In a book bristling with neologistic compounds, one stands alone: "contransmagnificandjewbangtantiality." Stephen elaborates wildly on the Nicene "consubstantiality" opposed by Arius to produce a word that has elicited much comment. Joseph Campbell, in particular, has inspired many people to read the word as a key to the novel's theological mysteries, conveying eastern religious ideas of the radical immanence of divinity and the mystical unity of subject and object. But popular nonsensical versions of the word long antedate Joyce, calling into question such ambitious readings.

John Hunt 2017

Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, who advocated for including the doctrine of consubstantiality in the Nicene Creed. Source:

Fresco image of the Blessed Virgin by Fra Angelico, ca. 1440, held in the Museo di San Marco, Florence. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Henry Ossawa Tanner, Nicodemus and Jesus on a Rooftop, an 1899 oil painting held in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts that depicts Jesus as a Jew. Source: Wikimedia Commons.