The Form of God and Vision of the Glory: Some Thoughts on the Anthropomorphite Controversy of 399 AD

published in Romanian translation by I. Ica Jr., in Mistagogia: Experienta lui Dumnezeu

in Orthodoxie (Sibiu: Deisis, 1998) 184-267.

Part I: A Controversy at the turn of the Fifth Century

In late winter of 399 the annual paschal epistle of the Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria took occasion to condemn at length the teaching that God has a human form. The letter itself is no longer extant, but John Cassian, together with Palladius and the Church historians, Sozomen and Socrates, all agree that it hit a nerve among the monks of Egypt [1]. Cassian tells us that in three of the four churches at Scete the priests refused to read the patriarch's letter aloud [2], while Socrates and Sozomen report a mob of angry ascetics converging on the patriarchal residence bent on lynching the offending prelate [3]. Although both historians leave the reader with the impression that they would have quite liked to see Theophilus dangling from the nearest lamp-post, neither evinces any sympathy for the views of the protesting monks. The latter are portrayed rather as ignoramuses whose naivte regarding both biblical interpretation and ecclesiastical politics allows the cunning patriarch to use their anger against his enemies in the Egyptian church, notably the Origenist "Tall Brothers" and their associates [4]. According to the historians, Theophilus redeems the situation, and possibly his life, with a single remark: "In seeing you", he tells the mob, "I behold the face of God" [5]. The answering demand that he prove his bonafides by condemning Origen provides him with the opportunity he is seeking to begin a purge of his "Origenist" opposition.

Other scholars, most notably Elizabeth Clarke, have dealt at length with Theophilus and the other players in this, the first Origenist controversy [6]. I would like to inquire into the thinking of the protesting monks. Were they, I wonder, the simpletons our sources make them out to be? What did it mean for them to believe, as it seems they did, that God has a "human form"? What or whom did they mean by "God"? Which tradition, or traditions, might they have been drawing upon, other than, or in addition to, the obvious anthropomorphisms of the scriptures? I believe that this controversy had to do with two issues: first, that the monks thought the question important because they believed that it touched on the very goal of their lives as Christian renunciates, the vision of God; and, second, that their "anthropomorphism" represented in fact a Christology of very ancient provenance, with roots in the vision tradition of pre-Christian apocalyptic and with possible parallels in the interests some rabbinic circles maintained in mystical speculation on the chariot, or merkabah, of Ezekiel 1. This Christology had, moreover, been rendered anachronistic by -- and was, to be sure, incompatible with -- the revolution of the Nicene homoousion. While my first point has been recognized by a number of scholars, Graham Gould for example and Georges Florovsky [7], the second, save for a passing suggestion by Gedeliahu Stroumsa, has so far escaped scholarly notice [8]. In support, I shall begin by calling the following three texts to witness: John Cassian's Xth Collatio, chapter LXX of Epiphanius of Salamis' Panarion, and the Coptic Life of Apa Aphou of Pemdje [9]. Later on, I shall also have recourse to more distant points in the Christian world of the late fourth century, from the Persian frontier to the Numidia of Augustine of Hippo.

I.A: The Primary Witnesses: Cassian, Epiphanius, Apa Aphou

Cassian's tenth Conversation provides the most extensive discussion and rebuttal of the Egyptian anthropomorphites. Like Palladius, Socrates and Sozomen, Cassian was an admirer of Evagrius Ponticus, the Origenist of the Egyptian desert, and was deeply influenced by Evagrius' emphasis on "imageless prayer", together with his interiorization of the visio Dei [10]. It cannot be an accident, therefore, that the discussion of anthropomorphism shows up at the beginning of Cassian's "conversation" with Abba Isaac on the highest form of prayer. A certain simple monk, Serapion, whom Cassian characterizes all the same as both an "elder and a holy man" [11] is enlisted as Isaac's foil. The poor little fellow is aghast at the Patriarch Theophilus' "new-fangled teaching [novella persuasio]" on the incorporeality of the "image of God" as taught by Genesis 1:26. After registering his protest, though, he is promptly pounded into submission by the arguments of a learned deacon, Photinus, visiting from Cappadocia. The latter explains that the "divine nature is incorporeal, without composition, and simple", and that God's "majesty [maiestas]" is therefore "incomprehensible and invisible" [12]. The imago Dei of Genesis 1:26 must thus be understood "spiritually [spiritualiter]", and the archbishop was correct to "deny that almighty God [Deus omnipotens] is of a human form" [13]. Serapion is silenced, but later that evening cannot contain his distress: "They have taken my God away from me", he weeps at vespers, "and now I no longer know whom I may take hold of, or whom I may call upon anymore or whom adore" [14].

The old fellow's trouble leads Cassian into the real subject of the Conversation, prayer in its highest form. Abba Isaac is asked how so good and pious an old man could have been so wrong - indeed, put in peril of his soul - as to subscribe to the anthropomorphite "heresy" [15]. Isaac replies that Serapion's lack of instruction in the "nature and substance [natura atque substantia] of the Godhead is at fault. The matter of his "abominable interpretation [detestandae huius interpretationis]" of Gen.1:26 betrays a residual paganism, like that condemned by St. Paul in Rom.1:23, "exchanging the glory [gloriam] of the incorruptible God for a human likeness", or Jeremiah's complaint (Jer.2:11) about Israel exchanging "their glory for an idol" [16]. True prayer, on the other hand, requires an inner eye purged of everything material and earthly, and the latter includes even the memory of any shape or form [forma] [17]. In order to see Jesus in the splendor of his maiestatis, one must be free as well of that "Jewish weakness" also condemned by St. Paul in 2 Cor. 5:16: the Lord is no longer to be known according to the flesh [18]. Isaac continues with a clear evocation of the Transfiguration. It is purified eyes, by which Isaac means the eyes of the soul cleansed of matter and form, that gaze [speculantur] on Jesus in his divinity [18]. The monk, therefore, withdraws with Christ to the "mountain of solitude" in order that, even if not so clearly as to Peter, James, and John on Mt. Tabor, the Lord "may reveal the glory of his countenance and the image of his splendor" [gloriam vultus eius et claritatis revelat imaginem] [19]. It is in this way that, even in this life, one may enjoy the foretaste of heaven and, filled with the indwelling [love] of Father and Son (citing Jn 17:22 and 24-26), may be joined with them and become oneself a single, unending prayer [20].

According to Cassian the dispute with the anthropomorphites is thus first of all over the proper interpretation of Gen.1:26, the meaning of the imago Dei, and, secondly, over the content of the visio Dei given through Christ. For Serapion, that content appears to be the glorious form of God, according to which pattern we humans were made. For Cassian, however, it is Christ in his divinity, which is to say, in the formless and incorporeal majesty and glory of the simple divine nature which, I would add, the Son of God shares with the Father and Spirit and which, given the appeal to the Transfiguration, I would further suggest is made manifest to the pure eye of the soul as light [21]. Thus, thirdly, for Cassian anthropomorphism is an absurd heresy (inepta haeresis) regarding the divine nature or substance, or even regarding the Father, Deus omnipotens. Serapion, the vir simplicissimus, must be corrected since he risks his soul by clothing divinity itself with a body of parts and passions. His error is characterized at once as pagan, idolatrous, and as "Jewish weakness". Finally, I should like to underline the importance of the following terms and scriptural loci as they emerge in Cassian's discussion. The terms are: Deus omnipotens (presumably the Father), and the others relating to the godhead generally, divinitas, gloria, claritas, maiestas, conspectus, and vultus, together with the image words, imago, forma, and figura. The scriptural references are Gen.1:26, Rom.1:23, and Jer.2:11, with both the latter relating to the "glory" of God. Anticipating my discussion later, I suggest that this combination of terms, together with the these and the other scriptural texts which will shortly emerge, add up to a pattern which itself will be illumined by Abba Isaac's brief and ostensibly stereotypical allusion to "Jewish weakness"

In our next witness, Epiphanius of Salamis, writing decades earlier and hundreds of miles away from Egypt, we discover a strikingly similar set of concerns and emphases [22]. Like Cassian, Epiphanius in Panarion 70 is arguing with an order (tagma) of ascetics, though his particular interlocutors are Mesopotamian in origin [23], and once more the argument is over the both the interpretation of Gen.1:26 and the vision of God. There is, however, one striking difference from Cassian. No one has ever accused Ephiphanius of being reluctant to level the charge of heresy, but in this case he never even breathes the word. Quite to the contrary, he declares the faith of his target group, both in general and specifically on the Trinity, "most orthodox [orthotata]" [24], and goes on to sing the praises of their founder, Audius, as a true ascetic, a truth-teller who bore persecution and abuse because he was not shy about calling the higher clergy to task [25]. The bishop of Salamis' ire is reserved for the Audians' refusal to commune with the rest of the Church because - and how familiar this sounds to the modern Orthodox ear! - of a calendrical dispute: the Audians are Quartodecimans [26]. As for their faith, there is only, he says, "one little point [en mikro tini]" that is off-kilter and to which they stubbornly cling. They read Gen.1:26 literally, attaching to it both Gen.2:7, the making of Adam from the earth, and 9:6, the divine prohibition of murder, addressed to Noah, because "God made man in his own image" [27]. The Audians thus believe that the imago Dei is identical with God's corporeal form, hence the attachment to Gen.2:7, and that the image persisted after the Fall, thus Noah and Gen.9:6.

Epiphanius agrees with the first point, the preservation of the image, and spends a good deal of time taking on and dismissing the several theories of the image's "location" in the human being. It is not, for example, to be spiritualized and identified with the soul, nor with virtue more generally. Neither has it been lost with the Fall [28]. The imago, he insists, is a mystery. It subsists in the "whole man" and no "where" in particular [29]. If, though, it somehow mysteriously includes both the soul and the body, this certainly does not mean that it is simply to be identified with the body's form [30]. Otherwise, Epiphanius protests, we make God himself corporeal who is instead "all eye, all glory[31].

Now, and again significantly, it is just at this point that the argument shifts to the visio Dei. For the Audians, the issues of the image and the content of the vision are clearly linked. In support of their position, they call to witness a number of Old Testament theophany texts, most notably Isaiah 6:1ff and Daniel 7:9-13, but including other references, such as to God's throne and footstool in Is.66:1 and Ps.10:4, as well as the divine hands and eyes (Psalms 10:4 and 33:16, and Isaiah 41:20) [32]. Once more, Epiphanius both agrees and disagrees. Yes, he admits, God did indeed appear to the saints of Israel as the theophanies testify, just as he also appeared to the protomartyr, Stephen, in Acts 7. Nor did these manifestations take place on a purely spiritual plane, either - that is, in the mind or heart - but before the fleshly eyes of those so favored [33]. So much for Deacon Photinus' spiritualiter! As in his remarks concerning the image, Epiphanius is obliged to take refuge in paradox. The invisible God becomes visible as and when he chooses, and to whom he chooses, so far as the created nature of those who encounter him can bear it [34]. He follows thus up with a pair of comparisons illustrating the point that, even in revealing himself, God retains his mystery. One may truly see the sky through a tiny aperture, just as one may look out at the sea from a mountain top, but in neither case does the whole of either sea or sky appear [35]. The Audians, he argues, are therefore simply wrong to insist that God requires a corporeal form -- literally, is in need of "hands or eyes or the rest" - in order to appear to created vision. His interlocutors, he adds, are also confusing the Trinity with the specific act and fruit of the Incarnation, for, to quote at length from Frank Williams' translation of Panarion 70.8.6-8:

That he really appeared - yes, he appeared as he chose and truly looked as he

appeared. For God can do all things, and nothing is impossible for him. But he

is incomprehensible, unfathomable spirit...And as is the Father in his divinity, so is

the Son, and so is the Holy Spirit. But only the Only-Begotten came and assumed

the flesh in which he also rose, which he also united with his godhead, <and> [in

which] he sat down in glory at the Father's right hand...after uniting it with spirit...

[So] all that is said of him [panta ta legomena autou] is true, but there is no understanding any of God's attributes, and how he exists in incomprehensible glory. [36]

This constitutes, to be sure, an admirable testimony to Epiphanius' own trinitarian and christological

orthodoxy, but, given the subject under the discussion, the legomena of the theophanies, it cannot hide a certain confusion, or at least ambiguity. Just exactly who or what is it that appeared in the Old Testament manifestations, as well as to Stephen in Acts? Epiphanius seems to be unclear. Is the autou of the legomena the Son? or God in general, the divine nature itself, thus the "unfathomable spirit" and "incomprehensible glory" which recall Cassian on the vision of the Son's divinitas? The tradition that we find often in such Pre-nicene writers as Justin Martyr, Clement, Tertullian, or most of the rest whom I am aware of [37], that the subject of the Old Testament theophanies is the Second Person, appears to have been obscured. Indeed, I think that Nicea may be the difficulty. Ephiphanius is struggling to be fully Nicene, and running into a problem, specifically: what to do with the imago and, relatedly, the visio Dei. If it is the Second Person who, while homoousios to patri, has uniquely taken on flesh in order to unite the latter to the same, unique and shared divinity, it also appears to be the case that, for this church father, it is the divine nature or essence which comprises at once the basis of the image in Adam and that glory which is disclosed in the theophanies of the Old and New Covenants. Once more, we also find the same language of glory which we met in Cassian, and which we also saw linked to the same issues, divine essence, the imago, and the vision or manifestation of God, save that now we have a broader array of disputed texts: Gen.1:26, together with 2:7 and 9:6, with respect to the image of God, and a cluster of other Old Testament passages, among which I would especially like to underline Is. 6:1ff, 66:1, and Dan.7:9ff, with their common imagery of the glorious figure of God enthroned, whether in the temple, as in Is.6, or in heaven, Is.66:1 and Dan.7:9. But the question remains, just who is that figure, and what does his form signify?

I think it might be useful at this juncture to bring another witness to the bar, even if he is not speaking directly to the issue of anthropomorphism. Some ten to fifteen years after Epiphanius' Panarion, Gregory of Nyssa delivers a homily on the feast of St. Stephen the first martyr [38]. At two points he takes up the question of Stephen's vision, and in his treatment of it we find, first, the echoes of those archaic elements that I maintain are also operative in Cassian's opponents and the Audians, and second, the adjustments to Nicea which Epiphanius is struggling to make, if not altogether successfully. The first passage discusses the "what" of Stephen's vision, and the second the "how":

For when he had gone outside of [his] nature, and before having departed his

body, he [Stephen] sees with pure eyes the heavenly gates parted, and that which

is within the sanctuary [to entos ton adyton] shining through: both the divine Glory

itself [auten ten theian doxan] and the ray [apaugasma] of the Glory. Now, while

it is not possible for [mere] reason to sketch any feature [kharakter] of the paternal

glory, the athlete [Stephen] beheld its ray in the form [eidos] which has appeared

to men: to the degree that this is possible for human nature, in this way it ap-

peared. Thus he who had gone outside of human nature, and who had been changed into [what] approached angelic dignity with respect to the form of his [own] countenance, both saw what is unseeable [atheata] and announced the grace which had appeared to him. [39]

This is very interesting, in particular Gregory's use of eidos (does he mean the form of the Incarnation, or the older theophanies as well?), of glory, here the Father, and of the "ray" of the glory, the Son. Of note, too, is Stephen's exaltation to angelic status, signified by the brightness of his countenance, and, last, the note of the heavenly sanctuary whose gates are parted to allow the vision. Each of these elements plays a role in the tradition, or complex of tradition, that I believe underlies the anthropomorphite dispute.

For now, though, let me complete Gregory's witness. "How", he asks, "did Stephen see the Glory above the heavens [hyperouranios doxa]? Who was it who parted those gates for him?" He replies that this did not happen by means of either human or angelic agency:

Because, as the prophet says, light does not appear unless it appears by means of

light, for "In your light", he says, "we shall see light" would it be possible

to look into the sun outside of its rays? Since, therefore, it is in the light of the

Father -- which is to say, in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from him -- that the

Only-Begotten light is beheld, so it is because of this that, after being illumined

beforehand [prokataugastheis], he [Stephen] enters into the comprehension of the

glory of the Father and the Son...For it is not by remaining in [his] human nature

and power that Stephen sees the divine, but rather, having been mingled [ana-

krastheis] with the grace of the Holy Spirit, he is exalted by means of the latter

to the perception of God...[for] wherever the Spirit is, there, too, is the Son

contemplated, and the paternal glory comprehended. [40]

Here we find a number of things: the echo of Nicea-Constantinople in "light of light" and the procession of the Spirit; the mingling language so prominent in the Macarian Homilies and Syriac Christianity generally [41]; and a new element, the identification of the Spirit with light, such that the Father is the Glory, the Son its "ray", and the Holy Spirit its light. We also have, I think, an indication of what part of the answer will be (at least in the East) to the issues raised by the "anthropomorphites" -- or, better, by those older currents which I believe the latter represented.

Turning back thus to the Audians, we might say of them that, in contrast to Epiphanius, while they undoubtedly welcomed Nicea's defense of the Son's divinity, they were not quite so far along in working out the consequences of the council's homoousion. Their Christology, like that which I believe belongs to Serapion and company as well, is an older one, closer to some of the possibilities intimated by Gregory's enigmatic phrase, "the form which appeared to men", as I trust my next witness will help to clarify.

The Life of Apa Aphou of Pemdje comes from a Coptic manuscript rescued from fragments, reassembled and published by Revillout late last century. It has since provided the subject of an important article on the anthropomorphite controversy by Edouard Drioton, in 1915-1917, and then of two more by Georges Florovsky, responding to Drioton, in the 50's and 60's [42]. All three of these scholars, together with Elizabeth Clarke and Graham Gould later on, read the Life as a rare -- not to say unique -- source from the people whom Cassian, Socrates, Sozomen et. al. were writing against [43]. The document's value as a witness is enhanced by the fact that the Egyptian editor or compiler seems blissfully unaware of any controversy, coming perhaps from a later period when the heat had died down and been forgotten. He is thus free of polemics [44]. The Life features a purported interview between its hero, Apa Aphou, and none other than the Patriarch Theophilus on the subject of the latter's paschal letter. This is, of course, what is of primary interest to us, as it was to Drioton and Florovsky. The former includes the Coptic text and supplies a French translation. As I am not versed in Coptic, I shall be obliged to depend on his French, as well as the English rendering which Florovsky secured and quotes.

The scene opens with Aphou troubled by the infamous encyclical which, according to the Life, had sought to "exalt the glory [mpeooy] of God" by denying the image in man. Armed with angelic encouragement, the old man goes off to Alexandria to have a heart to heart with the patriarch [45]. In the first section of the ensuing exchange, Aphou reproaches Theophilus with Gen.1:26, and the patriarch replies by stating that the imago was lost with the Fall. Aphou, and we recall Epiphanius' exchange with the Audians, counters by citing Gen.9:6. Theophilus objects that the imago is not consonant with human weakness. Can the "true and unapproachable light [I Tim.6:16]", he asks, have anything to do with a beggar engaged in defecation [46]?

So far, we find the familiar references to Genesis, together with the language of light and glory, but in what follows we break into new and interesting territory. Aphou appeals to the Eucharist. If, he argues, the latter is truly the body [epsoma] of Christ, and if Christ, who said "I am the living bread come down from heaven" (John 6:51), is the very same who warned Noah against murder because "man has been created according to the image of God", then the Archbishop, by acknowledging the sacramental reality, must perforce recognize the imago's continuing presence even in fallen humanity [47]. The elder concludes (translating from Drioton's French):

As for the glory of the greatness [peooy de mpmegethos] of God, which it

is impossible for anyone to see because of its incomprehensible light, and as

for human weakness and imperfection...we think that it is like a king who

orders the making of an image which everyone is to acknowledge as the image

of the king. Yet everyone knows perfectly well that it is only [made] of wood

together with other elements...but...the king has said, 'This is my image'...How

much the more so, then, with man....? [48]

Let me pause here simply to note the following equivalences: the image of God, Christ, the body "come down from heaven", and the "glory of the greatness of God" clothed with "incomprehensible light", or, more simply still: image=Christ=heavenly body=glory/greatness /light. It seems scarcely necessary to add, though I will do so anyway, that this sequence or constellation of terms is quite in agreement with the grouping, glory-light-image-form (eidos, figura, forma) that we have already met, at least partially, in Cassian, Epiphanius, and even, to a degree, Gregory. With respect, then, to the question of Gen.1:26, while it is certainly true that, for Aphou, our human bodies are of a different "stuff", thus his differentiation above between the wood of the king's picture and the sovereign's living body, and so human flesh in contrast to incomprehensible light, it is also clear for him that they nevertheless reflect a heavenly reality, specifically, the Second Person of the Trinity.

Drioton was therefore quite correct to note the parallels between Aphou, Cassian, and Epiphanius [49]. He was wrong, though, and justly criticized by Florovsky, for reading Apa Aphou as an "Audian" and, in consequence, for understanding "anthropomorphism" as a heresy newly imported from Mesopotamia [50]. Florovsky was also quite correct in putting his finger on the Second Person of the Trinity as the subject of the anthropomorphite discussion of the image and form of God [51]. Cassian, an "Origenist", together with Epiphanius, definitely not an "Origenist", muddy the waters by giving their readers the impression that the "anthropomorphites" were speaking either of the Father (Cassian's Deus omnipotens) or of the divine essence (both Cassian and Epiphanius). I must part company with Fr. Georges, however, on two, related points. First, even though Epiphanius does not consider the Audians to be heretics, both he and Cassian seem to me to be on the same side in this debate. They are both speaking to the same questions, and both come up with similar results. Both are cultivated pro-Nicenes, for one thing, and both thus see similar errors in their adversaries' position, chiefly a materializing of divinity. I do not therefore think that we can characterize the "anthropomorphite controversy" - as do Florovsky and, later on, Gould - as a sort of Origenist "plot" cooked up in order to discredit a more purely "incarnationalist" - and thus more orthodox - school of thought among the monks. Fr. Georges effectively puts Epiphanius in the camp of Cassian's foil, Abba Serapion, and that is simply incorrect [52]. Second, and relatedly, I think Florovsky quite wrong in his insistence that the Christ whom the targeted monks are talking about is, exclusively, the Second Person incarnate. Here I would underline one of Drioton's observations: Apa Aphou clearly believed in a divine body, "clothed with incomprehensible light", according to which model our bodies were made [53]. This is surely the thrust of Aphou's recourse to the Eucharist and his citation of John 6:51. Had he simply intended a sort of literalist equivalence -- i.e., that if one believes the phrase, "this is my body", then one is equally committed to accepting "this is my image" -- he could simply have cited one of the Synoptic narratives, or I Corinthians 11:24. He did not, though, but chose instead the text from John with its unmistakeable evocation of the descent of the Heavenly Man [54].

For Aphou thus, together with the other "anthropomorphites", including Epiphanius' Audians, the subject of the debate is indeed the Second Person, though not simply Christ incarnate, but rather -- and to anticipate myself somewhat in borrowing from Phillipians 2:6 -- the pre-existent "form of God". As the Audian witness indicates, and as I hope to show later on with other examples from Mesopotamia, as well as from Augustine's Numidia, Palestine, and the Epirus of Diadochus of Photiki, this understanding was not confined to Egypt. It was, rather, exceedingly widespread, and it is not accidental that it shows up as an issue of some concern exactly when the Nicene definition is becoming, or has just been, accepted as the faith of the Christian ecumene, which is to say, towards the end of the fourth and beginning of the fifth centuries. To elaborate briefly on my cryptic reference to Paul in Phillipians 2, at least sufficiently to state my thesis, "Glory" and "Majesty", or "Greatness", are for that certain current of Christian thought, particularly of the ascetic Christian thought represented by our examples above, not merely attributes or qualities of a shared divine essence, but, together with the notions of a divine "form" and the imago Dei, often have a specific referrent in the Second Person. It is the Son who is the eternal image and form and indeed - to recall both Clement of Alexandria and Theophilus' answer to the lynch mob - the "face" of the Father [55]. He is thus also at once our template, the original heavenly man (cf. I Cor.15:47) and, as by nature the Father's manifestation, the subject of the visio Dei. Whether thus as shining through the assumed flesh of his Incarnation, such as in the Transfiguration, or, in the theophanies of the Old Testament, as the Kavod YHWH appearing to Moses in the cloud on Sinai (e.g., Ex.24 and 33-34), in the temple to Isaiah (Is.6), enthroned on the chariot to Ezekiel, or as approaching -- or even, in some versions of the Septuagint, assimilated to -- the figure on the heavenly throne in Dan.7 [56], it is the same heavenly or divine being who is beheld. The theophanies in Exodus and -- perhaps especially -- to Ezekiel will appear quite prominently in what is to follow, and once again in connection with questions of both the imago and the visio Dei. A third important theme appears in what I take to be signaled by, for example, Cassian's reference to an ascent of the "mountain of solitude", taking this motif of ascent together with what we saw of the heavenly sanctuary and/or throne alluded to in Epiphanius and Gregory. The "image" or "form" of God, the human being as image, Christology, the visio Dei, and the theme of ascent are all of them linked. Before discussing this linkage, though, I should like to consider some of the questions raised by Graham Gould with regard to the appearance of these motifs in the ascetic literature of Egypt.

