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 usually referred to as by means of each identify. His right identify is therefore an open-ended, all-encompassing record, a secret the Church embraces in its rhetoric, yet which many Christians have came upon tricky to just accept. To discover this clash, Valentina Izmirlieva examines lists of God’s names: one from The Divine Names, the vintage treatise via 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 mystical amulet permits Izmirlieva to bare lists’ rhetorical power to create order and to operate as either instruments of information and of energy. regardless of the 2 varied visions of order represented via every one record, Izmirlieva reveals that their makes use of in Christian perform element to a complementary courting among the existential desire for God’s safety and the metaphysical wish to undergo his countless majesty—a compelling declare bound to impress dialogue between students in lots of fields.

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And throughout the heated debates, despite the vicissitudes of theological argumentations, respect for the name in the language of worship has never wavered, making it one of the pivots of the Christian liturgical idiom. To be sure, such intense concern with divine names is not uniquely Christian. 1 All three religious traditions are built around a particular sacred text—the Tanakh, the Bible, the Koran—that, as a witness to the proclamatory Word of God, demands both utmost devotion and perpetual exegesis.

It threatened to force the believer into a communication cul-de-sac. Since invocation is ambivalent without the use of a proper name, the unnamability of the Lord puts in question the possibility of successfully initiating any verbal contact with him. The postulate of God’s anonymity, therefore, potentially undermines from within the entire system of logocentric Christian worship, which is essentially worship of the Word by the medium of words. ”26 This variation of Jacob’s request to the Lord, “Please tell me your name,” articulates more than a dilemma of the intellect.

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. At its core, Christianity was transformed from a local, rabbinic movement within Judaism into a universal religion open for membership to Jews and Gentiles alike. This remarkable metamorphosis created a dialogical situation, in which the mastering of just one cultural code was no longer sufficient.

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