Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Church Fathers on Angelology

The Angels & Their Mission by Jean Danielou

Kansas Dad encouraged me to choose this book in honor of his own field as Cardinal Danielou was a celebrated theologian of Patristics, the Church Fathers, an area near and dear to Kansas Dad's own heart.

Cardinal Danielou examines the writings of the Church Fathers and the early Tradition of the Church. He seamlessly blends a multitude of quotations from a variety of sources. The responsibilities and actions of the angels are carefully described in relation to the Law, World Religion, the Nativity, the Ascension, the Church, the Sacraments, as Guardian Angels, the Spiritual Life, Death and the Second Coming. It is indeed a thorough presentation! I was hoping just to learn a bit about Guardian angels, so I could be sure to properly describe them to First Son. I have learned that and a great deal more. It's a shame we don't talk about angels nearly as much as the Church Fathers did. They interact greatly with humanity. Imagine an angel beside you every time you pray!

This is not a book of fluff. It is one Kansas Dad could easily read, but I think someone without a theology background can also enjoy this book and glean much from it with a some extra effort. I was a little overwhelmed by the extensive quoting and referencing of the Fathers, mostly because, as I was out of my element, I could not easily discern if the references were valid. Though it does not carry an imprimatur, Kansas Dad assures me Cardinal Danielou's work is orthodox. I found it easier to relax and enjoy the book once I knew his conclusions could be trusted. (I know for a fact there are people who do not believe everything Kansas Dad has to say on the subject of theology, but I do.)

This review was written as part of The Catholic Company product reviewer program. I have not received any payment for this review, but I did receive a free copy of the book The Angels & Their Mission. Learn more about joining the reviewer program here.

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