I.B: Supporting Evidence from Egypt

In his thoughtful article for the collection, Origeniana Quinta, Gould lends apparent reinforcement to Florovsky's interpretation of the anthropomorphite controversy of late fourth century Egypt. He provides a brief examination of important documents in Egyptian monasticism, including the Greek Vita Prima of Pachomius, the Apophthegmata Pateron, the Letters ascribed to St. Antony, and the short treatise, On Prayer, by John Cassian's mentor, Evagrius Ponticus [57]. The second pair of works, he notes, are both in the Origenist tradition, yet although Evagrius for one is certainly keen on preventing any notions "which attribute to God some kind of corporeal form (morphe)", ascribing such thoughts to demonic inspiration, Gould does not find any specific mention of anthropomorphism [58]. With regard to the Vita Prima and Apophthegmata, he admits the former's mention of Pachomius' anti-Origenism, but adds, fairly enough, that the Vita is a couple of generations later than the founder and, moreover, offers no particular explanation as to why the great ascetic disliked the Alexandrian master [59]. As for the Apophthegmata, here again there is nothing to suggest actual anthropomorphism, nor even any great hesitancy toward the allegorical interpretation of scripture. The desert elders, at least as they appear in Sayings collections that were edited toward the end of the fifth century [60], appear to be quite free of any such concern or error as drew the reproaches of Cassian or Socrates. Gould's conclusion is thus that "allegations of anthropomorphism...should be questioned", because there is "no first-hand evidence for the existence of anthropomorphism among the Egyptian monks in the late Fourth Century". Since our only witnesses to this supposed deviation are Cassian and the Church historians, all of them admirers of Origen, "there is serious reason to believe [the latters' accusations] are serious misrepresentations of their opponents' theological outlook" [61].

With Gould's last remark I can certainly agree. We have seen how two opponents of "anthropomorphism", both Cassian and Epiphanius, did alter or misconstrue the position of their interlocutors. God per se, the divine substance or ousia, is not at issue, nor is the Person of the Father. It is the Second Person who is identified with the glorious body. Here I think Gould shares somewhat, together with Florovsky and everyone else, in Cassian's and Epiphanius' own misunderstanding. In consequence, he finds something that is certainly true, that there was no real problem regarding the divine essence, but his conclusion that the "Origenists" therefore invented a problem is not true, and I think that by taking another look at the materials he inventoried, the Apophthegmata and Pachomiana, especially a Coptic version of the latter, together with certain other texts from monastic antiquity, we will find at least a few suggestions of that tradition or complex of traditions which I believe underlie Cassian's concern.

Let me begin with Abba Sopatros, whose dictum Gould takes as typical of the Apophthegmata [63]. Asked for a rule to live by, the old man replies:

Do not allow a woman to come into your cell and do not read apocryphal liter-

ture. Do not get involved in discussions about the image [me ekzeteses peri tes

eikonos]. Although this is not a heresy, there is too much ignorance and liking

for dispute between the two parties...It is impossible for a creature to understand

the truth of it. [64]

Although Gould is right to point to the similarity with Epiphanius here, it is still clear that there is a dispute going on, and a heated one at that. Further, I think that Abba Sopatros' warning against "apocryphal literature" can be taken as a suggestion of where one side of the argument might be finding some of its inspiration - but more on that score later on.

My next two passages recall Aphou and his appeal to the Eucharist. Mark the Egyptian is tempted by the devil to think the celebrating priest unworthy of his ministry, and therefore to doubt the efficacy of his prayer. He prays about it and is answered by a vision which he reports:

For when the cleric was going to stand before the holy table...I saw an angel of

the Lord come down from heaven and place his hand on the cleric's head, and the

cleric became like a pillar of fire. And while I was wondering at the vision, I heard

a voice saying to me: "Man, why are you amazed at this matter? If an earthly king

will not allow his great ones to stand before him with soiled much

the more so will not the divine power purify the ministers [leitourgoi] of the holy

mysteries, who stand before the heavenly Glory?" [65]

Holy men becoming pillars of fire occur elsewhere in the Apophthegmata [66], and the echo of Exodus is certainly clear. In the passage above, I would point out particularly the act of clothing with light or fire, the operation of the divine power, and the court imagery involved in "standing before the heavenly Glory". The second eucharistic reference appears in Daniel 7. Daniel doubts the reality of the eucharistic presence, and is favored with the grisly vision of an angel chopping the Christ Child up into the chalice. The old men who had argued with him, told of his vision, explain that:

...the bread itself is the body of Christ and the cup his blood, and this in all truth

and not a symbol. But as in the beginning, God, taking dust from the earth,

formed man in his image, without anyone being able to say that he [i.e., presum-

ably the man of dust] is not the image of God, even though it is incomprehensible.

Thus it is with the bread which he said is his body. [67]

This sounds quite like Epiphanius on the image, as well as what Aphou is usually taken to be saying. We should note, though, the juxtaposition and presumed harmony of Gen.1:26 and 2:7.

Two passages speak of reverence for one's neighbor in a way that may be significant for our purposes. Abba Apollo refers to the theophany at the Oak of Mambre in Gen.18:1ff, as well as to the ensuing angelic visit to Lot in Gen.19:3ff, in order to conclude "that we must venerate the brothers who come [to us], for we do not venerate them, but God. For, he says, [when] you have seen your brother, you have seen God" [68]. Even more interesting is Abba Isaiah's definition of slander. Hostility toward one's neighbor, he tells us, "is not to recognize the Glory of God" [69]. Now, both these passages may have been preserved as expressions, simply, of the virtues of hospitality and community harmony, yet they also strike a familiar note, one that we have heard before in Theophilus' reply to the mob, or in Aphou's honoring of the image. We shall also find Augustine including the story of the visitation at the Oak of Mambre among his list of Old Testament theophanies to be explained.

The notion of glory brings me, in addition to the pillars of fire we have already noted, to the series of monastic transfigurations mentioned in the Apophthegmata. My first belongs to a saying about Abba Pambo:

They used to say that, just as Moses received the image of the glory of Adam

when his countenance was glorified, so too with Abba Pambo, that his face shone

like lightning, and he was as a king seated upon his throne. And the same thing applied as well to Abba Silvanus and Abba Sisoes. [70]

Here I would underline the following: the connection between "glory" and Adam, the reference to Moses' encounter with the Glory of God on Sinai and subsequent descent with shining face in Ex.33-34 (so important for St. Paul in 2 Cor.3:7 - 4:6); and the image of a king enthroned, which should recall Epiphanius' citation of Is.66:1 and Dan.7:9. The mention of Slivanus and Sisoes leads me next to the latter's justly famous deathbed scene [71]. While the holy Abba lies dying, his face becomes progressively brighter and brighter as, one by one, he announces the arrival (unseen by his well-wishers) of Antony, the prophets, the apostles, and angels, until:

Suddenly, his face again became like the sun, and they were all afraid. And he

says to them, "See, the Lord has come, and he is saying 'Bring me the vessel from

the desert'". And straightway he gave up his spirit, and there was as it were a

lightning flash, and all the house was filled with fragrance.

The heavenly court, together with its king, is present at the old man's death, and light is the order of the moment. Another of Sisoes' sayings, though somewhat cryptic, also points us in a similar direction: "Abba Sisoes said, 'Seek God, and do not seek the place where he dwells" [72]. In that second half of the apothegm, I think, there lies a certain key that will illumine -- eventually, since I must ask for patience -- Abba Sopatros' remark about apocryphal literature. For now, let it suffice us to say that "the place where God dwells" suggests to me exactly the heavenly court and throne.

It is in fact just precisely the latter which form the subject of two visions ascribed to Abba Silvanus [73]. In the first, he is taken up to heaven in ecstasy and sees the judgement to come. Afterwards, we are told, he is regularly found covering his face with his cowl, and saying: "Why should I want to see this temporary light which profits nothing?", presumably in comparison to the light of eternity. On the second occasion, his disciple comes to speak with him at several different points over the space of a number of hours, only to find him rapt. Finally:

...he found him at rest, and says to him, "What happened to you today, Father?"

And the other said, "I was sick today, child." But he, seizing his feet, said, "I

won't let you go unless you tell me what you saw." The old man says to him, "I

was caught up into heaven, and I saw the Glory of God, and I was standing there

until now, and now I have been sent away."

One cannot help recalling St. Paul's own rapture to the third heaven in 2 Cor.12:2-4. I would also emphasize the "standing", estamen, of the saint before the Glory. There is one more story about Abba Silvanus:

One of the fathers said that someone once chanced on Abba Silvanus, and when

he saw the latter's face and body shining like an angel's, he fell on his face. And

he said there were also certain others who had received this grace. [74]

Two elements emerge clearly here: first, the transfigured body of the saint is accorded angelic status; and, second, this status is explicitly said to be attainable in this life, even if only to a few.

Summing up the witness of the Apophthegmata and working backwards, we find ascents into heaven and visions of the Glory, transformations into light or fire and likening to the angels, clothing with glory, parallels drawn between the human being - via Adam and Moses - and the Glory, intimations of the court and throne of heaven, the "image" as an issue in controversy, and a warning against apocryphal literature. Of biblical texts, we have caught references or allusions to Gen.18, Ex.33-34, 2 Cor.3-4 and 12, together with much of the earlier array we found in Epiphanius et alii. I do not think it is stretching things too far to say that this material bears points of contact with what we found in the witnesses for and against "anthropomorphism". If Gould is correct in saying that there is no explicit anthropomorphism in these texts, then it is also clear that there are things going in them which, at the least, suggest connections with that archaic spirituality I claim to have found in Aphou and company, and which even the later editing of the Desert Fathers' logia could not entirely remove.

Abba Sopatros' warning against apocrypha brings me to the Pachomiana [75]. The discovery at Nag Hammadi of a "gnostic" library close to the former site of the Pachomian monastery at Chenoboskion, together with the marks of monastery manufacture which several of the codices reveal, have led some to postulate an eager readership of gnostic writings among the monks. While Phillip Rousseau has issued a salutary warning against any too rapid jumping to scholarly conclusions [76], I cannot help recalling the command of Patriarch Athanasius, recorded in the Pachomian Lives, to throw out any apocrypha, and the compliance of Abba Theodore, Pachomius' second successor, which is also specifically noted [77]. Presumably, the monasteries did have reading material that fell under the Archbishop's ban. This is not to say that I am claiming the Pachomians were gnostics. Rather, I think they may have been interested in currents of religious thought which both long antedated the rise of gnosticism (whatever that word can be said to signify nowadays), and which also show up embodied in a number of the documents found at Nag Hammadi, chiefly the accounts of heavenly ascent and some of the Adamic speculation. Now, little of this sort of thing appears in the Greek Pachomiana, and Gould is quite right to point to the Vita Prima as innocent of anthropomorphism. I note, however, that he does not include the Coptic Vitae in this assessment. The Bohairic Life records three visions, one experienced by Pachomius alone, one together with Theodore, and one by Theodore alone, which are not recorded explicitly in the Vita Prima and which I think are significant [78]. To what degree these represent actual visions enjoyed by Pachomius or Theodore I shall leave to the experts [79]. What does strike me about each of them is the revelation of Christ as a glorious form enthroned, and thus the echoes of the great Old Testament theophanies, in particular of Ex.24:10 (specifically invoked in one of them), Is.6:1ff, and Ezk.1:26-28.

To quote from the relevant sections of each, and beginning with the earliest vision:

This is the revelation that our father Pachomius saw in his prayer. Looking

toward the east wall of the sanctuary [i.e., the apse or altar], [he saw] the wall

become all golden; and on it there was a large icon, like a large picture [of

someone] wearing a crown on [his] head. That crown was glorious in the extreme

...Before the icon were two great and very august archangels, motionless and

contemplating the Lord's image...

Pachomius is overcome by the "ray of fear" emanating from the image, then comforted by the

"sheen of a rich, holy chrism" which succeeds the fear. When he tells the brothers later on about the apparition, "the old men were greatly struck with fear, and they said, 'These holy men are like those of heaven'" [80].The second vision has Pachomius taking Theodore with him into the room of the synaxis, where the two of them pray

...from the sixth to the ninth hour. While they were praying, they saw appearing

above them, as high as a tower, a great throne on which God was seated under

the form in which he chose to be seen by them.

I would recall Gregory of Nyssa's phrase on the eidos here. The third vision comes to Theodore after Pachomius' death. He hears a voice at night telling him:

"Get up quickly and go to the church for the Lord is there." He got up as the

voice had instructed him, for he always used to walk with great vigilance and

with unshakeable trust because his thoughts were always in heaven beholding the

Glory of the Lord[recall Silvanus!]...when he came to the doorway of the church,

he went in and saw an apparition. Where his [i.e., the vision's] feet were, there appeared to him something like a sparkling sapphire and he was unable to look at his face because of the great light which unceasingly flashed forth from him...[Theodore]was troubled and overcome with fear...He thought about all Israel long ago in the desert and how such great fear came upon them...when the Lord revealed himself to them...they all saw him on Mt. Sinai, the whole mountain was so filled with fire, flashes of lightning, clouds and darkness and trumpets...

The glorious form on the throne is the same who appeared in the theophanies of Exodus, and we are surely to understand this figure as the Second Person. When Pacomius is overcome by fear in the first vision, he cries out, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me", and mercy indeed replaces terror. Whether or not the glorious form is simply the incarnate and glorified Christ is not altogether clear, particularly when we find, as just noted, that this is the same one who appeared to Moses and Israel at Sinai, or when we take into account the resemblances each of the visions has to the following OT texts: Isaiah 6, and so, too, the church or synaxis in place of the prophet's temple; Isaiah 66:1, in the great height of the throne in the second vision; or Ezk.1 in the "great light" of the figure's face, as well in the sapphire on which the figure stands. It therefore seems to me that these accounts, especially the third, place us in roughly the same territory that we glimpsed in Aphou and the Audians, and what a contrast, I might add, to the way in which the anthropomorphites' chief opponent in the Egyptian desert, Evagrius Ponticus, treats the theophany at Sinai, also in the context of the visio Dei [81]. Likewise, Evagrius' contemporary in Mesopotamia, the anonymous author of the Macarian Homilies, is another who addresses himself in much the same way to Exodus, but who also makes special use of Ezekiel 1 [82]. Augustine, to whom I shall turn a little later on, himself takes up the Exodus theophanies in de Trinitate, but his treatment is strikingly different again and, indeed, marks a genuine revolution, if not an actual rupture, with regard to prior traditions.

But I am not yet done with the Egyptian evidence, or, at least, with materials about the Egyptian monks. Once again toward the end of the fourth century, in the account of a pigrimage of Palestinian monks to visit the great ascetics of Egypt, the Historia Monachorum in Aegypto, we find an interesting response to the sort of visions the Bohairic Life reports. Abba Or, whom the Historia holds up as one of the great old men, describes, in the third person, a temptation he had himself endured:

The demons came to him in a fantasy, showing up as the angelic hosts together

with a chariot of fire and many spear-carriers, and [a figure] like a king on tour

who says to him, "O man, you have accomplished everything! Worship me, and

I shall take you up like Elijah!" [83]

Or is not fooled. He counters with the confession of Christ as king, "and straightway that [false king] became invisible". Here we find several of the elements we have noted above: "angelic" presence, though here fake angels; a royal figure enthroned on a chariot of fire, though here the devil; and, not in Pachomius but certainly in the visions of Silvanus, the promise to take the monk up, alive, into heaven, here of course a lie. Given Silvanus and the others, it is difficult not to suspect that this sort of vision might not have been all that uncommon, or, at the least, that it was a known type. The resemblance to Ezekiel 1, for reasons to be made clear later on, I take as especially significant, together with the promise of a visit, while alive, to heaven.

This episode is all the more interesting in that the Historia Monachorum is relatively full of ascents to heaven. There are several stories reminiscent of Sisoes' deathbed scene, with angels carrying off the soul of the dying monk to strains of celestial hymnody [84]. We also find angels feeding the ascetics [85], and even actual trips to Paradise. Abba Patermuthius, for example, not only gets taken up alive to Paradise, but comes back with a basket of heavenly produce to prove it [86]. Abba Sourous similarly speaks of his visions of the heavenly court, while Macarius the Egyptian takes his own trip to something like Paradise and returns to tell of it [87]. The general theme of equality, or at least of society, with the angels permeates the book throughout. The Prologue invokes the "angelic life" and "heavenly citizenship" of the monks [88], while John of Lycopolis characterizes the ascetic as one who "stands in the presence of God" participating in the eternal praises of the angelic choirs [89]. There are also the occasions of the angelic intercourse already noted, together with the fact that the ascetics of two of the monasteries described in the Historia are regularly dressed in white [90]. One wonders, therefore, if perhaps Abba Or's temptation was just a false version of the real thing.

Before I take leave of Egypt, I want to cite one more witness, the Letters of Ammonas [91]. I think we may take their provenance as late fourth or early fifth century, and thus falling within the period under discussion here. Whether they are actually the work of Antony's disciple, as S. Brock suggests, I leave once again to the experts to decide [92]. For our purposes, the Letters are of interest as pointing to a number of the elements we have been uncovering. In Letter VI, Ammonas echoes 2 Cor.12 and the note of ascent to heaven, while expressing the hope that "the Power of God may increase" in his correspondent, "and reveal to you the great mysteries of the Godhead which it is not easy for me to utter". "The soul", he adds, "cannot mount upwards until it receives heavenly joy...[and] few are they to whom God reveals secrets set in heaven" [93]. Letter VII has a passage which continues the themes of ascent and the vision of angels. Speaking of the rewards of obedience, Ammonas takes the patriarch Jacob as his model, whose obedience to his parents was rewarded by the "sudden" vision of the Ladder in Genesis 28. Ammonas concludes that "as soon as men have been blessed by their [spiritual] fathers, and have seen the hosts of heaven, nothing is able to move them" [94]. He will return, somewhat cryptically, to Gen.28 in Letter XIII. The idea of an ascent to heaven is repeated in Letter X, quite specifically, and here we also encounter an example of that sort of "apocryphal literature" which Abba Sopatros may have had in mind. Ammonas is speaking of the perfecting of the soul, and he chooses as an example of the soul's progress a text from the apocryphal Ascension of Isaiah, specifically the prophet's ascent through the heavens to the Glory of God in chapter eight of that work. "Therefore", Ammonas concludes, "the soul of the perfectly righteous [person] progresses and goes forward until it mounts to the heaven of heavens". "There are", he adds significantly, "even now men on earth who have reached this stage" [95]. The suggestion of an interiorization of Isaiah's ascent is reinforced when we come to Letter XIII where, admittedly extant only in the Syriac version, Ammonas takes up the theophany of Ezekiel 1 [96]. He treats the latter allegorically, as a "pattern [of those who are] perfect". It is specifically the cherubim of the vision that draw his attention, the "living creature" with the four faces of a cherub, a man, a bull, and an eagle. These represent different moments of the spiritual life including, in the case of the eagle, the Spirit-moved flight on high and remaining close to God. Ammonas concludes, rather tantalizingly, that he has only touched lightly on this subject and has more to say about it, but does not want, it seems, to commit it to paper. Thus he adds, alluding once more to Jacob's vision at Bethel:

But if you pray I will come to you, and you will enter into 'Bethel', and there we

will perform our vows and offer up our whole burnt offerings...[cf. Ps.66:13].

And then we will interpret this living creature according to our ability. For Bethel

is interpreted "the House of God". God, therefore, contends for his house which is

called by his name. And Ezekiel is he who saw this living creature.

The note of interiorization appears to me to be pretty clear. Bethel, the house or temple of God, is the living soul of the perfected Christian, who is also the meaning of Ezekiel's cherubim supporting the throne of the Glory. Ammonas thus represents at once certain of the currents we have been tracing -- ascent to heaven, vision of glory, angelic society -- and indicates the path that the Eastern ascetic tradition would take, or indeed was taking in several different places at the same time, in response to the issues regarding the visio Dei which had arisen in the late fourth century, of which the anthropomorphite controversy of 399 that we began with was but a single instance. Indeed, Ammonas' handling of Ezekiel 1 startlingly recalls the Macarian Homilies' treatment of the same text.

I think it time for a summary of our findings so far. The first difficulty we noted in Cassian concerned the proper interpretation of Gen.1:26, and then we saw quickly how that question was intimately related to a debate over the object of the visio Dei. In Epiphanius on the Audians, and in Apa Aphou's Life, we found how these two issues were futher linked with an entire constellation of Old Testament texts, with Gen.2:7, the formation of Adam from the earth, and 9:6 being connected not only with 1:26 and the question of the image, but also with an impressive array of theophanic passages, notably those cited in the Panarion: especially Ps.10:4, Is.6:1ff, 66:1, and Dan.7:9. All four of the latter describe God on his throne, whether in heaven (Ps.10, Is.66, and Dan.7) or in the temple (Ps.10 again and Is.6). Aphou seems clearly to have believed in a humanlike, though divine, form of glory which provided the prototype for the human body, and he adds to our collection of texts the evocation of the descent of the heavenly man in John 6, together with a reference to the "unapproachable light" of divinity in I Tim.6:16. Gregory of Nyssa, though quite without any reference to, or apparent worry about, anthropomorphism, echoes Epiphanius' citation of Stephen's vision in Acts 7, a vision of "the supra-heavenly Glory itself", and adds the notes of the sanctuary on high and of fellowship with angels or, rather, of transformation into angelic status. Passages from elsewhere in Egyptian monastic literature, while not touching directly on the specific question of anthropomorphism, provided a certain wider context and, I think, something close to a confirmation of what I believe we found in Aphou, the Audians of Mesopotamia, and Cassian's Abba Serapion. These amplifications include references or allusions to still other, primarily Old Testament theophany texts, thus the pillar of fire (cf. Ex.13:21 and 16:10), the sapphire of the divine footstool in Theodore's vision (cf. Ex.24:10 and

Ezk.1:26-28), Ammonas's explicit invocation of Ezekiel's cherub, a divine figure on a throne (cf. again Is.66:1), Ex.33-34 in Silvanus' and others' change of countenance, which also echoed 2 Cor. 3:18 and Gen.1:26, and finally the appearances of God at Mamre (Gen.18) and at Bethel (Gen.28). We heard echoes of Paul's trip to Paradise in 2 Cor.12, together with his vision of light in Acts 9 and 22. We have seen that themes of ascent to heaven were in fact quite common, together with suggestions of transformation, and the acquisition of angelic fellowship or status. The key to all, or nearly all at any rate, of these stories and themes is, first, the notion of the "Glory of God"'; second, the latter's identification with other terms we have run across, e.g., majesty, greatness, light, splendor, etc.; and, third, their shared association with both the Second Person of the Trinity and the form or image of God in Gen.1:26.

I.C: Evidence from Mesopotamia, Numidia, Palestine, Greece, and Syria

To this cloud of witnesses, I would like to add four more, though this time taken from widely separated points in the Christian world of the late fourth and early fifth centuries: eastern Mesopotamia at or over the Roman-Persian border, Numidia, Palestine (via certain letters of Cyril of Alexandria), and Greece. My first witness, the anonymous author of the Syriac ascetical work, the Liber Graduum [97], confirms my last point above. Mimro 28, paragraph 10, discusses God's revelation of the worship of the tabernacle to Moses. Citing Ex.33:11, the author remarks that "The Glory of God Almighty [shoubho dmoryo ahid koul] was revealed to Moses on the mountain as a man [a(i)h bar nosho]". In the paragraph immediately following, he repeats the statement, but with a significant difference: "And our Lord [moran] appeared to all the prophets as a man [a(i)h bar nosho]" [98]. I note first of all the parallelism between "the Glory" and "our Lord". To the best of my knowledge, the phrase "our Lord", moran, when appearing in Syriac Christian writers, invariably designates the Second Person, the Son. Secondly, the "Glory" of the first passage is obviously distinct from "God Almighty". The latter denotes the Father, since the Syriac moryo ahid koul, like our English phrase, is a rendering of theos pantokrator, just as is the Deus omnipotens we found in Cassian. What makes these passages still more interesting is that the Liber is not fighting with anyone, or at least not about this particular point. He makes these statements as a matter of course, assuming it as a given that it is the Son who is the Glory of the Father, and who appeared to Moses and the other saints of Israel "as a man".

Now it is against just exactly this understanding that we find Augustine of Hippo writing, and doing so at or about the same time fifteen hundred to two thousand miles away in Roman North Africa. According to my limited knowledge of Augustine, this idea takes center stage chiefly in his Epistles 147 and 148, as well as Books II and III of de Trinitate [99]. The Confessions, especially Books VII and VIII, with their preoccupation regarding divine non-corporeality, might be added as a fourth source, but I will leave them for another day [100]. De Trinitate, Book II, is specifically addressed to the question of the Old Testament theophanies and, in the process of discussing them, Augustine lands on virtually every single one of the texts I have noted above. Isaiah 6 and Ezekiel 1 are missing, but we are awarded a few extra in compensation, thus we begin with Gen.3, God's conversation with the guilty Adam in the Garden [101], move on to the visitation to Abraham in Gen.18 [102], to the burning bush of Ex.3 [103], to the pilllars of fire and cloud in Ex.13 and 16 [104], on to manifestations of the maiestas of God as fire and as human form to Moses in Ex.19-20, 24, and 33-34 [105]; and conclude with the question of the divine throne in Is.66:1 [106] and Dan.7:9ff [107]. We may expand the inventory if we include the passages discussed in Epistle 147. Although the latter confines itself mostly to discussion of New Testament sources on the visio Dei, Augustine also touches in Isaiah 6 [108], Gen.32:20 [109], Job 38:1 and 42:9, and I Kings 22:9 [110]. Exodus 33:11 appears frequently [111], and in one place together with Num.12:6-8 [112]. The great bishop's argument is consistent throughout. He is dead set against those who would make the Second Person the visible manifestation of the invisible Father. De Trinitate II.15 will serve for many other statements:

[There are] those who prefer to take them [i.e., I Tim.1:17 and 6:15-16] as

applying only to the Father, and ...say that the Son is visible not merely in the

flesh which he took of the Virgin, but even, before that, in himself [sed etiam

antea per se ipsum]. [113]

The grounds these people cite for their assertion are precisely the theophanic texts we have been discussing. They claim that it was uniquely the Son who "appeared to our fathers before he was born of the Virgin Mary, and not in one guise [specie] either, but in many different forms [multiformiter]" [114]. Augustine has no use for this opinion. Commenting on one of the most important Old Testament passages, Ex.24:10, he asks sarcastically:

So we must believe, I suppose, that the Word and Wisdom of God stood in a

small space of earth [in spatio loci terreni stetisse]...and that the Word of God

...somehow expands and contracts [modo se contrahet, modo distendet]...? [115]

The answer to his question is, of course, "No". How then did the Word - or whatever Person was involved - appear? "It was", Augustine replies, "by control of created [materials] that all these visible and perceptible exhibitions were staged [per subjectam creaturam exhibentur haec omnia visibilia et sensibilia]" [116]. A little later, taking up Moses' reqest in Ex.33:18 to be shown God's maiestas, he asks how it was possible that, in all these manifestations, God could have revealed his substantia which, like Cassian, he equates with the maiestas: "What does 'show me yourself' mean", he demands, "if not 'show me your substance'?" [117]. Augustine's solution to the question of the theophanies is quite the most drastic I know of in the literature of the period [118]. Properly speaking, the Old Testament manifestations were not really theophanies at all. If by God we can only really mean the shared substance of the Holy Trinity, it is obvious that the latter, being in no way a physical body, can never have appeared to the human body's senses. Augustine sums up his conclusions in Book III, having added, on the basis especially of Heb.2:1 and Acts 7:51, the mediating element of the angels:

It has been established by all rational probability...that wherever God was said to

appear to our ancestors before our saviour's incarnation, the voices heard and the

physical manifestations [species corporales] were the work of angels. They either

spoke or did things themselves, or else they took created materials distinct from them-

selves and used them to present us with symbolic manifestations of God. [119]

There were thus no theophanies until Christ. There were only angelophanies, or mere symbolophanies. Augustine requires the radical closure of a tradition of Christian, and before that of Jewish, thought that I take to be very old indeed. The ascetic writers in the East, as we have glimpsed them in Cassian, Ephiphanius and Gregory of Nyssa, were not willing to embrace so absolute a rupture - if, in fact, it ever even occurred to them to do so.

