Angels: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | November 7, 2011

byDavid Albert Jones

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What are angels? Where were they first encountered? Can we distinguish angels from gods, fairies, ghosts, and aliens? And why do they remain so popular? This Very Short Introduction outlines some of the more prominent stories and speculations about angels in Judaism, Islam, Christianity and post-Christian spiritualities. It reflects on the way that angels have been portrayed in art, whether as young men in the Hebrew Scriptures, androgynous wingedcreatures of the pre-Raphaelites or the masculine statue of the Angel of the North. It will also consider angels in films such as Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire, and Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, as well as angels in literature.From the idea of the angel as a messenger, through to the image of angels sent to protect and help those in need, this is an examination of the implications of angels. It will ask why people find the idea of angels attractive, helpful or consoling, and why they remain so powerful in modern culture. It advances the view that reflecting on angels can teach us something about human existence and whether or not we believe that they exist in their own right, the angels can still illuminate our thoughts.

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What are angels? Where were they first encountered? Can we distinguish angels from gods, fairies, ghosts, and aliens? And why do they remain so popular? This Very Short Introduction outlines some of the more prominent stories and speculations about angels in Judaism, Islam, Christianity and post-Christian spiritualities. It reflects on...

Professor David Jones is Director of The Anscombe Bioethics Centre in Oxford, and was previously the Academic Director in the School of Theology, Philosophy, and History at St Mary's University College, Twickenham. He has written three previous books, Approaching the End: a theological exploration of death and dying (OUP, 2007), The So...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pagesPublished:November 7, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199547300

ISBN - 13:9780199547302

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Table of Contents

1. Preface2. A brief history of angels3. Picturing angels4. What is an angel?5. Divine messengers6. Ministering spirits7. Heavenly hosts8. Fallen angels9. Wrestling with angels1. Preface2. A brief history of angels3. Picturing angels4. What is an angel?5. Divine messangers6. Ministering spirits7. Heavenly hosts8. Fallen angels9. Wrestling with angelsFurther reading

Editorial Reviews

"The first stop for anyone seriously interested in angels." --Christopher Howse, The Telegraph 03/04/2010