiration or inspired prophecy; it is unlike
“inspiration” when a “trance” or a “heaven-inflicted
madness” seizes us and divine light sets as it happens “to the race of
prophets” (Her. 265).

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9. Philo’s Doctrine of Creation

Philo attempts to bridge the Greek “scientific” or rational philosophy with
the strictly mythical ideology of the Hebrew scriptures. As a basis for the
“scientific” approach he uses the worldview presented by Plato in Timaeus which
remained influential in Hellenistic times. The characteristic feature of the Greek
scientific approach is the biological interpretation of the physical world in
anthropocentric terms, in terms of purpose and function that may apply to biological and
psychological realities but may not be applied to the physical world. Moreover, Philo
operates often on two levels: the level of mythical Hebraic religious tradition and the
level of philosophical speculation in the Greek tradition. Nevertheless, Philo attempts to
harmonize the Mosaic and Platonic accounts of the generation of the world by interpreting
the biblical story using Greek scientific categories and concepts. He elaborates a
religious-philosophical worldview that became the foundation for the future Christian
doctrine. Philo’s doctrine of creation is intertwined with his doctrine of God and it
answers two crucial questions: 1. Was the world created ex nihilo or from primordial
matter? 2. Was creation a temporal act or is it an eternal process?

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a. Philo’s Model of Creation

Though Philo’s model of creation comes from Plato’s Timaeus, the direct agent of
creation is not God himself (described in Plato as Demiurge, Maker, Artificer), but the
Logos. Philo believes that the Logos is “the man of God” (Conf. 41) or the
shadow of God that was used as an instrument and a pattern of all creation (LA 3.96). The
Logos converted unqualified, unshaped preexistent matter, which Philo describes as
“destitute of arrangement, of quality, of animation, of distinctive character and
full of disorder and confusion,” (Op. 22) into four primordial elements:

For it is out of that essence that God created everything, without indeed touching it
himself, for it was not lawful for the all-wise and all-blessed God to touch materials
which were all misshapen and confused, but he created them by the agency of his
incorporeal powers, of which the proper name is Ideas, which he so exerted that every
genus received its proper form (LA 1.329).

According to Philo, Moses anticipated Plato by teaching that water, darkness, and chaos
existed before the world came into being (Op. 22). Moses, having reached the philosophy
summit, recognized that there are two fundamental principles of being, one, “an
active cause, the intellect of the universe.” The other is passive, “inanimate
and incapable of motion by any intrinsic power of its own” (Op. 8-9), matter,
lifeless and motionless. But Philo is ambiguous in such statements as these: “God,
who created all things, not only brought them all to light, but he has even created what
before had no existence, not only being their maker, but also their founder” (Somn.
1.76; Op. 81); “God who created the whole universe out of things that had no previous
existence…” (LA 3.10). It seems that Philo does not refer here to God’s creation of
the visible world ex nihilo but to his creation of the intelligible Forms prior to the
formation of the sensible world (Spec. leg. 1.328). Philo reasons that by analogy to the
biblical version of the creation of man in the image of God, so the visible world as such
must have been created in the image of its archetype present in the mind of God. “It
is manifest also, that that archetypal seal, which we call that world which is perceptible
only to the intellect, must itself be the archetypal model, the Idea of Ideas, the Logos
of God” (Op. 25). In his doctrine of God Philo interprets the Logos, which is the
Divine Mind as the Form of Forms (Platonic), the Idea of Ideas or the sum total of Forms
or Ideas (Det. 75-76). The Logos is an indestructible Form of wisdom. Interpreting the
garment of the high priest (Exod. 28:34; 36) Philo states: “But the seal is an Idea
of Ideas, according to which God fashioned the world, being an incorporeal Idea,
comprehensible only by the intellect” (Mig. 103). The invisible intelligible world
which was used by the Logos as a model for creation or rather formation of the visible
world from the (preexisting) unformed matter was created in the mind of God: “The
incorporeal world then was already completed, having its seat in the Divine Logos and the
world, perceptible by the external senses, was made on the model of it” (Op. 36).
Describing Moses’ account of the creation of man, Philo states also that Moses calls the
invisible Divine Logos the Image of God (Op. 24; 31; LA 1.9). Forms, though
inapprehensible in essence, leave an impress and a copy and procure qualities and shapes
to shapeless things and unorganized matter. Mind can grasp the Forms by longing for
wisdom. “The desire for wisdom alone is continual and incessant, and it fills all its
pupils and disciples with famous and most beautiful doctrines” (Spec. leg. 1-45-50).
Creation thus took place from preexistent shapeless matter (Plato’s Receptacle) which is
“the nurse of all becoming and change” and for this creation God used the Forms
which are his powers (Spec. leg. 1.327-329). This may seem a controversial point whether
the primordial matter was preexistent or was created ex nihilo. Philo’s view is not
clearly stated and there are seemingly contradictory statements. In some places Philo
states, “for as nothing is generated out of nothing, so neither can anything which
exists be destroyed as to become non-existence” (Aet. 5-6). The same is repeated in
his De Specialibus legibus: “Being made of us [i.e. elements] when you were born, you
will again be dissolved into us when you come to die; for it is not the nature of any
thing to be destroyed so as to become nonexistent, but the end brings it back to those
elements from which its beginnings come” (Spec. 1.266). The resolution of this
seeming controversy is to be found in Philo’s theory of eternal creation, which is
described next in connection with the Logos as the agent of creation. Philo, being a
strict monist, could not accept the existence of independent and eternal preexistent
matter (however disorganized and chaotic) as Plato did.

