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An Extraordinary Gathering of Angels Hardcover – Illustrated, October 1, 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Author Margaret Barker, a Hebrew scholar and profilic writer on religious history, is an influential figure in her subject area and to date has published ten specialist books. She is famous for having developed a whole new approach to biblical studies, known as Temple Theology. She is a Methodist preacher and a former President of the Society for Old Testament Study.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: M Q Publications; Basic ed. edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840726806
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840726800
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Kevin M. Christensen on March 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Slightly wider than a standard paperback, this hardback book is like a mini-coffee table art book. It contains over 170 color illustrations, including a wide range of "paintings, frescoes, stained glass windows, icons, and sculpture." The book is structured into 13 chapters, each with an introductory essay by Margaret Barker, notes and comments on the paintings, quotes from significant thinkers and scriptures on topic, and interviews with theologians writers from various religious traditions (including Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and LDS). Those familiar with Barker's other works will recognize her distinctive approach emerging in her introductory essays and selection of quotations. Barker has authored 10 significant books of Biblical scholarship, and served a term as the president elect of the Society for Old Testament Study. She is also a Methodist preacher, and writes from a perspective of one involved and committed. Her writing is always vivid, insightful, and relevant. Those interested in angels for themselves, or as a gift book, will find here a delightful treasure of art and insight. Those interested in to Barker's approaches at an introductory level for general readers, either for themselves, or for others, should be well served here. Those familiar with her scholarship will be pleased that one of the art works depicted is the orthodox icon of Wisdom, which she discusses in several essays in The Great High Priest. Highly recommended, as are all her books.
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Format: Hardcover
Margaret Barker, is a biblical scholar from England, has published a remarkable book about angels. Drawing on Christian and Jewish traditions, and to some extent on Islamic understandings, her book ranges widely from the importance of angels in the creation, their ranks and authorities, and their prominence in the heavenly visions experienced by the prophets to their ministry among mankind in furthering God's work and purposes on earth.

Barker discusses the close association of godly persons with the angels and the possibility of mankind becoming angels. The book relies heavily on the canonical scriptures but is also much informed by the treatment of angels found in extracanonical texts, especially in the Enoch literature and other related sources. She discusses the fallen angels and their evil influence and such concepts as guardian angels and the role of angels in providing inspiration and guidance.

A striking feature of the book is the great number of illustrations, most in color, taken from Christian, Jewish, and Islamic art, including paintings, frescoes, stained-glass windows, icons, and sculptures. Barker also offers many quotations about angels from writers and poets and includes interviews from scholars and officials representing various traditions.

Latter-day Saints will appreciate Barker's sensitive treatment of angels that are of special importance to them. A photograph of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is shown as an illustration of the principle that in sacred song on earth we join with the saints and angels above in worshiping at the throne of God. The first vision of Joseph Smith is described and illustrated with a painting by Greg Olsen (p.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a revelation! Containing artwork and iconography from Rublev, Fra Angelico, El Greco, Chagall, William Blake, and many lesser known figures; containing scholarly articles about the role of angels; containing excerpts of songs, poems, troparia, akathists, collects, chants, and other liturgical writings (these, in a large and wonderfully readable sans-serif typeface); containing interviews with divinity scholars -- the book is a visual marvel and a literary inspiration. Most enthusiastically recommended.
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I've always been fascinated by angels and this book has clarified for me the various traditions on angels for the last few thousand years. Barker is a scholar who has studied Biblical and extra-Biblical works from Christianity and Judaism and seems to have a good handle on the changing world views of these groups. In this book she has done an excellent job of classifying the many types of angels and explaining their roles and how they have fit into our views throughout history. The points are made by many illustrations of works by artists over the last 1500 years. This is mainly a picture book with captions, interviews and short essays. The artwork consists of high quality reproductions.

There are 13 chapters consisting of topics such as the Ranks of Angels, Archangels, the Holy Wisdom, The Fallen Angels, the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament, the Lost Bible, and Angels as Guardians. Each chapter begins with a short essay explaining the topic and cross referencing her sources. Some chapters will have more than one essay. Many illustrations follow with captions emphasizing a point and there is usually a quote from one of the sources. Some chapters end with an interview from a leader or scholar from a religious tradition that explains their views of the role angels play in their belief.

I enjoyed the book very much and the artwork she selected was very good and did an excellent job of illustrating how artists through the ages envisioned angels and the roles they play in our lives. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the topic of angels.
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