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Articles - CfP Topic

Vol. 8 No. 1 (2022): The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Theoretical and Methodological Challenges in Media Ethics and Religion

Angels as Interpretive Figures: Interdisciplinary Aspects of a New Angelology

January 18, 2022


This article treats Angelology (or Angeletics) as a series of theories about angels. Angeletics applies a communication theory approach to its subject of study. It underlines the elements “message” (content) and “messengers” (media) and suggests evaluating the message (whether positive or negative) and developing mutual responsibility between communicants.

The classical theory of angels follows a theological approach and is based not only on biblical and qur’anic narratives but also uses systematic reflections and philosophical speculations. Modern literature rather avoids the idea of angel figures; nevertheless it describes existential situations in which a “heavenly” message is received. For centuries, the fine arts have depicted angels in biblical scenes not only in an illustrative but also in a more abstract, even critical, way. Ultimately, angels can be seen as an invitation to develop human virtues, especially those needed in a world full of pain.