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Record Type: Review   ID: 122

Encyclopedia of Angels

Guiley, Rosemary

 Although listed alphabetically, the entries in this book, if read in toto, should provide the reader what its compiler hoped with "a fascinating journey into the evolution of the angel in Western thought" (p. ix), which, she points out, "has been largely shaped by visionary experience. What we know about angels comes through our otherworldly contact with them" (p. ix). Guiley is to be commended for describing her own angelophanies in the Foreword. She also capsulizes the information the book contains: "Many significant angels and demons are listed by name and by group. Otherwise the characteristic functions and nature of angels and our beliefs about them and experiences with them, are covered under general subject headings and under biographical profiles of mystics, theologians, philosophers and others. I also compare angels to similar beings in non-Western religions" (p. ix). Especially useful are see references embedded in the text of one entry to other entries of specific relevance elsewhere in the book. This work is thus formed not only from careful scholarship but first-hand experience. It is a highly important information source for anyone who has had an "angelophany," which Guiley defines as "the experience of perceiving an angel with one or more of the five senses. The characteristics of angelophanies differ, probably in accordance with cultural conditioning, expectations, and acceptance or rejection of such experience" (p. 9). Encyclopedia of Angels is also recommended for both experiencers and nonexperiencers who need or want information about angels.
Publisher Information:New York: Facts on File, 1996. Bibl: 205-208; 71 illus; Ind: 209-214
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