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 continue, 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 came across tough to simply accept. To discover this clash, Valentina Izmirlieva examines lists of God’s names: one from The Divine Names, the vintage treatise by means of 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 mystical 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 diversified visions of order represented through each one checklist, Izmirlieva reveals 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 guaranteed to impress 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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It is common to regard Christianity as a religion of the Word, though to call it “a religion of the Name” might sound like a stretch at first. Yet the status of the name—or the names—of God in the Christian idiom is not like that of any other word. About two thousand years ago, the very first Christian communities chose to define themselves as those “who invoke the name [of the Lord]” (Acts 9:14), a “name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:9). And since then, the struggle to articulate and sustain a Christian identity has always been entangled with the striving for profession, for confession and confirmation of God’s name.

Dionysius Areopagite in a Greek manuscript of the Areopagite Corpus from the Monastery of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai, fourteenth-fifteenth century, fol. 46v. 322 Greek, the St. Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai. G chapter two Back to the Sources T o get a more adequate view of the Dionysian synthesis in its immediate intellectual context, it helps to step back and observe the more inclusive landscape of concerns, preoccupations, and practices that constituted over time the Christian theology of divine names.

Thus, on the one hand, the Bible consistently refers to a single name of God that remains mysterious, while, on the other hand, it provides an array of God-terms that are never defined explicitly as his names. 10 What is the name that the Christians worship and confirm? Is it, to paraphrase T. S. Eliot, an “ineffable effable,” a tabooed and unknowable singular name? 11 Is God, in other words, revealed to us as essentially anonymous, the One without a proper name? Or is he truly polynomous—a God of many names, and perhaps of every name?

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