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sophia  Term Image (σοφια) Script Image
(Language:  Greek)
Alternate Spellings:
Short Description: wisdom
Long Description: (A)wisdom; the term covers all spheres of human activity – all ingenious invention aimed at satisfying one’s material, political and religious needs; Hephaistos (like his prototypes – the Ugaritian Kothar-wa-Hasis and the Egyptian Ptah) is poluphronos, very wise, klutometis, renowned in wisdom – here ‘wisdom’ means not simply some divine quality, but wondrous skill, cleverness, technical ability, magic power; in Egypt all sacred wisdom (especially, knowledge of the secret divine names and words of power, hekau, or demiurgic and theurgic mantras, which are able to restore one’s true divine identity) was under the patronage of Thoth; in classical Greece, the inspird poet, the lawgiver, the polititian, the magician, the natural philosopher and sophist – all claimed to wisdom, and indeed ‘philosophy’ is the love of wisdom, philo-sophia, i.e. a way of life in effort to achieve wisdom as its goal; the ideal of sophos (sage) in the newly established Platonic paideia is exemplified by Socrates; in Neoplatonism, the theoretical wisdom (though the term sophia is rarely used) means contemplation of the eternal Forms and becoming like nous, or a god; there are the characteristic properties which constitute the divine nature and which spread to all the divine classes: good ( agathotes), wisdom ( sophia) and beauty ( kallos). (B) "wisdom"; in Jewish and Christian tradition, the Wisdom of God, often conceived as feminine (cf. Prov. 8).
Source(s): (A)The Golden Chain: An Anthology of Platonic and Pythagorean Philosophy, by Dr. Algis Uždavinys (B) The Fullness of God: Frithjof Schuon on Christianity, by Frithjof Schuon, edited by Dr. James S. Cutsinger
Notes & References:
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Provided By: Dictionary of Spiritual Terms