A Little Cain in All of Us: De Cherubim as an Introduction to Philo's 'Cain Trilogy'

In this paper I suggest De Cherubim be read as an introduction to Philo's "Cain trilogy" (Sacr., Det., Post.), which symbolizes the journey of the soul. Cher. introduces Cain as the negative product of the mind's (Adam's) encounter with sense-perception (Eve). Because his name means "possession," Cain symbolizes self-infatuation, a mental disease typical of humanity. "Cain" is answered by the soul's birth of "Abel," or the "God-loving conviction" (Sacr.). Although "Cain" attempts to gain ground by his sophistic reasoning (Det.), ultimately the virtuous mind finds Cain's madness unworthy, and banishes him (Post.).