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Conclusion: Secrecy and Covers between Literature, Philosophy, and Theology

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Chapter Summary

Early sixteenth-century humanists and Evangelicals imbued their literature with questions pertaining to secrecy as a medium for both disclosing and concealing sacred truths. They turned to ancient and medieval traditions of literary and theological thought about the role of aesthetics in theology and devotion, in which the metaphor for secrecy as "cover" or veil has a long-established and well-known tradition of scholarship, which nonetheless has not been studied specifically in connection with secrecy. Marguerite de Navarre's spiritual directors, draw especially on pseudo-Dionysius's theory of metaphor to theorize how names can be attributed to divine essence in theological speculation. Guillaume Briçonnet combines theological and literary theories of metaphor to emphasize the ambivalent place that human discourse, and figural language in particular, occupy in Christian piety. Secrecy represents a problem of sacred and profane values throughout the Heptameron.

Keywords: Christian piety; Evangelical secrecy; Guillaume Briçonnet; Heptameron; pseudo-Dionysius's theory; theological speculation

10.1163/9789004281257_007
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