Editors : Sara Kuehn, Stefan Leder and Hans-Peter Pökel.
This volume brings together fifteen new perspectives on the angel in primarily Islamic contexts. These contributions examine the origin, evolution, visual representation, and conceptual elaboration of this vital class of beings that bridges the gap between divine and human realms. A detailed foreword introduces the history of research on this topic and maps out the key contemporary debates. Individual contributions shed light on Hellenistic and ancient Near and Middle Eastern precursors of the angel figure, as well as on Jewish and Christian traditions that can be recognised in the Islamic doctrine of angels. Islamic discourses on the nature, meaning, and types of angels are examined in their specific contexts, and pictured narratives and other elements of visual culture are considered in relation to the textual representation of these entities. The Intermediate World of Angels thus offers a nuanced and varied picture of the angel and provides new insights into the defining characteristics of this class of being and the pivotal role played by the figure of the angel in religious and cultural history.