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b. Eternal Creation

Philo denies the Aristotelian conclusion coming, according to him, from the superficial
observation that the world existed from eternity, independent of any creative act.
“For some men, admiring the world itself rather than the Creator of the world, have
represented it as existing without any maker, and eternal, and as impiously and falsely
have represented God as existing in a state of complete inactivity” (Op. 7). He
elaborates instead his theory of the eternal creation (Prov. 1.6-9), as did Proclus
(410-485 C.E.) much later in interpreting Plato. Proclus brilliantly demonstrated that
even in the theistic system the world though generated must be eternal, because the
“world is always fabricated … is always becoming to be.” Proclus believed, as
did Philo, that the corporeal world is always coming into existence but never possesses
real being. Thus God, according to Philo, did not begin to create the world at a certain
moment, but he is “eternally applying himself to its creation” (Prov. 1.7; Op.
7; Aet. 83-84).

But God is the creator of time also, for he is the father of his father, and the father
of time is the world, which made its own mother the creation of time, so that time stands
towards God in the relation of a grandson; for this world is a younger son of God,
inasmuch as it is perceptible by the outward sense, for the only son he speaks of as older
than the world, is Idea, and this is not perceptible by the intellect, but having thought
the other worthy of the rights of primogeniture, he has decided that it should remain with
him; therefore, this younger son, perceptible by the external senses being set in motion,
has caused the nature of time to shine forth, and to become conspicuous, so that there is
nothing future to God, who has the very boundaries of time subject to him; for their life
is not time, but the beautiful model of eternity; and in eternity nothing is past and
nothing is future, but everything is present only (Deus. 31-32).

Philo contends that God thinks simultaneously with his acting or creating. “For
God while he spake the word, did at the same moment create; nor did he allow anything to
come between the Logos and the deed; and if one may advance a doctrine which is pretty
nearly true, His Logos is his deed” (Sacr. 65; Mos.1.283). Thus any description of
creation in temporal terms, e.g., by Moses, is not to be taken literally, but rather is an
accommodation to the biblical language (Op. 19; Mut. 27; LA 2.9-13):

God is continuously ordering matter by his thought. His thinking was not anterior to
his creating and there never was a time when he did not create, the Ideas themselves
having been with him from the beginning. For God’s will is not posterior to him, but is
always with him, for natural motions never give out. Thus ever thinking he creates, and
furnishes to sensible things the principle of their existence, so that both should exist
together: the ever-creating Divine Mind and the sense-perceptible things to which
beginning of being is given (Prov. 1.7).

Thus Philo postulates a crucial modification to the Platonic doctrine of the Forms,
namely that God himself eternally creates the intelligible world of Ideas as his thoughts.
The intelligible Forms are thus the principle of existence to the sensible things which
are given through them their existence. This simply means in mystical terms that nothing
exists or acts except God. On this ideal model God then orders and shapes the formless
matter through the agency of his Logos (Her. 134, 140) into the objects of the sensible
world:

Now we must form a somewhat similar opinion of God [Philo makes an analogy to a plan of
the city in the mind of its builder], who, having determined to found a mighty state,
first of all conceived its form in his mind, according to which form he made a world
perceptible only by the intellect, and then completed one visible to the external senses,
using the first one as a model (Op. 19).

Philo claims a scriptural support for these metaphysics saying that the creation of the
world was after the pattern of an intelligible world (Gen. 1:17) which served as its
model. During the first day God created Ideas or Forms of heaven, earth, air (= darkness),
empty space (= abyss), water, pneuma (= mind), light, the intelligible pattern of the sun
and the stars (Op. 29). There are, however, differences between Philo and Plato: according
to Plato, there is no Form of space (chora). In Plato space is not apprehended by reason;
rather it had its own special status in the world. Also pneuma as a Form of soul does not
exist in the system of Plato. Plato designates this primordial unorganized state of matter
a self-existing Receptacle; it is most stable and a permanent constituent: “It must
be called always the same, for it never departs at all from its own character”
(Plato, Timaeus 50b-c). Philo, being a strict monist could not allow even for a
self-existing void so he makes its pattern an eternal idea in the divine mind. Before
Philo there was no explicit theory of creation ex nihilo ever postulated in Jewish or
Greek traditions. Both Philo and Plato do not explain how the reflections (eidola) of
Forms are made in the world of senses. They do not attribute them to God or the Demiurge
because it would be contrary to their conception of God as “good” and
“desiring that all things should come as near as possible to being like
himself.” God could not create the copies of the Forms which should be
“disordered.” It seems then that the primordial unorganized matter was
spontaneously produced on the pattern of the Ideas. The Logos would shape the elements
from this preexistent matter, first into heavy (or dense) and light (or rare) elements
which were differentiated properly into water and earth, and air and fire (Her. 134-140;
143). As in Plato certain geometrical descriptions characterize Philo’s elements. Fire was
characterized by a pyramid, air by an octahedron, water by an icosahedron, and earth by a
cube (QG 3.49). In Plato’s theory too, one can envision a sort of automatic reflection of
the Forms in the Receptacle due to the properties of Forms. God could not, according to
Philo’s philosophy, create the preexistent matter. “And what God praised was not the
materials which he had worked up in creation, destitute of life and melody, and easily
dissolved, and moreover in their own intrinsic nature perishable, and out of proportion
and full of iniquity, but rather his own skillful work, completed according to one equal
and well-proportioned power and knowledge always alike and identical.” (Her. 160).
Logically, God is for Philo indirectly the source of preexistent matter but Philo does not
ascribe to God even the shaping of matter directly. In fact this unorganized matter never
existed because it was simultaneously ordered into organized matter – the four
elements from which the world is made.

