theophany

theophanic /thee'euh fan"ik/, theophanous, adj.
/thee of"euh nee/, n., pl. theophanies.
a manifestation or appearance of God or a god to a person.
[1625-35; < LL theophania < LGk theopháneia. See THEO-, -PHANY]

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      (from Greek theophaneia, “appearance of God”), manifestation of deity in sensible form. The term has been applied generally to the appearance of the gods in the ancient Greek and Near Eastern religions but has in addition acquired a special technical usage in regard to biblical materials. In the Old Testament, God is depicted as appearing in human form, in natural cataclysms, in a burning bush, a cloud, or a gentle breeze—forms often associated with the divine “name” or “glory” (originally a visible halo accompanying the divine appearance). Old Testament theophanies are presented as actual historical events or as prophetic visions with symbolic overtones. The mark of biblical theophanies is the temporariness and suddenness of the appearance of God, which is here not an enduring presence in a certain place or object. The extension of the term theophany to such New Testament events as the Baptism and transfiguration of Jesus (also called epiphanies) has been questioned as inappropriate because in Orthodox Christian doctrine Christ himself in his whole life and work and death is the manifestation of God. The incarnation of Christ, however, may be seen as the ultimate and fullest form of divine manifestation in a whole spectrum of theophanies.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Theophany — The*oph a*ny, n.; pl. { nies}. [Gr. ?; ? God + ? to appear.] A manifestation of God to man by actual appearance, usually as an incarnation. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • theophany — (n.) 1630s, from L.L. theophania, from Gk. theophaneia, from theos god (see THEA (Cf. Thea)) + phainein to show (see PHANTASM (Cf. phantasm)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • theophany — [thē äf′ə nē] n. pl. theophanies [LL(Ec) theophania < Gr theophaneia: see THEO & PHANE] a manifestation of God or a deity …   English World dictionary

  • Theophany — For the Christian holiday, see Epiphany (holiday). For the given name, see Tiffany (given name). Death of Semele by Peter Paul Rubens …   Wikipedia

  • theophany — An appearance or revelation of God, often in the OT in connection with a sanctuary (Exod. 40:34–8); as to Isaiah in the Temple (Isa. 6:1); God s presence is indicated by fire or wind and clouds (Deut. 33:2; Ps. 68:33; 104:3). According to… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • theophany —    This word (from the Greek theos, meaning God, and phaneia, meaning appearance ) refers to a manifestation of the divine to a human person. Theophany often refers to revelatory events in the Bible, such as the manifestation of Godin the burning …   Glossary of theological terms

  • theophany — noun (plural nies) Etymology: Medieval Latin theophania, from Late Greek theophaneia, from Greek the + phaneia (as in epiphaneia appearance) more at epiphany Date: circa 1633 a visible manifestation of a deity • theophanic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • theophany — noun A visible manifestation of a deity. See Also: epiphany, hierophany …   Wiktionary

  • theophany — Synonyms and related words: Christophany, Masan, Satanophany, afflatus, angelophany, apocalypse, apparition, appearance, appearing, arising, astral, astral spirit, avatar, banshee, coming, coming into being, coming forth, control, departed spirit …   Moby Thesaurus

  • THEOPHANY —    the temporal and spatial manifestation of GOD or the divine in some tangible form …   Concise dictionary of Religion

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