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What to expect

‘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

(P) 2019 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Critics Review

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • riveting…a grand tour of all things angelic…taking in history, art, theology…impressive as well as readable.

    Fergus Butler-Gallie: The Times
  • packed yet fascinating history of these ‘invisible beings’.

    Jenny McCartney: Mail on Sunday

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