For sceptics, angels may be no more than metaphors: poetic devices to convey, at least for those with a religious sensibility, an active divine interest in creation. But for others, angels are absolutely real creatures: manifestations of cosmic power with the capacity either to enlighten or annihilate those whose awestruck paths they cross.
A prominent scholar of the Renaissance, Valery Rees is a Senior Member of the School of Economic Science in London. She co-edited Marsilio Ficino: His Theology, His Philosophy, His Legacy (2002), and has featured as a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4's flagship ideas programme, In Our Time.
'Whether as mediators between the divine and human, or involved in the complex intertwining of good and evil, angels form a central part of human culture. In her fascinating book, From Gabriel to Lucifer, Valery Rees offers her readers a tantalising glimpse of the multi-faceted role angels have played in religion and history. She thereby helps restore to a more prominent position this much-neglected feature of human experience.' - Christopher Rowland, Dean Ireland's Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford, and author of Blake and the Bible 'Our fascination with angels and the angelic seems to go from strength to strength, and in her readable new book Valery Rees provides a lively and engaging account of why that is. Thoughtful and intelligent throughout, From Gabriel to Lucifer is a thorough and thought-provoking guide to the role of angels in many of the world's religions and cultures.' - Oliver Leaman, Professor of Philosophy and Zantker Professor of Judaic Studies, University of Kentucky