Now, it may be the case that Augustine, in the passages just cited, was arguing primarily against Arians or, more precisely, Homoians, as my colleague at Marquette, Michel Barnes, tells me [120]. The Bishop of Hippo does, in the passage cited above from de trinitate II.15, go on to say that the people who argue that the Word is visible in se ipsum also hold that he is a creature, mortal, and he repeats the same accusation in Ep. 147, adding the specific qualifier, "Arian" [121]. This would appear to mean that the people he is dealing with are very different from the targets addressed by Cassian and Epiphanius. Neither Apa Aphou nor Abba Serapion, let alone the "most orthodox" Audians, were "Arians" of any stripe whatever. I suppose that it is just possible that some "Homoian" group used the same collection of theophany texts for its own Christological purposes, or else came from fundamentally the same tradition as the Egyptian "anthropomorphites", Audians, et al., but which carried on and extended the latters' implicit subordinationism, that is, the Son as in se the manifestation of the Father, to the point where they were led to declare the Second Person a creature, but I know of no evidence for such a group from any other sources of the period. Then, too, as we shall see momentarily, Cyril of Alexandria confronts a phenomenon remarkably like Augustine's anthropomorphites, and he, too, accuses them of falling into the Arian heresy, but only unwittingly. So I am not convinced that Augustine's interlocutors are necessarily exactly who he seems to say or think they are.

It is indisputable in any case that he did know of anthropomorphites who had nothing at all to do with the anti-Nicene opposition. Immediately after his letter on the visio Dei, in Epistle 148, he writes to a fellow bishop, Fortunitianus, in order to defend some sharp remarks he had made on this very issue, since they had hurt the feelings of another episcopal colleague, who remains unnamed [122]. The latter, judging from Augustine's explanation, was both a fellow member of the local synod, thus in no way anti-Nicene, and an anthropomorphite. While Augustine apologizes for having grieved the man (he had probably said stulti and miseri a few times too often), he remains quite firm about his views:

I do not regret having written in such a way as to say that the eyes of this body

do not see God...[I said this] to prevent the belief that God is himself corporeal

or visible in any locality [123];

and, a little later, adds concerning

that theory of a corporeal God with separate parts occupying separate places...

I am entirely sure that such a god does not exist, and I wrote that letter to

forestall belief in such a one [124];

in order to end up, still futher on, by repeating what we have already met in de Trinitate with regard to the theophanies:

...those testimonies of Scripture are not repudiated wherein it is said that God

has been seen, because he is both invisible by the essential nature of the godhead,

and can be seen when he wills by means of a created form taken according to

his pleasure. [125]

Apparently his colleague, innocent of philosophical subtlety, had read the texts we have been coming across in much the same way as our examples from Egypt and Mesopotamia, and had taxed Augustine with them.

Two of the great bishop's remarks deserve to be particularly underlined for our purposes here. There is first his sarcastic question in de Trinitate II.25, with reference to Ex.24:10, on the Word's "somehow expanding and contracting". I take to him to mean that his opposition believed that the glorious form of the Second Person, who is properly enthroned in and filling the heavens with the earth his footstool (cf. Is.66:1), had been obliged to become "small" enough, as it were, to appear to Moses and the elders of Israel on the mountain. Thus I think that the second passage, Augustine's reference just above to a God "with separate parts occupying separate places", is not to be taken simply as the philosophical cum theological difficulty of a god with a physical body and limbs, but perhaps as referring to just exactly that particular vocation of the Second Person which is to come down from the throne on high in order to appear to us, while the Father remains above and invisible. "Parts of God" would therefore point to the Word or Glory as the manifestation of the Father's hidden divinity. If my supposition is correct, then Augustine's anthropomorphite colleague was indeed representative of the same tradition I have been tracing, a tradition which was a great deal older than the conflict over the Nicene definition and, given the range of territory we have already covered, very widespread indeed.

A generation, or less, after Augustine wrote his two epistles, another figure of great importance for the development of Christian doctrine, the Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria, nephew and successor of Theophilus himself, found himself asked by a group of Palestinian monks, faced with troublesome interlopers from an unspecified locale, to reply to a set of doctrinal questions that the newcomers had raised [125a]. According to Lionel Wickham's estimation, this took place sometime quite shortly after Cyril's triumph at the Council of Ephesus, between 431 and 434 [125b]. Of interest to us is the fact that this correspondence uncovers a set of beliefs strikingly like the God "of separate parts", "expanding" and "contracting", that we saw in Augustine's targets. The new arrivals, Wickham writes, "held that God is human in form, because man was made in God's image ("Answers 1, 2, 3, and 10), and that the consubstantiality of Father and Son had to be understood in a literal, 'physical' manner" [129c]. For our purposes, it is especially in Cyril's first three replies that we shall find echoes of the traditions which we have been pursuing, although three others in the collection of fifteen "Answers" will also prove to have items of interest.

In his first "Answer", extant only in Syriac and in Wickham's translation, Cyril replies to the assertion that "God has a human form" with a barrage of New Testament citations, beginning with the familiar appeal to Rm.1:23, and following that up with an explanation of Phil.2:7, the self-emptying of the divine Son to which, as we will see in "Answer 2", his opponents also appealed. The archbishop, however, understands the kenosis and taking on of the "form of a slave" as demonstrating that "God's form is different than ours", and that Phil.2:7 thus indicates the Son's change of form [125d]. In itself, the divine form is other, incorporeal, without quantity, which idea Cyril supports with appeals to Gal.4:19, the "forming" of Christ within the believer, Jn.5:37, the invisibility of the Father's "shape", and then, quite interestingly, the Son as the Father's "radiance" and "stamp", from Heb.1:3, and finally Rm.8:29 ff., the calling of the elect to share in Christ's "form". All these, he argues, show that "form" in the Godhead is quite different from the physical shape of human beings [125e]. It is in "Answer 1's" conclusion, though, that we catch a glimpse of why this question is so exercising Cyril's interlocutors. God is incorporeal, the patriarch insists, but "He is, indeed, seen", even if this "viewing" occurs, as for Cassian, Evagrius, and "Macarius", "intellectually, in the reality of the heart", where God is encountered "as one possessing supra-mundane glory". Therefore, he concludes, these silly people should shut their mouths and "seek, rather, to find in Christ the world above by leading lives...[of] special amendment of conduct" [125f]. Here, surely, we may detect the echoes of the visio Dei and ascent to heaven that we have already met so consistently. There are, for Cyril, to be no trips, whether in or out of the body, to heaven in order to see the body of glory. Hard work instead - sobriety [nepsis], asceticism, and labors [ponoi] - are the way to win the vision within [125g].

"Answer 2" takes up the question of the Son of God's trip down to earth. The resemblance to Augustine's plaint against the "God of separate parts" in Ep. 148 is astonishing. Here, it is Cyril's targets who are appealing to Phil.2:7, because "[the Son's] entire filial hypostasis, they say, was emptied out [kekenoto ek] of heaven and the paternal bosom itself" [125h]. As Wickham points out, "...the implication is that the individual beings of the Trinity, though of the same physical stuff, cannot be united physically, and, if one of them descends to earth, heaven loses the individual, but the common stuff...remains behind" [125i]. The Son appears thus to be literally obliged to shrink himself in order to become man, so recalling quite precisely the "expansion" and "contraction" that Augustine's opponents had been guilty of above in de Trinitate II.25. Cyril responds with the objection that his targets "have quantified [peposotai] the divine ousia", and calls upon another series of texts, including Jn.4:24, together with an interesting combination of, again, Heb.1:3 and I Cor.1:24, in order to argue that Christ, the eternal Son of God, who both defined God as "Spirit" and is himself the Father's radiance [apaugasma], wisdom, power, and stamp [charakter], and, further, as indwelling the Father (Jn.14:10), cannot be circumscribed in physical terms or, more simply, reduced in his divinity to the level of created beings, [tois] ethesin ton ktismaton [125j]. Even the pagan philosophers, Cyril snorts at the "Answer's" conclusion, can do better than this [125k].

The same issue, Christ's being obliged to "leave the heavens empty [kenous] of his divinity", reappears in "Answer 3" [125l], and a similar, if abbreviated, array of arguments and citations are marshalled in reply. Hebrews 1:3 appears again, this time in the company of Jer.23:24 and Ps. 138(139). On this occasion, however, Cyril fires a "parting shot", in Wickham's phrase, with which to sting his adversaries: the accusation that they have "fallen" unwittingly into Arianism [125m]. To ascribe, he argues, bodily characteristics to the Son's divinity is to make him of a "different nature [heterophyes]" than the Father who fills all things [Jer.23:24], and, by thus robbing "him of divinine attributes", reducing "the Creator to the level of the creatures" [125n]. If this is not Arianism, he implies, than what is?

Three other "Answers" are of interest to us. In "Answer 6", Cyril has to argue that the Son's human body has not been merged into his divinity [126o]. This sounds quite like the "mingling" language characteristic of Syrian Christian literature [126p], but it may point instead -- or also -- toward the way in which these particular ascetics, and perhaps our other ascetic visionaries as well, combined the idea of the preexistent "Body of Glory" with the historical incarnation of the Word, in order to understand the object of their vision and goal of their ascent to heaven. Cyril, of course, objects vehemently to the idea of a confusion, sygkrasis, between divinity and humanity that would result in a tertium quid [125q]. "Answer 12" appears to address an exaggerated idea about the possibilities of dispassion, apatheia, in this life, and it thus recalls one of the accusations launched against the Messalians, and so, perhaps, together with "mingling", offers us another clue about the origins of the interlopers [125r]. "Answer 15" is quite curious and seemingly unrelated to the foregoing. The monks ask the archbishop whether or not "incorporeal demons" could have intercourse with human women. The context, clear from Cyril's reply, is the descent of the "Sons of God" in Genesis 6:1-4 [125s]. The patriarch answers by identifying the "Sons of God" with the descendents of the righteous Enosh who fell from their progenitor's virtue in order to mate with the daughters of Cain. Any identification of these figures with angels is specifically ruled out [125t]. Yet, it is precisely with angels that the grandfather of apocalyptic literature, the so-called "Book of the Watchers", comprising chapters 1-36 of I Enoch, identifies the "Sons of God", and it is in order to preach -- in vain, as it happens -- to these fallen angels that the patriarch, Enoch, is called to ascend to the heavenly throne of the Glory [125u]. Here, surely, as with Ammonas' reference to the Ascension of Isaiah and Abba Sopatros' warning against apocrypha, we have an indication of the reading matter, as well as of the general thought world, of our ascetics. Like his great predecessor, Athanasius, Cyril will have none of it.

In the "Letter to Calosirus", included among the collection Wickham edited, Cyril addresses his suffragan, the bishop of Arsenoite, the modern Fayyum, to address the problem of anthropomorphism among the latter's monks. The document is quite bland in comparison to the "Answers to Tiberius". As Wickham rightly observes, while the issues of Gen.1:26 and God's putative human form are to the fore, there are no traces of any discussion about the experience of God, nor of heavenly ascent [125v]. There do, however, appear appear to be some among the monks who also betray traits reminiscent of "Messalianism", notably doubts about the Eucharist and an unwillingness to work [125w]. I would myself add the question whether it was not a milieu like this one that produced the Life of Apa Aphou. I am not suggesting that the latter was written in Calosirus' diocese, but the document does bear witness to the fact, as we noted above, that the traditions we have been examining did manage to persist, and to do so, moreover, in an atmosphere of relative tranquillity and assurance. Might perhaps the story of Aphou's victory over the redoubtable Theophilus have been written to provide a reply to the latter's still more formidable nephew?

My last witness to the conflict over the nature of "anthropomorphism", at least as I have been presenting the latter, comes to us from northwestern Greece a generation or so after Cyril's correspondence, sometime around the middle of the fifth century, though this, too, will require yet another excursion into Syria and Mesopotamia. Diadochus of Photiki was a signer of the Chalcedonian definition and an important contributor to the course of Eastern Christian sprituality [126]. There is nothing explicit about anthropomorphic conceptions of God in any of his writings, but there is a considerable amount of material devoted to the question of the visio Dei, and some of it contributes significantly to the subject under discussion in this essay, the matter of the "Glory of God" and the form, or lack of form, proper to divinity. Diadochus is, first of all, usually understood in those sections of his Gnostic Chapters which address these issues, as well as in his short Vision treatise, to be engaging in polemic against the Syrian sect of the "praying ones", Euchites or Messalians [127] - hence our need to refer once again to the Near East.

Messalians, whether an actual group, or else simply a bundle of opinions and tendencies with roots in Syrian ascetic tradition [128], are not to my knowledge generally connected with the specific issue of anthropomorphism. Yet the texts gathered by Kmosko in the latter's "Introduction" to his edition of the Liber Graduum [129], in particular the selections from Marutha of Maiphercatensis (ca.early fifth century), Theodoret of Cyrrhus (d.466), and Philoxenus of Mabbug (d.523), to limit myself to the writers who fall roughly within our period, present a number of similarities to the "anthropomorphites" of Augustine and the Egyptian desert. In a brief condemnation of the Audians which Kmosko, rather interestingly, includes in his dossier of anti-Messalian authorites, Marutha shows none of Epiphanius' approval:

These people say that the Trinity exists in composition [i.e., construction, fabri-

cation, roukobo'] with each other, and that the Persons [qnoume] are composed/

composite [mrakbe] with one another. [130]

Marutha seems to have had in mind something like Augustine's God of "separate parts", or Cyril's aggregate of divisible hypostases. Theodoret, in Hist.Eccl. IV.10, tells us that the Messalians claimed not only to perceive the visitation of the Holy Spirit (not the Son) "sensibly and visibly [horatos]", but to foresee future things and "behold the divine Trinity with their eyes" [131]. He repeats the same charge later on in anothe work [132].

Philoxenus is more interesting still. In his Letter to Patricius, the Syrian bishop provides examples of the sort of visions the Messalians claimed to have had. The two stories he cites should remind us of Abba Or's experience in Historia Monachorum 2. In the first story, Satan appears to a gullible ascetic "in a form of light [btoupso dnouro]", identifies himself as the Spirit, and demands worship. He gets it, since, as Philoxenus remarks, this poor fool (saklo, like Augustine's stultus) did not know the reply of that "famous anchorite" (Or? Anthony?), unnamed, who turned away a like apparition with becoming modesty. This monk instead is deceived into believing himself the beneficiary of a vision of "the glory [shoubho] of the great ones", and goes away filled thus with demonic hallucinations posing as divine vision [133]. The second story features a violent death. Satan leads another naive hermit from his cell up to a high mountain in order to show him a chariot, markabto, and promise him a trip to heaven, like Elijah. The monk climbs in only to have the illusion dissolve in mid-flight and leave him to tumble to his "ridiculous death" [134]. The impressions left by these three writers are less clear than the stories and accounts we have been dealing with, perhaps because of the distorting effects of second-hand reporting, time (especially in Philoxenus' case), hostility and confusion on the part of the reporters, and a body of by now more or less traditional materials [135], but the notes of a "composite godhead", forms of light, and, not least, the chariot and heavenly ascent remain.

Thus, in turning to Diadochus, we find ourselves on familiar ground. "Let no one", he writes in Chp.36, "who, on hearing of a perception [aisthesis] of the intellect, hope that the Glory of God will appear to him visibly". This, he states, does not happen in the present life, and

Therefore, if anything should appear to one of those struggling [in asceticism],

whether light or some fiery form [schema ti pyroeides], let him in no wise accept

such a vision, for it is an obvious deceit of the enemy. [136]

He repeats the warning in Chp.40:

Everything which appears to him [i.e., the ascetic] as a shape [schema], whether

as light or as fire, comes about by the machinations of the enemy.

Trust in such apparitions involves the soul in deadly perils [137]. Do then what des Places calls, in reference to these forms of light and fire, "classically Messalian traits" [138], "become for Diadochus purely a metaphor" [139]? I, for one, am not willing to go so far. First, the "traits" against which Diadochus is warning are hardly confined to "Messalians". If anything, the latter seem to have a good deal more in common on this score with the "anthropomorphism" we have been tracing than has hitherto been noticed, and it might therefore be more useful to categorize them - to the extent, of course, that they did in fact constitute a distinct group or movement - as one particular instance of a larger, underlying tradition, or complex of traditions, a kind of substratum which appears to have been practically coterminous with the geographical spread of Christianity itself by the late fourth and early fifth centuries. The fact that our attention is drawn to this layer of popular belief, particularly among the ascetics, in the period under discussion does not necessarily signify that it originated then. Quite to the contrary, I think we can safely assume that it had been around for a very long time. The disturbance which forced this substratum more or less simultaneously into view at many different points of the Christian compass was the great seismic shift of the Nicene homoousion, not so much as enunciated at Nicea itself, since that council had only begun the process, but in particular following the acceptance of its definition as the faith of the ecumene under Theodosius I. The old Logos Christology had had after all to be junked, how much the more so this archaic complex, with its God of "separable parts"? In fact, I would hazard a guess that the old Alexandrian Christology of Clement and Origen, following Philo's speculations on the Logos, may well have itself been, in part at least, an adjustment of this archaic stratum to sensiblities refined by the requirements of later Platonism. The reception of Nicea simply brought that process of adjustment to a conclusion, and did so universally.

Secondly, regarding Diadochus himself, who can fairly represent for us what occurs in such slightly earlier writers as Evagrius, Cassian, the author of the Macarian Homilies, and any number of other ascetic writers throughout the Christian East, including Ammonas, several of the Fathers of the Apophthegmata, and the Liber Graduum itself, the focus on the visio Dei shifts from the "outer man" of the physical senses to the "inner man" of the spiritual [140]. Here Origen had certainly blazed a trail [141], but the process is occurring in other writers of our period who did not necessarily have any direct acquaintance with the great Alexandrian's theology, people such as Ephrem of Nisibis or, again, the Liber [142]. Yet to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the individual writer, all the old terms remain: glory, light, fire, rapture or ecstasy, ascent, etc. Furthermore, this shift of the primary locus of the visio, which could look to precedents within the New Testament itself [143], did not entail any supposition that the experience to be obtained within was any less real, for all its change of venue. Des Places is perfectly happy to acknowledge the experiential force of Diadochus' "certain ineffable perceptions" by which Christ "reveals his presence to the heart" [144], and likewise notes the Bishop of Photiki's language of ascent and rapture [145]. But light, fire, and glory also have a place in the latter's account of the experience of God, and that place, I submit, is quite real, not just a metaphor. Evagrius on the "light of the Holy Trinity", for example, is a perhaps a bit tentative, but the Macarian Homilies are not tenative at all, nor, really, is Cassian [146]. Neither, I think, is Diadochus. He makes use of these key terms several times in the course of his Chapters. In the same Chp.85, where he speaks of "ineffable perception", he also writes of the fire of grace perceptibly burning up the "tares of the human earth", and concludes by associating that perception with light: "When then the man of struggle puts on all the virtues, and especially non-possession, then [grace] shines round [periaugazei] his whole nature with a certain, deeper perception" [147]. The "light of the soul" is glimpsed in the "treasury of the heart" [148], and likewise we struggle and pray in order to have:

...the Holy Spirit rest [anapauein] in the peace of the soul, that we may have the

candlestand of knowledge shining ever in ourselves. For, when he flashes within

the treasuries of the soul, not only do all those bitter and dark provocations of

the demons become perfectly clear to the intellect, but they are exceedingly

weakened as well, being reproved by that holy and glorious light. [149]

This is not, to be sure, a physical light, nor an exterior one, nor is it seen by the eyes of the body, but it still sounds real enough to me. As with Cassian, this light is not just to be identified with some feature of the soul, but with divinitas, and, as with Gregory of Nyssa, it is here equated with the Spirit. Thus I do not think it a metaphor when, early in the Chapters, Diadochus reprises the old theme we have been tracing: the soul, "soberly drunk...with the love of God" and goodness of the Spirit, delights in the "Glory of the Lord" [150].

There is more, however, to Diadochus than his Chapters. In his little treatise, The Vision, he takes on explicitly the matter of God's self-manifestation in the scriptures, and the theme thus of the divine Glory [150a]. Early in the work he addresses the Spirit's appearance as a dove at Christ's baptism. The questioner, Diadochus himself in this piece, asks what the form, eidos, of that manifestation meant. The reply, placed in the mouth of John the Baptist, appears to make a remarkable distinction, quite different, I think, than what we found in Augustine:

It was not the invisible and unchangeable nature [physis] of the Spirit which was

changed [metablethe] into the form of a dove...the form was shown to the one

who beheld [His] will [boulei]...

This distinction is then applied to the Old Testament theophanies: was in this way that the prophets saw God, as in the vision of a form

[eidos]. For he did not appear to them by changing himself into a shape [schema],

but they rather saw the Formless One [ton aschematiston] in, as it were, a form of

glory [hos en eidei doxes], his will, not his nature, being shown [bouleseos...ou

physeos deiknymenes] to them in a form. For the action [energeia] of the will

appeared to them in the visions thus as in a form of glory, because of him who

willed that he himself be seen in the form of his will. [151]

I suppose some might argue that this is roughly the same as Augustine's solution. No one of the Persons is mentioned specifically as appearing, save the Spirit in the instance of the baptism. It is God who acts, presumably the whole Trinity, and he does not reveal his nature, but his will. On the other hand, Diadochus says nothing about the resulting "form" being a created effect. It is rather the operation or action of the divine will itself which appears as the Glory in a form. The saints of Israel saw God himself, in other words, but God as distinct from his hidden nature or substance. While Diadochus' language is more refined, I take him to be in the same territory as Epiphanius' agreement with the Audians that God does appear when and as he wills. This more refined version is also, of course, remarkably like the fourteenth century distinction Gregory Palamas draws between the divine essence and actions, energeiai, and, as with Palamas, it, too, is offered in order to allow for the possiblility of the vision of light or the Glory, of the radiance of God himself, without at the same time compromising the divine transcendence [152].

I.D: Preliminary Conclusions from the Fourth/Fifth Century Evidence

This concludes the evidence that I have so far gathered about the anthropomorphite controversy and its results. It is first of all clear that "Egyptian" anthropomorphism was neither confined to a few naive peasants in that country's desert hermitages, nor indeed to Egypt itself. We have discovered in Epiphanius' Audians, in Syria's and Diadochus' "Messalians", in the interlopers troubling Cyril's Palestinian correspondents, and in Augustine's anthropomorphites traits and concerns which appear to be substantially identical. Put broadly and a little loosely, the phenomenon appears at different points from the Atlas range to the Zagros, and from the Adriatic to the Persian Gulf. If the Nicene confession brought this huge mass into view, then the answers which these controversies -- or, rather, this single controversy -- provoked have continued to shape Christian life and spirituality to the present. I say answers in the plural quite deliberately. The East, on the one hand, had fundamentally one dominant reply. The hope of the visio Dei, even in this life, the experience of light or glory, was preserved, save that now the vision becomes an event within the soul, while the Glory, in its turn, loses its occasional specificity as a proper name for the Son in order to become instead the radiance of the Triune God, imparted to the believer in the Holy Spirit through the deified flesh of Christ. The line which stretches from Evagrius, "Macarius", Epiphanius and Cassian on to Diadochus, Barsanuphius of Gaza, Isaac of Nineveh, John of Dalyatha, Symeon the New Theologian and the fourteenth century Byzantine Hesychasts seems thus to me to be pretty clear [153]. In the West, on the other hand, things work out a little differently. Cassian, certainly, heads off to Gaul carrying the reply just sketched, but another, much louder and more powerful voice had spoken to the issue as well. Augustine allows the theophanies no true appearance of God at all. The vision of God is the vision of the substance of the indivisible Trinity, of the substance which is Trinity, and that vision, so far as I can tell - with two possibly significant exceptions in his corpus - is restricted to the eschaton [154]. To say the least, this had to have complicated matters considerably, and I leave it to experts in Augustine, Cassian's heirs, and Western spirituality generally the task of describing how this difference has played itself out in Latin Christian spirituality -- or, perhaps better -- spiritualities. What does seem to me clear is that there was a difference, and that this difference must have had its effects, but with this issue we really end up squarely in the middle of late twentieth century Christian dialogue, which I will happiliy defer to other people at other times and places.



