All Eye: a metaphor from Ezekiel in the Desert Fathers, the School of Gaza, and Gregory
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Ezekiel's imagery of the four living creatures being all eye proved to be a useful metaphor for such diverse characters as the desert fathers, the ascetics of Gaza, Pseudo-Dionysius, and Gregory Palamas. This study interposes between these thinkers the Neoplatonist philosopher Plotinus who used the similar metaphor of all face in his sixth Ennead. In the case of the figures not greatly influenced by Plotinus the metaphor often took on connotations of super sensible glory, dispassion, and watchfulness, but for the figures more affected by him the metaphor referred solely to the first two concepts. This lessening of interpretative riches for Ezekiel's vision was likely due to Plotinus' basic lack of interest in ethical questions.
- Faculty of Theology