Download All the Names of the Lord: Lists, Mysticism, and Magic by Valentina Izmirlieva PDF

By Valentina Izmirlieva

Christians face a conundrum in terms of naming God, for if God is unnamable, as theologians hold, he can be referred to as by way of each identify. His right identify is therefore an open-ended, all-encompassing checklist, a secret the Church embraces in its rhetoric, yet which many Christians have came upon tricky to just accept. To discover this clash, Valentina Izmirlieva examines lists of God’s names: one from The Divine Names, the vintage treatise by way of Pseudo-Dionysius, and the opposite from The seventy two Names of the Lord, an amulet whose historical past binds jointly Kabbalah and Christianity, Jews and Slavs, Palestine, Provence, and the Balkans.             This unforeseen juxtaposition of a theological treatise and a mystical amulet permits Izmirlieva to bare lists’ rhetorical capability to create order and to operate as either instruments of information and of energy. regardless of the 2 various visions of order represented by way of every one record, Izmirlieva reveals that their makes use of in Christian perform aspect to a complementary dating among the existential want for God’s safety and the metaphysical wish to undergo his endless majesty—a compelling declare bound to galvanize dialogue between students in lots of fields.

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1. St. Dionysius the Areopagite, ca. 1200, fresco from the Refectory in the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Patmos. Courtesy of Avery Library, Columbia University. by misrepresenting himself as Dionysius the Areopagite, who was the first Athenian converted by St. 3 Whoever the man behind this pseudonym really was, he could not have chosen a better guise. While effectively concealing from posterity his true identity, the pen name granted his work a near-apostolic authority and placed it at the head of the patristic tradition.

16 This separative power of logos makes it particularly unsuited for handling unity and unitive experiences—a major problem in the Neoplatonic scheme of things, since the premise of the entire cosmological program of Neoplatonism was the hypothesis of the One understood as both an ontological source and an epistemological goal. Neoplatonists worked hard to find a way out of this predicament, trying to subvert the ground rules of language and to make it transcend its own limits. 17 This speculative technique is known as the negative method, or apophasis (“negation”).

For he is, in his essence, absolutely transcendent to creatures and can only reveal himself to them as hidden and mysterious. Characteristically, Dionysius uses the hierarchy trope to thematize this biblical dialectic of revelation and concealment by introducing yet another dialectical pair, that of similar dissimilarities. 9 Proper knowledge of the divine should sort out the similarities from the dissimilarities, affirming the first and negating the second. Both procedures are necessary for theology, albeit in different measure, as they are—in different measure—both adequate and inadequate to the theological goal.

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