Part II: The Substrate

It is time for me instead to ask about this hitherto hidden layer of Christian faith, associated particularly with Christian ascetics, that we have found attracting the attention and ire of so many distinguished bishops and spiritual writers in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. Where did this talk of the Glory, of the form of God and of man, of fire and light and ascents to heaven, of angelic fellowship, or transformation into angels, and, not least, of fiery chariots and thrones come from? It is obviously rooted in the theophanies of Exodus, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, as well as elsewhere in the Old Testament, but what is it that carries us from the pre-exilic temple of Isaiah's vision, or from the exile and early second temple theology of the kavod YHWH native to Ezekiel and the "priestly" source [155], to use the language of Wellhausen, up to the late second temple and early Christianity? From Ezekiel to the early Church is a gap of six hundred years. What bridges that gap?

It is the dream ascent of Daniel 7 ff. that provides the key, of course. Together with the other theophanies, this text has turned up at several points in our investigation, and we have had the added hints of Abba Ammonas' citation of the Ascension of Isaiah, Abba Sopatros' warning against "apocryphal literature", and the interests of Cyril's Palestinian interlocutors in the fallen "Watchers" prominent in I Enoch, not to mention, more remotely, Cassian's reference to "Jewish weakness". We are in the world of apocalyptic literature, whose importance for the nascence of Christianity has long been recognized [156], and whose significance for earliest Christian asceticism, the ambient in which we have found most of our "anthropomorphites" [157], has been pointed out more recently [158]. Many of the better known features of the apocalyptic genre, including the background in oppression of or party strife among Jews, the elaborate symbolism, the use of distinguished figures from the scriptural past for contemporary messages, the preoccupation with the imminent end of the reign of evil, the sharp distinctions between good and evil, light and dark, features which include several of the elements bearing on the origins of Jewish and Christian asceticism, do not particularly concern us here, but rather certain other characteristics of this literature which have been much less remarked upon until quite recently. These elements include precisely those ideas we have been running across consistently: the Glory of God in relation both to the Second Person and to the imago Dei in Adam, thus the vision of the Glory and, associated with it, the related themes of ascent and transformation.

At this point, and for what follows, I must acknowledge my own scholarly deficiencies. I do not have the vast array of ancient languages needed to probe all the texts in the original (or, more often, in the surviving translations), nor am I intimately familiar with the great majority of Old Testament and New Testament pseudepigrapha even in the English language versions provided by the collections edited by Charles, Sparks, Schneemelcher and Charlesworth [159], let alone the huge body of rabbinica. These desiderata must await another day. I am in consequence wholly dependent upon a group of scholars headed by the late Gershom Scholem, and including, in loosely chronological order, Giles Quispel, Jarl Fossum, Joseph Blank, Gedeliahu Stroumsa, Alan Segal, Steven Fraade, Martha Himmelfarb, and, most recently, April de Conick [160]. I might add the names of Ithmar Gruenwald, David Halperin, and Joseph Dan on merkabah mysticism, Gary Anderson and Jacob Neusner on rabbinic traditions, together with David Winston and David Runia on Philo [161], but the contributions of this second group will not feature prominently in what follows. Most of the first group, save Scholem and Quispel, have published only relatively recently, and, because their works do not date back much more than two decades, their views have not yet had all the impact which I think they deserve. So let me testify now that I could not have picked up from the "anthropomorphites" the different themes mentioned just above, nor have seen the unity underlying their several manifestations, had I not been introduced to Scholem by my former teaching assitant (now professor in her own right), Rebecca Moore, and to Quispel, Fossum, and Segal by my colleague and friend, Michel Barnes.

It is Scholem who began the process. The second chapter of his epochal study, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, supplemented later on by Jewish Mysticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and the Talmudic Tradition and The Origins of Kabbalah, describes his foundational discoveries. Seeking the ancestry of medieval kabbalah, he was led to find it in the hekhalot texts of the "descenders of the merkabah", mystical documents purporting to show the way to ascent through the angelic hierarchies, or heavens, to the chariot throne, hence merkabah, of the Glory of the Presence. These texts had been thought very late, and it was Scholem who successfully demonstrated their essential antiquity, and who further linked them with the earlier literature of apocalyptic and, back still farther if only glancingly, with Ezekiel's vision itself [162]. In the process of tracing this trajectory, he touches significantly on parallel developments -- or, better, a parallel stream of the same tradition -- in early Christianity, most notably St. Paul's ascent in 2 Cor. 12:2 ff. [163], a text we have found echoed several times and which has with some justice been called the "template" of Christian mysticism [164]. One element in Scholem's analysis of particular importance to us is the notion of the body of God's kabod, an idea especially to the fore in a sixth century merkabah text called the Shi'ur Qomah ("the measurement of the body"). Although this particular piece is obviously late, he provided convincing arguments for the great antiquity of the idea it expresses: the vision of the divine body as goal of the mystical ascent [165].

In 1980, Giles Quispel took up the connection between the body of the Glory seen on the chariot throne by Ezekiel, and early Christian tradition in an article for Vigiliae Christianae. He begins by relating Ezekiel's vision of the brilliant form to the eschatological hope voiced by Is.40:5, that "all flesh shall see the Glory of God", then to apocalyptic literature, notably the ascent and vision of I Enoch 46:1, then to the Jewish current Scholem uncovered, and on to Mandaean and Gnostic speculations about the primal man, as well as to pagan works like the Poimandres of the Corpus Hermeticum, and then to Mani himself [166]. In the articles's second half, he turns to St. Paul and, in particular, the following texts: 2 Cor.12:2-4, Phil.2:6-11, and I Cor.1:24 [167]. With regard to our subject today, his remarks on the passage from Phillipians are perhaps most to the point: Christ as originally "in the form [morphe] of God...alludes to the Jewish-biblical concept...that God has a shape, and, still more shocking, that the image of God in man is to be found not in his soul...but in the outward bodily appearance...the implication of the morphe is obviously that it is the divine body, identical with the kavod, Glory, and equivalent with eikon. For man is made after the eikon of God and is therefore a faint copy of the divine morphe, demuth" [168]. It is difficult not to recall Apa Aphou's dismay at the Patriarch Theophilus' letter which, as we recall, "sought to exalt the Glory of God" by denying the image, and now perhaps easier to understand the soothing force of the Patriarch's reply to the crowd of angry monks: "In you I see the face of God", as well as to accord a new weight to Cassian's apparently stock reference to Abba Serapion's problem with biblical interpretation as a "Jewish weakness" [169].

Quispel's article was brief and limited in its documentation. Three longer articles appeared over the next three years, however, which filled in a great deal of detail: G.Stroumsa in Revue biblique (1981) and Harvard Theological Review [170], and J. Fossum on "Jewish-Christian Christology and Jewish Mysticism" for, once again, Vigiliae Christianae (1983). All three articles, particularly Stroumsa's second, "On the Form(s) of God", and Fossum's, support Quispel (and Scholem before) at the same time as they deepen and extend the range of texts. Here I would like to draw attention to two of Stroumsa's observations as throwing a certain light on that pair of Augustine's remarks which I underlined above, the "contraction and expansion" of the Word in de trinitate II.25, and the God of "separate parts occupying separate places" in Epistle 148, remarks which we saw echoed in Cyril's second and third "Answers". In "Form(s) of God", Stroumsa sets out his view that the kenosis of Phil.2:7 "can be best understood as reflecting an originally mythical conception, rather than being simply metaphorical...When Christ was in the 'form of God', his cosmic body filled the whole world...[while the] Incarnation...implied that Christ emptied the a sense up the greatness of his previous cosmic dimensions" [171]. This sounds to me quite a bit like modo se contrahet, modo distendet. Regarding "separable parts and places", Stroumsa remarks, in the course of his article for Revue biblique, that "the concept of the form of God...refers in effect occasionally to an anthropomorphic conception [of God himself], but also on occasion to a divine hypostasis, anthropomorphic but other than God himself" [172]. Lastly, quoting Scholem in Major Trends, he notes the "'belief in a fundamental distinction [in the Shi'ur Qomah texts] between the appearance of God the Creator, the Demiurge...and his indefinable essence" [173]. This would seem to fit in with an understanding of the Second Person as manifestation of the hidden Father, that is, the Son as the glorious form who is both revealed in heaven on the throne, to the saints of the Old Testament, and finally and radically, leaving the heavens temporarilily kenous, in the Incarnation, thus separable parts and, at least for purposes of theophany here below, separate places.

In two mutually supporting monographs, The Name of God and Two Powers in Heaven, Fossum and Alan Segal, respectively, pursue the distinction between the manifest Creator and the hidden God, a distinction based on the Glory tradition, into the origins of Gnosticism, where they discover a surprising coherence, or at least continuity [174]. The prevelance of just these themes of Glory, Form, Power, and primal Man, together with the notes of ascent and transformation, in the materials discovered at Nag Hammadi, brings me back to that suggestion I made above concerning reasons why Pachomian monks might have been interested in those documents. On the basis of the visions we noted in the Bohairic Life, I think it safe to say that they were curious about a number of the same things as are discussed in the "gnostic" texts. Not all of the latter are classically gnostic in any case, that is, posit the dualism between evil demiurge and good God. The Gospel of Thomas comes to mind particularly in this connection as less about metaphysics than as a document advocating asceticism, and it had certainly been around for some time in Egypt [175]. Its own possible links with the merkabah tradition and mystical ascent to the Presence, very recently explored by April de Conick [176], lend additional weight to the thought that it may well have been deemed quite appropriate for monastic reading, as appears clearly to have been the case in the Syrian literature of the Liber Graduum and Macarian Homilies, where Thomas was freely read and cited [177]. It is also easier to understand what Pachomius may have greatly disliked about the platonist spiritualizing of an Origen, who in addition had directed some very sharp remarks -- the ancestor of Cassian's and Evagrius' criticisms of anthropomorphism, or forms, in prayer -- against the very set of concepts we have been discussing here [178]. The "mythical" (using this adjective with all due care) world of the visions recounted in the Coptic Life, drawn straight from the language of apocalyptic, did not sit comfortably with an intellectual universe which understood biblical images as metaphors. Abba Sopatros' warning rings true, as does a certain cause for Athanasius' decree against undesirable literature in the monasteries.

The matter of visions leads me to the mystical aspect of the ancient documents and its relation to that expectation of the vision of God which we found among the monks. Quispel's article begins with a reference to the fourteenth century Athonite controversy over the "light of Tabor" [179]. While he does not explain his reasons for this historical reminiscence, he does go on to describe Ezekiel's vision as not only of the glorious form, but of light, and the latter seems to have been a great preoccupation of our ascetic combatants as well, whichever side of the fray they supported [180]. Thirty years ago Scholem spoke of the Shi'ur Qomah "as the deepest chapter [of divinity] opened to the Merkabah mystic for his inspection" [181], and Fossum observes, twenty years later, regarding the first century text of 2 Enoch 13, that, although "the idea of the unbelievably vast measurements of the Lord purports that God really is immeasurable, still, and this is the paradox of this kind of mysticism, the visionary actually is able to behold the divine body in ecstasy" [182]. Segal pursues this idea into the writings of St. Paul in his recent book, Paul the Convert, seeking to find in the Apostle an undeniably first century witness to the roots of Merkabah traditions in later rabbinic literature. He thus reads the account of Saul's vision of light in Acts 9 and 22 as precisely an example of merkabah mysticism, and argues that this insight provides invaluable background for properly assessing Paul's understanding of Christ: the Apostle identifies "Jesus with the Glory of God" [183]. Moreover, comparing the transformation into angelic status experienced by Enoch in I Enoch 71 with Paul on the experience of Christ in 2 Cor.3:7-4:6, Segal goes on to suggest that the lattter understood that, by gazing on the Glory which is Christ, he, Paul, had himself been "transformed into a divine state", which state would "be fully realized after his death", and that, unlike Enoch, this condition was not reserved for him alone, but constituted the "calling for all believers" in Jesus [184]. Transformation is further connected for Paul with certain physical/spiritual phenomena or signs, in Segal's words: with "the spiritual glow, radiance, or splendor, the special resemblance of Adam to God before the Fall, which is imparted only to those who, like Moses, have been called to the presence of God" [185]. Of this transformation, "the Holy Spirit...present in Baptism, is a pledge that the process has begun" [186].

Glory and light thus, the link between the divine body, Christ, and the imago Dei in the human being, together with the assumption that the vision of this splendor is available for some believers even in this life [187], and in fact carries with it on occasion certain transformative effects, however temporary short of the eschaton: all this sounds remarkably like both parties to the fourth/fifth century controversy we have been tracing. It certainly recalls the stories, to recall but one example, of Silvanus' glowing face and ascent to heaven. What I found truly remarkable in Segal's account, and I think perhaps even corroborative of his reading of Paul, was his utter unawareness that the themes he sketches as central for the Apostle continued in the Christian ascetic tradition, particularly in the East [188]. For our purposes here, though, it is the specific issue of Paul's understanding of the glorious body of Christ in his divinity, as linked simultaneously to Gen.1:26 and the visio Dei, which is so striking. Could it be, I wonder, that poor Abba Serapion, weeping uncontrollably at vespers, had actually been closer to the Apostle's own thinking on these matters than that learned deacon whose sophisticated arguments had just overwhelmed him? That would be wonderful irony, indeed. In any event, I think we have gotten a lot closer to the linkage between the imago and the visio Dei, and the understanding regarding that relationship, which underlay the Anthropomorphite Controversy, than postulating it as either a conflict between simple rustics and philosophical sophisticates, or else as an Origenist plot fabricated in order to discredit the more conventionally "orthodox" monks.

There is one more set of ideas discussed by these recent scholars that I should like to touch on before concluding this essay. In every one of the instances of "anthropomorphism" so far encountered, with the possible exception of Augustine's targets (but note the addressee of Ep. 147!), we have been dealing with a group or party of ascetics. The issues of vision and eschatological transformation appear thus as linked to the sources and continuing practice of Chrisitan asceticism, not merely in the fourth century and subsequently, but long before [189]. In this last section I should like to bring up this linkage with respect to the themes of ascent and angelic fellowship that we noted in our fourth/fifth century texts. Here, too, recent scholarship contributes a number of illuminating connections. I have in mind especially the study by Martha Himmelfarb, Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses, as well as April de Conick's still more recent monograph on the Gospel of Thomas, Seek to See Him. Against the background of these two works, particularly Himmelfarb's, details from the stories of the Apophthegmata and Historia Monachorum, to name but two, take on a surprising familiarity: from Abba Patermuthis' return trip to Paradise, complete with shopping basket, to the company of heaven at Abba Sisoes' deathbed, and even to such an apparently trivial detail as those two monasteries with their assemblies of white-clad monks.

Himmelfarb begins her book with a passage from 2 Enoch 22:8-10, the seer's stripping and anointing with the oil of glory in order to become "like one of the glorious ones", and she describes this procedure as a priestly investiture, against the background of heaven itself as the great temple with the angels its priests [190]. Her summary of this picture is her thesis: "The claim...that a human being can become the equal of angels...stands at the the center of a group of eight early Jewish and Christian apocalypses...[spanning] almost four hundred years" [191]. She goes on to develop this argument, particularly in her opening two chapters. In the first chapter [192] she traces the shift from pre-exilic notions of God's presence in the temple to the adjustments required by the Babylonians' destruction of Solomon's shrine, adjustments apparent in the two different adaptations to the situation represented, on the one hand, by the Deuteronomist (cf. Dt. 12:15 and, relatedly, 4:12), and, on the other hand, by Ezekiel, with his mobile throne, and the Priestly tradition. Ezekiel she reads as the basis for the singular development of the earliest apocalypse and template for the rest, I Enoch 1-36 (the "Book of the Watchers"), with its transposition to heaven of the earthly temple and transformation of the earthly priesthood into the angelic ministers, a transposition featuring a number of interesting details such as, most notable for our purposes, the shining vesture of the glorious figure on the throne and of his heavenly clergy as based on the linen vestments prescribed in Lev.16:4 for the high priest's annual entry into the holy of holies [193].

She can then move, in her second chapter, to a discussion of the apocalyptic motif of heavenly ascent as signifying participation in the angelic priesthood: "The process by which Enoch becomes an angel is a heavenly version of priestly investiture...[such that] when Paul speaks of [the] spiritual body (I Cor.15:42-50)...he seems to have in mind something similar to these heavenly garments" [194]. Here we might recall Abba Mark the Egyptian's description of the robe of fire enveloping the celebrating priest, cited above, together with the several accounts of transformation we have run across. Not only do the shining faces, etc., recall the glow of Moses' face and hark back to Adam's reflection of the heavenly archetype, but they also point toward this connection with the celestial liturgy [195]. The white-robed monks of the Historia Monachorum are surely in accord with this apocalyptic theme as well [196]. Abba Silvanus' ascent to the Glory features him "standing", estamen, before the Presence. Here, too, precisely in the use of that verb, "standing", we may detect an echo of the same idea. As April de Conick remarks, in connection with logia 23 and 16 of Thomas, "'standing' is associated with angelic behavior...when a person ascended and was transformed, he took his place with the angels 'standing' around God's throne...[in order] to participate in the cultic service [of heaven]" [197]. This, for Thomas, comprises the great calling of the monachos, the ascetic single one, and that association between the ascetic and "standing" before the Glory is thus a notion that not only goes back into apocalyptic, but carries on in the monastic literature, as in the case of Silvanus, and, perhaps most strikingly, in the ascetic tradition of Syrian Christianity, both before the arrival of Egyptian monastic patterns in the ancient local institution of the bnai qeiama [198], and forward as well in compositions as varied as the Syriac Life of Symeon Stylites and the Corpus Areopagiticum [199]. The ascetic struggles, in short, to become an "equal of the angels", isaggelos, and this desire is again fully in accord with the other elements we have been sketching. We can, indeed, pick up the early resonances of this idea in the Gospels, particularly in the Lucan variant of Christ's reply to the Sadduccees on the resurrection (Lk.20:35-36), with its suggestion, different from its parallels in Mark and Matthew, of this "isangelic" status as a present posibility [200]. It is an idea thus coeval with Christian asceticism, and the latter in turn coeval with Christianity itself. The ascetic seeks at once to imitate and to become a participant of Christ, a beholder of the Glory who is Christ, and thereby an equal and concelebrant of the angels, transformed through his (or her) recovery through Christ, the second and archtypal Adam, of the radiant splendor of the imago. Abbas Serapion and Aphou, together with Epiphanius' Audians and, quite possibly, the anthropomorphites of Numidia and the "Messalians" of Mesopotamia, were, I believe, all representatives of these ancient currents. But then, so, too, was their "opposition", as represented by Evagrius, Cassian, the Macarian homilist, Diadochus, Ammonas, and indeed Antony himself [201]. This brings me to my concluding remarks.


In support of his argument against genuine anthropomorphism among the fourth century monks of Egypt, Graham Gould cites a very interesting text at the end of his article, a manuscript edited and published by J.-C. Guy in 1962, and entitled "Un entretien monastique sur la contemplation" [202]. The text is late, being dated by both Guy and Gould to the latter half of the sixth century and as probably of Palestinian provenance. It is nonetheless of interest to this inquiry, and I shall take the liberty of translating the relevant section from pp. 234-5 of Guy's article. The "Conversation" is composed as a series of questions and answers:

Q: What ought such a person [a monk at prayer] do to attend to comtemplation?

A: The scriptures have made it clear how to [do so].

Q: How?

A: Daniel beheld [God] as the ancient of days, while Ezekiel [saw him] on a

chariot of cherubim, Isaiah on a high and exalted throne, and Moses clung to

the invisible as seeing [him].

Q: How can the intellect behold what has never been seen?

A: You have never seen the emperor enthroned as [he is depicted] on [his] images.

Q: And ought the intellect to depict the divine?

A: Isn't it better to depict [it] than to get caught up in unclean thoughts?

Q: Wouldn't that be reckoned a sin?

A: This [depicting] holds for the present, just as the prophets reported seeing [God], and [for when] the perfect [vision] itself comes, as the

Apostle says, "Now we see as through a mirror darkly, but then face to face".

He means, when thought shall have been perfected, then [one] sees with bold-

ness [parresia].

The text then goes on to speak of that perfection of thought as a present possiblity [203]. As Guy points out, the "then" of this passage has a double sense [204]. It is not merely eschatological, in the sense of referring only to the life to come, but looks as well toward possible perfecting of the nous here below, toward a parresia in this life. Like a prisoner released from captivity no longer wishes to go back to the dark, the "Conversation" continues, so the intellect, on arriving at the point where it can see its own "ray", pheggos, has also arrived at the condition where it can remain "on high" [205]. The visio Dei is thus a present possibility toward which the Old Testament experiences point.

Gould does not stress the last part, but takes this text's use of the theophanies as signaling the absence of anthropomorphism as "a living reality to be combatted" [206]. He is certainly correct to see this little work as significant. For one thing, it touches on what are doubtless the four most important theophany texts that we have run across. But he is wrong, I think, simply to project the Entretien back into late fourth century Egypt (and elsewhere). This little piece bears, among other things, the distinct mark of Evagrius, down to the use of pheggos for the light of the intellect [207]. So far as I can tell, what this text in fact signals is rather the general acceptance of what people like Evagrius, the Macarian homilist, Ammonas, etc. were struggling to implement: the interiorization of apocaplyptic imagery inherited from Christianity's origins. Now, as we have just seen with the Old Testament theophany texts, it is also a general rule of theology or spirituality, according to a friend of mine, that whenever a hitherto traditional element is rejected at some stage of later thought, it rarely disappears altogether, but tends to find a way back, albeit returning in a manner consonant with the adjusted intellectual terrain. The outward visions an Evagrius or a Diadochus so deplore never vanish entirely, and even these writers' careful excision of horatos, with reference to divine manifestation in this life, does not remain absolute [208], but the general principles they established do abide. Christ and his light are henceforth to be sought first and foremost within the intellect or heart, and one is to find him by living out the virtues, acquiring humility, long-suffering, etc., and thus cleansing the inner chambers of the soul - the "treasuries of the heart", as Diadochus puts it - in order that the latter may become a shrine in truth, the reality toward which Solomon's temple pointed, the place of encounter between heaven and earth, the topos theou [209]. Everything changes, yet everything is still present -- ascent, vision, angelic likeness -- in the liturgy of the heart become heaven [210].

Regarding interiorization, it is also true that the fourth and fifth century opponents of "anthropomorphism", as I have sketched the latter, had precedents of their own, not only in the great Alexandrian tradition of Philo, Clement, and Origen (who themselves, likely as not, were in part responding to aspects of the kabod traditions [211]), but in the New Testament itself. One can point, for example, to texts like I Cor.3:16 and 6:19-20, the Christian as temple of God or the Holy Spirit, to the promise accorded the pure in heart in Mt.5:8, and perhaps especially to passages in the Gospel of John, such as 14:21-24 and 17:22-24. These texts appear with great frequency in the ascetic literature I have been discussing [212]. Interiorization was no new thing, nor was caution against seeing God in a human form, thus for example Dt.4:12 [213]! What interests me, though, and what prompts this essay is at once the universalization of what I just called an "interiorized apocalyptic", and the continuity which this process also sought to ensure. Giles Quispel began his article on Ezk.1:26 with a reference to the Byzantine Hesychasts, in a somewhat sly, or at least coy, allusion to a continuity he seems to have felt existed between his declared subject and a dispute in the late Byzantine middle ages [214], but which he did not choose to develop. I hope that what I have discussed in these pages helps point the way toward understanding how the Christian tradition, particularly the Eastern Christian tradition, both Greek and others (Syrian, Copt, Armenian, etc.), made the transition from apocalyptic and the frankly anthropomorphic or mythical language of Ezekiel and the Priestly source into the post-Nicene era. For it was Nicea, I am convinced, or rather the general reception of Nicea following the Council of Constantinople in 381, and the latter's enforcement by Theodosius I, which necessitated this empire-wide adaptation. The Second Person could no longer serve as, in esse, the hypostatic form of the Father's immanence or manifestation, anymore (or, in fact, less) than he could continue to act as the subordinate Logos, if he were at the same time to be confessed as of one being with the Father, coeternal and coequal. Nicea required that the Second Person make his own the Father's hidden divinity. God, as Augustine -- or, for that matter and so far as I gather, Arius himself -- insisted, could have no "parts", a higher and a lower, a hidden and a manifest, or, worse, a greater and a lesser. What we then see in the Egyptian controversy is what we also find at several other points in the Christian world around 400 AD: one of the popular effects resulting from the catholic confession of the homoousion. Athanasius orders the removal of the apocryphal literature Abba Sopatros warns against (and that we found Abba Ammonas using), and the Pachomian communities comply -- hence the Nag Hammadi trove [214a]? More openly, Theophilus pontificates on the imago, and the monks of Scete and elsewhere rise up in a protest fated ultimately to fail.

