A Visual History of Angelology


A gloriously illustrated overview of angels across art, religion, and literature


ISBN: 9781419767579 Category:

Ed Simon


Ineffable, invisible, inscrutable—angels are enduring creatures across Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and human experiences of the divine as mediated by spiritual emissaries are an aspect of almost every religious tradition. In popular culture, angels are often reduced to the most gauzy, sentimental, and saccharine of images: fat babies with wings and guardians with robes, halos, and harps. By contrast, in scripture whenever one of the heavenly choirs appears before a prophet or patriarch, they first declare “Fear not!” for terror would be the most appropriate initial reaction to these otherworldly beings. Angels are often not what we’d expect, but it’s precisely in that transcendent encounter that something of the strangeness of existence can be conveyed. Elysium: A Visual History of Angelology is a follow-up volume to Pandemonium: A Visual History of Demonology, and like the earlier title, this book offers an account of the angelic hierarchies as they’ve been understood across centuries and cultures and of the individual personages, such as the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel, who have marked the mythology of the West.

Additional information

Weight 1764 g
Dimensions 19.9 x 25.7 cm
Publisher name ABRAMS
Publication date 19 October 2023
Number of pages 400
Format Hardback
Dimensions 19.9 x 25.7 cm
Weight 1764 g


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Ed Simon is staff writer for the literary site The Millions and has contributed his characteristically engaging cultural criticism to almost every major American literary publication, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Paris Review Daily, the New Republic, and the Washington Post. With a PhD in English, Simon is an expert on the literature and religion of Renaissance Britain and early America, but he has developed a reputation among editors, critics, and readers for introducing complex subjects in an accessible manner. In fall 2021, Abrams released his book Pandemonium: A Visual History of Demonology, which has since become the standard text on the subject for popular readers.