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6 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A useful primer, 3 Sep 2011
This review is from: Angels: A History (Hardcover)
Let's face it, we know very little about angels and much of what passes for angelology is built on speculation based on speculation founded on speculation and grounded in speculation. What little we do know is covered in this book and you should forget any other book on the subject if you want a general historical overview on the subject. Although written by a Christian the contents cover the monotheistic faiths and the role of angel-like beings in other faiths as well, and that was all very useful for me as to how to order, place and catalogue the various beings. In fact you will learn that each angel is its own species. Cheap and cheerful, concise and yet it covers the subject like a perfectly well fitting glove.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pithy little book, 3 Feb 2012
This review is from: Angels: A History (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this book. It is small but has quite a lot of information in it. It is not sentimental, just factual. The references to angels abound in all sorts of places. It answers questions like: When did halos first get portrayed with angels?, When did angels stop being just male?, What are the implications of this?, What do the cherubim and seraphim look like?. It has been a pleasure to read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Insight on Angels, 27 July 2010
By 
Adrian Bailey (Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Angels: A History (Hardcover)
This is a superb book that covers a lot of ground in a short space. I read this on a return train journey from Exeter to Birmingham. If you want a quick overview that takes in some theology (mainly from the Judeo-Christian perspective) and some cultural references to representations of angels then this is well worth the spend. There are a few oversights of detail, for example, the author states that angels do not hold harps in the book of Revelation p.23. If you look at Revelation 5:8 you can see that the living creatures and the elders are holding harps. These are invariably refered to as angelic beings by theologians.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 2 April 2013
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Usual 'very short introductions quality. I learned a lot about what proved to be a very interesting and facinating subect.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angels: Back to Basics, 23 Jan 2011
This review is from: Angels: A History (Hardcover)
`Angels: A History' is an excellent, if rather brief, introduction to the subject of these celestial beings and their origins in Jewish, Christian and Islamic scripture. Although the text is quite dry at times and can read like an edited essay, it manages to cover a lot of ground in a very simple, factual way which meant that I learned quite a lot from a relatively short book. This book would not be out of place in the excellent Oxford `Short Introductions to...' range, which, if you are familiar with this series, gives an indication of its style.

My only criticism of this book is that its title is a bit of a misnomer. It is not really a history of the angels, more a summary of the original sources on the subject and what they tell us about these beings. In a way, it feels like the first few chapters of a longer book. Although more modern representations of angels, including on film and in art, are mentioned, it is always to support a point made rather than as part of a linear, chronological narrative.

Even so, this is still a fascinating insight into where our modern idea of angels came from and gives some indication as to why they have remained such an emotive concept within modern cultures. Recommended for those curious about the subject but who do not know where to start.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broad, fair, informed, 15 Sep 2013
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As a lay-preacher and life-long Bible reader I had some knowledge about the Biblical stories involving angels, but I wanted to gain a wider perspective. Angels are recorded in many faiths and cultures as well as in a more Catholic Christian tradition than my own. I wanted a summary of the subject that wasn't biased to one doctrinal view, and one that would span the centuries; a book that would that would be neither defensive of nor aggressive towards the subject.
I was not disappointed. David Jones starts with a historical survey that precedes Christianity and even Judaism. He deals very fairly with Jewish, Islamic and Christian belief and record. (Again I was interested to learn more about the Islamic teaching on angels.) He also covers more recent centuries and their shifts in belief. There is reference to New Age imagery and to the sometimes emotional and highly partisan views of our own time.
For the small amount the book costs (I bought the Kindle edition) this really is an exceptionally good 'Short Introduction'. I recommended it to a friend who also had an interest. She downloaded it and praised it too.
If you want a brief, unbiased, knowledgeable book about angels I cannot believe you would do better than this, at any price.
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Angels: A History
Angels: A History by David Albert Jones (Hardcover - 25 Mar 2010)
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