Angels: The Tie That Binds Modern Spirituality in the United States
Religion is a unique humanity’s phenomenon, which actually regulates culture by moral standards. Nobody would deny that various religions treat the same issue in different ways. The following research paper is going to describe a phenomenon of angels. It is a symbol which has a lot of associations with a spiritual world. Moreover, it should be noted that all major religions believe in angels’ existence. The image of angel can be named differently in various religions, but its essence is the same. In consequence, it means that all religions probably have a similar background. The following research paper will compare the role of angels in various religions. In contrast, each religion still regards an angel from its specific point of view. Thus, this research paper will also contrast phenomenon of angels between three major religions: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism (Fieser, Powers, 23). In addition, it should be admitted that even people who do not belong to any religious confession may believe in angels. Hence, it is evident that this aspect has a strong influence on culture of all nations.
It is also important to mention that angels are not only a religious image. Angel is a particular rank in a spiritual hierarchy (Burkert, 81). Consequently, it gives grounds for identification relations between angels and messiah in each religion. To be more exact, similarity or difference of these relations in every religion will make it possible to make more certain predictions about universal character of religion as a human phenomenon. In other words, it will become possible to claim whether all religions have the same roots or not. Speaking about a methodology of the following research paper, it is to be said that it is focused on the comparison and contrast of three major religions. In addition, this research paper is going to apply further outcomes to the modern understanding of angel phenomenon: how an ordinary American believes in angels even though this individual is not particularly devoted to any religion.
It is hard to argue that a word “angel” nowadays is associated with kindness, beauty, and spirituality. In fact, most of the religions believe in the existence of angels or creatures which are actually similar to them. It is to be mentioned that every single religion still considers angels in accordance with its basic teachings and principles. First things first, that is why it is necessary to overview a general concept of angel. As most of the religions claim, an angel is a winged creature which is at God’s service. God sends angels to the earth in order to guide and help people in trouble. Many evidences of angels’ existence are told as a spiritual intervention: an individual was facing a certain death, but at the last moment called for God’s help. As a result, an individual was unexpectedly saved. In fact, it is to be noted that angels come for help only when they are called to do so even though a person has never believed in them before (Graham, 3-7). It is possible to say that angels are generally regarded as God’s representatives on the Earth.
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Further, angels are known as winged human-like creatures of an extraordinary beauty. It should be noted that angels are not divided into male and female genders. However, they appear to people in the image of an opposite sex. What is more, there is an argument whether angels are visible. In some cases, witnesses claim that they were invisible, but it was a definite feeling of some spiritual presence. In contrast, a lot of stories are told about angels physically appearing to people and even speaking to them. Furthermore, there are a lot of versions concerning angels’ relation to UFO’s, space explorations, and other events which can be connected to spiritual worlds. In addition, a modern society tries to describe spiritual phenomena from a scientific point of view. As a result, a wide range of occult teachings have appeared. Angels are quite common topic of religion-related discussion. A lot of witnesses are reported to be in a certain contact with angels, or to see them acting in the human world. Hence, many people got convinced in the existence of angels even though they do not refer this phenomenon to any religion.
Comparison and Contrast
As a general description of an angel has been given, it is necessary to compare and contrast specific peculiarities of angels in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. It should be mentioned that in various religions, angels can have different names but still represent the same spiritual power. To begin with, the role of angels in Christianity is to be described. It is commonly accepted that a Christian angel is a “student” of God, and an angel represents a will of God on the Earth. Angels are invisibly following people and guiding them to do only good deals. The Holy Bible claims that God loves angels as He loves people, and that is why angels send the love of God to the people.
In contrast, a Christian angel is still a representative of God on the Earth. It is impossible to deny that Christian God punishes people, as well. That is why a Christian angel may come to an individual with opposite intentions (Beavis, “Angels Carrying Savage Weapons”: Uses of the Bible in Contemporary Horror Films). However, angels are opposed to evil powers. Angels are citizens of the Paradise while a devil lives in the bottom of the Hell. Taking all these points into consideration, it is possible to say that in Christianity angels are regarded as a symbol of fair judgment even though they are still adequately associated with missionaries of God’s kindness in the human world.
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Speaking about angel phenomenon in Islam, it is to be said that it is very close to the Christian understanding of angels although Islam is a total contradiction to Christianity. Angels are messengers of God, the channels by which people become aware of Him (Maqsood, 30). Muslims strongly believe that angels are in constant invisible contact with people. According to Muslims, angels appear only in rare occasions, and people who are able to see them have a special power. Taking the last point into consideration, it is necessary to contrast that angels are out of human understanding while Christianity implies advice to follow angels as guides to the divine knowledge. In Islam, angels are just messengers, they guide people, but they do not share their knowledge about God.