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10. Doctrine of Miracles: Naturalism and Comprehension

Closely connected with Philo’s doctrine of creation is his doctrine of miracles. His
favorite statement is that “everything is possible with God.” This, however,
does not mean that God can act outside the natural order of things or his own nature. Thus
Philo emphasizes that God’s miraculous works are within the realm of the natural order.
Doing this he extends the natural order to encompass the biblical miracles and tries to
explain them by their coincidence with natural events. For example, the miracle at the Red
Sea which he characterizes as a “mighty work of nature” (Mos. 1.165), or the
plague of darkness as a total eclipse (Mos. 1.123), or the story of Balaam as an
allegorical one (Cher. 32-35). This was the tendency inherited from some Stoics who
attempted to explain miracles of divination as events preordered in nature by the divine
power pervading it. Similarly Philo considers the biblical miracles as a part of the
eternal pattern of the Logos acting in nature. Augustine considers miracles as implanted
in the destiny of the cosmos since the time of its creation. Philo and rabbinic literature
emphasize the miraculous and marvelous character of nature itself. All natural things are
wonderful, but are “despised by us by reason of our familiarity with them” and
all things with which we are unaccustomed, make an impression on us “for the love of
novelty”(Mos. 1.2-213). Even in modern Jewish teaching there is a tendency to explain
the miraculous by the natural. Thus the one can find a certain discrepancy in Philo’s
writing: on one hand Philo is rationalist and naturalist in the spirit of Greek
philosophical tradition, on the other, he follows popular religion to preserve the
biblical tradition. Philo emphasizes, however, that we are limited in our human
capabilities to “comprehend everything” about the physical world, and it is
better to “suspend our judgment” than to err:

But since we are found to be influenced in different manners by the same things at
different times, we should have nothing positive to assert about anything, inasmuch as
what appears has no settled or stationary existence, but is subject to various, and
multiform, and ever-recurring changes. For it follows of necessity, since the imagination
is unstable, that judgment formed by it must be unstable; and there are many reasons for
this (Ebr. 170).

But we are able to comprehend things by comparing them with their opposites and thus
arriving at their true nature. The same applies to what is virtue and to what is vice, and
to what is just and good and to what is unjust and bad.

And, indeed, if any one considers everything that is in the world, he will be able to
arrive at a proper estimate of its character, by taking it in the same manner; for each
separate thing is by itself incomprehensible, but by a comparison with another thing, is
easy to understand (Ebr. 187).

The same reasoning he extends to differences between national customs and ancient laws
which vary according to countries, nations, cities, different villages, even private
houses and instruction received by people from childhood.

And since this is the case, who is foolish enough and ridiculous as to affirm
positively that such and such a thing is just, or wise, or honorable, or expedient? For
whatever this man defines as such, some one else, who from his childhood has learnt a
contrary lesson, will be sure to deny (Ebr. 197).

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11. Doctrine of the Logos in Philo’s Writings

The pivotal and the most developed doctrine in Philo’s writings on which hinges his
entire philosophical system, is his doctrine of the Logos. By developing this doctrine he
fused Greek philosophical concepts with Hebrew religious thought and provided the
foundation for Christianity, first in the development of the Christian Pauline myth and
speculations of John, later in the Hellenistic Christian Logos and Gnostic doctrines of
the second century. All other doctrines of Philo hinge on his interpretation of divine
existence and action. The term Logos was widely used in the Greco-Roman culture and in
Judaism. Through most schools of Greek philosophy, this term was used to designate a
rational, intelligent and thus vivifying principle of the universe. This principle was
deduced from an understanding of the universe as a living reality and by comparing it to a
living creature. Ancient people did not have the dynamic concept of “function,”
therefore, every phenomenon had to have an underlying factor, agent, or principle
responsible for its occurrence. In the Septuagint version of the Old Testament the term
logos (Hebrew davar) was used frequently to describe God’s utterances (Gen. 1:3, 6,9;
3:9,11; Ps. 32:9), God’s action (Zech. 5:1-4; Ps. 106:20; Ps. 147:15), and messages of
prophets by means of which God communicated his will to his people (Jer. 1:4-19, 2:1-7;
Ezek. 1:3; Amos 3:1). Logos is used here only as a figure of speech designating God’s
activity or action. In the so-called Jewish wisdom literature we find the concept of
Wisdom (hokhmah and sophia) which could be to some degree interpreted as a separate
personification or individualization (hypostatization), but it is contrasted often with
human stupidity. In the Hebrew culture it was a part of the metaphorical and poetic
language describing divine wisdom as God’s attribute and it clearly refers to a human
characteristic in the context of human earthly existence. The Greek, metaphysical concept
of the Logos is in sharp contrast to the concept of a personal God described in
anthropomorphic terms typical of Hebrew thought. Philo made a synthesis of the two systems
and attempted to explain Hebrew thought in terms of Greek philosophy by introducing the
Stoic concept of the Logos into Judaism. In the process the Logos became transformed from
a metaphysical entity into an extension of a divine and transcendental anthropomorphic
being and mediator between God and men. Philo offered various descriptions of the Logos.

