(hī′ər-ə-fănt′, hī′rə-, hī-ĕr′ə-fənt)
1. An ancient Greek priest who interpreted sacred mysteries, especially the priest of the Eleusinian mysteries.
2. An interpreter of sacred mysteries or arcane knowledge.
3. One who explains or makes a commentary.

[Late Latin hierophanta, from Greek hierophantēs : hieros, holy; see eis- in Indo-European roots + -phantēs, one who shows (from phainein, phan-, to show; see bhā- in Indo-European roots).]

hi′er·o·phan′tic adj.
References in periodicals archive ?
as the means of understanding Hieronimo's role as the hierophantic figure who conducts the mystery playlet and causes the fall of Babylon/Spain.
Such anthologies (including those of the Futurist, Imagist, and Spectra hoax coteries, Others, The Lyric Year, and the radical social anthologies of Nancy Cunard and Alain Locke) cannot be caricatured as hierophantic consecrators of prestige nor as defenders of canonical distinction.
This space was hierophantic because the deceased could ascend to heaven from the banks.
Twain's precocious and wayward protagonist is hailed as a depositary and a hierophantic flag-bearer of the broad frontier-territory-wilderness ethos.
Macmillan Brown's works are beset by a series of dilemmas: on one hand, the common culture is great; on the other, the educator is still a kind of hierophantic figure who must provide students with something that is not simply their common culture.
In a perversion of Arnold's vision of the critic as a hierophantic figure, Macmillan Brown sees the journalist as priest of the new religion of letters.
Nabi" is Hebrew for "prophet" and some members went in for the usual hierophantic accoutrements-special clothes, symbols, and so on--but neither Vuillard nor Bonnard had any truck with that sort of thing.
The notion of Ficino as a self-styled prophetic, hierophantic figure fits not only within the world of active intellectuals in early modern Europe (Giovanni Mercurio da Correggio and Savonarola come to mind as do transalpine figures like Jan of Leiden), but more specifically in the context of millenarian Florence at the at the end of the Quattrocento.
The communities into which these intellectuals gathered depended for their existence on a central hierophantic figure?
134) But as Ficino's own personal quest grew more complicated, somehow he lost his self-fashioned hierophantic status as well as his followers to the fiery Dominican eschatologist Girolamo Savonarola, whose spiritual and political ascendency in the republic ended with his hanging and immolation of 1498.
39) The heart of early American evangelicalism was spiritual regeneration, the hierophantic transformation of the soul by the sovereign power of God.