Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Subtle BodiesRepresenting Angels in Byzantium$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Glenn Peers and A. Long

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520224056

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520224056.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use (for details see http://california.universitypressscholarship.com/page/535/privacy-policy-and-legal-notice).date: 21 January 2018

Representing Angels

Representing Angels

Images and Theory

Chapter:
(p.89) Three Representing Angels
Source:
Subtle Bodies
Author(s):

Glenn Peers

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520224056.003.0004

Christians accepted figured, material signs for contemplation and worship. This acceptance represents a mode of approach completely separate from the literalist and intellectual conception. The most influential theologian for the defense of symbolic images is Pseudo-Dionysius, the Areopagite. Despite the fact that these writings deal with verbal images and the comprehension of divine things through these images, all subsequent discussion of symbolic images, both verbal and visual, relied on his seminal theology. According to Pseudo-Dionysius, symbols offer the primary access to God, as they are condescendences which render God accessible to incarnate intelligences. The angels then take on forms, figures, and schemata that can fall to our senses and be more readily grasped and interpreted. The symbols provided by the celestial intelligences have an educative role for those seeking greater knowledge of God. This process of contemplation is a simultaneous act of resistance to a complacency attached to matter rather than a literal interpretation of the symbol.

Keywords:   Pseudo-Dionysius, worship, image, symbols, God, Christians

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.