Download e-book for kindle: Angels: A History by David Albert Jones

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 fellows to spawn giants, for instance, and wrestling with Jacob for no obvious cause. In It's an excellent 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 recorded heritage 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 from, after they got here to be, what number there are, and no matter if an individual ever did ask what percentage may dance at the head of a pin. He names the archangels, surveys the several hierarchies, and examines how they've got replaced through the years. Jones explains, for instance, how cherubim turned cherubs, and why angels within the Hebrew Bible are usually male, yet in later artwork grew to become androgynous, or maybe lady through the 20th century. The booklet explores the concept that devil used to be a fallen angel (a trust now not shared through Islam), and appears at demons and exorcism. yet Jones concentrates on solid angels, of their roles as messengers, guardians, or helpers. He appears at why the assumption of angels continues to be so beautiful, and so effective in smooth culture--even between nonbelievers.

From scripture to cinema, Jones bargains a sweeping, available creation to this impressive phenomenon. no matter if we think in angels or no longer, he argues, the learn in their position in cultures prior and current can train us a lot approximately humanity.

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Nevertheless, the idea that angels have wings was already well established among Christian and Jews. In the Bible both the cherubim (Exodus 25: 20) and the seraphim (Isaiah 6: 2) have wings, and the psalmist imagines God like a charioteer, riding a cherub, and flying ‘upon the wings of the wind’ (2 Samuel 22: 11; Psalm 18: 10; Psalm 104: 3). By the time of Jesus it became common to believe that not only cherubim and seraphim but all spirits had wings. 160 220) wrote that ‘every spirit is winged, both angels and demons’.

In contrast, the Greek speaking Eastern part of the Roman Empire continued with its capital in Constantinople (also known as Byzantium) until the fall of that city to the Turks in 1453 CE. In the Byzantine East the style of Christian art that was developed in the fifth century came to be thought of as uniquely sacred. This may have been a result of the fierce ‘iconoclastic’ disputes over the veneration of images. It led to a view that a sacred icon should have a very particular style. At a deeper level this very conservative aesthetic may also reflect the desire of Byzantium to preserve a classical culture that had been lost in the West.

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 angels emerge from a particular tradition, an ancient tradition, a tradition that begins with Abraham sitting in the heat of the day by the oaks of Mamre.

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Angels: A History by David Albert Jones

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