Elysium: A Visual History of Angelology

Elysium: A Visual History of Angelology

by Edward Simon
Elysium: A Visual History of Angelology

Elysium: A Visual History of Angelology

by Edward Simon


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A gloriously illustrated overview of angels across art, religion, and literature

Ineffable, invisible, inscrutable—angels are enduring creatures across Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and human experiences of the divine as mediated by spiritual emissaries are an aspect of almost every religious tradition. In popular culture, angels are often reduced to the most gauzy, sentimental, and saccharine of images: fat babies with wings and guardians with robes, halos, and harps. By contrast, in scripture whenever one of the heavenly choirs appears before a prophet or patriarch, they first declare “Fear not!” for terror would be the most appropriate initial reaction to these otherworldly beings. Angels are often not what we’d expect, but it’s precisely in that transcendent encounter that something of the strangeness of existence can be conveyed. Elysium: A Visual History of Angelology is a follow-up volume to Pandemonium: A Visual History of Demonology, and like the earlier title, this book offers an account of the angelic hierarchies as they’ve been understood across centuries and cultures and of the individual personages, such as the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel, who have marked the mythology of the West.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419767579
Publisher: Cernunnos
Publication date: 10/17/2023
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 825,129
Product dimensions: 7.75(w) x 9.88(h) x (d)

About the Author

Ed Simon is staff writer for literary site The Millions and has contributed his characteristically engaging cultural criticism to almost every major American literary publication, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Paris Review Daily, the New Republic, and the Washington Post. With a PhD in English, Simon is an expert on the literature and religion of Renaissance Britain and early America, but he has developed a reputation among editors, critics, and readers for introducing complex subjects in an accessible manner. In fall 2021, Abrams released his latest book, Pandemonium: A Visual History of Demonology, which has since become the standard text on the subject for popular readers.

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