To be sure, as the monks' doomed resistance indicates, this universalization of Nicea required the reconfiguration of certain cherished and ancient ideas, demanding in our particular case the identification of the "glory" and "majesty" of the godhead with the esse of divinity (or, the will, as in Diadochus?) rather than with the Second Person. The "form" and "body" of God do remain the exclusive prerogative of the Son, but are firmly reserved for his historical manifestation as Mary's Son [215]. Yet, as I noted just above, the old language never disappears entirely. Witness the Eastern (and some Western) monks' continued fascination with both the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles and the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, an interest which carries on throughout the Byzantine era and, in places such as Russia and especially Ethiopia, right into modern times [216]. And, too, as Quispel alluded to so briefly, the vision of the maiestas divinitatis retained a central place in Eastern Christian spirituality. These two survivals are clearly related to each other. Apocalyptic preached that some, be it only a very few, had seen the "Great Glory". Paul claimed the same incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth, and further held that in him, "in the body of his glory" (Phil.3:21), its splendor was communicated to those who believe in him. More than anything else, I believe, it is this idea which lies at the root of the later Eastern Christian insistence on theosis as key to the divine economy and the Christian hope. Yes, certainly, Nicea entailed a "sea change" in the believers' conceptual furniture, and this change entailed a lot of grief, not least the rumblings of that widespread controversy whose echoes appear in the texts discussed above. Yet I would also insist that the fundamental emphasis lived on through, on the one hand, the dogmatic adjustments made by such as Athanasius and the Cappadocians, and, on the other hand, and quite as importantly, the interiorized spirituality of such as Evagrius, Cassian, and the Macarian homilist. Thus, later on still, these adjustments would govern the vision of a Dionysius Areopagites at the turn of the sixth century in Syria/Palestine, a Maximus Confessor at the heart of empire in the seventh century, a John of Dalyatha in eighth century Mesopotamia, and -- not to take us all the way up to a Gregory Palamas in fourteenth century Athos -- a Symeon the New Theologian at the Monastery of St. Mamas in Constantinople, New Rome, at the turn of the second millenium. In his tenth Ethical Discourse, Symeon both echoes the language of our controversy and proclaims its results. That visitation of Christ which comes to the sanctified believer, he tells us: not an apparition without substance...but appears in a light which is personal[hypostatikon] and substantial [ousiode]. [It is] in a shape without shape and a form without form [morphe amorphotos] that he is seen invisibly and comprehended incomprehensibly. [217]









1. John Cassian, Collatio X, in Collationes, ed. M. Petschenig, CSEL 13:288-308; ET: John Cassian, The Conferences, tr. O.Chadwick (NY:1985) 125-140; Sozomen, HE VIII.11-12, PG LXVII:1544A-9A ; ET: NPNF 2nd series, II:406-7; Socrates, HE VI.7, PG LXVII: 684A-8C; ET: NPNF 2nd series, II:142-3; Palladius, Dialogue sur la vie de saint Jean Chrysostome (SC 341, ed. Malingrey and P. Leclercq) 138-140.

2. Cassian, Coll.X.2 (CSEL 287:18-24; ET: 126).

3. Socrates PG 684AB; NPNF 142; Sozomen PG 1544A-C; NPNF 406.

4. For example, Sozomen (1544C; ET 406) on the monk's exegesis: "Because they laid hold of the sacred word with simplicity and without any questioning, most of the monks of that part of the world were of this [i.e., anthropomorphite] opinion." From this, he observes, followed Theophilus' ease in "deluding the brethren". This is also the usual view of most scholars, as in, for example, the remarks of J. A. McGuckin, in a passing observation concerning the letters of Theophilus' nephew, Cyril of Alexandria, writing some thirty years later to Egyptian monks troubled by persistent anthropomorphites: "[Cyril's] letter to Calosirus of Arsinoe (Fayyum) shows that crude forms of folk religion, such as those attacked by Theophilus a generation earlier, were still in evidence among the monks, most of whom were unlettered peasants. His letter also discusses the problem of Messalians in the monasteries...", in St Cyril of Alexandria: the Christological Controversy, Its History, Theology, and Texts, (Leiden:1994) 121. We shall see that "Messalians" were perhaps not unrelated to the issue (see discussion below and n.128). The letters that McGuckin cites were edited by L. R. Wickham, Cyril of Alexandria: Select Letters, (Oxford: 1983), and see esp. xxix-xxxi for Wickham's views on the anthropomorphites of both Egypt and Palestine that Cyril was obliged to write about, and 138 ff. for the letters themselves, extant complete only in this edition. Wickham is in harmony with McGuckin's assessment, but, oncemore, we shall see that Cyril was quite possibly facing something quite like what we shall cover below.

5. Socractes (684BC) and Sozomen (1545A) both: hos theou prosopon.

6. See Elizabeth Clarke, The Origenist Controversy: The Cultural Construction of an Early Christian Debate (Princeton:1992) 43-84.

7. G. Gould, "The Image of God and the Anthropomorphite Controversy in Fourth Century Monasticism", in Origeniana Quinta, ed. B. Daley (Louvain:1992) 549-557; G.Florovsky, "The Anthropomorphites in the Egyptian Desert", in his Collected Works, Vol.IV (Belmont, MA:1975) 89-96; ibidem, "Theophilus of Alexandria and Apa Aphou of Pemdje", Collected Works, Vol.IV: 97-129.

8. G. Stroumsa, "The Incorporeality of God: Context and Implications of Origen's Position", Religion (1983) 345-358. The remark in question comes, almost offhand, at the articles conclusion (354): "Those monks who fought Origenism so violently in the fourth century Egyptian desert are known as 'anthropomorphites'...They are considered to have been primitive fellahin...Further research, however, might investigate the possibility that they rather were, like the above-mentioned Palestinian rabbis, the bearers of mystical conceptions of God's morphe." This is precisely the project of this essay.

9. For Cassian, supra n.1. For Epiphanius, Epiphanius III: Panarion haer. 65-80, ed. K. Holl, rev. J. Dummer,

GCS (Berlin:1985) 232-249; and ET: The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, tr. F. Williams (Leiden: 1987), Vol.II:

402-418. For Apa Aphou, see E. Drioton, "La discussion d'un moine anthropomorphite audien avec le patriarche Theophile d'Alexandrie", Revue de l'orient chretien 20 (1915-1917) 92-100 and 113-128.

10. For Evagrius' system generally, see A. Guillaumont, Les Kephalaia Gnostica d'Evagre le Pontique (Paris:1962), esp.59-109 for the first Origenist controversy. For the texts particularly relevant to our discussion, see first De Oratione 72-74 and 113-117, Greek text (under the name of Nilus) in Philokalia ton hieron neptikon (Athens, 3rd rep: 1956) Vol.I:183 and 187, ET in The Philokalia, tr. Ware, Sherrard, Palmer, et alia (London: 1983) Vol.I:64 and 68; see also the Greek retroversion of "Supplemental Chapters" 2, 4, 21, and 25 (on Exod.24:10) to the Kephalaia Gnostica, in Evagrius Ponticus, ed. W. Frankenberg (Berlin:1912) pp. 425, 427, 441, and 449 resp., together with epistle 39 (Frankenberg, p.593). For comment, see A. Guillaumont, "La vision de l'intellect par lui-meme dans la mystique evagrienne", in Melanges de l'Universite St. Joseph L.1-2 (Beirut:1984) 255-262; ibidem, "Les visions mystiques dans le monachisme oriental chretien" and "Un philosophe au desert: Evagre le Pontique" in Aux origines du monachisme chretien (Bellefontaine:1979) 136-147 and 185-212 (esp. 144-7 and 209-11) resp.; N. S'ed, "La Shekinta et ses amis arameens", Cahiers d'Orientalisme XX (Geneva:1988) 233-247, esp. 240-242. See also A. Golitzin, Et Introibo ad Altare Dei: The Mystagogy of Dionysius Areopagita, in Analekta Vlatadon Vol.59 (Thessalonica:1994) 334-340, and the forthcoming study from Oxford University Press by C. Stewart, John Cassian, esp. chapters 5, Cassian on "The Bible and Prayer", and 7 on "The Experience of Prayer". I am most grateful to Dom Columba for having had the kindness to provide me with a manuscript copy (and see n.21 below). For discussion of Evagrius on the visio Dei, see below, note 81

11. Serapion had "for a long time lived a life of austerity" and was a man of "consummate virtue", Collatio X.3-4 (CSEL 288-9; ET: 126-127).

12. Ibid. X.3 (288:8 and 23; ET: 126).

13. Ibid. (CSEL 288:19) for spiritualiter, and X.2 (287:16) for omnipotentem deum humanae figurae conpositione formatum.

14. Ibid. (289:12-14): Heu me miserum! tulerunt a me deum meum, et quem nunc teneam non habeo, vel quem adorem aut interpellem iam nescio (ET: 126).

15. Haereses quae dicitur Anthropomorphitarum, Ibid. X.5 (291:5-6); cf. also inepta quoque Anthopomorphitarum haereses, X.2 (287:7-8; ET: 128 and 126 resp.).

16. Ibid. (290:22 - 291:9; ET: 128).

17. Ibid. (291:11-16).

18. Ibid., X.6 (291:1-13). Note also sub illa quodammodo Iudaica infirmitate, l.25, and in maiestatis suae gloriae, ll.22-23.

19. Ibid. (292:1-13; ET:128-129). Note here as well the parallel Abba Isaac draws between the Apostles on Tabor, on the one hand, and both Moses on Sinai and Elijah on Horeb, on the other.

20. Ibid., X.7 (293:18 - 294:2; ET: 130).

21. Recall above the gloriam vultus eius et claritatis imaginem (292:6-7). I was pleased to find myself confirmed in this impression by Columba Stewart (above, n.10), especially his citation (MS, chp. 5, part2: pp.1-2) of a passage from Cassian's work against Nestorius, On the Incarnation 3.6.3: "I see the ineffable illumination; I see the unexplainable brilliance; I see the splendor unbearable for human weakness and beyond what mortal eyes can bear, the majesty of God shining in unimaginable light." Stewart sees the theme of the light of divinity as central to Cassian's confrontation with a perhaps fictional Serapion (for the latter, see MS, chp.5, part 1, pp.15 ff), bound to the outward observation of asceticism and literal reading of Scripture, thus: "The radiant Christ of the Transfiguration is not a floodlit human Jesus, still bound by form and time, but the divine transcendence of all limits; he is Christ contemplated 'according to the spiritual senses'. Serapion, bound too long by his anthropomorphic imagination, could not ascend the mountain to see the divine nature of Christ with the eyes of his heart" (MS, chp.5, part 2, p.7). Note here the emphasis again on the divinity of Christ, the divine nature as light, and contrast the picture of, indeed, a "floodlit human Jesus" in, for example, Irenaeus' Adverses Haereses V.xx.2 (cited below, n.152). For the latter's possible "anthropomorphism", see n. 215 below.

22. For the Greek text and ET, see note 9 above.

23. Panarion 70.1.1 (GCS 232-3; ET: 402-3).

24. Ibid. 70.1.5 - 2.1 (233; ET: 403).

25. Ibid. 70.1.2 - 4.

26. Ibid. 70.9 - 15 (241-8; ET: 410-428).

27. Ibid. 70.2.4 - 5 (234; 404).

28. Ibid. 70.2.6 - 5.5 (234-7; 404-7).

29. Ibid. 70.3.1 - 5 (234-5; 404-5).

30. Ibid. 70.5.1 (236; 406).

31. Ibid. 70.5.2 (237; 407).

32. Ibid. 70.6.1-2 (237-8; 407).

33. Ibid. 70.6.3 - 7.5 (238-9; 407-8).

34. Ibid. 70.7.6 - 9 (239; 409).

35. Panarion 70.8.1-3 (GCS 240; ET 409).

36. Ibid. (240-1; 409-10).

37. See for example, Justin Martyr in Apology I.63 (PG VI:424A-5B) on both Sinai and the prophets, and esp. Dialogue with Trypho 60-61, with its listing of names for the Logos, including "Power", "Glory", and "Name" (PG VI:612B-16C, esp. 613C for the names of the Son); Clement in Paidogogos 57.1-58.1 (SC 7, p.212) on the visions of Jacob and Moses "face to face" with the Logos as the prosopon theou, and once more for the latter, Strom. V.6 (GCS 83.6-87.1); and Tertullian, Adv. Prax. 14 (CCL II:1176-1178, esp. 1177:50-56), on the Son as the "visible" of the Father's "invisible", and cf. also his remarks in the same chapter on the OT theophanies and Transfiguration, and Adv.Prax. 7 (1165-1167, esp. 1166:43-1167:56) on Phil. 2:6, arguing that "God is a body"; and Irenaeus on the Son as the subject of the OT theophanies in Demonstration 45 (ACW 16, p.77) and Adversus Haereses V.xx.8-12 (SC 100, pp.648-675). See also A. Segal, Two Powers in Heaven (full ref. n.160) 220-233 for more complete references.

38. PG 46: 713 and 716-717.

39. Ibid. 713

40. Ibid. 716-717.

41. See C. Stewart, "Working the Earth of the Heart". The Messalian Controversy in History, Texts, and Language to AD 431. (Oxford:1991), esp. 169-203.

42. See above, n.9, for text.

43. For the value of the Life of Aphou as witness to Egyptian anthropomorphism, see most recently Gould, "On the Image of God" 550.

44. See Florovsky, "Theophilus of Alexandria and Apa Aphou" 100-101.

45. Drioton, "La discussion d'un moine anthropomorphite" 95, line 10 for mpeooy.

46. Ibid. 97-98.

47. Ibid. 98-99.

48. Ibid. 99-100, and peooy de mpmegethos on last two lines of 99.

49. Ibid. 116-117.

50. Ibid. For Florovsky's response, see both "Anthropomorphites in the Egyptian Desert" 91, and "Theophilus of Alexandria" 110-112.

51. Florovsky, "Anthropomorphites" 91-93 and 95-96.

52. Florovsky, "Theophilus of Alexandria" 119-122; cf. Gould, "Image" 550-551.

53. Drioton, "La discussion" 126-127.

54. Thus see the whole monologue in John 6:32-65, with its frequent language of descent and ascent - e.g., vv.33, 38, 48-51 (esp.), and 62, and cf. I Cor.15:45-49 on the two Adams. One thinks, of course, of R. Bultmann's gnostic redeemer myth, as sketched in his Theology of the New Testament, tr. K. Grobel (NY:1951/1955), Vol. I: 164-183, esp. 167, but it may be more helpful to consult works such as A. Segal's Paul the Convert and Two Powers in Heaven, together with J. Fossum's Power of the Name, and their understanding of the relation between the "heavenly man" and the "Glory" of God, between Adam and early Christology (works cited in full, n.160 below).

55. See Clement, Stromateis V.6, and Paid. 57-8, n.37 above.

56. See the discussion of the two LXX versions of Daniel 7:13 in Sharon Jeansonne, The Old Greek Translation of Daniel 7-12 in Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series 19 (Wash. DC: 1988), esp. 96-99 and 110-14, and the summary of the discussion in L. T. Stuckenbruck, Angel Veneration and Christology: A Study in Early Judaism and the Apocalypse of John (Tuebingen:1995) 211-218. The one variant, eos, has the Son of Man figure "approaching" the "Ancient of Days", the other, os, has him "like" the figure on the throne. Jeansonne dismisses the second as a scribal error (96-9), but Stuckenbruck observes that, even if originating in a mistake, the version took hold and thus likely represents "an interpretive tradition" (216).

57. Gould, "Image" 552-554.

58. Ibid. 554, citing Evagrius' De Oratione 66-68.

59. Ibid. 553, but see our remarks below on the visions recorded in the Bohairic Life of Pachomius.

60. Ibid. For the earliest modern analysis, still cited often, of the Apophthegmata tracing the process of their editing and placing the final version of the present text in early, sixth century Palestine, see W. Bousset, Apophthegmata: Studien zur Geschichte des aeltesten Moenchtums (Tuebingen:1923), esp. 60-76, and for a modern summary, D. Burton-Christie, The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism (NY/Oxford:1993) 76-98.

61. Ibid. 554.

63. Ibid. 553; cf. also Clark, Origenist Controversy 43, where Abba Sopatros leads off the discussion of the controversy.

64 Sopatros 1, PG LXV:413A; ET by Benedicta Ward, The Desert Tradition: The Sayings of the Fathers, (NY:1975) 225.

65. Mark the Egyptian 1 (PG LXV:304 A-C; ET 151).

66. See, for example, Arsenius 27 (96 BC; ET 13), and Abba Joseph of Panephysis' "fingers of flame", Joseph of Panephysis 7 (229 CD; ET 103).

67. Daniel 7 (156 D - 160 A; ET 53-54). For comment, see Clark, The Origenist Controversy 66-68, and the connection she draws between this story and Aphou's concerns.

68. Apollo 3 (136B; ET 37).

69. Isaiah 10 (184A; ET 70).

70. Pambo 12 (372 A; ET 197).

71. Sisoes 14 (396 BC; ET 215).

72. Sisoes 40 (405A). See also the saying of ??????: "When you see a young monk ascending to heaven, take hold of his ankles and pull him down".

73. Silvanus 2 and 3 (409A; ET 222-223).

74. Silvanus 12 (412C; ET 224).

75. For the Coptic Pachomiana, as well as for the translation of the Greek Vita Prima, I shall have recourse to the translations by Armand Veilleux in Pachomian Koinonia, Vol.s I and II (Kalamazoo:1980 and 1981). References to the Greek text of the Vita Prima, as well as to that of the Paraleipomena, I shall be taking from F. Halkin's edition, Sancti Pachomi Vitae Graecae, in Subsidia Hagiographica 19 (Brussels:1932), as reprinted by Constantine Bonis in Bibliotheke Hellenon Pateron kai Ekklesiastikon Syggrapheon, Vol. 40 (Athens:1970) 129-221.

76. Phillip Rousseau, Pachomius: The Making of a Community in Fourth Century Egypt, (Berkeley:1985) 26-8.

77. See the Bohairic Life 189 (Veilleux, Vol I: 230-231). The episode is not in the Vita Prima, but we do have Athanasius' thirty-ninth Festal Epistle of 367 AD which is best known for its listing of the canonical books of Scripture. The famous archbishop's reasons for insisting on that list, however, also fit rather handily into the issues of concern to this essay. First, though, let me quote from David Brakke's translation of both the end of the still extant Greek text, and then from its continuation still surviving in Coptic (in D. Brakke, Athanasius and the Politics of Asceticism [Oxford:1995], 326-332 for the whole letter, but esp. 330 and 332 for our purposes here). After stating the scriptural canon, Athanasius notes that the "apocryphal books...[are]an invention of heretics who write these books whenever they want...[as] a pretext for deceiving simple folk." At this point the Greek text concludes, but what follows in Coptic is still more telling: "Who has made the simple folk believe that these books belong to Enoch even though no scriptures existed before Moses? On what basis will they say there is an apocryphal book of Isaiah...? How could Moses have an apocryphal book...? No, this can be nothing except 'itchy ears' (I Tim. 4:3-4), trading in piety...The apocryphal books are filled with myths...the beginning of discord...Therefore, it is fitting to decline such books [p.330]". We shall find I Enoch appearing below several times (e.g., Cyril fifteenth "Answer to Tiberius" below), and likewise the Ascension of Isaiah at least once (in Ammonas' Epistle X below). Both II Enoch and the Ascent of Moses, though we shall not have occasion to mention them in discussing our monastic sources, though we shall quote M. Himmelfarb's discussion of II Enoch's ascent in Part II below, also fit into the same, literary category of apocalyptic ascent to heaven. Athanasius is anxious to have this sort of literature disappear. A clue as to why appears at the end of the letter (Brakke, p.332): "I have not written these things as if I were teaching...Rather, because I heard that the heretics, particularly the wretched Melitians, were boasting about the books that they call apocryphal." Rigorist ascetics, in other words, are making use of these materials.

78. Ibid. 73 (Vol.I:95-6); 76 (I:99-100); and 184 (I:219-229). The Vita Prima 88 (Bonis 62-63; Veilleux I:357-358) does allude to Pachomius' vision with Theodore, but lacks -- or omits -- the relevant details. Pachomius mentions that he has seen "apparitions", and only he and not Theodore, but he does not describe them. The reference to the Sinai theophany, occuring in both the Bohairic Life and the Vita Prima, recurs in Paraleipomena 38-39 (Bonis 218-220; Veilleux I:61-64), perhaps as part of Pachomius' general assimilation to Moses, the Lawgiver, as he compared with other prophets.

The Paraleipomena also have a number of other visions which may be of some relevance to our discussion. There is, for example, the appearance to Pachomius of Christ as a young man, neos, with a crown of thorns and "ineffable countenance", who is then introduced, by an angel, to the great abbot as "the Lord of Glory" (Paral.18, Bonis 206; Veilleux II:40). This episode struck me as singulary like the appearances of Metatron in the merkabah literature as a na'ar, a young man (see G. Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition, [2nd ed., NY:1965] 50-51; and cf. J.C. Greenfield's "Prolegomena to the reprint of H. Odeberg's 3 Enoch: the Hebrew Book of Enoch [rep. NY:1973] xxxi-xxxii, and Odeberg himself, 6-7 and n.2; together with F.I. Anderson's translation of 3 Enoch, in Charlesworth's Old Testament Pseudepigrapha I:257, n.3a). There are also references to Christ as the "Power of God" (Paral.26; Bonis 212; Veilleux II:50; and cf. 41; Bonis 221; Veilleux II:66). In the Letter of Ammoun, another item in the Pachomian materials (see Bonis 79-100, reprinting Halkin 97 ff.; ET Veilleux II:71-105), the shared vision of Pachomius and Theodore appears again, once more without details, but including an earthquake and "lights" (Ammoun 10; Bonis 83; Veilleux II:77-78). Later on, Theodore is reported as seeing the Trinity as "three pillars of light" (11; Bonis 84; Veilleux II:79), and being accorded a vision of the heavenly liturgy in the monastery chapel where he is fed "by someone who was in much glory" (14; Bonis 85; Veilleux II:81). The latter echoes the lesson Theodore is told to pass on to the brethren as a result of his vision in BoLife 184, i.e., that they are not to neglect the common worship since this, meaning the heavenly splendor, is the presence that is always present at the synaxis.

79. A. Guillaumont, "Les visions mystiques" (Aux origines 140 ff.), dismisses the BoLife's visions as of suspect veracity, latter additions borrowed from popular Christian apocalyptic materials, "les apocalypses de Pierre et de Paul, qui ont profondement nourri la piete Egyptienne". The tie-in with apocalyptic literature is certainly important, especially in view of my remarks below, but, even if it be dangerous to quarrel with so accomplished a scholar, all the editing here seems to me to more on the side of the Vita Prima, with its elimination of detail and lack of any hint of "anthropomorphism", or, put another way, of archaism. Guillaumont's contrasting approval of Evagrius' luminous visions, as with the Macarian Homilist (see nn. 81 and 82 below), is also both true and perspicacious, but misses what I take to be of equal importance and crucial to the late fourth century shift from exterior to interior, from anthropomorphism to the "formless light" beheld within, i.e., that this is a feature of the universal (since there were precedents in the pre-Nicene Church) re-adaptation of ancient motifs to the altered situation of the post-Nicene Church.

80. BoLife 73 (Veilleux I:97).

81. For the literature on Evagrius, see n.10 above. His use of Exodus will take us on an excursion. Beginning with the Glory of God, I would particularly underline de orat. 73: "[The demons] suggest to it [the nous] an illusion of God's Glory in a form [schematismos] pleasing to the senses, so as to make it think it has realized the final aim of prayer" (Greek Phil. I:183; ET I:64). Any form or image ascribed to the Glory is a demonic delusion, a twisting of the "light" surrounding the intellect (de orat. 74). Note also the equation here, which is assumed, of the visio Dei with the goal (skopos) of prayer, together with the emphatic rejection of any schema. Guillaumont, "Les visions mystiques" 145-6, has noted Evagrius' early struggle to define or place this "light of the intellect", particularly in Antirrheticus VI.16 (Frankenberg 554-5), and his conclusion that this is, indeed, proper to the godhead - the "light of the Trinity" (for the latter phrase, see esp. "Supplementary Chapter" 4, Frankenberg 427, and cf. also Guillaumont, "Un philosophe au desert" 209-211). Secondly, Evagrius' Trinitarian orthodoxy, as a disciple of the Cappadocians, is unquestionable (see esp. G. Bunge, "On the Trinitarian Orthodoxy of Evagrius Ponticus", Monastic Studies 17 [1986] 191-208). The vision of God cannot therefore but be wholly "spiritual", formless, as it involves the light which is proper to the Three, and exactly what we find in the divinitas of Evagrius' pupil, Cassian (cf. above, n.21). Thus, thirdly, Evagrius produces what Nicholas S'ed has called "the first intellectual interiorization [of the Sinai theophany] of which we have a written attestation" ("La Shekinta et ses amis arameens" 242). This use of, especially, Exodus 24:10 and the expression, topos theou, associated with that verse in the Septuagint, appears frequently, as in the following from "Supplementary Chapter" 25: "When the intellect takes off the old man and is clothed by grace with the new, then as well it will see its constitution at the time of prayer likened to a sapphire and the form of heaven. This is what was called the 'place of God' by the elders of Israel when he appeared to them on the Mountain" (Frankenberg 449, cf. also chp.s 2 and 4, pp. 425 and 427 resp., as well as Epistle 39, p.593). This is succeeded in chp. 26 (450) by a reference to the "light of the Trinity" which "dawns" in the nous at the time of prayer. Evagrius' Sinai is therefore, as S'ed noted, within the intellect, and it is there, within, that one is to make the ascent to the vision of the Glory.

The "dawning" of the Trinity's light within the nous also somewhat recalls Plotinus' epiphany of the One in Enneads V.5.8, as well as in, for example, V.3.17 and VI.7.36. Guillaumont has noted this in "La vision", and so has Hans Veit Beyer, "Die Lichtlehre der Moenche des vierzehnten und des vierten Jahrhunderts", XVI Internationaler Byzantinistenkongress (Wien:1981) 473-512, esp. 478. The latter, however, goes too far in asserting that the light theme, in both Evagrius and the Macarian Homilist (for the latter, see Ibid. 498 ff., and cf. n.82 below), is of wholly Neoplatonic provenance. In addition, his assertion (509) that Macarius (as does Evagrius, cf. 485) empties the Eucharist of significance because he turns Christ's body into a Lichtleib speaks indeed of something significant in both Evagrius and the Homilist, though it points in fact in a quite unexpected (for Beyer) direction regarding these two writers' sources. By those sources I understand precisely that background in apocalyptic literature, and the notion of the "Body of the Glory", which we have glimpsed in Aphou et alia, and which is the subject of my discussion of the "Substratum" in Part II below. The "body of light" is certainly not purely "Neoplatonist" in origins. Then, too, "Macarius'" own acquaintance with Hellenistic interiorization was very unlikely to have been via the influence of later Platonism, as in a Plotinus, or even through the mediation of Origen (though the latter's possible influence on the Macariana awaits scholarly investigation), but quite likely through the encratite tradition active in Syrian Christianity since at least the early second century. For the latter thesis, see G. Quispel, Makarius, das Thomasevangelium, und das Lied von der Perle (Leiden:1967), esp. his conclusions, 114-118.

