By Valentina Izmirlieva
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Extra resources for All the Names of the Lord: Lists, Mysticism, and Magic
This absorbed attention to the name of the divinity is perceptible in Christian history across speculative and devotional discourses alike. After logos (the Word), onoma (the Name) is one of the most disputable yet indispensable categories of Christian theology—as much a source of controversy as it is of gravity and inspiration. 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.
The Exegetes The name of Dionysius was invaluable for promoting the Areopagitical corpus across the Christian world. Yet the sustained career of this work was not so much the result of self-promotion as the fruit of a continual interpretive labor—the rich tradition of its theological commentaries and annotations that, almost from the start, became inseparable from the corpus itself. The first in a succession of medieval commentators was John of Scythopolis (d. ca. 5 In the next century, Maximus the Confessor (ca.
9 That difficulty is, I believe, deliberate, and very much part of the theological project of the corpus. The reader’s effort to understand the text is meant to approximate the experience of being in God’s presence, and it aims to cultivate a particular state of mind: not only receptivity, but also responsiveness—by deed as well as words—to a divinity beyond being, beyond language and comprehension. It should not surprise us, therefore, that almost every generation of Christian thinkers has felt compelled to revisit Dionysius and find new treasures of meaning and insight in his works.
All the Names of the Lord: Lists, Mysticism, and Magic by Valentina Izmirlieva