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a. The Utterance of God

Following the Jewish mythical tradition, Philo represents the Logos as the utterance of
God found in the Jewish scripture of the Old Testament since God’s words do not differ
from his actions (Sacr. 8; Somn. 1.182; Op. 13).

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b. The Divine Mind

Philo accepts the Platonic intelligible Forms. Forms exist forever though the
impressions they make may perish with the substance on which they were made (Det. 75-77;
Mut. 80, 122. 146; Cher. 51). They are not, however, beings existing separately, only
exist in the mind of God as his thoughts and powers. Philo explicitly identifies Forms
with God’s powers. Those powers are his glory, though invisible and sensed only by the
purest intellect. “And though they are by nature inapprehensible in their essence,
still they show a kind of impression or copy of their energy and operation”(Spec.
leg. 1.45-50). In his doctrine of God Philo interprets the Logos, which is the Divine
Mind, as the Form of Forms (Platonic), the Idea of Ideas or the sum total of Forms or
Ideas. Logos is the indestructible Form of wisdom comprehensible only by the intellect
(Det. 75-76; Mig. 103).

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c. God’s Transcendent Power

The Logos which God begat eternally because it is a manifestation of God’s
thinking-acting (Prov. 1.7; Sacr. 65; Mos. 1.283), is an agent that unites two powers of
the transcendent God. Philo relates that in an inspiration his own soul told him:

…that in the one living and true God there were two supreme and primary powers,
Goodness [or Creative Power] and Authority [or Regent Power]; and that by his Goodness he
had created every thing; and that by his Authority he governed all that he had created;
and that the third thing which was between the two, and had the effect of bringing them
together was the Logos, for it was owing to the Logos that God was both a ruler and good
(Cher. 1.27-28).

And further, Philo finds in the Bible indications of the operation of the Logos, e.g.,
the biblical cherubim are the symbols of the two powers of God but the flaming sword (Gen.
3.24) is the symbol of the Logos conceived before all things and before all manifest
(Cher. 1.27-28; Sacr. 59; Abr. 124-125; Her. 166; QE 2.68). Philo’s description of the
Logos (the Mind of God) corresponds to the Greek concept of mind as hot and fiery. Philo
obviously refers in these powers to the Unlimited (apeiron) and the Limited (peras) of
Plato’s Philebus and earlier Pythagorean tradition, and they will later reappear in
Plotinus as Nous. In Plato these two principles or powers operate at the metaphysical,
cosmic (cosmic soul) and human (human soul) levels. Philo considers these powers to be
inherent in transcendental God, and that God himself may be thought of as multiplicity in
unity. The Beneficent (Creative) and Regent (Authoritative) Powers are called God and
Lord, respectively. Goodness is Boundless Power, Creative, and God. The Regent Power is
also Punitive Power and Lord (Her. 166). Creative Power, moreover, permeates the world,
the power by which God made and ordered all things. Philo follows the ideas of the Stoics
that nous pervades every part of the universe as it does the soul in us. Therefore, Philo
asserts that the aspect of God which transcends his powers (which we have to understand to
be the Logos) cannot be conceived of in terms of place but as pure being, “but that
power of his by which he made and ordered all things called God, in accordance with the
etymology of that name, enfolds the whole and passes through the parts of the
universe” (Conf. 136-137). According to Philo, the two powers of God are separated by
God himself who is standing above in the midst of them (Her. 166). Referring to Genesis
18: 2 Philo claims that God and his two Powers are in reality one. To the human mind they
appear as a Triad, with God above the powers that belong to him: “For this cannot be
so keen of spirit that, it can see Him who is above the powers that belong to Him,
(namely) God, distinct from everything else. For so soon as one sets eyes on God, there
also appear together with His being, the ministering powers, so that in place of one he
makes the appearance of a triad (QG 4.2).” In addition to these two main powers,
there are other powers of the Father and his Logos, including merciful and legislative
(Fug. 94-95).

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d. First-born Son of God

The Logos has an origin, but as God’s thought it also has eternal generation. It exists
as such before everything else all of which are secondary products of God’s thought and
therefore it is called the “first-born.” The Logos is thus more than a quality,
power, or characteristic of God; it is an entity eternally generated as an extension, to
which Philo ascribes many names and functions. The Logos is the first-begotten Son of the
Uncreated Father: “For the Father of the universe has caused him to spring up as the
eldest son, whom, in another passage, he [Moses] calls the first-born; and he who is thus
born, imitating the ways of his father, has formed such and such species, looking to his
archetypal patterns” (Conf. 63). This picture is somewhat confusing because we learn
that in the final analysis the Creative Power is also identified with the Logos. The
Creative Power is logically prior to the Regent Power since it is conceptually older.
Though the powers are of equal age, the creative is prior because one is king not of the
nonexistent but of what has already come into being (QE 2.62). These two powers thus
delimit the bounds of heaven and the world. The Creative Power is concerned that things
that come into being through it should not be dissolved, and the Regent Power that nothing
either exceeds or is robbed of its due, all being arbitrated by the laws of equality
through which things continue eternally (QE 2.64). The positive properties of God may be
subdivided into these two polar forces; therefore, the expression of the One is the Logos
that constitutes the manifestation of God’s thinking, acting (Prov. 1.7; Sacr. 65; Mos.
1.283). According to Philo these powers of the Logos can be grasped at various levels.
Those who are at the summit level grasp them as constituting an indivisible unity. At the
two lower levels, respectively, are those who know the Logos as the Creative Power and
beneath them those who know it as the Regent Power (Fug. 94-95; Abr. 124-125). The next
level down represents those limited to the sensible world, unable to perceive the
intelligible realities (Gig. 20). At each successively lower level of divine knowledge the
image of God’s essence is increasingly more obscured. These two powers will appear again
in Plotinus. Here Undefined or Unlimited Intelligible Matter proceeds from the One and
then turns back to its source (Enneads 2.4.5; 5.4.2; 6.7.17)

