By Valentina Izmirlieva
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Extra resources for All the Names of the Lord: Lists, Mysticism, and Magic
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.