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“One Drop of Salvation from the House of Majesty”: Universal Revelation, Human Mission and Mythical Geography in the Syriac Revelation of the Magi

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the Revelation of the Magi which grapples with several contentious theological issues in the course of its narration of the Magi's experience with Christ, issues which gave rise to a plurality of possible solutions by Christian thinkers in antiquity. The first two sections of the chapter examines precisely what understandings of divine revelation govern the outlooks of the Magi "we" narrative and the Judas Thomas material, and what the implications of these understandings are for the problem of religious difference. The third section then suggests that the conflict between these two mechanisms of revelation in the Revelation of the Magi has its origins in ancient traditions of mythical geography. Having provided a relatively brief overview of the phenomenon of human missionary activity, the chapter explores the other mode of religious diffusion operative in the text, namely divine universal revelation.

Keywords: divine universal revelation; human missionary activity; Judas Thomas material; mythical geography; Revelation of the Magi; syriac revelation



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