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e. Universal Bond: in the Physical World and in the Human Soul

The Logos is the bond holding together all the parts of the world. And as a part of the
human soul it holds the body together and permits its operation. In the mind of a wise man
thoroughly purified, it allows preservation of virtues in an unimpaired condition (Fug.
112). “And the Logos, which connects together and fastens every thing, is peculiarly
full itself of itself, having no need whatever of any thing beyond” (Her. 188).

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f. Immanent Reason

The reasoning capacity of a human mind is but a portion of the all-pervading Divine
Logos. Mind is a special gift to humans from God and it has divine essence, therefore, as
such, it is imperishable. By receiving this humans received freedom and the power of
spontaneous will free from necessity (Deus. 47). Philo emphasizes that man “has
received this one extraordinary gift, intellect, which is accustomed to comprehend the
nature of all bodies and of all things at the same time.” Thus humanity resembles God
in the sense of having free volition for unlike plants and other animals, the soul of man
received from God the power of voluntary motion and in this respect resembles God (Deus.
48). This concept, that it is chiefly in the intellect and free volition that makes humans
differ from other life forms, has a long history which can be traced to Anaxagoras and
Aristotle. Philo calls “men of God” those people who made God-inspired
intellectual life their dominant issue. Such men “have entirely transcended the
sensible sphere, and migrated to the intelligible world, and dwell there enrolled as
citizens of the Commonwealth of Ideas, which are imperishable, and incorporeal … those
who are born of God are priests and prophets who have not thought fit to mix themselves up
in the constitutions of this world….”(Gig. 61). Philo writes in reference to the
Old Testament expression that God “breathed into” (equivalent of
“inspired” or “gave life to”) inanimate things that through this act
God extended his spirit into humans (LA 1.37). Though his spirit is distributed among men
it is not diminished (Gig. 27). The nature of the reasoning power in men is indivisible
from the Divine Logos, but “though they are indivisible themselves, they divide an
innumerable multitude of other things.” Just as the Divine Logos divided and
distributed everything in nature (i.e., it gave qualities to undifferentiated, primordial
matter), so the human mind by exertion of its intellect is able to divide everything and
everybody into an infinite number of parts. And this is possible because it resembles the
Logos of the Creator and Father of the universe: “So that, very naturally, the two
things which thus resemble each other, both the mind which is in us and that which is
above us, being without parts and invisible, will still be able in a powerful manner to
divide and distribute [comprehend] all existing things” (Her. 234-236; Det. 90).
Uninitiated minds are unable to apprehend the Existent by itself; they only perceive it
through its actions. To them God appears as a Triad — himself and his two Powers:
Creative and Ruling. To the “purified soul,” however, God appears as One.

When, therefore, the soul is shone upon by God as if at noonday, and when it is wholly
and entirely filled with that light which is appreciable only by the intellect, and by
being wholly surrounded with its brilliancy is free from all shackle or darkness, it then
perceives a threefold image of one subject, one image of the living God, and others of the
other two, as if they were shadows irradiated by it …. but he claims that the term
shadow is just a more vivid representation of the matter intended to be intimated. Since
this is not the actual truth, but in order that one may when speaking keep as close to the
truth as possible, the one in the middle is the Father of the universe, who in the sacred
scripture is called by his proper name, I am that I am; and the beings on each side are
those most ancient powers which are always close to the living God, one of which is called
his Creative Power, and the other his Royal Power. And the Creative Power is God, for it
is by this that he made and arranged the universe; and the Royal Power is the Lord, for it
is fitting that the Creator should lord it over and govern the creature. Therefore, the
middle person of the three, being attended by each of his powers as by body-guard,
presents to the mind, which is endowed with the faculty of sight, a vision at one time of
one being, and at another time of three; of one when the soul being completely purified,
and having surmounted not only the multitude of numbers, but also the number two, which is
the neighbour of the unit, hastens onward to that idea which is devoid of mixture, free
from all combination, and by itself in need of nothing else whatever; and of three, when,
not being as yet made perfect as to the important virtues, it is still seeking for
initiation in those of less consequence, and is not able to attain to a comprehension of
the living God by its own unassisted faculties without the aid of something else, but can
only do so by judging of his deeds, whether as creator or as governor. This then, as they
say, is the second best thing; and it no less partakes in the opinion which is dear to and
devoted to God. But the first-mentioned disposition has no such share, but is itself the
very God-loving and God-beloved opinion itself, or rather it is truth which is older than
opinion, and more valuable than any seeming (Abr. 119-123).

