Sunday, December 20, 2009


Angels are not just for Christmas

Christmas is the official birthday of Jesus, and it brings to mind a veritable heavenly host of philosophical subjects (such as the logical coherence of the incarnation and the believability of miracles). One such subject that receives less consideration than perhaps it should is belief in the existence of angels. One cannot attend an advent service at church without being reminded that the Christmas story is a biblical cluster of angelic appearances. Unlike the mythical donkey and inn-keeper the events of Gabriel's annunciation to Mary, Joseph's angelic dream and the massed visitation to the shepherds are just as much a part of the biblical narrative as the magi-drawing star and the slaughter of the innocents.

As the author of The Case for Angels (Paternoster, 2002) I've made angelology one of my sub-specialisms, and I was recently interviewed on the subject at Gimlekollen School of Journalism & Communication in Norway for a staff advent event:

Angels at Advent - Peter S. Williams is interviewed by Dr Lars Dahle, Principal of Gimlekollen School of Journalism & Communication in Norway. 11th Dec 09 (21:06)

In 2008 I participated in a UCB radio show on the topic of angels: Angels - all about them! - 15th Jul 08 (45:09)

More Audio on Angels

Another interesting radio discussion about angels is this episode of Unbelievable from June 7th 2008 with Lorna Byrne, Faith Forster and John Woolmer.

Peter Kreeft, ‘Aquinas and the Angels'

Michael Williams, ‘Angels’

On-Line Writings re Angels (and Demons) by Peter S. Williams

Peter S. Williams vs. Steven Carr, ‘Do Angels such as Gabriel, Michael and Satan exist?’

Peter S. Williams, ‘Demons, Levitation and a priori Scepticism’

Peter S. Williams, ‘Angelology & Biblical Scepticism’

Peter S. Williams, ‘New Testament Criticism and Jesus the Exorcist’

Books on Angels

Besides my own, there are few books of a philosophically serious nature written on angels, but I would recommend the following:

Mortimer J. Adler, Angels and Us (Simon & Schuster, 1993) - written by a then-agnostic philosopher

Kenneth D. Boa & Robert M. Bowman, Sense and Nonsense about Angels and Demons (Zondervan, 2007) - good introductory book from apologists Boa & Bowman

Emma Heathcote-Jones, Seeing Angels (Blake, 2002) - PhD study by an agnostic

Peter Kreeft, Angels and Demons (Ignatius, 1995) - Catholic Philosopher answers student's questions

Phillip H. Wiebe, God and Other Spirits: Intimations of Transcendence In Christian Experience, (Oxford University Press, 2004) - phenomenological case for angels

John Woolmer, Angels of Glory and Darkness (Monarch, 2006) - by mathematician turned vicar and exorcist John Woolmer

A Very Happy Christmas to all readers of the ID.Plus Blog!

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