Monday, November 14, 2005

A Discussion About Angels

From Warren H. Lewis's personal diary:

Up shortly before seven this morning and to early Communion with Jack...In church I managed to concentrate fairly well, and I hope with some useful results. At eleven o'clock service Thomas preached an excellent sermon on angels, clear, sensible, and with a touch or two of quiet humour. He began with the tepidity, or even absence of our belief in the angels, attributing it to the fact that many people confused them with the faeries in which they definitely disbelieved: mentioned in parenthesis that winged angels are only twice mentioned in the Bible: pointed out that the existence of angels was an integral part of theBible story: pleaded for a livelier interest in an element of religion, without which it would be duller and more common place ("and we too, if we were not so already"): and wound up with a rather beautiful suggestion of the hint which the winds give of angels going about the world on man's behalf. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I had some interesting talk with Jack on this subject when we got back to the study--the angels according to St. Denys, the different Gospel accounts of their appearance, angels in Art etc. Jack had always as a child thought of the angels as women--I had always thought of them as men, in chain armour with shield and sword--Maureen had always thought of them as "men and women but that there were far more women angels than men ones". Which Jack said "was not only erroneous but impudent".
~Warren H. Lewis, Brothers and Friends: The Diaries of Major Warren Hamilton Lewis, entry of September 30, 1934

3 Comment(s):

At Mon Nov 14, 08:14:00 AM EST, Blogger Bob said...

I'm not sure I grasp why Maureen's inclination was "impudent". Anyone else have any ideas?

At Mon Nov 14, 07:55:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

It sounds like a humorous comment from Jack. If she thinks there are many more women angels than men angels, was she implying that women are more angelic?

At Tue Nov 15, 02:13:00 AM EST, Blogger MrKimi said...

I recall seeing pictures of winged human forms, looking just like everyone's idea of an angel, on Etruscan tombs in Italy (Etruscans preceeded the Romans). So I think our usual angel picture is derived from those, and it was picked up by Italian artists. It doesn't mean the picture is wrong. Possibly angels look like whatever they want anyway. In at least some appearences they are mistaken for humans at first (psst, hide the wings...)

Most of my ideas about angels are derived from Lewis' 'Out of the Silent Planet' trilogy now that I think about it.


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