Belief in the importance of angels was as widespread and intense in the early modern era as it had been in the middle ages. This volume is the first to consider how ideas about the nature, existence and activities of angels negotiated the religious, intellectual and cultural upheavals of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The contributors explore the fate and fortunes of these heavenly protectors and messengers against the backdrop of the Renaissance and Reformation and in the context of scientific change. Ranging from the British Isles and continental Europe to New England and Latin America, they consider how angels were implicated in the processes of Protestant and Catholic renewal, their relationship with witchcraft and magic, and their representation in literature and art. Based on original research, the essays offer genuinely fresh insight into the moments and movements that defined the early modern world.
Alexandra Walsham is Professor of Reformation History at the University of Exeter. Her previous publications include Providence in Early Modern England (1999) and Charitable Hatred: Tolerance and Intolerance in England 1500-1700 (2006).
Peter Marshall has gained national recognition as a preacher and teacher on Christian maturity. A graduate of Yale University and Princeton Theological Seminary, he formerly served as pastor of the East Dennis Community Church on Cape Cod. He is the coauthor of The Light and the Glory, Mercy Clifton, and Nate Donovan.
"The essays in this volume are cogent and painstakingly researched. They explore aspects of the early modern period that have not been widely examined...This volume will without a doubt appeal to scholars of early modern religious and cultural history a well as those of art history and literary studies." --Richard F. Johnson, Harper College: The Catholic Historical Review "Rarely does a collection of essays hold together so tightly as this one, which is likely to inspire a spate of studies of angels in the early modern world." Laura Smoller, Renaissance Quarterly "...co-editors Peter Marshall and Alexandra Walsham provide a helpful overview of the place of angels in Christian history." -Timothy Masch, H-German