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epiphany

Subject: Religion

The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi; the festival commemorating this on 6 January. The name is recorded from Middle English, and comes ultimately from ...

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The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
14 words

... The manifestation of God’s presence in the world. A spiritual or mystical...

Epiphany

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Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

... (Greek epiphaneia , ‘appearance’, ‘manifestation’) The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, i.e. to the Wise Men from the East, and 6 January is the feast of the Epiphany in commemoration of this. The Epiphany also marks the official ending of Christmas, as the twelfth day after 25 December. See also magi ; twelfth night...

epiphany

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The Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
226 words

...The concept is much older than the term. From Homer onwards, epiphany scenes constitute an essential element of epic narrative (Athena in Iliad 1, and Odyssey ) and hymnic poetry (self‐revelation of Demeter , Aphrodite , and Dionysus in their respective Homeric Hymns ). Stage epiphanies are more frequent in tragedy than in extant comedy. From the 4th cent. onwards, epiphany emerges increasingly as a function of cult. Throughout the Hellenistic period, collections of divine epiphanies promoted faith and served religious propaganda in the cults of...

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... [ i- pif -ăni ] The term used in Christian theology for a manifestation of God’s presence in the world. It was taken over by James Joyce to denote secular revelation in the everyday world, in an early version of his novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man ( 1916 ) later published as Stephen Hero ( 1944 ). Here Joyce defined an epiphany as ‘a sudden spiritual manifestation’ in which the ‘whatness’ of a common object or gesture appears radiant to the observer. Much of Joyce’s fiction is built around such special moments of sudden insight,...

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The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Literature
Length:
147 words

... Used in a Christian context to refer to the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles in the persons of the Magi (Matt. 2: 1–12), but adapted by James Joyce in Stephen Hero , an early draft of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man , where Stephen considers compiling ‘a book of epiphanies. By an epiphany he meant a sudden spiritual manifestation, whether in the vulgarity of speech or of gesture or in a memorable phase of the mind itself.’ (ch. 25). In Ulysses Stephen Dedalus recalls his ‘epiphanies on green live leaves, deeply deep’. There are...

epiphany

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The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Literature
Length:
213 words

... Used in a Christian context to refer to the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles in the persons of the Magi (Matt. 2: 1–12), but adapted by James Joyce in Stephen Hero , an early draft of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man , where Stephen considers compiling ‘a book of epiphanies. By an epiphany he meant a sudden spiritual manifestation, whether in the vulgarity of speech or of gesture or in a memorable phase of the mind itself. He believed that it was for the man of letters to record these epiphanies with extreme care, seeing that they...

epiphany

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Henrichs Albert

The Oxford Classical Dictionary (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
559 words

...19). Cult heroes like the Dioscuri and the Aeacidae were credited with epiphanic interventions in times of crisis, especially in the thick of battle. In contrast to the importance of omens ( see portents ), epiphany is not a feature of Roman state religion. But Roman poets and historians freely adapted Greek epiphanic conventions. Separate trajectories lead from divine epiphany to ruler-cult , from the ἐποπτεία (‘watching’) of the Eleusinian mysteries to the sublimation of epiphany in Neoplatonism , and from the pagan concept of divine self-manifestation...

Epiphany

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Religion
Length:
80 words

... (Gk., epiphaneia , ‘manifestation’). An appearance of a divine or superhuman being. In Christian use it refers specifically to a feast celebrated on 6 Jan. It originated in the E., where it celebrated the baptism of Jesus and, at least in a secondary way, his birth. Epiphany spread to the W. Church in the 4th cent., but here it became associated with the ‘manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles’ in the person of the Magi of Matthew 2....

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Martin Connell

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...divinity at Epiphany, such as his Birth, his Transfiguration, his first miracle performed at a wedding at Cana of Galilee, and the visit of the Magi. Western Christians had celebrated the birth of Jesus on 25 December since at least the early 4th century and the spread of this festival (first mentioned in the East in the Apostolic Constitutions and Canons ) seems to have whittled away some of the significance of Epiphany, which shifted from being the Dies Epiphaniorum (Day of Epiphanies) to being the celebration of a single epiphany, the revelation to...

epiphany

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The Concise Oxford Companion to Irish Literature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Literature
Length:
50 words

... , a term used by James Joyce —and widely adopted since—to describe a sudden manifestation when the significance of some social or psychological experience is made clear. In particular, the term refers to some seventy records of such moments of perception written down by Joyce between 1901 and 1904...

