(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 ?
Pareidolic tendencies are sometimes hierophantic, such as the Man in the Moon or urban legends about a prophet likeness arising from a toaster.
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.
6) Later in the work he develops this idea of hierophantic time: illo tempore, when the creation took place, and all was flux and everything was possible.
This space was hierophantic because the deceased could ascend to heaven from the banks.
Just as Deronda is rewarded when his "quest for his family roots and his search for a public career ultimately coalesce in an idealized Judaism," Gwendolen Harleth "is subjected to the painful discipline of rods, scourges, and what emerges as the most formidable hierophantic device, the lying pen of the scribe" (223)-the pen of Eliot herself.
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.
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.
I am happy to say that, unlike some of the more hierophantic philosophers and theoreticians whom it cites, this book is explicit in its design and organization.
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.
It manifests the `Divine Idea' through dynamic, dogmatic rhetoric, but at the same time it insists that acts of writing gain their real value by preserving the hierophantic secrecy of that which they apparently express.