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Prayer as a drōmenon in the hermetic initiative texts

Endre Hamvas

pp. 15-22

If we try to define a term like mystical experience or to understand the purpose of a cultic practice, we should engage in a very complex investigation. In a short paper like this, there is no possibility of providing a correct and detailed analysis of these questions, only some considerations can be presented concerning the nature and function of Hermetic cultic practices. Therefore, I will analyse a particular phenomenon in detail: the prayer (or as we read in a text, the hymn of praise), which plays a special and central role in the Hermetic mysteries, and what is more, in the cultic practice. In this context I define prayer as one of the main means in the process of communicating with the divine sphere. As it will be seen, the Hermetic prayer has a special structure, which is in connection with its goals. Iamblichus' work about the mysteries provides some important aspects for disclosing this structure, so I will analyze not only the Hermetic but also the Iamblichean text.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-45069-8_2

Full citation:

Hamvas, E. (2017)., Prayer as a drōmenon in the hermetic initiative texts, in E. Sepsi & A. Daróczi (eds.), The immediacy of mystical experience in the European tradition, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 15-22.

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