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World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
51 words

... Christian feast celebrated on January 6 . It originated in the Eastern Church as an observance of the baptism of Jesus. In the West, it became associated with the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles and more particularly it has come to celebrate the coming of the Magi (Three Wise...

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Religion
Length:
112 words

... (from the Greek for ‘manifestation’). A feast of the Church kept on 6 Jan. It originated in the E., where it has been celebrated in honour of the Baptism of Christ since the 3rd cent., one of its main features being the solemn blessing of water. It was introduced into the W. Church in the 4th cent. Here it became chiefly associated with the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles in the persons of the Magi , though the Baptism of Christ and the miracle at Cana (Jn. 2: 1–11) are also mentioned. In 1955 the Sunday after Epiphany became a separate...

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Todd D. Still

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Theology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Religion
Length:
2,150 words

...various valances of epiphany (as a term, a phenomenon, and a festival), subsumes closely related, more precise terminology (e.g., “theophany,” “Christophany,” and “angelophany”) under the broader category of “epiphany.” Epiphany in Greco-Roman Antiquity. An inscription unearthed in Cheronesus on the Crimean, typically dated to 279 b.c.e. , contains the earliest extant use of epiphaneia denoting divine manifestation and intervention. Therein, an epiphany of Apollo is said to have led to the defeat of invading Gauls at Delphi. From this third-century ...

Epiphany

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The Oxford Dictionary of Christian Art and Architecture (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Art & Architecture, Religion
Length:
569 words

... (Gk. epiphaneia , manifestation) Epiphany and Theophany both mean a manifestation of a god; in ancient Greece, for instance, the term was used by the Delphians for the day on which Apollo manifested himself to them. In Christian usage, it refers to any manifestation of Christ as the revelation of God to the world. The Feast of the Epiphany originated in the 3rd century in the Eastern Church as a celebration of Christ's birth, His recognition by the Magi , and His Baptism , and it remains one of the major Eastern festivals, held on the 6 January,...

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A Dictionary of the Bible (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Religion
Length:
198 words

...in the West, with * Christmas Day on 25 December for the * birth of Jesus, established not later than 336 . It was not always so. From the 3rd cent. in the East the Epiphany on 6 January had commemorated not only the birth, including the visit of the Magi, but also the * baptism of Jesus and even his first * miracle at * Cana (John 2: 1–11). By the end of the 4th cent. Epiphany concentrated on the baptism of Jesus, while 25 December was borrowed from the West for Jesus'...

Epiphany

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The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3 rev. ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Religion
Length:
544 words

...Cana. In 1955 both the Octave and Vigil of the Epiphany were abolished, but the Sunday after Epiphany was made a separate feast of the Baptism, which had figured largely in the liturgy of the Octave. In England the Sovereign makes offerings of gold, frankincense, and myrrh in the Chapel Royal on the feast. For the main lit. dealing with Christmas and the Epiphany see under christmas . On the Epiphany only, John, Marquess of Bute and E. A. W. Budge , The Blessing of the Waters on the Eve of the Epiphany: The Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, and Russian...

Epiphany

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The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
523 words

... (τἐ ᾽Επιφάνια), the feast of lights ( ta phota ), also called ta theophania , celebrating the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan River. Epiphany originally commemorated not a single event, but a mystery, the appearance of salvation in Jesus revealed in a cluster of New Testament events, principally Jesus' birth and his baptism. Historicizing tendencies in the 4th C. led to a separation of the cluster: the Nativity was moved to 25 Dec. and the Baptism was then celebrated by itself on 6 Jan. The feast gained importance during the controversies over the...

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Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
161 words

... Emerging from Roman triumphal art, a first composition of linear type developed in early Christian art and remained until the Romanesque period: in oriental dress, the three Magi advance in line towards the Virgin enthroned with the Child on her knees. From the 10th c., the crown begins to replace the Phrygian cap; in the 11th c., long tunic and mantle progressively prevail. In the 12th c., the attitudes and gestures of the Kings diversify, their walking movement tails off before gradually coming to a halt: the first King is on his knees before...

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Language reference, History of English
Length:
20 words

... manifestation of a supernatural being. XVII. — Gr. epipháneia manifestation, appearance of a divinity, f. epiphanḗs manifest, epiphaínein (see...

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The Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Language reference, History of English
Length:
63 words

... [ME] Epiphany is the festival commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi or the three wise men who brought gifts to the infant Jesus. It is from Greek epiphainein ‘reveal’. An alternative Greek name for the festival is Theophania ‘divine revelation’, which lies behind the personal name Tiffany, originally given to girls born at the...

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