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 preserve, he is also known as through each identify. His right identify is hence an open-ended, all-encompassing record, a secret the Church embraces in its rhetoric, yet which many Christians have stumbled 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 historical past 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 data and of energy. regardless of the 2 diverse visions of order represented by way of every one checklist, Izmirlieva unearths that their makes use of in Christian perform element to a complementary courting among the existential desire for God’s security 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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Extra resources for All the Names of the Lord: Lists, Mysticism, and Magic

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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. 1330–1406), who became the Metropolitan of Moscow in 1389, personally brought one copy to Russia, thus expanding further the territory of Dionysius’s influence. In 22 chapter one 1675, the Russian monk Euthymius of the Chudov Monastery prepared a new translation for a printed publication which, however, never came out, while Isaiah’s version appeared in print in 1870, as part of the monumental edition of the Reading Menaion completed under the aegis of Metropolitan Makarii ([Macarius]; 1542–63).

There are only a few books in Christian culture that rival—in scope or impact—the fabulous career of the Greek theological works attributed to Saint Dionysius the Areopagite. 1 Each of them holds a unique position of authority in the Christian canon, and the corpus as a whole has shaped Christian spirituality as few texts, outside the biblical canon, ever have. Since, however, I focus on the names of God, our particular interest turns on the treatise The Divine Names, which stands out in the Christian tradition as the most authoritative theological discourse on the naming of God.

Yet such a theological commitment is fueled by the assumption—the hope—that the act of trying itself has both an epistemological and a salvific value. This is the raison d’etre of theology according to Dionysius, calling to ˆ mind T. S. Eliot’s stoic resolution in The Four Quartets, “For us, there is only the trying. ” Even though the goal is unattainable, perpetually hidden, the increasingly closer approximations to it that result from the ascent are by themselves productive, progressively revealing.

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