The one category of enlightened people is able to comprehend God through a vision
beyond the physical universe. It is as though they advanced on a heavenly ladder and
conjectured the existence of God through an inference (Praem. 40). The other category
apprehends him through himself, as light is seen by light. For God gave man such a
perception “as should prove to him that God exists, and not to show him what God
is.” Philo believes that even the existence of God “cannot possibly be
contemplated by any other being; because, in fact, it is not possible for God to be
comprehended by any being but himself ” (Praem. 39-40). Philo adds, “Only men
who have raised themselves upward from below, so as, through the contemplation of his
works, to form a conjectural conception of the Creator by a probable train of
reasoning” (Praem. 43) are holy, and are his servants. Next Philo explains how such
men have an impression of God’s existence as revealed by God himself, by the similitude of
the sun (Mut. 4-6) a concept which he borrowed from Plato. As light is seen in consequence
of its own presence so, “In the same manner God, being his own light, is perceived by
himself alone, nothing and no other being co-operating with or assisting him, a being at
all able to contribute to pure comprehension of his existence; But these men have arrived
at the real truth, who form their ideas of God from God, of light from light” (Praem.
45-46). As Plato and Philo had done, Plotinus later used this image of the sun. Thus the
Logos, eternally created (begotten), is an expression of the immanent powers of God, and
at the same time, it emanates into everything in the world.

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g. Immanent Mediator of the Physical Universe

In certain places in his writings Philo accepts the Stoic theory of the immanent Logos
as the power or Law binding the opposites in the universe and mediating between them, and
directing the world. For example, Philo envisions that the world is suspended in a vacuum
and asks, how is it that the world does not fall down since it is not held by any solid
thing. Philo then gives the answer that the Logos extending himself from the center to its
bounds and from its extremities to the center again, runs nature’s course joining and
binding fast all its parts. Likewise the Logos prevents the earth from being dissolved by
all the water contained within. The Logos produces a harmony (a favorite expression of the
Stoics) between various parts of the universe (Plant. 8-10). Thus Philo sees God as only
indirectly the Creator of the world: God is the author of the invisible, intelligible
world which served as a model for the Logos. Philo says Moses called this archetypal
heavenly power by various names: “the beginning, the image, and the sight of
God”(LA 1.43). Following the views of Plato and the Stoics, Philo believed that in
all existing things there must be an active cause, and a passive subject; and that the
active cause Philo designates as the Logos. He gives the impression that he believed that
the Logos functions like the Platonic “Soul of the World” (Aet. 84).

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h. The Angel of the Lord, Revealer of God

Philo describes the Logos as the revealer of God symbolized in the Scripture (Gen.
31:13; 16:8; etc) by an angel of the Lord (Somn. 1.228-239; Cher. 1-3). The Logos is the
first-born and the eldest and chief of the angels.

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i. Multi-Named Archetype

Philo’s Logos has many names (Conf. 146). Philo identifies his Logos with Wisdom of
Proverbs 8:22 (Ebr. 31). Moreover, Moses, according to Philo called this Wisdom
“Beginning,” “Image,” “Sight of God.” And his personal
wisdom is an imitation of the archetypal Divine Wisdom. All terrestrial wisdom and virtue
are but copies and representations of the heavenly Logos (LA 1.43, 45-46).

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j. Soul-Nourishing Manna and Wisdom

God sends “the stream” from his Wisdom which irrigates God-loving souls;
consequently they become filled with “manna.” Manna is described by Philo as a
“generic thing” coming from God. It does not come from God directly, however:
“the most generic is God, and next is the Logos of God, the other things subsist in
word (Logos) only” (LA 2.86). According to Philo, Moses called manna “the most
ancient Logos of God (Det. 118).” Next Philo explains that men are “nourished by
the whole word (Logos) of God, and by every portion of it … Accordingly, the soul of the
more perfect man is nourished by the whole word (Logos); but we must be contented if we
are nourished by a portion of it” (LA 3.175-176). And “the Wisdom of God, which
is the nurse and foster-mother and educator of those who desire incorruptible food …
immediately supplies food to those which are brought forth by her … but the fountain of
divine wisdom is borne along, at one time in a more gentle and moderate stream, and at
another with greater rapidity and a more exceeding violence and impetuosity….(Det.
115-117). This Wisdom as the Daughter of God “has obtained a nature intact and
undefiled both because of her own propriety and the dignity of him who begot her.”
Having identified the Logos with Wisdom, Philo runs into a grammatical problem: in the
Greek language “wisdom” (sophia) is feminine and “word” (logos) is
masculine; moreover, Philo saw Wisdom’s function as masculine. So he explains that
Wisdom’s name is feminine, but her nature is masculine:

Indeed all the virtues have women’s designations, but powers and activities of truly
perfect men. For that which comes after God, even if it were the most venerable of all
other things, holds second place, and was called feminine in contrast to the Creator of
the universe, who is masculine, and in accordance with its resemblance to everything else.
For the feminine always falls short and is inferior to the masculine, which has priority.
Let us then pay no attention to the discrepancy in the terms, and say that the daughter of
God, Wisdom, is both masculine and the father, inseminating and engendering in souls a
desire to learn discipline, knowledge, practical insight, notable and laudable actions
(Fug. 50-52).

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k. Intermediary Power

The fundamental doctrine propounded by Philo is that of Logos as an intermediary power,
a messenger and mediator between God and the world.

And the father who created the universe has given to his archangel and most ancient
Logos a pre-eminent gift, to stand on the confines of both, and separate that which had
been created from the Creator. And this same Logos is continually a suppliant to the
immortal God on behalf of the mortal race, which is exposed to affliction and misery; and
is also the ambassador, sent by the Ruler of all, to the subject race. And the Logos
rejoices…. saying “And I stood in the midst, between the Lord and you” (Num.
16:48); neither being uncreated as God, nor yet created as you, but being in the midst
between these two extremities, like a hostage, as it were, to both parties (Her. 205-206).