82. "Macarius", too, is an heir to post-Nicene, Trinitarian orthodoxy. See, for example, what is clearly the echo of stereotypical phrases from anti-Eunomian polemic in Homily 22 of Collection III of the Homilies, Neue Homilien des Makarius/Symeon: aus Typus III, ed. E. Klostermann and H. Berthold (Berlin:1961) 110-113. Like Evagrius, then, and quite in parallel to him, since there is no suggestion of any influence of the one on the other, his understanding of the visio Dei requires interiorization. He warns, for example, against ascribing physical forms to God in Homily 29.1 of Collection I (Makarius/Symeon: Reden und Briefe: Die Sammlung des Vaticanus Graecus 694B, ed. H. Berthold [Berlin:1973], Vol.I:260-261), but insists on the reality of that light which can appear within the soul of the believer thus privileged, e.g., in Homily 17.1, Collection I (Berthold, I:188). The latter, incidentally, invokes the theophanies not only to Moses, but to Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9 and 22), as well as to Stephen (recall Gregory above!) in Acts 7. It stresses, moreover, that the light manifested on those occasions, as well as to the monk at prayer, was/is no mere conception, a noema, but real, a divine phos hypostatikon. Moses on Sinai is, as just noted, one of the "types" of this experience - cf. also Collection II, Homilies 5.10, 12.14, 38.2, and 47 (Die 50 geistlichen Homilien des Makarius, ed. H. Doerries, E. Klostermann, and M. Kroeger [Berlin:1964], pp. 62, 114, 272, and 304 resp.). Very strikingly, however, and especially in light of the importance that we will see accorded Ezekiel's chariot vision in Part II below, is his characterization in Homily (II) 1.2 (Doerries 1-2, and cf. I.12, pp.19-20) of Ezk. 1 as "a mystery of the soul that is going to receive its Lord and become the throne of his Glory". Gershom Scholem, whom I also discuss below, called this Macarian passage "a mystical reinterpretation of the merkabah (Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, 3rd. rev.ed. [Jerusalem:1973] 79), and I take it thus as very much part of the process of reinterpreting ancient Jewish and Christian traditions concerning theophany that we find at work throughout the Christian world in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. Macarius, like Evagrius, insists on the possibility of experiencing God now, in this life (apo tou nyn), and perhaps most remarkably in the autobiographical account he gives us of mystical experience in Collection II, Homily 8 (Doerries 77-83), particularly in 8.6 (Doerries 83) with his use of "I" in reference to the vision of a "cross of light" -- the first such first person testimony I know of in Eastern Christian spiritual literature until Symeon the New Theologian at the turn of the eleventh century. Of note, too, is the ancient association of the cross with a vision of light such in certain NT apocrypha, e.g., the Acta Ioannis 98 (Lipsius/Bonnet, Acta Apostolorum Apocryphum II.1:199-200; and ET in Schneemelcher, New Testament Apocrypha, II:185), and cf. the Gospel of Peter 10:38-42 (Schneemelcher, I:225).

83. Historia Monachorum in Aegypto 2.9, crit. text A.-H. Festugiere (Brussels:1971) 38, ll.52-56. ET: N.Russell and B. Ward, Lives of the Desert Fathers (Kalamazoo:1981) 64. It was R. Reitzenstein who brought this text to my attention, Historia Monachorum et Historia Lausiaca: Eine Studie zur Geschichte des Moenchtums (Goettingen:1916) 193. It is difficult to agree nowadays with his passion for ascribing these phenomenona exclusively to Hellenistic influence, but he did have an eagle eye for detail. For demonic deceptions reminiscent of Abba Or's, cf. certain of the temptations confronted by Antony in the Vita Antonii. In one, a devil appears to him which is of enormous dimensions, a body "standing and reaching to the clouds" (VA 66, PG XXVI:937A; ET by R.C. Gregg, Athanasius: Life of Anthony and Letter to Marcellus [NY:1980] 80). To be sure, the demon in question is not, in Athanasius' account at least, posing as an angel of light, but the very size of the apparition is suggestive. More to the point are the demons claiming to bring the saint special revelations, and who show up before him "with the appearance of light" in VA 39 (900BC; ET 60-1), or, still more interesting, the "very tall" demon who appears in order to announce himself as "the Power of God", and declare a moment later, "I am Pronoia", in VA 40 (901A; ET 61). For the relation between these appearances and the Nag Hammadi literature, see M.A. Williams, "The Life of Anthony and the Domestication of Charismatic Wisdom", in Charisma and Sacred Biography, ed. M.A. Williams, Journal of the AAR, Studies 48.3-4 (1982) 23-45, esp. 32-34. Both Abbas Or and Anthony, in short, are confronted with manifestations claiming to be the "Body of Glory" that -- most notably -- Ezekiel saw atop the chariot. In the circumstances of post-Nicene orthodoxy, however, at least as it was defended by Athanasius and assumed by the author of the HM, such physical depictions of the Glory (i.e., Christ) were no longer marketable coin. To be fair to Anthony, on the other hand, it is quite possible that a spiritualized or interiorized vision, such as we meet in Evagrius, may have been the original desert father's own take on the visio Dei. Thus see S. Rubenson, The Letters of St. Anthony (Lund:1990) 59-88, for a reconstruction of the saint which reads him as a student of Origen (see n.201 below). Perhaps, too, one should also take into account Quispel's suggestion of a sophisticated "Alexandrian encratism" in Makarius, das Thomasevangelium, 82-111. For Athanasius' own possible targets in the ascetic communities (if he was not correcting Anthony), and their background, see D. Frankfurter, Elijah in Upper Egypt: the Apocalypse of Elijah and Early Egyptian Christianity (Minneapolis:1993), esp. his conclusions 286-290.

84. See HM 8, Apollo 16-18 (Festugiere 52:106-127; ET 72); 11, Sourous 8 (92:38-41; ET 88-89); 14, Paphnutius 23-24 (109:122-110:132; ET 98).

85. HM 8, Apollo 5-6 (48:38-49:1; ET 71); and cf. 38-41 (62:243-63:265; ET 76-77) and 44-47 (63:273-65:298; ET 76-77); 12, Helle 1-5 (92:1-94:32; ET 90) and 14-15 (96:76-97:87; ET 91-92).

86. HM 10, Patermuthis 21-22 (83:128-84:146; ET 85). And note Patermuthis' conversion to Christianity through a dream vision of Christ "as a kind of King" (3; 76:21-77:32; ET 82).

87. HM 11, Sourous 5-7 (91:20-92:37; ET 88-89); and 21, Macarius 5-12 (125:25-126:66; ET 108-109).

88. HM Prologue 5 (7:30-36; ET 49).

89. HM 1, John of Lycopolis 6 (34:417-425; ET 62).

90. HM 2, Or 12 (39:71-77; ET 64); and 8, Apollo 19 (54:127-129; ET 73).

91. The Greek text of the Letters of Ammonas was edited by F. Nau for Patrologia Orientalis X, 432-454, and the Syriac by M. Kmosko, PO XI:567-616. ET by D. Chitty, revised by S. Brock, The Letters of Ammonas (Fairacres, Oxford:1983, 2nd printing). As Brock notes in the latter's introduction, ii-iii, the Syriac is the preferred version, and is the one Chitty followed.

92. Brock,The Letters of Ammonas, i.

93. Ammonas, Epistle VI (PO XI, 583:1-10; ET 7).

94. Ibid. VII (584:5-8; ET 8).

95. Ibid. X (594:3-11; ET 12), quoting the Ascension of Isaiah VIII.21.

96. Ibid. XIII.8-10 (612:3-614:3; ET 19-20). The passage I cite below is 9-10 (613:3-8; ET 20).

97. Liber Graduum, ed. M. Kmosko, Patrologia Syriaca III (Paris:1926). Of note for what follows, as well as what has gone before on the visio Dei, is the Liber's assertion, like "Macarius'" apo tou nyn, that this experience is available "in this world" (bhon olmo). See Mimro XV.16 (373:12-13), and XII (288:23-289:1). For the ET of the latter, see S. Brock, The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life (Kalamazoo:1987) 45-53, esp. 46..

98. Ibid. XXVIII.10-11 (801:4-5 and 20-21).

99. For the Latin text of De Trinitate, I used Oeuvres de Saint Augustin 15, 2ieme serie: La Trinite, ed. M. Millet and T. Camelot (Paris:1955), 183-321. ET by E. Hill, Saint Augustine: the Trinity (Brooklyn:1990) 97-146. For the Latin of Epistles 147 and 148, Obras de San Augustin Vol. 11a, ed. L. Cilleruelo (Madrid:1972) 41-113. ET by W. Parsons, Saint Augustine, Letters Vol.III, in Fathers of the Church 20 (NY:1953) 170-138. In view of the connection that we have seen so far between ascetics and the discussion of the visio Dei, I think it significant that Augustine's Epistle 147, "On the Vision of God", is addressed to a certain Paulina, whom he calls religiosa famula Dei. There is at least the possibility that Paulina is a "religious" in the modern sense, a woman dedicated to virginity or consecrated celibacy. It certainly seems more likely thus that she would have been preoccupied with the questions the letter addresses.

100. See, for example, the excitement at his discovery in the Platonists that one is not obliged to think of God as possessed of a "body", The Confessions VII.i and v, but then ix - xx.

101. De Trin. II.17-18 (Latin 222-229; ET 109-110).

102. Ibid. 19-21 (230-239; 111-113).

103. Ibid. 23 (238-243; 113-114).

104. Ibid. 24 (243-4; 114).

105. Ibid. 25-29 (244-257; 114-118).

106. Ibid. 30 (258; 119).

107. Ibid. 32-35 (262-269; 120-122).

108. Epistle 147.13-14 (Latin 52-53; ET 180-182).

109. Ibid.

110. Ibid.

111. Ibid. 20, 26, and 31-32 (58-60, 66, 71-72; ET 188, 193-194, and 199-200).

112. Ibid. 32 (72-73; 200).

113. De Trin. II.15 (219; 107).

114. Ibid. (220; 108).

115. Ibid. 25 (246; 115).

116. Ibid.

117. Ibid. 27 (250; 116).

118. See n.120 below.

119. De Trin. III.27 (332-334; 144).

120. For Augustine and the Hoimoians later on in de Trinitate, see M.R. Barnes, "The Arians of Book V, and the Genesis of de Trinitate", JTS ns 44:1 (1993) 385-395. The same has also been kind enough to supply me with a draft of his forthcoming paper for the June, 1997, conference of the North American Patristics Society: "Augustine's de Trinitate in its Polemical Context: Book I", which is much more to the issue of "Homoian" presence behind the discussion of the theophanies in Books II and III that I deal with above. Barnes points out that the "Gregory Nazianzus" whom Augustine quotes in Ep. 148 (Latin 105-6; ET 232) in support of his assertion of the manipulation of created materials for purposes of theophany turns out, in fact, to have been Gregory of Elvira, specifically's the latter de Fide, dating from the 350's, and arguing -- unlike Augustine -- strictly for the Son as the subject of the theophanies, but -- and this time like the Bishop of Hippo -- through the manipulation of matter (Gregory of Elvira, De Fide 86-87, in CCL 69, p.243:865-74). The passage from Gregory is as follows, quoting Barnes' translation (MS, p.5): "And yet [in the OT theophanies] the sight of Him [the Son] is reserved in the sense that he was seen thanks to the assumption of a type of matter suitable to be seen [materiae dispositione assumpta videretur], although of course this did not negate his invisibility [salva scilicet invisibilitate ejus]." I am myself not altogether convinced, however, that even this particular Gregory means quite what Augustine wants him to mean. It is the latter, not the former, who speaks of created matter being manipulated for the theophanies. And, a little below, Gregory speaks of the "lightning [fulgor] preceeding his Majesty" as the object of the OT visions. His language is admittedly obscure, and perhaps Augustine's (and Barnes') inference of "created" is correct, but it is still an inference. Augustine does something quite similar in Ep. 147 (Latin 55-68; ET 183-95) to a passage from Ambrose and the latter's distinction between the revealed will of God in the theophanies and the hidden divine nature. For Augustine this clearly signifies the difference between uncreated divine substance and created effects, but it is not at all obvious -- at least from the passages he cites -- that that is what Ambrose meant. For a different use of will/nature in connection with the theophanies, and one perhaps closer to Ambrose, see Diadochus' Vision discussed below.

121. Ep. 147.19 (58-59; 182).

122. Ep. 148 (97-113; 224-238).

123. Ibid. 1 (97; 224).

124. Ibid. 4 (99; 226).

125. Ibid. 10 (106; 232).

125a. See the opening to the first letter from Palestine on the new arrivals, Cyril of Alexandria: Select Letters 134-136, with their "new and perverse heresies".

125b. See Ibid. 132-179 for the "Answers to Tiberius", and Wickham's introduction, xxviii-xxxi, for the dating.

125c Introduction, Ibid., xxix. Wickham specifically rules out, however, any connection with, or even any great similiarity between, these newly-arrived Palestinian anthropomorphites and the people whom Cyril's uncle, Theophilus, had allied with against the "Origenists". The influence of Florovsky's reading of the controversy in 399 is clear: Aphou and company represented a "more affective practice [of prayer] than Evagrius". Cyril, on the other hand, is facing simply a naive, biblical literalism (Ibid. xxxi, cf. also 136-137, n.12, for the citation of Florovsky).

125d. Ibid., "Answer 1 to Tiberius", 137.

125e. Ibid. 138. Recall above Gregory's use of eidos and apaugasma, and see my conclusions below on Evagrius use of pheggos, and n.207. So see also "Answer 10", 164-167, against the horomenon eidos of the body as constituting the imago Dei. Cyril consistently locates the latter in the attributes of virtue, holiness (hagiasmos), and sovereignty (e.g., Ibid. 189, and cf. the second, later set of "Answers", esp. 2, 3, and 6, 186-195 and 200-203).

125f. Ibid. 139. The italics are mine. Cf. nn. 81-82 above.

125g For Cyril's advocacy of "labors", etc., see "Answer 12", 178-179, replying to the question: "Is the complete cessation of fleshly pleasures attainable in this life?", which, as Wickham notes (xxix and 169, n.50), sounds very like the apatheia claimed by "Messalians" (see also n.128 below).

125h Ibid., "Answer 2", 140:10-12; ET facing page.

125i Ibid. 141, n.21.

125j Ibid. 140:15 for peposotai; 142:7 and 144:6-7 for Jn. 14:10; and ll.10-16 for Heb.1:3 and I Cor.1:24.

125k Ibid. 146. Recall also Augustine's delight with the Platonists, n.100 above.

125l Ibid. 146:22-23, and the entire "Answer", 146-149.

125m Wickham's observation (Ibid. 149, n.24) deserves quoting: "The intruders are clearly not Arian...Cyril was, no doubt, glad to find a point that might strike home: a created God (the Arian view) and a God who leaves heaven can only be called 'god' by a misuse of terms."

125n Ibid. 149:18-28.

125o "Answer 6", Ibid. 156-157.

125p See C. Stewart, "Working the Earth of the Heart" 170-203 on "mingling" language in Syriac Christianity.

125q "Answer 6", Select Letters, esp. ll.21-23.

125r Ibid. 168-171, cf. above n.125g, and below n.128.

125s Ibid. 176-179

125t Ibid. 178:10-14.

125u See I Enoch 14-15; ET J.H. Charlesworth, ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (NY:1983), Vol.I:20-22, and see E. Isaac's introduction, Ibid. 5-12, esp. 6-10, on the dating.

125v For the "Letter to Calosirus", Select Letters 214-221, and for Wickham's commentary, Ibid. xxx-xxxi.

125w Ibid., and cf. n.135 below.

126. For Diadochus, see Diadoque de Photice: Oeuvres spirituelles, ed. with intro. by E. des Places, SC 5bis (1966), esp. des Places' "Introduction" 9-11 on the little that is known of his life, and 66-67 on his influence. The one monograph I have been able find dedicated to him is F. Doerr's Diadochus von Photike und die Messalianer: ein Kampf zwischen wahrer und falscher Mystik im fuenften Jahrhundert (Freiburg im Breisgau: 1937).

127. On Diadochus as adversary of the "Messalians" (cf. below, n.128), see des Places, 12-21 and 44-46, as well as Doerr's entire monograph, but esp. 10-39 and 118-134 on "visions of light". Those of his chapters dealing particularly with Messalian questions are 36-40 (SC 105-108), on visions, and, touching on the workings of grace and the defense of the power of Baptism, 76-89 (SC 134-150). For an illuming essay on the latter issue, see K.T. Ware, "The Sacrament of Baptism and the Ascetic Life in the Teaching of Mark the Ascetic", Studia Patristica 10 (1970) 441-452.

128. The literature on this puzzling movement -- if movement is really the word -- has been considerable since the 1920's when European scholarship awoke to the parallels, and sometimes even word for word matches, between passages from the Macarian Homilies and the lists of heretical propositions compiled under the Messalian heading by later heresiologists, in particular John of Damascus. In 1926, Michael Kmosko assembled the ancient testimonies in the appendix to his edition of the Liber Graduum, and in 1935 Irenee Hausherr published two very influential articles in the first edition of Orientalia Christiana Periodica: "Les grands courants de la spiritualite orientale" (pp.114-138), and "L'Erreur fondamental et la logique du messalianisme" (328-360), of which the first supplied a taxonomy of Eastern Christian "spiritualities" - primitive (the early church), intellectualist (Origen), sentiment ("Macarius"), obedience and sobriety (the "Gaza school", see below, n.205), mystical darkness (Dionysius Areopagita, see below, n.135) - which has continued to exercise great (if increasingly dubious) influence, while the second was conceived particularly in a polemical spirit against later Byzantine Hesychasm, especially Gregory Palamas, whose predecessors Hausherr saw in the "Messalians", notably "Macarius". One can see the continuation of this trend in Doerr's study, cited above. H. Doerries' monograph, Symeon von Mesopotamien. Die Ueberlieferung des messalianische Makarius-Schriften (Leipzig:1941) was perhaps the chief monument of this scholarly vogue, at least regarding "Macarius", though in his massive, posthumously published study, Die Theologie des Makarios-Symeon (Goettingen:1978), he withdrew the charge of "Messalianism" against the Macariana - indeed, now reading "Macarius" as anti-Messlian (Ibid.11-13) and singing his praises (456-459) - while clinging to his identification of the Homilist as one Symeon of Mesopotamia, a "Messalian" leader mentioned by the ancient authorities. The Messalian label is still routinely applied, however, just as some scholars continue to cling to Symeon's uncertain authorship. The bundle of accusations leveled against this group or movement, if such it was, included: homeless wandering, the indiscriminate association of men and women, refusal to work, lack of respect for the hierarchy and denigration of the sacraments, claims to immediate religious experience including -- as we shall see -- the vision of God with the physical eyes, belief in an indwelling demon, the conviction that prayer alone and the visitation of the Holy Spirit could expel the evil within, and the claim that, once the demon was expelled and the vision granted, one became free of the passions (apathes) and safe from further attack.

Recent research into, particularly, the tradition of Syriac-speaking Christianity, and early Christian asceticism more generally, has revealed that many of the Messalians' "heresies" represented in fact traditional aspects of early Christian faith and ascetic practice. Some of the more important of these studies, in no particular order except the chronological, which have been of service to me are: A. Voeoebus, History of Asceticism in the Syrian Orient, Vol. I: The Origins of Asceticism: Early Monasticism in Syria, CSCO 184, Sub.14 (Louvain:1958), esp. 1-137; G. Kretschmar, "Ein Beitrag zur Frage nach dem Ursprung fruehchristlicher Askese", Zeitschrift fuer Theologie und Kirche 64 (1961) 27-67; A.F.J. Klijn, "Das Thomasevangelium und das altsyrische Christentums", Vigiliae Christianae 15 (1961) 146-159; P. Nagel, Die Motivierung der Askese in der alten Kirche und der Ursprung des Moenchtums (Berlin:1966) - somewhat superseded, but still excellent, esp. 5-74 and 90-96 on the wandering ascetics; J.Amstutz, Haplotes: eine Begriffsgeschichtliche Studie zum juedisch-christlicher Griechisch (Bonn:1968), esp. 117-155; F.E. Morard, "Monachos, moine: histoire du terme grecque jusqu'au IVe siecle", Zeit. f. Phil.u.Theol. 20 (1973) 332-411, esp.362-377; R. Murray, Symbols of Church and Kingdom: a Study in Early Syriac Tradition (Cambridge:1975); ibidem, "An Exhortation to Candidates for Ascetical Vows at Baptism in the Ancient Syrian Church", New Testament Studies XXI (1974) 59-80; G. Winkler, "The Origins and Idiosyncracies of the Earliest Forms of Asceticism", in The Continuing Quest for God, ed. W. Skudlarek (Collegeville, MN: 1982) 9-43; G. Quispel, "The Study of Encratism: a Historical Survey", in La Tradizione dell'Enkrateia, ed. U. Bianchi (Rome:1985) 35-81; P. Brown, The Body and Society: Man, Woman, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (Berkeley: 1988), esp. 83-102; and S. Elm, Virgins of God: the Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity (Oxford:1994). This is but a sampling of the literature that is presently extant, I am sure, but the aggregate message that these works convey is, first, that Christian asceticism generally goes back to Christian origins and even to pre-Christian, Jewish roots (e.g., Qumran?), and, second, that Aramaic-speaking Christian asceticism featured, rather consistently, wandering figures often claiming immediate access to God, the practice of "spiritual" or "white marriages", and a self-identfication as followers of the angelic way of life, ministers and spouses of the spiritual Bridegroom, Christ -- in short, many of the features later singled out as "Messalian".

On Macarius and his Syrian roots, it is especially the study by C. Stewart, "Working the Earth of the Heart", that uncovered the Macariana's sources in Syriac theological and spiritual "diction", and thus pointed to much of the Messalian controversy, both then and in twentieth century scholarly circles, as a question of cultural miscommunication -- Greek bishops, at least then, confronting an alien language of both word and gesture, and reacting with with condemnations (see esp. Stewart's conclusions, 234-240). On the level of less educated and polished ascetics than "Macarius", however, we likely encounter a cultural milieu comparable to the "Anthropomorphites" of Scete and elsewhere, and, with that milieu, a more traditional, less Hellenized (or, sophisticated, i.e., Platonist) understanding and practice of Christianity. We also, I think, thus meet effectively the same expectations of the encounter with God's Glory that we found among the Egyptians, and that we saw suggested by Augustine's targets in Numidia and Cyril's correspondents in Palestine: the vision of the "form" of God, seen visibly, horatos. At different ends of the Christian world, the "Origenist" Evagrius and the "Messalian" Macarius are both combatting and using similar means, with regard at least to the visio Dei, against groups whose own general understanding of the vision of Glory seems to have been virtually identical. Diadochus, who has read both Evagrius and Macarius, is simply carrying on their adjustment of archaic patterns of thought.

129. Kmosko, Liber Graduum, PS III; Appendix I: clxx-ccxcii.

130. Ibid., clxxxi:1-7.

131. Ibid. cxcv-cxcvi.

132. Ibid. cxcix:14-19 (from Haereticorum fabularum compendium IV.11). A little above, ll. 8 ff., Theodore says that "they call themselves spirituals...and say they see revelations".

133. Ibid. ccvii:25-ccviii:17. The angel of light -- or, as we might say, the Glory in human form -- who is in fact the devil or another demon remains a staple of Eastern monastic literature. The elements, for example, of both this story of Philoxenus and the violence of the his following account show up half a millenium later in one of Paul of Monembasia's edifying stories, "The Monk in the Cave", about a young monk whose pride leads him to attempt the eremetic life, and who is deceived by such an apparition, only to be saved from falling his death by the actions of his caring abbot. See The Spiritually Edifying Tales of Paul, Bishop of Monembasia, ed. and trans. by J. Wortley (Kalamazoo:1996) 95-100.

134. Ibid. ccxi:12-23. Cf. Theodoret of Cyrrhus' account of James of Cyrrhestica repelling the vision of Satan who appears as a governor in a chariot, and who, another time, approaches the ascetic -- as Christ does Pachomius in the Paraleipomena (see above, n.78) -- in the guise of a youth. History of the Monks of Syria XXI:26-28. ET by R.M. Price (Kalamazoo:1985) 142-144; Greek text SC 257, pp.110-114.

135. See K. Fitscher, "Did Messalianism Exist in Asia Minor after AD 431?", Studia Patristica XXV (1993) 352-356. Philoxenus' reports do have the feel of a traditional dossier, and this is certainly the case by the time of the lists compiled by Timothy of Constantinople in the early seventh century (Kmosko, ccxxi-ccxxx) and John of Damascus in the eighth (Ibid, ccxxx-ccxlii), where distinctions begin to merge and "Messalians" are lumped together with Marcionites (e.g., Timothy , in Kmosko ccxxi-ccxxii). This tendency carries on into medieval Byzantium where one has the feeling any group of ascetics who annoyed the authorities would find themselves bundled together with "Messalians", Manicheans, and Bogomils more or less indiscriminately; thus see J. Gouillard, "Quatre proces de mystiques a Byzance", Revue des etudes byzantines 36 (1978) 5-81.

