Angels: Visible and Invisible

Alexander Larman at The Guardian:

In our increasingly secular age, it comes as a shock to discover that one in three people believe in the existence of angels. This is attributed more to the egocentric idea that we have a “guardian angel” watching over us, ready to intervene in our ill fortune, rather than any wider appreciation of angelology.

Peter Stanford’s thorough and engaging study recognises the way in which popular culture – from Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North sculpture to the messengers in the films It’s a Wonderful Life and Wings of Desire – portrays angels as present within our own lives. This may be because they are possessed of a secular accessibility that makes them easier to believe in than other supernatural beings. As Stanford acknowledges, when Robbie Williams sang “I’m loving angels instead” on his 1997 hit Angels, he was not doing so in the context of religious belief, but in the universally applicable form of a love song.

more here.