New PDF release: Angels: A History

By David Albert Jones

ISBN-10: 0199582955

ISBN-13: 9780199582952

The ebook of Genesis depicts them as doing unusual things--mating with the daughters of guys to spawn giants, for instance, and wrestling with Jacob for no obvious cause. In It's a superb Life, Frank Capra spun a story of 1 as a bumbling helper of people; in Wings of Desire, Wim Wenders advised of 1 who wanted to be human. they're angels, after all, and so they have involved us considering that recorded background began.

In Angels, David Albert Jones presents a crisp, broad-ranging survey of angels in theology, philosophy, and pop culture. targeting Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, he examines how angels were imagined and defined, and why they proceed to captivate us. Jones explores the classical discussion--what they're made up of, after they got here to be, what number there are, and even if someone ever did ask what number may dance at the head of a pin. He names the archangels, surveys different hierarchies, and examines how they've got replaced over the years. Jones explains, for instance, how cherubim grew to become cherubs, and why angels within the Hebrew Bible are usually male, yet in later artwork grew to become androgynous, or maybe girl through the 20 th century. The ebook explores the concept devil used to be a fallen angel (a trust now not shared by means of Islam), and appears at demons and exorcism. yet Jones concentrates on reliable angels, of their roles as messengers, guardians, or helpers. He appears at why the assumption of angels continues to be so beautiful, and so powerful in smooth culture--even between nonbelievers.

From scripture to cinema, Jones deals a sweeping, available advent to this awesome phenomenon. even if we think in angels or now not, he argues, the research in their position in cultures prior and current can educate us a lot approximately humanity.

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Neverthe less, there is a clear link between angels and music. Several of the psalms enjoin the praise of God, and one in particular (Psalm 148) urges the angels to this: Praise the Lord from the heavens Praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels Praise him, all his host! In the gospel story angels are seen praising God the night that Jesus is born: ‘And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God’ (Luke 2: 13). Similarly, in Isaiah (6: 3) and in the book of Revelation (4: 8) the six winged seraphim never cease to sing, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty’.

The concern in both reli gions is that making sacred images can easily turn into worshipping images. The same concern over images has also led to some fierce disputes within Christianity. This flared up in the ‘iconoclast’ dispute in the eighth century in the Byzantine Empire and in the debate over statues and images in the sixteenth century in the Reformation in Britain and Germany. Thus in the East there are very few early icons that survived the iconoclast period, and in the West many statues, stained glass windows and wall paint ings were defaced, destroyed, or whitewashed.

There is common agreement, among those who believe in angels, that angels were created. There is much less agree ment about precisely when angels were created. In the book of Genesis, there are two accounts of creation: in the first the world is made in six days (Genesis 1: 2 2: 3); in the second the first human being (Adam) is moulded from clay and then God breathes into his nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2: 7). The Quran also states that God created the world in six days (7: 54, 10: 3, 11: 7, 25: 59) and that Adam was created out of clay (15: 26, 32: 7).

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Angels: A History by David Albert Jones


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