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What does scripture, theology, and experience teach us about angels and demons? Are they real or just the product of religious fantasy, superstition, and folklore?
Join Dominican scholar and leading expert Professor Woods through a fascinating and scholarly series on the origins of belief in good and bad angels and demons in the biblical tradition and other sources. You will find this course captivating and enlightening.
What are angels and demons? Do they really exist? Or are they emblems of some more obscure aspect of the universe? What, or who, is the devil? Why does he have so many names - Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, and so on? Do Christians have to believe in angels and the devil? How much of it is considered to be divine revelation? How many people in fact believe in angels and demons?
Can people have real experiences of angels and demons? And, perhaps most urgently for people who tend to stay awake at night wondering about such things, how could an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving God allow things to go so wrong in the first place? What possible role does all this have in our understanding of God, creation, and redemption?
Now you can explore these questions and more while exploring their religious, theological, and spiritual significance.
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Much More than Just Another Analysis of Aquinas
AT A GLANCE:
As Peter Kreeft often says, "there are no experts on angels."
This is a fascinating overview of the study of angels. It is largely focused on sources, both written and traditional, and how they have been re-interpreted through the centuries. The view of Aquinas (the "Angelic Doctor"), for example, is contrasted with earlier Jewish mysticism over points of form and matter, hierarchies of powers, etc. There is a good deal of frank discussion on how conjecture and pious legends have developed teachings in this area, and how very few of these doctrines are binding on Catholic belief today. The author shifts between formal church tradition and academic historical criticism with startling regularity, which serve to balance one another for the better and provide a more comprehensive view.
Fr. Woods is a competent if slightly monotone narrator. He conveys the information well and only rarely trips up or mispronounces words; however, the tone is dry and not as engaging as one would hope based on the subject matter. It sounded as though he was reading from an essay, with every idea carefully worded and qualified. Though the narration is adequate, this type of structure may be better suited to a book.
Recommended for those interested in the historically-evolving perspectives on divine messengers and otherworldly beings, especially if one is already familiar with the Catholic views and biases on the subject.
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