When speaking of the high priest, Philo describes the Logos as God’s son, a perfect
being procuring forgiveness of sins and blessings: “For it was indispensable that the
man who was consecrated to the Father of the world [the high priest] should have as a
paraclete, his son, the being most perfect in all virtue, to procure forgiveness of sins,
and a supply of unlimited blessings” (Mos. 2.134). Philo transforms the Stoic
impersonal and immanent Logos into a being who was neither eternal like God nor created
like creatures, but begotten from eternity. This being is a mediator giving hope to men
and who “was sent down to earth.” God, according to Philo, sends “the
stream of his own wisdom” to men “and causes the changed soul to drink of
unchangeable health; for the abrupt rock is the wisdom of God, which being both sublime
and the first of things he quarried out of his own powers.” After the souls are
watered they are filled with the manna which “is called something which is the
primary genus of everything. But the most universal of all things is God; and in the
second place is the Logos of God”(LA 2.86). Through the Logos of God men learn all
kinds of instruction and everlasting wisdom (Fug. 127-120). The Logos is the
“cupbearer of God … being itself in an unmixed state, the pure delight and
sweetness, and pouring forth and joy, and ambrosial medicine of pleasure and
happiness” (Somn. 2.249). This wisdom was represented by the tabernacle of the Old
Testament which was “a thing made after the model and in imitation of Wisdom”
and sent down to earth “in the midst of our impurity in order that we may have
something whereby we may be purified, washing off and cleansing all those things which
dirty and defile our miserable life, full of all evil reputation as it is” (Her.
112-113). “God therefore sows and implants terrestrial virtue in the human race,
being an imitation and representation of the heavenly virtue” (LA 1.45).

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l. “God”

In three passages Philo describes the Logos even as God:

a.) Commenting on Genesis 22:16 Philo explains that God could only swear by himself (LA
3.207).

b.) When the scripture uses the Greek term for God ho theos, it refers to the true God,
but when it uses the term theos, without the article ho, it refers not to the God, but to
his most ancient Logos (Somn. 1.229-230).

c.) Commenting on Genesis 9:6 Philo states the reference to creation of man after the
image of God is to the second deity, the Divine Logos of the Supreme being and to the
father himself, because it is only fitting that the rational soul of man cannot be in
relation to the preeminent and transcendent Divinity (QG 2.62).

Philo himself, however, explains that to call the Logos “God” is not a
correct appellation (Somn.1.230). Also, through this Logos, which men share with God, men
know God and are able to perceive Him (LA 1.37-38).

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m. Summary of Philo’s Concept of the Logos

Philo’s doctrine of the Logos is blurred by his mystical and religious vision, but his
Logos is clearly the second individual in one God as a hypostatization of God’s Creative
Power – Wisdom. The supreme being is God and the next is Wisdom or the Logos of God (Op.
24). Logos has many names as did Zeus (LA 1.43,45,46), and multiple functions. Earthly
wisdom is but a copy of this celestial Wisdom. It was represented in historical times by
the tabernacle through which God sent an image of divine excellence as a representation
and copy of Wisdom (Lev. 16:16; Her. 112-113). The Divine Logos never mixes with the
things which are created and thus destined to perish, but attends the One alone. This
Logos is apportioned into an infinite number of parts in humans, thus we impart the Divine
Logos. As a result we acquire some likeness to the Father and the Creator of all (Her.
234-236). The Logos is the Bond of the universe and mediator extended in nature. The
Father eternally begat the Logos and constituted it as an unbreakable bond of the universe
that produces harmony (Plant. 9-10). The Logos, mediating between God and the world, is
neither uncreated as God nor created as men. So in Philo’s view the Father is the Supreme
Being and the Logos, as his chief messenger, stands between Creator and creature. The
Logos is an ambassador and suppliant, neither unbegotten nor begotten as are sensible
things (Her. 205). Wisdom, the Daughter of God, is in reality masculine because powers
have truly masculine descriptions, whereas virtues are feminine. That which is in the
second place after the masculine Creator was called feminine, according to Philo, but her
priority is masculine; so the Wisdom of God is both masculine and feminine (Fug. 50-52).
Wisdom flows from the Divine Logos (Fug. 137-138). The Logos is the Cupbearer of God. He
pours himself into happy souls (Somn. 2.249). The immortal part of the soul comes from the
divine breath of the Father/Ruler as a part of his Logos.

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12. List of abbreviations to Philo’s works

Abr. De Abrahamo;

Aet. De Aeternitate Mundi;

Agr. De Agricultura;

Anim. De Animalibus;

Cher. De Cherubim;

Conf. De Confusione Linguarum;

Congr. De Congressu Eruditionis Gratia;

Cont. De Vita Contemplativa;

Decal. De Decalogo;

Det. Quod Deterius Potiori Insidiari Soleat;

Deus. Quod Deus Sit Immutabilis;

Ebr. De Ebrietate;

Flac. In Flaccum;

Fug. De Fuga et Inventione;

Gig. De Gigantibus;

Her. Quis Rerum Divinarum Heres Sit;

Hypoth. Hypothetica;

Jos. De Josepho;

LA Legum Allegoriarum;

Legat. Legatio ad Gaium;

Mig. De Migratione Abrahami;

Mut. De Mutatione Nominum;

Op. De Opificio Mundi;

Plant. De Plantatione;

Post. De Posteritate Caini;

Praem. De Praemiis et Poenis;

Prob. Quod Omnis Probus Liber Sit;

Prov. De Providentia;

QE Quaestiones et Solutiones in Exodum;

QG Quaestiones et Solutiones in Genesim;

Sacr. De Sacrificiis Abelis et Caini;

Sobr. De Sobrietate;

Somn. De Somniis;

Spec. leg. De Specialibus Legibus;

Virt. De Virtutibus.

