Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages

Overview

Recently angels have made a remarkable comeback in the popular imagination; their real heyday, however, was the Middle Ages. From the great shrines dedicated to Michael the Archangel at Mont-St-Michel and Monte Garano to the elaborate metaphysical speculations of the great thirteenth-century scholastics, angels dominated the physical, temporal, and intellectual landscape of the medieval West.

This book offers a full-scale study of angels and angelology in the Middle Ages. ...

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Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages

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Overview

Recently angels have made a remarkable comeback in the popular imagination; their real heyday, however, was the Middle Ages. From the great shrines dedicated to Michael the Archangel at Mont-St-Michel and Monte Garano to the elaborate metaphysical speculations of the great thirteenth-century scholastics, angels dominated the physical, temporal, and intellectual landscape of the medieval West.

This book offers a full-scale study of angels and angelology in the Middle Ages. Seeking to discover how and why angels became so important in medieval society, David Keck considers a wide range of fascinating questions such as: Why do angels appear on baptismal fonts? How and why did angels become normative for certain members of the church? How did they become a required course of study? Did popular beliefs about angels diverge from the angelologies of the theologians? Why did some heretics claim to derive their authority from heavenly spirits? Keck spreads his net wide in the attempt to catch traces of angels and angelic beliefs in as many portions of the medieval world as possible. Metaphysics and mystery plays, prayers and pilgrimages, Cathars and cathedrals-all these and many more disparate sources taken together reveal a society deeply engaged with angels on all its levels and in some unlikely ways.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Keck's impressive work examines the way in which belief in angels came to permeate medieval Christian society as deeply as belief in evolution steeps ours....Keck's exposition of the social-political consequences of angelology is fascinating....If I were to recommend one book on angels, Keck's impressive 'everything you wanted to know about angels but were afraid to ask' would be the one."—Theological Studies
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195110975
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/28/1998
  • Pages: 280
  • Lexile: 1520L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Plenitude of Medieval Angelology 3
Pt. I Scripture, the Foundation of Angelology 11
1 The Length of Scripture 1: Sacred History and the Creation 13
2 The Length of Scripture 2: Angels, Israel, and the Church 28
3 The Depth and Height of Scripture 47
Pt. II Angels, the Philosopher, and the University: The Nature of the Angels 71
4 Scholasticism and the Transformation of Angelology 75
5 The Angelic Nature in the Thirteenth Century: The Flowering of Medieval Angelology 95
Pt. III Angels and Religious Orders 115
6 Monks and Mendicants 117
7 Franciscan Angelology and the Crises of the Franciscan Order 129
Pt. IV Angels and the Medieval Church 155
8 Birth, Maturation, and the Regular Religious Practices of Adults 161
9 Exceptional Practices of Adults, Death, and Resurrection 189
Conclusion: The Harvest of Medieval Angelology 209
Notes 213
Bibliography 245
Index 255
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