A Catalogue of Angels: The Heavenly, the Fallen, and the Holy Ones among Us

Overview

We often think of angels as winged creatures with supernatural powers that assist us when we are in danger. Where did that image of wings come from? Popular novelist, Vinita Hampton Wright, answers this and other questions in this illuminating and richly informative guide to angels in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

 

In this intriguing book, you will explore the origin and nature of angels, where they dwell, what they do, and how they relate to humanity. You will ...

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Overview

We often think of angels as winged creatures with supernatural powers that assist us when we are in danger. Where did that image of wings come from? Popular novelist, Vinita Hampton Wright, answers this and other questions in this illuminating and richly informative guide to angels in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

 

In this intriguing book, you will explore the origin and nature of angels, where they dwell, what they do, and how they relate to humanity. You will discover what the three Abrahamic faiths have to say about fallen angels (or, demons), and also see how doctrine and theology sometimes merge with legend and superstition. A short encyclopedia of terms and names is included at book’s end which will enlighten the study of angelic beings in the religions of the world for years to come.

 

“This is the best book available on angels – a wildly popular topic that has long deserved the attention of a thoughtful and talented writer like Vinita Hampton Wright. She brings a poet’s skill, a scholar’s care, and a believer’s heart to the heavenly companions whose presence we might sense, but may know little about.”

-          James Martin, SJ, author of My Life with the Saints

 

“Vinita Hampton Wright has done a wonderful job with a very complex issue: trying to bring Jews, Christians, and Muslims together.”

-          Laleh Bakhitar, Ph.D.

 

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Editorial Reviews

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While the second half of this book is a catalog of brief entries on all things angelic (including demons), the more interesting chapters explore the history and traditions regarding angels in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, including the mystical wings of each religion. Wright (Dwelling Places) defines angels as God's servants, working to praise, guide, protect, and intercede between humans and God. Acknowledging the incomprehensibility of angels, Wright grounds her text in the extensive history of belief in these beings, including accounts by individuals claiming direct experience with them. Wright is a believer who feels a disconnect from the current angel fad, but it is just the followers of that fad who are her main audience. This book will speak to anyone who finds comfort in the idea that special beings are looking after us. For all public libraries. Nancy Almand, Mesa Community College, San Diego Library Journal September 15, 2006A Catalogue of Angels: The Heavenly,the Fallen, and the Holy Ones Among Us.By Vinita Hampton Wright.Paraclete 192 pp., $16.95 paperback.A critical study of . . . angels?Novelist and theologian Wright shows that such a thing is possible by placing the angelology of the three Abrahamic faiths alongside one another. Many of the stories from other faiths will preach right away. For example, some Jews believe that not only does each human have a guardian angel, but so does every single blade of grass. Muslims hold that an angel is responsible for our digestion, and that an angel is involved in the formation of each drop of rain. Much of the book is a running commentary on Thomas Aquinas's theology of angels—including his rationale for angels having some sort of body and so being unable to be in two places at the same time. (It was this discussion that led to the mocktheological question of how many angels can balance on the head of a pin.) This book shows what Protestants lost by deemphasizing angels. Christian Century February 12, 2008
Publishers Weekly
Whether they stare austerely from stained-glass windows in churches or sit among the collectibles in Hallmark stores, angels are a ubiquitous part of American popular culture. In this combination of angelic history and encyclopedia, acclaimed novelist Wright (Dwelling Places), who describes herself as a believer in angels, investigates their manifestations in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In the book's first section, she examines scripture, tradition, mysticism and (occasionally) occult materials to explore such topics as where angels are said to dwell, what caused some of them to "fall," how they interact with humankind, and what the angelic hierarchies are in the Abrahamic traditions. Angel narratives, she observes, help connect us to "a universe we will never understand yet in which we hold a position of great esteem, as those loved by God and ministered to by God's many angels." The other half of the book is an alphabetical angelology, spanning Abaddon (an angel of devastation and hell) to Zohar (the major text of the mystical Jewish tradition of the Kabbalah, which tradition states was transmitted through angels). The narrative portion of the book's opening section ends abruptly, and it is not entirely clear whether the book's overall purpose is scholarly or devotional. However, the encyclopedia is a useful tool for those who wish to pursue more advanced studies. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
While the second half of this book is a catalog of brief entries on all things angelic (including demons), the more interesting chapters explore the history and traditions regarding angels in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, including the mystical wings of each religion. Wright (Dwelling Places) defines angels as God's servants, working to praise, guide, protect, and intercede between humans and God. Acknowledging the incomprehensibility of angels, Wright grounds her text in the extensive history of belief in these beings, including accounts by individuals claiming direct experience with them. Wright is a believer who feels a disconnect from the current angel fad, but it is just the followers of that fad who are her main audience. This book will speak to anyone who finds comfort in the idea that special beings are looking after us. For all public libraries. Nancy Almand, Mesa Community Coll., San Diego Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557254214
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Pages: 225
  • Sales rank: 1,218,199
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    Interesting and Biblical.

    I found this book very interesting and Biblical. Lots of information.

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