Transfiguration (religion)

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Transfiguration, from Latin transfiguratio, is primarily a religious term, and refers to the experience of momentary divine radiance.

The most famous account of transfiguration is the Transfiguration of Jesus.

Instances in the Judeo-Christian scriptures and tradition[edit]

Transfiguration of Jacob[edit]

In the ladder of Jacob, at the conclusion of this instruction, instead of simply being given the new name Israel, Jacob is introduced to his heavenly counterpart, the angel Israel.

Transfiguration of Enoch[edit]

In the Book of Enoch, when Enoch returns to Earth, he tells his children that although they see him as the earthly, human Enoch, there is likewise an angelic Enoch (Metatron) that has stood in the Lord’s Presence.

Transfiguration of Elijah[edit]

Transfiguration of Moses[edit]

The assumption of Moses apocrypha offers a detailed account of the assumption and transfiguration of Moses.

Transfiguration of Mary[edit]

Lumen Gentium states that the Immaculate Virgin [...] was exalted by the Lord as Queen of the universe, that she might be the more fully confirmed to her Son, the Lord of lords and the conqueror of sin and death.

Transfiguration of humanity as a whole[edit]

In Christian eschatology, eternal life is said to be the transfiguration of all of humanity.

Instances in other religions and spiritual traditions[edit]

Buddhism[edit]

The Buddha is said to have been twice transfigured, at the moment of his enlightenment and at the moment of his death.[1]

Gurdjieff's Fourth Way[edit]

P.D. Ouspensky recounts an episode where he claims that he and other onlookers experienced a change in the aspect of Gurdjieff while seated in a railway carriage.[2]

Transfiguration of demons[edit]

In demonology, some high-ranking demons, such as Lucifer, are said to have been able to shapeshift in order to deceive people.

References[edit]

  1. ^ E.J. Thomas, The Life of Buddha, p245; EW Hopkins, The Message of Buddhism to Christianity, The Biblical World, Vol. 28, No. 2 (Aug., 1906), pp. 94-107
  2. ^ P.D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, USA 2001, pp 324f., ISBN 0-15-600746-0