All the names of the Lord : lists, mysticism, and magic by Valentina Izmirlieva

By Valentina Izmirlieva

Christians face a conundrum by way of naming God, for if God is unnamable, as theologians hold, he can be known as through 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 chanced on tricky to just accept. To discover this clash, Valentina Izmirlieva examines lists of God’s names: one from The Divine Names, the vintage treatise through Pseudo-Dionysius, and the opposite from The seventy two Names of the Lord, an amulet whose background binds jointly Kabbalah and Christianity, Jews and Slavs, Palestine, Provence, and the Balkans.

This unforeseen juxtaposition of a theological treatise and a paranormal amulet permits Izmirlieva to bare lists’ rhetorical capability to create order and to operate as either instruments of information and of strength. regardless of the 2 varied visions of order represented by way of each one checklist, Izmirlieva unearths that their makes use of in Christian perform element to a complementary courting among the existential desire for God’s safeguard and the metaphysical wish to undergo his limitless majesty—a compelling declare absolute to galvanize dialogue between students in lots of fields.

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Extra resources for All the names of the Lord : lists, mysticism, and magic

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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. Luck was on his side as the divine names and dionysius the areopagite 19 well, for he not only managed to fool everyone with his mystification, but even benefited from the unintended consequences of assuming the name of Dionysius.

30 It must have seemed that this provincial, idiosyncratic, and deliberately “difficult” text was destined for obscurity, despite the clever name games that its anonymous author was playing with his audiences. But then the commentators stepped in. 31 This symbiosis between text and exegesis was a most productive collaboration indeed. 33 Still, the major consequence was political. The continual interpretive effort of Christian thinkers who labored in the margins of the Areopagitical corpus shifted this once “marginal” work to the center of Orthodoxy, and its unknown author was crowned for at least a millennium with an authority second only to Scripture itself.

2 Christianity readily adopted “the name of God,” absorbing the topos directly from the Old Testament, and especially from those parts of it— hymns, lections, and invocations—that penetrated Christian liturgy and became models for Christianity’s own language of worship. The result is a particularly rich Christian texture of references to the one name of the single divinity, where old Judaic formulas, such as the Third Commandment, “You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God” (Exod.

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