Transfiguration (religion)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In a religious context, transfiguration, from Latin transfiguratio, is the experience of momentary divine radiance.[citation needed] It can function as a form of apotheosis.[1]

In the Judeo-Christian scriptures and tradition[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.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed]



The apocryphal Assumption of Moses offers a detailed account of the assumption and transfiguration of Moses.[citation needed]


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".[citation needed]

Transfiguration of humanity as a whole[edit]

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

In other religions and spiritual traditions[edit]


Ramalinga Swamigal (1823 – 1874) is said to have obtained 'an alchemized Light body'.[citation needed]


The Buddha is said to have been twice transfigured, at the moment of his enlightenment and at the moment of his death.[2]

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.[3]

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.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Hoffmann, R. Joseph (1984). Marcion, on the Restitution of Christianity: An Essay on the Development of Radical Paulinist Theology in the Second Century. Issue 46 of American Academy of Religion series, ISSN 0277-1071. Chico, California: Scholars Press. p. 137. ISBN 9780891306382. Retrieved 29 April 2022. Marcion apparently saw the transfiguration as the apotheosis of the Unknown God [...].
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ P.D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, USA 2001, pp 324f., ISBN 0-15-600746-0