Tome XXV-2 – Inventer les anges de l’Antiquité à Byzance
The present volume takes place within the long-established and well-trodden path of angelology. Angels are inexhaustible, so we have not sought to produce a “Summa theologica” about them. Our aim is to propose a journey across the centuries from Antiquity to Byzantium in order to capture the moment when the multifaceted figure of the angel emerges and asserts itself. The idea and representation of the angel is anything but straightforward. In addition to the duo associating “conception” and “representation”, we thought interesting to stress this third term: “perception.” One cannot be solely rational in the exegesis of thoughts or images when approaching the angelic phenomenon. Other more flexible, more imaginative cognitive paths open up thanks to the attention paid to a reality rich in nuances and meanings. It is indeed an invention in the full sense of the term. The angel cannot be explained only by syncretism. It is not enough to retrace in texts, monuments, and iconography, the ways in which the biblical angels— in the Old and New Testament—, would have melted into their counterparts from Graeco-Roman culture and other civilizations around the Mediterranean, producing so to speak a kind of kaleidoscopic creature, a daimon with wings tinged with Judaism, Gnosis and Manichaeism, fascinated for Neoplatonism, or, yielding to exotic temptations, even venturing into Mazdeism and beyond. The Christian angel is a hybrid; but he acquires a unique personality, whose strength is measured by his posterity.
- édité par Delphine Lauritzen
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