Angels. A Visible and Invisible History

Author: Peter Stanford
ISBN: 978-1-4736-2208-1
Hodder & Stoughton 2019. Hardback £20.00.
Pastoral Review bookshop £18.00

Angels are part of the Christian imagination. Who could imagine Western art without them? Think of Fra Angelico’s Virgin of the Annunciation, Raphael’s cherubs in San Sisto in Piacenza, or even the Pre-Raphaelites – angels are everywhere. And where would theology be without the ‘angelic doctor’, Thomas Aquinas, who thought them so important that he made angelology a core part of the theological curriculum – in fact, they were one of the few things he and Bonaventure could agree on.

Closer to home, there is of course the guardian angel, central to the prayers of many a Catholic childhood, or the one played by an eager child in last year’s nativity play.

And angels are not just part of the Christian story, there at the beginning, at the annunciation, and at the end, moving away the stone after the resurrection. In Islam, the angel Jibr’il plays a key part in the revelation to Mohammed.

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