On the other hand, the very long homily by Jacob of Serug dedicated to Ezekiel's chariot (Mar Jacobi Sarugensis: Homiliae Selectae, ed. P. Bedjan [Paris:1908], Vol.IV:543-610), and no earlier than than the late fifth century, with its quite specific insistence that its listeners not look "up there" for heavenly visions, but here, i.e., to the Church's altar (see esp. 605:16-606:6), suggests that merkabah elements were still at work among Syrian ascetics at the turn of the sixth century, and not just in the interiorized version found in "Macarius" or Ammonas. One might note as well that Dionysius Areopagita begins his analysis of scripture in Celestial Hierarchy II.1 (PG III:137A ff.) with images that are, to say the least, strongly reminiscent of Ezekiel's chariot vision, Isaiah 6 features as the sole subject of CH XIII, Ezekiel returns again in chp. XV, and, in his Mystical Theology I.3 (1000C-1A), Dionysius reaches, like Evagrius before him (and Gregory of Nyssa, to be sure), for Sinai as his preferred exemplary theophany. Jacob and Dionysius were certainly contemporaries, and quite possibly neighbors. Their idioms were entirely different, but their purposes in writing -- at least with regard to the merkabah -- and the issues they were seeking to address may have overlapped (see A. Golitzin, Et Introibo ad Altare Dei 349-392 for Syrian elements in Dionysius), and both may well have been bound up, in good part, with the subjects of this essay, the visio Dei and anthropomorphism, and have had the ascetics or monks in mind as both targets and audience. For more on Jacob and "Glory" traditions, see n.171 below.

136. Chapitres gnostiques 36 (105:8-20).

137. Ibid. 40 (108:1-14).

138. Ibid., p.105, n.2.

139. Ibid., "Introduction" 44.

140. For "inner man" in Paul, see Rm. 7:22, Eph. 3:16.

141. For an early discussion of the "inner man" and "spiritual senses" in Origen, see K. Rahner, "Le debut d'une doctrine des cinq sens spirituels chez Origene", Revue d'ascetique et de mystique 13 (1932) 113-145; and more recently, B. Julien-Fraigneau, Les sens spirituels et la vision de Dieu selon saint Symeon le nouveau theologien [Paris:1985], esp. for Origen 29-43. In Origen's own writings, see On First Principles IV.iv.9 (SC 268, p.426), and the Dialogue with Heraclides (SC 67, esp. pp.78-102; ET H. Chadwick, Alexandrian Christianity [Phil:195 ] 437-455, esp.449-52), on the inner man and senses. For a remarkable sweep of the different themes under discussion in this essay, however, see esp. his de oratione (Koeteschau, Origenes Werke II:297-403; ET Chadwick, 238-329). Origen's discussion of the visio Dei and related themes is eminently worth noting, thus, for him on partaking of the divine glory in the light of Christ's face, see de orat. IX.2 (Koeteschau 318-319; Chadwick 256); for the vision of angels, XI.1 (323; 260-261); for the possibility of vision while yet in this life, XVII.2 (339; 273); but as occurring within the nous, XX.2 (344; 278); for the believer's incorporation into the body of Christ's glory, citing I Cor.15:49 and Phil.3:21, see XXII.4 (348-9; 288); for a sustained effort to de-mythologize, or "de-anthropomorphize", the throne texts, specifically citing Is.66:1, see XXIII (351; 284-5); thus Origen's "allegory" of Christ (meaning the humanity of Jesus) as the "throne of the Father", the Church as the Father's footstool, and the Father who therefore "lives" in his saints, in XXIII.4 (352-3; 285); and who communicates himself to them in his glory as "a kind of effluence [aporroe, citing Wis.7:25] of his divinity" in XXIII.5 (353; 286). The expression, "effluence of divinity", is repeated in XXIV.4 (355; 286). Every saint is therefore the "city and Kingdom" of God because of the latter's indwelling, citing Jn. 14:21, in XXV.1 (357; 289); and each is thus a paradise in whom God and Christ are, again citing Is. 66:1, to be themselves enthroned, in XXV.3 (359; 291). We find an interesting reference to warfare in heaven , with Is.66:1 being used once again for Christ as throne and Church as footstool, in XXVI.3 (360; 292). Origen elaborates on this in XXVI.4 (361; 293) in a way that makes it clear that it is Christ's humanity which is the "throne", which thus makes Jesus our examplar, but the divinity of the Logos is "mingled" with it. Finally, there is the interpretation of "every knee shall bow" in Phil.2:10 which warns against anthropomorphizing the angels, in XXXI.3 (397; 324), and which thus recalls I. Gruenwald's citation of Bereshit Rabba 738, "...there is no sitting heaven...they [the angels] have no joints", and Yerushalmi Berakhot 2c, "the angels have no joints", in Apocalyptic and Merkabah Mysticism (Leiden:1980) 66 (my thanks to Sr. Emmanuel Luckman for recalling this reference to me).

These several notes, the references to Phillipians 2-3 and Is.66, the interiorization of the imagery of the throne and vision of the Glory, of indeed the heavenly city and paradise, all point at once backwards, towards the issues we shall take up in Part II below on the "Substratum", and forward to the adjustments, taking place in the fourth/fifth centuries, which are particularly associated with the ascetic quest for the visio Dei. Relatedly, there are the connections between asceticism, apocalyptic, ascent, and participation in the angelic priesthood that we also take up below (see Part II, and notes 190 ff.). This, too, appears in de oratione X.1 - XI.1 (319-322; 258-9), and note esp. the reference to Raphael's prayer (Tob.12:12) as hierourgia in XI.1. The linkage occurs again in de martyria, esp. 30 (Koeteschau 27; Chadwick 413). The more accomplished student of Origen will doubtless be aware of many more such instances, but these citations should be sufficient to indicate his interest in the questions I am dealing with in this essay, and to show that he provided much toward their later solution. On his concern with anthropomorphism, see n.178 below.

142. The Liber Graduum does not usually employ the opposition, "inner/outer", but rather "invisible/visible", or "hidden/manifest" (kasyo/galyo). This is particularly to the fore in its discussion of the visible and invisible (i.e., heavenly) "elder ones" and the hidden "church of the heart" in X.4 (Kmosko 253-256), together with XII in its entirety (284-304; ET see n.97 above), and XXVIII (785-805). The latter mimro I cited above, nn.97-98, in connection with the identification of the Second Person with the Glory. It also seems clear to me from the context of XXVIII, which is a discussion of the heavenly liturgy whence Adam fall away, and of the soul or mind (rayono) as the created vessel of the Holy Spirit (see esp. XXVIII.5-8, 792-800), that the Liber wishes to draw out the idea of the hidden or inner man as the place of revelation. Thus Moses on Sinai was given a visible image of the invisible worship of heaven in order to allow fallen man, specifically Israel, to see "his Glory" (XXVIII:10-11). The development of the "hidden church", particularly in XII, implies -- indeed, specifies -- that the visio gloriae, under the new dispensation of the Incarnate Word, is now a present possibility within the believer (see esp. 288:23-291:1, cited also above, n.98). One finds exactly the same idea in Macarian Homily (I) 52 (Berthold, II:138-142), and, again, in Ephrem Syrus' Paradise Hymns (CSCO 174, ed. E.Beck; ET S.Brock, Hymns on Paradise [NY:1990]). In the latter, the visible worship of the Church mirrors both heavenly reality and the human being as microcosm, with the intellect (rouho, corresponding here to the Greek nous) answering to the "holy of holies". See esp. the chart which Brock supplies in the introduction to his translation, Hymns on Paradise 53, which sketches the parallels in these poems that Ephrem draws between the Paradise mountain, Sinai, the Jerusalem temple, and the human being, and my extended discussion of the Liber, "Macarius", and Ephrem along these lines in Et Introibo 368-385.

143. E.g., the Lucan logion, "the Kingdom of God is within" (Lk.17:21); the promise of divine indwelling in Jn. 14:21 and 17:22-24, with the latter concerning the gift of the eternal glory shared by Father and Son (17:5); and Paul on the believer as temple (naos) in I Cor.3:16 and 6:19-20. In the Peshitto, at least, the Syriac translation brings certain other elements into higher relief. Thus, for example, Lk.20:35-36 on the resurrection life being like the angels, which even in the Greek (unlike the parallels in Mt. and Mk.) could support a reading which understands the angelic life as a present possibility, becomes unambiguously present tense in the Syriac. Likewise, the urging to become a "spiritual house and holy priesthood" in I Pet.2:5 emerges in the Peshitto as a call to be "temples and priests", while the "royal priesthood" of v.9 comes out as "to act as priest for the Kingdom", both of which suggest a reading that understands these texts as affirming the possibility of service before the heavenly altar. On the latter, see S. Brock, "The Priesthood of the Baptized: Some Syriac Perspectives", Sobornost/ECR 9:2 (1987) 14-22. Relating to the same, and to the interiorization of the liturgy, see ibidem, "Prayer of the Heart in the Syriac Tradition", Sobornost 4:2 (1982) 131-142.

144. Chapitres gnostiques 85 (SC 144:18-19), and des Places' introduction, 36-38 and 45.

145. See esp. Ibid., chp. 91 (152-153), and des Places, p.91n.1, touching on chp.14 (91) and Diadochus' use of epignosis in his "Preamble", p.85.

146. See above, nn. 81-82 on Evagrius and Macarius, resp., and 10 on Cassian. Recall above esp. Macarius' insistence on the phos hypostatikon in (I) 17.1. While it is quite true that Diadochus has a number of bones to pick with the Macariana, particularly over the questions of baptismal grace and certain exegetical issues (e.g., the "darkness" of Jn. 1:8, thus cf. Chp. 80 [137-8] vs. Homily [I] 2.3.10 ff.), it is also very clear that he has read the homilies and uses them. I do not agree with des Places (SC 18-20) on the visions, nor esp. with Doerr, Diadochus 27-32, on Macarius' "materialistische exegese" of the vision of light. Both the latter are still working under the shadow of Kmosko, Hausherr, et alii (see above, n.135), and reckoning "messalianism" as heresy, hence their readiness to read the vision of light/glory as something new and dangerous. But Macarius' vision of the Glory, like Evagrius' "light of the Trinity", is also interior and formless, not materialist, but spiritual. On the matter of "forms" of fire or light, I think of him as quite on the same side as Diadochus, just as both of the latter are on the same side as Evagrius and Cassian.

147. Chapitres 85 (145, ll.6-9).

148. Ibid. 59 (119:2-22).

149. Ibid. 28 (99:6-15).

150. Ibid. 8 (88:3-5).

150a The Vision is included in SC 5bis, 169-177. Des Places observes, 78-79, that the MS tradition does not predate the thirteenth century, unlike the Chapters, whose MS attestation goes back to the ninth (one exemplar) and tenth centuries, becoming "legion" after the twelfth (pp.68 ff.). I have seen no more recent scholarship on this piece than des Places', so I will accept his judgement and treat it as echt Diadochus. On the one hand, it certainly does recall the later distinction Palamas makes, a distinction implied at the least by the tenth century writings of Symeon the New Theologian (see B. Krivocheine, "Essence creee et essence divine dans la theologie spirituelle de S. Symeon le nouveau theologien", Messager de l'exarchat du Patriarche Russe in Europe Occidentale 75/75 [nd] 151-170, on Symeon as a precursor of Palamas), but, on the other hand, it quite as clearly fits within one of the issues raised by the "anthropomorphite/messalian" dispute(s), i.e., the visio gloriae and its relation to the divine transcendence.

151. Ibid. (172:2-20).

152. See the rest of the Vision, esp. 173 and 175, with its proviso that, here below and in heaven, there is never any vision of the Father's physis, but rather that his glory is mediated through the flesh of Christ, and recall Epiphanius above, together with Irenaeus long before, AH IV.xx.2 (SC 100, pp.630-631): "that the paternal light might meet with and rest upon the flesh of our Lord, and come to us from his resplendent flesh"; cf. also xx.5 (pp.640-641).

153. See my "Conclusions" below, pp.

154. In Ep.147.31-34 (71-74; ET 199-202), Augustine does make what appeared to me to be a grudging exception for both Moses and Paul. On this score, see R. Teske's more generous assessment in, "St. Augustine and the Vision of God", in Augustine: Mystic and Mystagogue, ed. F. van Fletchen et al. (NT:1994): 287-308. Teske also points to De Genesi ad Litteram XII, together with Ep. 147, in order to conclude, p.309, that "Augustine held that the mind of at least a few men can come in this life to the vision of God...a genuine anticipation of the eternal life of the saints", and adds that this was "very probably grounded in his own experience"; and in the same collection, see also the similar conclusions of Van Fleteren, "Mysticism in the Confessions" 328-9. Teske's argument in particular is impressive, and I confess myself somewhat mollified, though Augustine's treatment of the theophanies -- other than Num. 12-6-8 and 2 Cor. 12:2-4, for which he makes the exception -- still strikes me as extreme.

155. See T.D.N. Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth: Studies in the Shem and Kabod Theologies (Lund:1982), esp. 80-115 for Ezekiel and the Priestly tradition, and 116-123 for sources in the pre-monarchic worship of Israel, and cf. also the illuminating article by J.D. Levenson, "The Jerusalem Temple in Devotional and Visionary Experience", in Jewish Spirituality, Vol.I: From the Bible through the Middle Ages, ed. A. Green (NY:1988) 32-64, esp. 37-39 and 43-45. For older, but still helpful works, see M. Ramsey, The Glory of God and the Transfiguration (London:1947, rep.1967); R.E. Clements, God and the Temple (Philadelphia:1965), esp. 17-27, 63-78, and 100-122; G. Kittel, Doxa, in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. G. Kittel, tr. G. W. Bromily (Grand Rapids:1968) Vol. III:233-253, esp.238 ff.; and, more recently, M. Weinfeld, Kabod, in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, ed. G.J. Botterwick et al., tr. D.E. Green (Grand Rapids:1995), Vol. VII:22-38.

156. For an older account of the genre, see D.S. Russel, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic (Philadelphia:1964), esp. for the more familiar elements noted below. More recently, studies of the genre have been breaking new ground. See esp. J.J. Collins ed. of Semeia 14 (1979): Apocalypse: the Morphology of a Genre, together with Collins' later work, The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to the Jewish Matrix of Christianity (NY:1984), esp. 207 ff., and cf. also C. Rowland, The Open Heaven: A Study of Apocalypticism in Judaism and Early Christianity (NY:1982), esp. 52-61 and 358 ff.

157. I believe that, in fact, it is the background for all the "anthropomorphite" texts discussed above, including the "Messalian" references, save only that Augustine in de Trinitate does not mention precisely who his targets are. For Ep.147, though, specifically dedicated to the visio Dei, we do have the dedication to a religiosa (see n.99 above).

158. See P. Nagel, Die Motivierung der Askese, esp. 20-34; G. Quispel, "The Study of Encratism"; G. Kretschmar, "Beitrag"; and S.P. Fraade, "Ascetical Aspects of Ancient Judaism", in Jewish Spirituality I:253-288.

159. H.E.D. Sparks, The Apocryphal Old Testament (Oxford/NY:1984); R.H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, 2 Vol.s (Oxford:1913); J.H. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 2 Vol.s (NY:1983 and 1985); and W. Schneemelcher, New Testament Apocrypha, 2 Vol.s, rev. ed. and tr. R. McL. Wilson (Louisville:1991).

160. G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism; ibidem, Jewish Gnosticism; ibidem, Origins of the Kabbalah, tr. A. Arkush (Princeton:1987), esp. 18-24; G. Quispel, "Ezekiel 1:26 in Jewish Mysticism and Gnosis", Vig. Christ. 34 (1980) 1-13; J. Fossum, "Jewish-Christian Christology and Jewish Mysticism", Vig.Christ. 37 (1983) 260-287; ibidem, The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord (Tuebingen:1985); J. Blank, "Gnosis und Agape: zur christologischen Struktur paulinischer Mystik", in Grundfragen christlicher Mystik, ed. M. Schmidt and D.R. Baur (Stuttgart:1987) 1-13; G.G. Stroumsa, "Le couple de l'ange et de l'esprit: traditions juives et chretiennes", Rev.biblique 88 (1981) 42-61; ibidem, "Form(s) of God: Some Notes on Metatron and Christ", Harv.Th.Rev. 76:3 (1983) 269-288; A. Segal, Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism (Leiden:1977), esp.159-237; ibidem, Paul the Convert: the Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee (New Haven:1990), esp. 9-11, 58-64, and 152-7; S.P. Fraade, "Ascetical Aspects of Ancient Judaism"; M. Himmelfarb, "From Prophecy to Apocalypse: the Book of the Watchers and Tours of Heaven", in Jewish Spirituality I:145-170; ibidem, Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses (NY/Oxford:1993); and A. deConick, Seek to See Him: Ascent and Vision Mysticism in the Gospel of Thomas (Leiden:1996).

161. I. Gruenwald, Apocalyptic and Merkabah Mysticism (Leiden/Koeln:1980); D. Halperin, The Merkabah in Rabbinic Literature (New Haven:1980); ibidem, "Origen, Ezekiel's Merkabah, and the Ascension of Moses, Church History 50:3 (1981) 261-275; ibidem, The Faces of the Chariot: Early Jewish Responses to Ezekiel's Vision (Tuebingen:1988); J. Dan, "The Religious Experience of Merkabah Mysticism", Jewish Spirituality I:289-307. For the merkabah and shi'ur qomah texts in the original, see P. Schaefer, Syopse zur Hekhalot Literatur (Tuebingen:1981), and M.S. Cohen's translation, The Shi'ur Qomah: Texts and Rescensions (Tuebingen:1985). J. Neusner's publications are nearly innumerable. I was helped by his little contribution, "Varieties of Judaism in the Formative Age", in Jewish Spirituality I:171-197. Also useful were G. Anderson's, "The Garden of Eden and Sexuality in Early Judaism", in People of the Body: Jews and Judaism from an Embodied Perspective, ed. H. Eilberg Schwarz (SUNY:1992) 47-68; and, in the same collection, N. Janowitz, "God's Body: Theological and Ritual Roles of the Shi'ur Qomah", 183-206; and E.R. Wolfson, "Images of God's Feet: Some Observations on the Divine Body in Judaism", 143-181. For Philo, see A. Guillaumont, "Philon et les origines du monachisme", in Aux Origines 25-37; D. Winston, "Philo and the Contemplative Life", Jewish Spirituality I:198-231; and D.Runia, Philo in Early Christian Literature (Minneapolis:1993).

162. See Jewish Gnosticism 36-38 and 108 for the link with Ezekiel 1:26.

163. Ibid. 14-19; and, more recently, Segal's Paul the Convert, loc. cit. See also J. Tabor, Things Unutterable: Paul's Ascent to Paradise in its Greco-Roman, Judaic, and Early Christian Contexts (Lanham, MD:1986), esp. 11-21 on Paul's theology and soteriology as based on the Glory, and for his connections with apocalyptic and, possibly, early merkabah traditions, 83-97. This book appears to have been of singular importance for Segal.

164. The citation is from C. Stewart's forthcoming study of Cassian, see n.10 above.

165. Jewish Gnosticism 36-42 and 130; cf. also Gruenwald, Apocalyptic and Merkabah Mysticism 3-72 for development of the link between apocalyptic and merkabah traditions assumed by Quispel, Fossum, Segal, et alii. For a dissenting voice regarding this linkage, and indeed for suspicion regarding visions and mysticism both in the merkabah and globally, see Halperin, Faces in the Chariot, e.g., 6-8 and 63-114. Halperin does, though, make the very interesting suggestion about the link between Ex. 19 and Ezk. 1 originating in the synagogue litury of Caesarea in Palestine; see Ibid. 16-18. This is the basis for his analysis of Origen's use of the linkage in "Origen, Ezekiel's Merkabah, and the Ascension of Moses".

166. "Ezekiel 1:26 in Jewish Mysticism and Gnosis" 1-7.

167. Ibid. 8-13.

168. Ibid. 9.

169. See E. Wolfson, "God's Feet" 132, on Origen's commentary in In Gen. 1.13 against a literalist interpretation of Isaiah 66:1, "A literal reading of Isaiah 66:1 is, in fact, an exact parallel to what one finds in the shi'ur qomah material". He concludes that Origen's remark in this passage about "Jewish weakness" is therefore "not simply a stock phrase against 'Jewish' literalists...but represents a very specific exegesis."

170. See also Halperin's article, "Origen, Ezekiel's Merkabah, etc.", n.161 above.

171. "Form(s) of God" 283. Note also Stroumsa's citation here of the Odes of Solomon 7.13, the diminishment of the Son's rabouto, "Greatness" or "Majesty" (recall the frequent appearance of maiestas in Cassian and Augustine above), in order to be incarnate, and cf. the Macarian Homilies, in (II) 4.9-11, characterization of the Incarnation with the phrase, esmikrynen heauton: the infinite (apeiros) God "made himself small" (Doerries 36), and so tangible and visible. Though he himself, clearly, uses the phrase metaphorically, he is as clearly here a witness to a long-established and, originally, perhaps not so metaphorical usage (recall Cyril's targets in "Answers" 2 and 3 above). Beyer's contention in "Lichtlehre" 505-6 that this coinage appears strictly to the waxing and waning of grace is correct so far as its appearance in 4.9-10, but not about 4.11, and it completely misses the phrase's grounding in an ancient way of speaking both about the Incarnation and the experience of the Glory. Beyer's combination of accurate, and often illuminating observation, with a certain lust for characterizing anything to do with "light" as "Neoplatonist", marks his otherwise valuable contribution throughout. Thus, too, he picks up on other key themes, e.g., the "robe of light" and emphasis on the Transfiguration (501-3), together with the central biblical loci of Ezk. 1, 2 Cor. 3:18, Paul's Damascus vision, Stephen in Acts 7, and John 14, but cannot make anything out of these save, again, "Neoplatonism" (see my remarks also in n.81 above). In this respect, of course, he is but the representative himself of an entire tradition of Teutonic scholarship, e.g., von Harnack, Reitzenstein, etc. For the antiquity of the "robes of light", see S.Brock, "Clothing Metaphors as a Means of Theological Expression in Syriac Tradition", in Typus, Symbol, Allegorie bei den oestlichen Vaetern and ihren Parallelen im Mittelalter, ed. M. Schmidt et alia (Regensburg:1982) 11-38.

To return to the kabod, shi'ur qomah, and the "shrinking" of the Incarnation, Jacob of Serug is clearly playing with these same notions in sections of his mimro on Ezekiel's chariot, e.g., Homiliae Selectae IV, 585:6-7; 591:19-20; and, most obviously and playfully, 577:17-18: "He sits on the throne [of the merkabah before Ezekiel] in order to grow accustomed/ To human dimensions". Jacob also is clearly acquainted with the merkabah tradition, and as clearly attaches the technical terms for the kabod -- shoubho, yikoro, and shekinto -- firmly to the Second Person, thus shekinto in 569:21; 570:13; and 602:20; and yikoro in 559:13; 571:17; 576:2; 592:5; and 593:13. Likewise, "Greatness" or "Majesty", rabouto, as above in the Odes of Solomon 7:13, is tied to the Son. Thus see 570:19; 595:8; and 604:10. For a valuable sampling of verses from the "Mimro on the Chariot", see R. Chestnut, Three Monophysite Christologies (Oxford:1976) 113-141, esp. 137-140. Her characterization of Jacob's own Christology as "gnostic", however, misses as badly as Beyer's "Neoplatonism" does the inspiration of Macarius. For a guess about the purposes of Jacob's writing on the chariot, see above, n.135.

172. "Le couple" 51.

173. "Form(s)" 277, quoting Major Trends 65. Here we might combine Augustine's "expanding and contracting" with the multiformiter he notes elsewhere, and then recall the curiously wobbly character of the transfigured Christ as the latter appears to John in the Acta Ioannis 90 (Lipsius-Bonet 195:20-21) and 93 (196:19-21). The Lord appears at first with his "head reaching to the heavens" and then, moments later, as "as a small man", first as solid flesh, and later as leaving no footprint (ET Schneemelcher II:180-1). It seems to me that we have a match, and if this was not necessarily the exact text Augustine had in mind, then it was surely out of the same tradition that he was contesting.

174. See Segal, Two Powers 33-155 and 244-259, and Fossum, Name of God 76-191, 213-220, and esp. 267-307 on the "heavenly man".

175. See C. Roberts, Manuscript, Society, and Belief in Early Christian Egypt (London:1979) 1-25, esp. 13-14, for the Gospel of Thomas as among the earliest Christian papyri circulating in Egypt, as early as the late second century, and this in spite of its likely Syrian origins. For the latter, see Klijn, "Das Thomasevangelium"; Quispel, "L'Evangile selon Thomas", and Morard, "Monachos, Moine", esp. 362-377.

176. Seek to See Him, esp. 28-39.

177. See A.Baker, "The Gospel of Thomas and the Syriac Liber Graduum", NT Studie 12 (1965) 49-55; ibidem, "Pseudo-Macarius and the Gospel of Thomas", Vig.Christ. 18 (1964) 215-225; G. Quispel, "The Syrian Thomas and the Syrian Macarius", Ibid. 226-235; ibidem, Macarius, das Thomasevangelium 18-38.

178. See, for example, his Commentarii in Epistulum ad Romanos 1.19, tr. T.Heither in Fontes Christiani (Freiburg:1990) 162-164. Here he is commenting on precisely the text that Abba Isaac cites in Collatio X, and that Cyril reaches for first of all in "Answer 1": Romans 1:23, "exchanging the Glory of God for the likeness of man". The parallel is surely not fortuitous, since Origen touches here on the texts -- and provides the interpretation -- that so aggravated the monks about Theophilus' letter. He writes against any linkage between Gen. 1:26 and 2:7, and substitutes instead his own understanding of the former as referring to the "inner man" of Rm 7:22, while the latter, the "outer man", he identifies with the "old man" of Rm. 6:6, Eph. 4:24; and Col. 3:9 that the Christian is to "put off" in Christ. Moreover, he is offering this interpretation explictly in order "to refute [confutare] the the Church who say that the bodily image of man is the image of God". I do not think it accidental, either, that both Rm. 1:23 and Jer. 2:11 (also cited by Abba Isaac) are likely themselves to have been "Glory" texts proper, references to the divine kabod. On this, see The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, ed. R. Brown, et alia (Englewood Cliffs, NJ:1990) 272 (for Jeremiah) and 835 (for Paul). Abba Isaac's complaint about "Jewish weakness" seems all the more apposite.

179. "Ezekiel 1:26" 1.