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13. Editions of Philo’s works and their translations

The Greek texts of Philo’s works:

Philonis Judaei Opera Omnia. Textus editus ad fidem optimarum editionum. (Lipsiae:

Sumptibus E.B. Schwickerti, 1828-1829), Vol. 1-6.

Philonis Alexandrini Opera Quae Supersunt. Ediderunt Leopoldus Cohn et Paulus

Wendland (Berolini: Typis et impensis Georgii Reimeri/ Walther de Gruyter & Co.,

MDCCCLXXXXVI – MCMXXX, reprinted in 1962). Vols. 1-7.

The Armenian text and its English translation:

A. Terian, Philonis Alexandrini De Animalibus: The Armenian Text with an

Introduction, Translation, and Commentary. Studies in Hellenistic Judaism,

Supplements to Studia Philonica 1. (Chico: Scholars Press, 1981).

Translations of complete works:

The Works of Philo. Complete and Unabridged. Translated by Charles Duke Yonge,

New Updated Edition. (Hedrickson Publishers, 1995).

F. H. Colson and G. H. Whitaker, eds., The Works of Philo (Cambridge, Mass: Loeb

Classical Library, Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann,

1929-1953), Vols. 1-10. Ralph Marcus, ed, Vols 10-12, containing works of

Philo available only in Armenian.

Selections of works of Philo in translation:

Philo, Selections ed., Hans Lewy in Three Jewish Philosophers (Cleveland, New

York, Philadelphia, 1961).

Philo of Alexandria, The Contemplative Life, The Giants, and Selections. Translation

and Introduction by David Winston. Preface by John Dillon. (New York/ Ramsey/Toronto:
Paulist Press, 1981).

Ronald Williamson, Jews in the Hellenistic World: Philo (Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, 1989).

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14. Major Works on Philo

T. H. Billings, The Platonism of Philo Judaeus (Chicago, 1919).

H. A. Wolfson, Philo (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1947), Vols 1-2.

C. H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1963).

Ronald Williamson, Philo and the Epistle to the Hebrews (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970).

R. C. Baer, Philo’s Use of the Categories Male and Female (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970).

S. Sandmel, Philo of Alexandria: An Introduction (New York/Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1979).

Harold W. Attridge, The Epistle to the Hebrews (Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress
Press, 1989).

Dorothy Sly, Philo’s Perception of Women (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990).

Ross Shepard Kraemer, Her Share of the Blessings: Women’s religions among Pagans, Jews,
and Christians in the Greco-Roman World (NewYork /Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).

John M. Dillon, The Middle Platonists (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1977,
1996).

KUWAIT STOCK EXCHANGE

November 27, 2006 at 1:55 am | Posted in Arabs, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Middle East, Research | Leave a comment

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“KAMCO Research” Kamco_Research@kamconline.com

Kuwait Stock Exchange Daily

Briefing as of 26.11.2006

Education Holding Group announced a net profit of KD 4,955,317 for the fiscal year 2005/2006 ending August 2006 , as compared with a net profit of KD 9,200,534 reported the same period of 2005/2004.

Kind regards

Investment Research Department

KAMCO Research Kamco_Research@kamconline.com

Third Quarter 2006 Earnings Announcement

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Please find attached KSE Daily Briefing.

Kind regards

Investment Research Department

Kuwait Stock Exchange Daily Briefing as of 26.11.2006

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( 0.01 MB) KSE_26.11.2006.pdf
(0.12 MB)

KAMCO Research Kamco_Research@kamconline.com

“KAMCO Research” Kamco_Research@kamconline.com

Sunday, November 26, 2006

CHRISTIAN-JEWISH DEBATE IN THE MIDDLE AGES

November 27, 2006 at 12:11 am | Posted in Books, Globalization, History, Islam, Judaica, Literary, Middle East, Philosophy, Zionism | Leave a comment

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<b>The Jewish-Christian Debate in the Middle Ages (Rebroadacst)</b>

The Jewish-Christian Debate in the Middle Ages

(Rebroadcast)

http://realserver.bu.edu:8080/ramgen/w/b/wbur/woi/audio/2006/11/woi_1126.rm

Listen to this show

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This Sunday, November 26th at 9 pm ET, tune in to
hear a lecture titled "The Jewish-Christian Debate: The Interplay of Philosophy and
Polemics in the Middle Ages" that was presented by the Luce Program in Scripture and
Literary Arts at Boston University.

The lecture speaker was Professor Daniel Lasker of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, who
was introduced by Boston University Department of Religion Professor Diana Lobel.

Professor Daniel Lasker
discussed the relationship between philosophy and polemics in medieval Jewish-Christian
encounter. His now classic book,
"Jewish
Philosophical Polemics against Christianity in the Middle Ages,"

is slated to appear in a new edition next year with a fresh introduction. He will present
some of the highlights of that material, drawn from thirty years spent studying the
subject.

Trustees of Boston University


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