Angels have soared through Western culture and consciousness from Biblical to contemporary times. But what do we really know about these celestial beings? Where do they come from, what are they made of, how do they communicate and perceive?
A luminous book, it is illustrated with elaborate gilded grid poems by the ninth-century monk Hrabanus Maurus ... The saints, though, provide the book’s funnier and more alarming insights into human nature ... Weinberger wears his erudition with an understated elegance, and anyone who has read his political essays (which use the same wry method of collage) should find in these further-off horrors and follies a source of light relief.
Weinberger delivers a charming meditation on the nature of angels and saints, illustrated with gorgeous reproductions of the works of ninth century German Benedictine monk Hrabanus Maurus ... Weinberger concludes his consideration with a beautifully laid out 'angelology,' naming various angels and their powers ... The reproductions, scattered throughout the book, are full-color and invite the reader to contemplation. Academic and lay readers interested in Christian thought will enjoy Weinberger’s eclectic homage to angels and saints.
... eclectic ... Dispensing with any sort of introduction, Weinberger delves into the subject of angels by discussing how many might exist, according to bygone Christian and Jewish sources. This disarming beginning prepares readers for an entire book of intriguing material that seems to go nowhere in particular. Combining a historian’s level of scholarship with a mystic’s sense of ambiguity, the author crafts a fascinatingly quirky work about the beings of heaven and those humans who are closest to them ... There is no order or apparent overarching purpose, and readers will wonder why the author chose the stories of the saints that he did. The thought-provoking artwork of ninth-century Frankish monk Hrabanus Maurus enhances the text, and the book also includes a guide to the illustrations written by scholar Mary Wellesley ... Most readers will be charmed by this exploration of the divine, which is read best as an escape rather than a study tool.