180. Ibid. Recall above Theophilus and Aphou trading interpretations of the "unapproachable light" of I Tim. 6:16! That Quispel's connection of the light and fourteenth century Hesychasm with Ezekiel 1 is not an accident, but rather is offered with full knowledge of Palamas and company, comes out in R. van den Broek's "Preface" to Studies in Gnosticism and Hellenistic Religions: Presented to Gilles Quispel on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday (Leiden:1981) ix: "Contrary to what one might expect, he seldom lectures on Gnosticism. His favorite subjects...[include] Christian mysticism, in particular that of Macarius...[and] also Simeon the New Theologian, the Hesychasts, Gregory Palamas..." My thanks to Mr. Andrei Orlov for directing me to van den Broek's remarks here.

181. Jewish Gnosticism 40.

182. "Jewish-Christian Christology" 261-2, cf. also 268-9, together with The Name of God 177 and 275, and recall Macarius in (II) 4.9-11, n.171 above.

183. Paul the Convert 11, cf. also J. Blank, "Gnosis und Agape", esp. 12. For Paul and an important analysis of 2 Cor. 3:7 ff., see C. Stockhausen, Moses' Veil and the Glory of the New Covenant, in Analecta Biblica 116 (Rome:1989). Stockhausen is, however, a little shy about identifying the content of the doxa that Paul is concerned with, 176-177. For a comparison between Paul and the Synoptic tradition on Christ as the Glory, see A.A.A. Moses, Mathew's Transfiguration Story and Jewish-Christian Controversy, in Journal for the Study of the New Testament: Supplement Series 122 (Sheffield:1996), esp. 239-244 for connections with Sinai and Daniel. For a reading of 2 Cor. 3-4 the glory tradition that is quite different from mine, and the authors cited above, see L.L. Belleville, Reflections of Glory: Paul's Polemical Use of the Moses-Doxa Traditions in 2 Corinthians 3:1-18, also in JSOT, Supplement Series 52 (Sheffield:1991). For Belleville, the matter of the Glory is resolved, quite prosaically and abstractly, into "the glorious truths of the Gospel", 296.

184. Paul the Convert 47.

185. Ibid. 152, on 2 Cor. 3:17-18 and Exod. 33-34 (cf. n.183 above).

186. Ibid. 158.

187. Ibid. 156: "Paul believes that the Glory of God is something that one actually sees", quoting 2 Cor. 4:4. Indeed, and so do Evagrius, the Liber Graduum, Macarius, and Cassian - cf. nn. 10, 81, and 82 above.

188. Ibid. 61: the mystical vision of the glorious form, together with the gospel of incorporation into the Glory, "are strangely unfamiliar to modern Jewish and Christian religious sentiments. Neither Christianity nor Judaism openly transmitted these lively, mystical Jewish traditions of the first century." For a very similar view, see G.G. Stroumsa, Hidden Wisdom: Esoteric Traditions and the Roots of Christian Mysticism (Leiden/NY/Koeln:1996), esp. 132-146, where Stroumsa declares that, with Augustine, "ancient Christian esotericism" comes to an end. I cannot help but feel that Segal's view, at least, of "modern Christian religious sentiments", indeed of modern Christianity as a whole, is shaped by the assumption that the latter is, simply, identical with Augustine and Augustine's heirs. While this is at least partially true of American Christianity, Catholic and Protestant, and therefore quite understandable in an American scholar whose own tradition is not Christianity to begin with, it is also quite untrue. For better or worse, Eastern Christian thought remained largely Augustin-frei to the end of the Byzantine era, and its monastic tradition, still lively, continues to bear little or no trace of the great Bishop of Hippo.

189. See above, n.158.

190. Ascent to Heaven 3-4. For ET of I Enoch, see Charlesworth, I:138-139.

191. Ibid.

192. Ibid. 9-28, and Chapter Two: 29-46.

193. Ibid. 18; cf. Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism 60. For a fascinating example of how a later Christian writer puts these elements -- Ezekiel, the chariot, angelic priesthood, and the high priestly white linen -- to work in order to connect them with the Christian Eucharist, see Jacob of Serug's "On the Chariot", 594:1-599:2, and above, nn.135 and 171.

194. Ibid. 40. Note also the summary on 46, that for II Enoch it is "axiomatic" that to enter heaven and become an angel is to be "a kind of priest".

195. For Adam himself as priest and Eden as temple in Rabbinic thought, see G. Anderson, "The Garden of Eden and Sexuality", People of the Body 47-68. For this motif in an early Christian writer, see Ephrem Syrus, Hymns of Paradise, e.g. III.1, 13-16; XII.4-5; XV.5, 7-9, and 12 (CSCO 174:8, 11-12, 50-51, and 63-64; ET Brock 95-6, 161-2, and 183-4). Recall also the ideas of the "inner church" and effective "priesthood" of the ascetic discussed above, nn.81-82, and 141-143, esp. the last. See also my discussion in Introibo 346-348 and 354-392, and also "Hierarchy versus Anarchy: Dionysius Areopagita, Symeon New Theologian, Nicetas Stethatos and their Common Roots in Ascetical Tradition",St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 38.2 (1994) 131-179, esp. 152 ff. on the inner liturgy.

196. They also, of course, recall the white robes worn by newly baptized Christians in the Early Church. On the association between asceticism and Baptism in certain areas of the early Syrian Church, see again Murray, "An Exhortation to Candidates for Ascetical Vows", NTS 21:59-80, and G. Winkler, "Origins and Idiosyncracies", Continuing Quest for God 9-43.

197. Seek to See Him 40, citing I Enoch 39.12-13; 40.1; 47:3; and 68:3; II Enoch 21.1; Testament of Abraham 7-8; and Ascension of Isaiah 9:9-10. Recall also Segal's citation of Raphael's "standing before the throne of God" (Tob.12:4) in Two Powers 190, together with Origen's reference to Raphael's prayer as hierourgia in de orat. XI.1 (n.161 above). DeConick also refers here to Fossum, The Name of God 55-58, as well as to the notion of "standing" and its importance in Hellenistic literature as indicating stability and eternity, citing M. Williams, The Immoveable Race: A Gnostic Designation and the Theme of Stability in Late Antiquity (Leiden:1985).

198. For this phrase, especially qeiama and its root in qwm, "to stand", see S. Griffith, "Monks, Singles, and 'Sons of the Covenant': Reflections on Syriac Ascetic Terminology", in Evlogema: Studies in Honor of Robert Taft, SJ (Rome:1993) 141-160, esp. 148-153 and 158-160. Griffith discerns three associations with qeiama in addition to the usual translation of "covenant": with resurrection; with the community of the "standing ones" or "watchers" of heaven; and with station or "status" within the Church. Relatedly, see also the importance of qwm for the language of early Syriac martyrologies in S.A. Harvey, "The Edessan Martyrs and Ascetic Tradition", V Symposium Syriacum: 1988, ed. R. Lavenant (Rome:1990) 195-206, esp. 196-201. On the bnai qeiama as antedating the arrival of Egyptian-style koinobia and the hermits of Anthony's pattern, see again Murray, "Exhortation"; ibidem, Symbols of Church and Kingdom 4-24; Griffith, "Singles" 154-7; and S. Brock, "Early Syrian Asceticism", Numen XX (1973) 1-19.

199. See The Lives of Symeon Stylites, tr. R. Doran (Kalamazoo:1992), esp. Doran's "Introduction" 29-34 on the meaning of Symeon's pillar and his "standing". Doran does fail, though, to pick up on the "standing" as a motif from apocalyptic literature, looking rather to Williams, The Immoveable Race, whose attention is fixed on Hellenistic sources. For Dionysius on the monk and "standing", see Eccl.Hierarchy VI.3.1-3 (PG III:533), and for my comments, Et Introibo 356-357 and 388-9.

200. See above, n.143. Participation in the angelic liturgy, both exteriorly and interiorly, remains a constant feature of Byzantine worship and, especially, ascetic literature. One reason I think this so is that not only were the monks in the East formed originally by, as it were, the "mind" of apocalyptic, but they also continued to read the original sources. It is not a matter of speculation that our Greek MSS of, for example, the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles date chiefly from the tenth through fifteenth centuries, precisely a period of ascetic recovery in Byzantium. On the apocryphal acts as reflected in one famous abbot of the tenth/eleventh century, see B. Krivocheine, "Ho aneperephanos theos: St. Symeon the New Theologian and Early Christian Popular Piety", Studia Patristica 2 (1962) 368-376. It is also true that the OT Pseudepigrapha were preserved largely by Eastern monks. In places such as Russia, they continued to be copied and, presumably, read into the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and in Ethiopia into the twentieth. At the end of Ascent to Heaven (98-99), Martha Himmelfarb wonders why this happened, why the monks reckoned these books "worthy of attention" when they were not in the canon. I hope this essay has served to begin to answer her question.

For a striking example of correspondence between a Byzantine ascetic writer and the schema Himmelfarb outlines in Ascent 61-65 -- ascent to the Throne, clothing with the robe of glory/vesture of angelic priesthood, ranking among the angelic choirs, and hymns assigned to each rank -- see Nicetas Stethatos (, the disciple of Symeon the New Theologian, and his treatise, On Hierarchy (SC 81, pp.300 ff.), with its elaborate depiction of the choirs of heaven, nine ranks of angel paralleled by nine ranks of sanctified humans, each with its assigned hymns (which are usually variants of the tris agion). But Nicetas also and at the same time understands this liturgy, the paradise of the world to come, as already present within the heart of the illumined saint; thus see his On Paradise II.19 (SC 81, p.176), and esp. On Hierarchy IV.38-9 on "the true bishop" (SC pp.340-342). In this regard, he is at once the disciple of his master, Symeon, and heir to those shifts in process during the fourth/fifth centuries which form the subject of this essay. He has, in short, "interiorized" the apocalyptic literature of ascent or, better, sees it both as eschatological promise and as a present, inner possibility. In this regard, I think that he may well have been typical of many, though surely not all, of those latter-day monastic copyists and readers whom Himmelfarb wonders about. For more complete discussion of Symeon and Nicetas, see A. Golitzin, "Hierarchy vs. Anarchy?", esp. 142-152, and, for still later in the Byzantine era, M. van Parys, "La liturgie du coeur selon saint Gregoire le Sinaite", Irenikon 51 (1978) 312-337, as well Golitzin, Et Introibo 401-13.

201. I have in mind the Anthony who appears in the letters ascribed to him (cf. also above, n.83), and the latter as read by S. Rubenson's remarkable study, The Letters of Anthony (Lund:1990). See, for example, his chapter four (59-88) on gnosis in Anthony and thus his startling conclusions, 185-90, that the "father of monks" whom the world came to know through Anthanasius' famous Vita (on the latter, see Rubenson 126-144) as an unlettered peasant seems in fact to have been both literate, at least in Coptic, and imbued with a general sort of Platonism and specific debts to Origen. The circle of Origenists in Lower Egypt, targets later on Theophilus' pogrom, included not only Cassian, Evagrius, and the "Tall Brothers", but the also, it seems, both Macarius the Great and Macarius of Alexandria. Thus see also G. Bunge, "Evagre le Pontique et les deux Macaires", Irenikon 56.2-3 (1983) 215-227 and 323-360; and ibidem, "Origenismus-Gnosticismus: zum geistesgeschichtlichen Standort des Evagrios Pontikos", Vig.Christ. 40 (1986) 24-54. This circle appears to have embraced Anthony himself. It is thus no surprise to find the latter echoing the theme of the "inner liturgy" (cf. above, n.141 for Origen), calling on his correspondents "to offer yourselves as a living sacrifice", in order for the "fire of heaven" (cf. I Kg. 18:38-44) to descend on the altar of the intellect. Citation for D. Chitty, trans., The Letters of Anthony (Fairacres, Oxford:1991, 7th repr.), Ep. VI, p. 21 . Aphrahat, however, makes similar use of the story of Elijah on Carmel, so cf. his Demonstration IV: On Prayer 2-3 and 10, in S. Brock's collection, The Syriac Fathers on Prayer, esp. 6-8 and 14 (Syriac text: Parisot's edition in Patrologia Syriaca I:140-144). The last features the "inner temple" of the heart.

202. In Recherches des sciences religeuses L (1962) 230-241.

203. Ibid. 235, paragraph 17.

204. Ibid. 239, n.12.

205. Ibid. 235-236. Cf. the remarkable collection of monastic correspondence from early mid-sixth century Gaza, Barsanuphius and John: Questions and Answers, ed. and trans. D. Chitty, PO XXXI.3 (1966) 449-616. Chitty did not, unfortunately, live to complete the critical text and translation, which runs to over eight hundred letters, but the one hundred twenty-four included here recall both the Entretien, also Palestinian, and much of what we have been discussing. Thus, for example, Barsanuphius speaks of seeing "the Glory" in Ep.s 21 (p.477), 79 (559), and in 115 (599); of the possibility of his correspondent becoming, in this life, a katoiketerion theou, both theophoros and theos in Ep. 120 (605); of the saints acquiring parresia in this life and seeing heaven in 78 (557-9); and, in one extraordinary passage in 22, of himself as one who beholds these mysteries: "Be heir of my charismata:", he tells his correspondent, "May your eyes see God!" (479-81). It is true that by far the majority of these letters breathe a spirit of profound sobriety, but the quoted passages, together with frequent recollections of and adjurations to care for the "innner man" (e.g., Ep.2, 459-61; 17, 475; 63, 529; 106, 591; and esp. 110, 595, on Christ as the reconciler of the "inner" and "outer" man) place us in precisely the same territory we have covered in Evagrius, Macarius (nn.81-2 above), Cassian, and Origen before all of them (n.141 and 178 above). It is therefore impossible for me to see the justification for Hausherr's distinctions between the "intellectual school" of Evagrius, Macarius' school of "sentiment", and, here, the Gaza "witness of obedience" ("Les grands courants", OCP 1: 121-131, and cf. n.128 above), when all the figures named are so clearly representatives of one and the same great "current". I have argued elsewhere (Et Introibo 390-415) that to take the Areopagitica as yet a fourth "category" or "school" ("Grands courants" 124-5) is also mistaken. Dionysius belongs to the very same stream. It is perhaps tiresome of me to belabor this false taxonomy, esp. as I am given to understand that Hausherr backed away from a number of his earlier stands, and, to be sure, his contributions to Eastern Christian scholarship were massive and still indispensable, but the fact is that his categories in "Grands courants" continue routinely to be repeated. It is simply past time to give them the decent burial they require.

206. Gould, "Image" 557, n.3.

207. For Evagrius and pheggos, see for example the Praktikos, chp. 64 (SC 171, pp.646-7). As pointed out to me by my colleague at Marquette, Julian Hills, pheggos is of some interest in that it appears in the Acts of Thomas 113, at the conclusion of the remarkable "Hymn of the Pearl", where the speaker worships "the pheggos of the Father who sent me this [robe of light]" (Bonnet, AAA II.2, 224:12-13), and again, in much the same sense, in 141 (248:4). In both cases, the "ray" of the Father is clearly Christ. Later on Thomas speaks of the Father's "holy radiance", apaugasma (256:5-6) and, a little further on, of "your light which you made to dwell in me" (258:18-19). The identification of the pheggos, Christ, with the form, morphe, which the Pearl poet recognizes as his heavenly double in chp. 112 (223:9-15; ET Schneemelcher II:383, and 385 for chp.113, 395 for 141), puts us, I think, in the territory of the Glory tradition of apocalyptic: the glorious form of light. Thus Evagrius' -- and so the Entretien's -- use of it here as denoting the "light of the nous", i.e., effectively, as we saw above (n.81), the "light of the Trinity", squares very neatly with the issues and transformations we have seen at work in the controversies agitating the monks from Theophilus' decree onwards. Evagrius is taking over an older term belonging to the Glory tradition and early Christology in order to use it for the shared light-without-form of the Trinity, beheld within the nous. Recall also Cyril's and Gregory's use of Heb.1:3 above. It seems, esp. in Cyril's case, to have been a text of some importance in the debate.

208. Hagiography makes routine use of the brilliant forms and faces of angels. See for example the Lives of Symeon Stylites, especially the Syriac Life 3 and 98-99 (Doran 105, 171-2) for angels; 41 (125-6) for the vision of Christ atop the ladder of angels (42-43); 42-3 (126-7) for Elijah's brilliant form on a chariot; 68-9 (148-51) for Symeon himself in light; and 108 (176-7) for a remarkable reprise of OT theophany texts connecting fasting with the visio Dei (so cf. Fraade, "Ascetical Aspects of Ancient Judaism" 261-8 and 281). The tradition certainly continued into medieval Byzantium, e.g., in Edifying Tales of Paul of Monembasia (ref. n.133 above) which make frequent use of angels with faces "bright as the sun", or robed with splendor and light, thus see "The Man Called to Account" 4 (Wortley p.70) and "The Man Who Made his Confession" (73), both featuring appearances of the recording angel, "The Child Who Had a Vision at his Baptism" (93), recalling Mark the Egyptian's story above, and so cf. the angel consecrator of the Eucharist in "The Drunken Priest" (128). For a tour of heaven very reminiscent of Himmelfarb's analysis ("From Prophecy to Apocalyptic", Jewish Spirituality 146-8), see "The Woman Who Died and Came Back to Life" 1-2 (108-10). Cf. also Nicetas Stethatos' Life of his master, Vie de Symeon le nouveau theologien, ed. I. Hausherr (Rome:1938), esp. 5 (p.8) using 2 Cor. 12; light in 23 (30); and the fire of heaven at Symeon's ordination in 32 (40); Symeon as concelebrant of angels in 33 (44); as manifesting the Resurrection body of light in 69-70 (94-6); as compared to Moses conversing with God in 111 (154), as appearing in light to Nicetas after death in 137 (200), and to a doubting cantor in 143 (212). Nervousness about the body's experience of the light of God is firmly laid to rest by the Hesychast writers of the 14th century. See thus Gregory Palamas' Hagioretic Tome (PG CL:1225-1231).

209. So the words of a modern Orthodox abbot: "This is why, dear brothers and sisters, you must prepare your censers and your spiritual perfumes. God is not contained by any dwelling place, not even by the temple of Solomon...that God himself destroyed. Why? Because he wishes that the heart of each of us should become his dwelling place through prayer"; Aemilianos, Abbot of Simonos Petras, Mount Athos, in The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain, tr. A. Golitzin (South Canaan, PA:1996) 193. See also his "The Experience of the Transfiguration in the Life of the Athonite Monk", Ibid. 194-215, and cf. Evagrius on the topos theou and Ex. 24:10 (n.81 above), as well as Segal, Two Powers 168, on Philo.

210. I think we might take the tenth and concluding epistle of the Corpus Dionysiacum, "To John at Patmos", as setting a kind of seal on this "interiorization of apocalyptic" (PG III:1117A-20A). Dionysius writes to the author of the Revelation that "visible things [are] manifest images of the invisible"(1117A), and adds (1117B) that there are already saints on earth who have tasted of the Kingdom to come. The epistle thus marks the conclusion of the CD as whole which, as we saw above (n.135), began in Celestial Hierarchy II with the exegesis primarily of Ezk. 1, but included Dan. 7 and Is. 6. Dionysius is carrying on the very same program we have been tracing at work in the early fifth century, i.e., bringing the eschatological into the Christian's inner life, the mystical and subjective into harmony with the liturgical and institutional. Thus see Introibo, 219-230.

211. For Philo, see for example Segal, Two Powers 159-181. For Clement, see in particular the Extraits de Theodote (SC 23, ed. and tr. F. Sagnard), esp. 4-5 (pp.59-63) on the Transfiguration and visio Dei, and 10-15 (76-85), esp. on the Son as morphe (76-77), "face of the Father" (78-81), and as the "heavenly bread" and "light" (82-5, and recall Apa Aphou's use of Jn. 6:51!), together with Sagnard's introduction, 8-21, esp. 10 on Tabor and 15-17 on Clement's use of Phil. 2:6-8 and Heb. 1:3 (recall Gregory of Nyssa and Cyril). For Origen, n. 141 above on de orat. and 178 on anthropomorphism. Cf. also the latter's remarks on the divine doxa in his Commentary on John 32 (SC 385, pp. 328-344; ET Commentary on the Gospel according to John, in Fathers of the Church 89, pp. 404-11). He touches on the OT theophanies of Ex.33-34, 40, adds I Kg. 8:10-11, and dwells on the Lucan Transfiguration account together with I Cor. 3:7-4:6. He cites them to show that doxa in certain passages of the scriptures must be understood as something over and above the ordinary Greek usage (SC 328; ET 404). As to its precise nature, he offers, first, the literal sense, that "there was a divine epiphany" in these texts, and then, secondly, the doxa as "the visible glory of God that is contemplated by that mind which has the aptitude for such contemplation because of its pre-eminent purification, since the mind that has been purified and has ascended above all material made divine by what it contemplates" (SC 332; ET 406), the visio Dei.

212. I have found I Cor. 3:16 and 6:19-20, together with Jn. 14:21-4, to be nearly ubiquitous, and frequent, in the ascetical writings discussed here, perhaps esp. in "Macarius". For Jn.7:33-4, 8:21, 13:33 and 36 as polemic against the ascent mysticism emplefied in Thomas, see deConick, Seek to See Him 72-3. Relatedly, cf. also M. Goulder, "The Pastor's Wolves: Jewish-Christian Visionaries behind the Pastoral Epistles", Novum Testamentum 38.3 (1996) 242-56.

213. In the RSV version: "The Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound...but saw no form[NB: the LXX uses homoima, the Hebrew tmouna, but the Syriac demouto]." See Mettinger, Dethronement of Sabaoth 38-79 on Deuteronomic aniconism, thus the latter's "Name theology". For a reading of the Sinai theophany as embodying the theological tension between transcendent (i.e., invisible, as in Dt. 4:12) and manifest (as in the Priestly source), see T.B. Dozeman, God in the Mountain: A Study of Redaction, Theology, and Canon in Exodus 19-24, in SBL Monograph Series 37 (Atlanta:1989), esp. Dozeman's conclusions, 197-202, on the theologies of divine presence deliberately left in place by the final redactor. Besides the Decalogue, it is exactly Dt. 4:12 which John of Damascus is obliged to counter in the arguments he is confronting against Christian veneration of images. How interesting, then, he begins his response with the use of morphe in Phil. 2:6-8 (see his First Apology 5-8; crit. ed. B. Kotter, Die Schriften des Iohannes von Damaskos [Berlin: 1973] III:78-83; ET: D. Anderson, St. John of Damascus on the Divine Images [NY:1980] 16-18): "When He who is boundless and without form [amorphotos]...existing in the form of God, empties Himself and takes the form of a servant...then you may draw His image" [Kotter 82; ET 16]. Clearly, John's reply here is grounded on the developments we are discussing, the limitation of the visible form of God to the incarnate Word, but all the same it is pleasing to reflect on a certain continuity of tension in the "Israel of God" between insistence on divine hiddenness and, on the other hand, of theophany -- by extension, as it were, "Name" and "Glory" continue to struggle with each other thirteen centuries after Deuteronomy!

214. See above, n.180.

214a. See above, nn. 76-77.

215. There is thus a certain justice in Florovsky's linking Epiphanius with Irenaeus ("Anthropomorphites" 95-6 and "Theophilus" 121-9, and cf. n.152 above). On the other hand, Irenaeus also seems to echo the anthropomorphites rather more than Epiphanius would have liked. See The Demonstration of Apostolic Preaching (tr. J.P. Smith, ACW 16 [1952]), esp. section 11 (p.54): when God created Adam, "He gave his frame the outline of his own form, that the [i.e., Adam's] visible appearance, too, should be godlike" (see also Smith's "Introduction" 27-28, and 148 n.65, on the "form" of God as signaling the Son). In the draft version of a new translation from the Armenian, kindly supplied me by its author, Dr. John Behr of St. Vladimir's Seminary, the latter adds his suggestions for the original Greek terms in brackets, and I think it worthwhile to quote his rendering a little more extensively than Smith's: "He fashioned [plasso] man with His own Hands, taking the purest {purer}, the finest {finer} and the more {most} delicate [parts, elements?] of the earth, mixing [sygkerannymi] with the earth, in measure, His own power [dynamis]...He sketched upon the handiwork [plasma] His own form [Behr gives several possibilities here: charakter, schema, eidos, idea, morphe, and typos], in order that what would be seen should be godlike [theoeides] - for man was placed upon the earth fashioned in the image [eikon] of God." Dynamis is surely suggestive of the Second Person, whose form is here "mingled" with the earth, thus the combination of Gen. 1:26 and 2:7. To be sure, a little below, Irenaeus does speak of "being like [hoimoios] God" by virtue of the man's freedom, eleutheros, and self-determinative capacity, autexousios, and this recalls, for example, Cyril's "Answers" on the imago. Nonetheless, Irenaeus does distinguish between "image" and "likeness" (see AH, and cf. Dem. 5 and 97, in ACW 16:51 and 108, relating the Holy Spirit to the "likeness"), and, in the foregoing, the image is clearly linked both to the Second Person and to the man formed of earth, thus Smith's notes cited above, and note Adam's visible appearance as theoeides.

216. See above, n.200.

217. Discourse X, from St. Symeon the New Theologian on the Mystical Life: the Ethical Discourses, tr. A. Golitzin (NY:1995) Vol. I:169 (Greek, Traites ethiques, tr. and ed. J. Darrouzes, SC 129, pp.322-4, ll.887-9). For the remarkable case of the eighth century, Mesopotamian mystic, John of Dalyatha, whose distinction between the (revealed) divine Glory and ( permanently hidden) divine nature anticipates Gregory Palamas' essence/energies language by six centuries, see R. Beulay, "Formes de lumiere et lumiere sans forme: le theme de la lumiere dans la mystique de Jean de Dalyatha", Chahiers d'Orientalisme XX (1988) 131-141; and at greater length, ibidem, L'Enseignement spirituel de Jean de Dalyatha (Paris:1990) 440-461.