Baha'i Library Online

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COLLECTIONPublished articles
TITLEImmanence and Transcendence in Theophanic Symbolism
AUTHOR 1Michael W. Sours
TITLE_PARENTJournal of Bahá'í Studies
PUB_THISAssociation for Bahá'í Studies North America
ABSTRACTBahá'u'lláh uses symbols to depict theophanies — the appearance of God and the divine in the realm of creation — such as "angel," "fire," and the prophets' claims to be incarnating the "face" or "voice" of God; these convey the transcendence of God.
NOTES Mirrored with permission from See also original scan.

See also The Maid of Heaven, the Image of Sophia, and the Logos: Personification of the Spirit of God in Scripture and Sacred Literature (Sours, 1991).

TAGS- Christianity; - Islam; - Judaism; - Metaphors and allegories; - Symbolism; Angels; Attainment unto the Divine presence; Bahá'u'lláh, Station of; Bible; Bride (metaphor); Clouds (metaphor); Dawn-Breakers (book); Day of God; Day of Judgment (or Day of Resurrection); Dove (symbol); Dreams and visions; Dualism; Fire (metaphor); Gabriel (angel); Gender; Genesis (Bible); Glory (general); God; God, Anthropomorphic descriptions of; God, Names of; Haft Vadi (Seven Valleys); Holy Spirit; Huruf (letters); Interfaith dialogue; Interpretation; Jerusalem, Israel; Jesus Christ; Joseph (Prophet); Kitáb-i-Íqán (Book of Certitude); Laws; Logos; Maid of Heaven; Manifestations of God; Monism; Moses; Mount Sinai, Egypt; Mythology; New Jerusalem; Obedience; Paradise; Peace; Progressive revelation; Prophecies; Revelation; Scholarship; Sophia (wisdom); Sufism; Theology; Theophany; Typology; Unity; Unity of humanity; Unity of religion; Will of God; Wisdom; Word of God; Words and phrases
About: Various anthropomorphic and naturalistic symbols are used in biblical, quranic, and Bahá'í scriptures to depict theophanies--the appearance of God and the divine in the realm of creation. Many of the same theophanic symbols that appear in biblical and quranic scriptures are used in the writings of Bahá'u'lláh to communicate Bahá'u'lláh's own divinity and to connect His ministry with past redemptive history. Such symbols include and "angel," "fire," and the prophets' claims to be God incarnating symbolically the "face" or "voice" of God. This article examines the theological significance of some of these symbols, giving special emphasis to how they are used by Bahá'u'lláh to convey the immanence or transcendence of God and to create continuity between His own revelation and past revelations.
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