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Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781473622081

Price: £20

ON SALE: 7th March 2019

Genre: Humanities / Religion & Beliefs

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‘an intriguing exploration of the many roles that angels have played in spiritual life.’ – The Sunday Times: Nick Rennison

‘In a 2016 poll, one in 10 Britons claimed to have experienced the presence of an angel, while one in three remain convinced that they have a guardian angel. These are huge numbers and mean that, on some counts, angels are doing better than God.’

In the secular, sceptical, post-Christian world of the West, continuing faith in angels is both anomaly and comfort. But what exactly are angels, and why have so many in different times and contexts around the globe believed in them? What is their history and role in the great faiths and beyond their walls? Are angels something real, a manifestation of divine concern? Or part of the poetry of religion? And can they continue to illuminate a deeper truth about human existence and the cosmos?

These are not new questions. They have been asked over millennia, right up to the present day, as writer, journalist and broadcaster Peter Stanford explores in Angels, his latest investigation into the history, theology and cultural significance of religious ideas.

‘There is no better navigator through the space in which art, culture and spirituality meet than Peter Stanford’ Cole Moreton, Independent on Sunday


The book has changed my life, as I now think about angels all the time and keep spotting them in paintings, on book jackets and in the verses of hymns... If you concentrate, you'll be taken on a thrilling journey through theological discussion, with a generous helping of art history thrown in... Stanford is a brilliant art-history teacher.
The Spectator
an absolutely outstanding book - unlike anything I've ever read before.
Paul Ross: talkRadio
riveting...a grand tour of all things angelic...taking in history, art, theology...impressive as well as readable.
Fergus Butler-Gallie: The Times
Peter Stanford's history of angels is comprehensive and scholarly and he writes like, well, an angel. I also love the way he leavens the textual archaeology and theology with references to modern cultural portrayals of angels.
Jonathan Margolis: Jewish Chronicle
There is so much to be said about angels and Stanford does an admirable job of organising his material. Everything the average reader could possibly want to know is here.
Blanche Girouard: Standpoint
an intriguing exploration of the many roles that angels have played in spiritual life.
Nick Rennison: Sunday Times
an exhilarating trip . . . Peter Stanford has done his homework and, with his customary wit and lightness of touch, he punctuates the scholarship with anecdote and great quotes
Piers Plowright: Camden New Journal
Stanford places us in his debt [with] a scholarly reverence for those who live on other parts of the spectrum of encounter and belief
Norman Wallwork: Methodist Recorder
packed yet fascinating history of these 'invisible beings'.
Jenny McCartney: Mail on Sunday
This is a broad-ranging exploration of angels, which carries us from the Ancient Near East to modern culture, literature, art, and film . . . Stanford has a relaxed and enjoyable style.
Nick Mercer: The Church Times
Stanford deserves credit for rescuing the study of angels from hippyish occultism [and] for some wonderful art historical writing [in his] ultimately immensely rewarding book.
The Daily Telegraph
Angels is chock-full of fascinating bits of information as Stanford sniffs out the trail left by our species' deep, blind, instinctive urge to believe in something beyond this life...[He] describes it all with wonderful flair...[and] writes movingly.
The Tablet
Stanford is an informed guide to the world of angels...this thought-provoking and wise study might convince even the most determined atheist to wonder if there is a benign presence, of whatever kind, lurking behind their shoulder.
The Observer
Stanford skilfully reviews some complex history, philosophy and theology.
Premier Christianity
An intriguing exploration of the many roles that angels have played in spiritual life throughout history, from their earliest appearances in Jewish texts to contemporary accounts of celestial visitations.
The Sunday Times
'If you're looking for a good book for what promises to be a strange Christmas, then buy this one'
Irish Examiner Review