Item description for No Ordinary Angel: Celestial Spirits and Christian Claims about Jesus (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) by Susan R. Garrett...
Overview From ancient times until the present, Garrett argues, angels have served as indicators of God's presence and intervention in the world; the existence and meaning of evil; and the fate of humanity after death. Garrett compares how ancients talked about angels to popular conceptions today, relating both to Christian claims about Jesus. 304 pages, hardcover. Yale University.
Publishers Description In this provocative, intelligent, and highly original addition to the Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library, Susan R. Garrett argues that angel talk has never been merely about angels. Rather, from ancient times until the present, talk about angels has served as a vehicle for reflection on other fundamental life questions, including the nature of God's presence and intervention in the world, the existence and meaning of evil, and the fate of humans after death. In "No Ordinary Angel," Garrett examines how biblical and other ancient authors addressed such questions through their portrayals of angels. She compares the ancient angel talk to popular depictions of angels today and considers how the ancient and modern portraits of angels relate to Christian claims about Jesus. "No Ordinary Angel" offers important insights into the development of angelology, the origins of Christology, and popular Western spirituality ranging from fundamentalist to New Age. In doing so, it provokes stimulating theological reflection on key existential questions.
From Publishers Weekly With this book on angels, the press launches its Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library. No matter what branch of Christianity you profess, it is likely that your belief system teaches that angels are at work in our lives. This thoughtful, though sometimes ponderous, study by Garrett, professor of New Testament at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, brings forward the important place angels hold in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Angels, both good and evil, are seen as a major driving force in the divine-human encounter. They appear as helpers in time of need, or as tempters when were prone to do evil. They affect our present and help determine our future. And while some may dismiss the whole issue as just so much imaginative nonsense, Garrett understands the ultimate goal of angelic intervention in our lives: Jesus is no ordinary angel, but rather, the peerless example of Gods stooping down to be present with us in our brokenness. This thrilling thought can be a comfort and a joy to all people of faith. (Nov.)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Awards and Recognitions No Ordinary Angel: Celestial Spirits and Christian Claims about Jesus (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) by Susan R. Garrett has received the following awards and recognitions -
Independent Publisher Book Awards - 2009 Gold Medal Winner - Religion category
Citations And Professional Reviews No Ordinary Angel: Celestial Spirits and Christian Claims about Jesus (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) by Susan R. Garrett has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Century - 10/20/2009 page 22
Publishers Weekly - 09/15/2008 page 61
Christian Century - 04/07/2009 page 44
Choice - 06/01/2009
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Studio: Yale University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.4" Width: 6.44" Height: 1.22" Weight: 1.38 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2008
Publisher Yale University Press
Series Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library
ISBN 0300140959 ISBN13 9780300140958
Availability 0 units.
More About Susan R. Garrett
Susan R. Garrett is professor of New Testament, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She is coordinator of the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion.
Susan R. Garrett currently resides in the state of Kentucky. Susan R. Garrett was born in 1958.
Reviews - What do customers think about No Ordinary Angel: Celestial Spirits and Christian Claims about Jesus (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)?
Great writing! Apr 9, 2009
This is a great book. It is far more than a textbook review. Not dry and over informational at all! I will recommend it to all of my friends.
A Scholar who Connects Our Popular Stories of Angels with the Biblical Record Dec 1, 2008
There's hardly a hotter spiritual topic than angels. Ask a group what they think about angels and hands shoot up with a host of things to say about personal hopes, favorite movies and books, beloved images and accounts about holidays, family stories -- on and on. I just did this with a mixed-age group of teens and adults (asking them about the ideas in Susan Garrett's new book) and I know what an energetic discussion arises.
So -- think about this book, first, for your own enjoyment and enlightenment. You'll learn a lot, essentially from a mainline Christian perspective. Susan is professor of New Testament at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (and previously taught at Yale and Emory) so her major focus here is Christian and heavily involves the New Testament. Although angels are far broader than Christianity, she was smart to focus this book in her own area of expertise.
But, then, after you've enjoyed it -- think about using this book for two months of really lively discussion in a small group. Susan writes with authority. She not only knows her stuff; she also knows how to write about it in an engaging style.
What will surprise you is that, when exploring popular themes like "guardian angels" or "the angels of death" or "angelification" (whether we can turn into angels when we die) -- she finds that the 2,000-year record of Christian reflection is usually more complicated than we may have assumed. There's more openness, in other words, than many of us may have guessed.
Her overall theme is that, when we find ourselves drawn toward stories of angels, we're probably wrestling with deep needs in our lives. These may be spiritual needs. We may be encountering death. We may be anxious or hopeful or exploring new vocations in our lives. But, there's probably a link between our interest in angels and what's going on in our lives. It's worth asking these deeper questions about what angels mean to us -- as well as what angels have meant in the biblical and historical record.
That's what makes this such a great book for group study. You'll find a mention somewhere in this book about most of the famous popular culture depictions of angels -- from "It's a Wonderful Life" to "Left Behind" -- but you'll also find wisdom that will touch your life.
Finally, I'm aware that there are enough angel books on the market to stack them up and build a church out of them. I haven't read all of them, but I've looked at a good share of them. Compared with other angel books, this volume is essentially limited to a Christian approach, but it's very solid in what it shares with readers -- and it extends lots of intriguing threads outward. Angels and angelic beings are hugely important in other world religions. So, I can also recommend this book to small groups made up of diverse readers, perhaps in a public library or even in a more deliberately interfaith setting, as a great text to share in a mixed group. Yes, Susan's expertise is Christian. But she raises the right questions and themes and members of other faiths can grab those threads Susan extends and share from their traditions as well.
In short: You'll learn a lot about yourself, a lot about those mysterious realms we all enjoy exploring -- and you'll have fun in this enlightening experience.