Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_207

Epiphany is the ecclesiastical feast that falls 12 days after Christmas. It marks the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem to behold the Christ child; it also marks the end of Christmastide. The weeks following it that lead up to Lent are called Epiphany season, which has a variable length in the liturgical calendar. Etymologically, epiphany is derived from the Greek term for “manifestation.” The holiday was originally celebrated by the Eastern Church, to commemorate the angelic announcement of the good news of Christ’s birth, but later focused more on Christ’s baptism. The Nativity came to be understood as one instance of Theophany, a showing forth of God. Accounts vary between the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the only two gospels to include Jesus’ birth narrative, but in each, people are immediately led to understand the momentous import of the birth: “Glory to God in the highest heaven and peace on earth and God's favor to men” (Lk 2.14). Much later, epiphany was used generically to...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychotherapy & Spirituality InstituteNew YorkUSA