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 retain, he is usually 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 discovered tough 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 heritage 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 strength to create order and to operate as either instruments of information and of energy. regardless of the 2 assorted visions of order represented by way of every one checklist, Izmirlieva unearths that their makes use of in Christian perform element to a complementary dating among the existential desire for God’s defense and the metaphysical wish to undergo his endless majesty—a compelling declare certain to galvanize dialogue between students in lots of fields.

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In fact, quotations and paraphrases of passages from the corpus are found in several of the earliest Slavonic codices: Hexaemeron and Heavens, the two major compilatory works by John the Exarch of Bulgaria (d. ca. 17 Responding to the increasing demand for the works of the Areopagite, the Serbian Metropolitan Theodosius urged a monk by the name of Isaiah from the city of Serres to translate the corpus together with the combined scholia of John and Maximus. 19 The Bulgarian hesychast Cyprian (ca.

If divine names indeed have automatic powers, they cannot (and should not) be used outside of a ritual context, which means that speculative discourse requires substitutes for them. 24 On a more pragmatic level, emphasis on the materiality of divine names made the nonreferential theory particularly vulnerable to accusations of idolatry and outright magic. By favoring the untranslatability of sacred appellations, this theory encouraged the use of unintelligible names. Thus it allowed for nomina barbara to crop up in Christian rituals, opening the door also to various heterodox texts and practices.

Christian name theology, in other words, is subsumed in a larger theology of language. The internal paradoxes of the Christian position on language are usually attributed to its hyphenated, Judeo-Hellenic heritage. ” The logocentricity of the first comes across as essential and largely unproblematic; the second necessarily makes any logos project both self-reflexive and highly skeptical of itself. 12 Incidentally, it was St. Paul, the alleged mentor and teacher of Dionysius, who initiated the major shift in the history of early Christianity, generating a change with far-reaching repercussions, of which those discussed here are only a part.

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