Journals Higher Education



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Published: 04 August 2016

278 Pages


ISBN: 9780198785378

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Angels in Early Medieval England

Richard Sowerby

Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs

  • Explores the place of angels in the religious culture of Anglo-Saxon England, with particular attention to the role of angels in individual devotion
  • Considers the place occupied by angels in Anglo-Saxon devotion illustrating the shifts in beliefs about angels (and demons) across the period between the eighth and the eleventh centuries
  • Examines the origins of beliefs about the angelic realms among the English, their importance in monastic culture, changing views of guardian angels and of the role of angels at deathbeds and in the afterlife, angelic interactions with saints and their place in worship and devotion
  • Draws heavily on patristic theology in demonstrating the traditions about angels that the Anglo-Saxons inherited and the ways in which these developed especially in during the tenth-century monastic reform and in the generation thereafter
  • Addresses the relationship between the cult of saints and beliefs about angels, arguing that the rise of the saints was not contingent on a corresponding decline of angels