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Transfiguration (religion)

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Transfiguration, in religion, refers to the assumption by spiritual masters, or its perception by their followers, of momentary divine radiance.

The most famous case of transfiguration is the transfiguration of Jesus, but this article shall discuss cases of transfiguration when the person is not Jesus.

Instances in the Judeo-Christian scriptures and tradition

Transfiguration of Jacob

In the ladder of Jacob, at the conclusion of this instruction, instead of simply being given the new name Israel, Jacob is introduced to his heavenly counterpart, the angel Israel.

Transfiguration of Enoch

In the Book of Enoch, when Enoch returns to Earth, he tells his children that although they see him as the earthly, human Enoch, there is likewise an angelic Enoch (Metatron) that has stood in the Lord’s Presence.

Transfiguration of Elijah

The Kabbalah refers to Sandalphon as an archangel who is the transfiguration of Elijah.

Transfiguration of Moses

The assumption of Moses apocrypha offers a detailed account of the assumption and transfiguration of Moses.

Transfiguration of Mary

Lumen Gentium states that the Immaculate Virgin [...] was exalted by the Lord as Queen of the universe, that she might be the more fully confimed to her Son, the Lord of lords and the conqueror of sin and death.

Transfiguration of humanity as a whole

In Christian eschatology, eternal life is said to be the transfiguration of all of humanity.

Instances in other religions and spiritual traditions


The Buddha is said to have been twice transfigured, at the moment of his enlightenment and at the moment of his death.[1]

Gurdjieff's Fourth Way

P.D. Ouspensky recounts an episode where he claims that he and other onlookers experienced a change in the aspect of Gurdjieff while seated in a railway carriage[2]

Transfiguration of demons

In demonology, some high-ranking demons, such as Lucifer, are said to have been able to shapeshift in order to deceive people.


  1. E.J. Thomas, The Life of Buddha, p245; EW Hopkins, The Message of Buddhism to Christianity, The Biblical World, Vol. 28, No. 2 (Aug., 1906), pp. 94-107
  2. P.D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, USA 2001, pp 324f., ISBN 0-15-600746-0
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Transfiguration (religion). The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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