Angels have fascinated people for millennia because they point to an invisible dimension that parallels our own. This book examines the different ways that angels have been portrayed at certain key points in biblical and theological history. By tracing patterns in the appearance of higher-order beings from their ancient Near Eastern origins, the Hebrew Scriptures, the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius, Thomas Aquinas, Karl Barth, and even modern New Age writers, Angelology demonstrates that angels allow various authors to emphasise divine transcendence, immanence, and creativity. Identifying the theological purpose underlying the depiction of angels at certain key points in the history of their use raises new questions about how angels are to be understood by people today.
Foreword by David Brown
1. Angels in the Hebrew Scriptures: Means of Enhanced Transcendence
2. Pseudo-Denys’s Angelology as an Emblem of Divine Immanence
3. Recovering the Significance of Aquinas’s Imaginative Angelology
4. Historical Angelology in Dialogue with the Present
Endorsements and Reviews
This book is to be welcomed for its detailed examination of angelology during significant periods in the history of the Christian tradition. The author argues carefully that contemporary theology is lacking if it does not take seriously the depiction of angels in Scripture and in key theological writings, including Pseudo-Dionysius, Thomas Aquinas, and Karl Barth. The book is persuasive in giving angelology the elevated position it deserves within Christianity, and for encouraging further debate on this important issue.
David Torevell, Associate Professor, Liverpool Hope University
Dr Potter’s scholarly and lucid study of angels is a major engagement with the biblical and theological material on this much-neglected topic. His assessments of Pseudo-Dionysius and Thomas Aquinas are especially important contributions to scholarship in this field. Potter has a clear sense of why angels matter as we seek to commend the Christian faith to the world, and I hope Angelology will be widely read.
Justyn Terry, Dean/President and Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity School for Ministry