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All the Names of the LordLists, Mysticism, and Magic$
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Valentina Izmirlieva

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226388700

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226388724.001.0001

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The Divine Names and Dionysius the Areopagite

The Divine Names and Dionysius the Areopagite

(p.17) Chapter One The Divine Names and Dionysius the Areopagite
All the Names of the Lord
University of Chicago Press

This book deals with the practice of listing the names of God, a practice that often pluralizes the singular “name” of biblical language in extravagantly abundant litanies and inventories of gargantuan proportions. Its numerous purposes defy easy generalizations. Lists of divine names are used across written and oral discourses to glorify and to instruct, to protect and to subjugate, and are equally at home in all quarters of Christian culture: from theology to liturgy and magic, and from official ceremonial practices to the practices of everyday life. To be sure, such extensive production of sacronymic catalogues is not unique to Christianity. Virtually all theistic religions share the Christian zeal for embracing the divine realm in a list, whether through the names of numerous gods and goddesses or through the numerous names of a single divinity. Archaeological discoveries in Mesopotamia even suggest that the listing of sacred names was perhaps the oldest practice of writing.

Keywords:   God, name, divine names, Christian culture, theology, liturgy, sacronymic catalogues, Christianity, Mesopotamia, sacred names

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