Angels: A History by David Albert Jones

By David Albert Jones

The booklet 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 instructed of 1 who wanted to be human. they're angels, after all, they usually have involved us when you consider that recorded historical past began.

In Angels, David Albert Jones presents a crisp, broad-ranging survey of angels in theology, philosophy, and pop culture. concentrating on 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 a person ever did ask what percentage may possibly dance at the head of a pin. He names the archangels, surveys the several 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 paintings turned androgynous, or perhaps lady through the 20th century. The e-book explores the concept devil was once a fallen angel (a trust no longer shared through Islam), and appears at demons and exorcism. yet Jones concentrates on stable angels, of their roles as messengers, guardians, or helpers. He seems at why the assumption of angels is still so beautiful, and so powerful in smooth culture--even between nonbelievers.

From scripture to cinema, Jones bargains a sweeping, available creation to this outstanding phenomenon. no matter if we think in angels or now not, he argues, the examine in their position in cultures earlier and current can educate us a lot approximately humanity.

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Extra resources for Angels: A History

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Fra Angelico was somewhat conservative in style and exceptional in his day in nearly always painting saints with halos and angels with wings and halos. At the turn of the sixteenth century, the Renaissance reaches the height of its technical brilliance. It is interesting that two of the masters of the high Renaissance, Raphael Sanzio (1483 1520) and Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 1564), were both named after angels. With these painters the natural expression of form, posture, colour, and emotion were per fected to such a degree that the art itself, rather than the religious subject matter, seemed to have become the real focus.

Books with titles such as Angel Therapy are shaped by ideas from Christianity and Judaism, even if the original context is no longer explicit. The very term ‘angel’ in English carries a great cultural heritage shaped by Christianity. Many of the doctrines found in these new age writings are expli citly taken from Jewish sources, especially the Cabala. So it is appropriate to use the same word for these angels. Neverthe less, arguably these new age books suffer from isolating the angels from their original context.

The Angel of the North in Gateshead in the north of England stands 66 feet (20 metres) tall, with wings measuring 178 feet (54 metres) across: a wingspan wider than the Statue of Liberty is tall. It was cast from 200 tonnes of steel, an industrial angel to celebrate an area whose greatness had once been based on heavy industry. Like Klee’s angel, the Angel of the North is immediately recognizable, though the form is very simple, with no facial features, no halo, and with wings for arms. There is in these twentieth century representations a return from natural ism to the symbolic.

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