A Jewish vision of angels actually is the same as in two previous religions. Talmud also witnesses that angels are the connection between people and Heaven, and they intrude into life of people in order to aim them at the Law of God. Nevertheless, Jewish angels appear to people to tell some spiritual message or even give an order. In other words, Jewish angels are not advisers; they are executives of God’s will. What is more, angles in Judaism are not only servants of God. They also are messengers of Satan: in this case, angels speak with God on behalf of the evil, as well (Jung, 46-48). Thus, it is possible to say that Jewish angels are nearly neutral to both sides of the spiritual world. In fact, it is the most drastic difference in comparison to Christianity and Islam.
All in all, it is necessary to draw a certain conclusion concerning the given comparison and contrast. The phenomenon of an angel is compared and contrasted in three major world religions: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. As a result, comparison and contrast witness that in all three religions, angels are regarded as representatives of God. Moreover, angels help people in trouble and guide them in a daily routine life. Therefore, it is possible to say that angels directly influence human world. Taking into account a spread of occultism and spiritual sciences, any inexplicable event or phenomenon can be shown as an evidence of angels’ intervention. In the following, it means that many people pick up this idea as a scientifically grounded explanation. That is why there are a lot of Americans who believe in existence of angels but do not believe particularly in God.
Taking into consideration differences between angels of three confessions, it is to be outlined that Christian angels are considered as a symbol of God’s fair judgment, but in Islam, they are messengers which people incapable to understand. The most specific feature belongs to Jewish angels who are actually neutral to God and Satan, and are considered as a connection between them. Nevertheless, Talmud describes angels as executives of God’s will: angels come to people and tell them what a certain character is supposed to do.
Finally, it is necessary to say that results of comparison and contrast admit that a certain commonness of at least these three religions is obviously seen. That is why it is necessary to suggest a further research in the direction of identification possible roots of an angel phenomenon in world religion. Despite that fact, it is more historical issue, and it will help to outline several predictions of generalization a religion as a universal phenomenon. Nevertheless, it is also important to mind identified differences of three confessions. In fact, it just explains that a single religion was spread around the world and, likewise language, underwent certain changes.
Angels: Rising Assurance that We Are Not Alone by Billy Graham
The book by Billy Graham tells about a phenomenon of angels in contemporary tendencies of society development. It actually reflects not only the Christian point of view but other evidences of angels’ existence, which cannot be applied to any particular religious confession. The book gives a detailed description of angels from the viewpoints of different aspects. Nevertheless, the main argument of the author is a problem of evil and violence popularity in modern society’s culture. The author claims that people stopped looking at the world from its positive side, and evil cruelty is cultivated. In order to remind people how to see a divine close to them, the author describes angels as ambassadors from Heaven.
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This book gave and proved a general understanding of angels, which was necessary for the further specification of angels in perspective of each of three world religions. In other words, this book helped to prepare a good basis for a specified discussion of the topic. In contrast, it is necessary to note that the book has quite biased opinion about the outlined argument. As it was mentioned before, the author considers the problem of evil and violence cultivation as a serious one. In fact, the author finds cases of violence and Satanism in subjects which actually have nothing to do with it. These prejudices are also intensified by openly Christian views of the author. As a result, some issues are judged very subjectively, and it influences the understanding of an angel concept. All in all, it is to be concluded that this book assures validity of only general information about angels. Specification of the book’s topic is strongly subjective that is why it is not recommended to be used as a source for a scholar research.
Islam by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood
The book by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood describes Islam from a general cultural point of view. It covers all primary basics of Islam with no respect to any other religion. The book tells about the key concepts of Islam and customs or rituals related to them. In fact, the book has a generalized cognitive purpose: it is aimed at a wide circle of readers. The main argument of the author is to prove that Islam is not an aggressive world religion, and it has its own moral basis, which is misunderstood due to bad publicity. By giving a clarified description of Islam’s basic principles, the author tries to convince the reader that Islam is against violence.
Actually, the book is written very subjectively. It introduces just verified facts without specific deviations or going into details. In other words, the book tells nothing of secondary importance. That is why it is very helpful for those who need specified and relevant information about Islam: the book contains systematized and clear chapters which present separate features of this confession. In contrast, it is to be mentioned that this book lacks additional materials, which reveal the history of Islam, different teachings in the inside of it, and approaches of studying it. In consequence, it will be impossible to use this book as a source for some analytical discourse of Islam.
Finally, this book helped to identify the understanding of angels in reference to Islam. The book concretely outlines several distinctive peculiarities so that one of them was not even paraphrased because of an accurate description. It is also necessary to admit that this book can be used for a comparison Islam to Christianity. As it was said previously, the aim of the author is to convince the reader that Islam is a normal religious confession, just like any other world religions. That is why it is written in a language which is understandable for a Christian, or, in a broad extent, for a western reader.
“Angels Carrying Savage Weapons”: Uses of the Bible in Contemporary Horror Films by Mary Ann Beavis
Nowadays, the Holy Bible is known to be used as a source for modern horror films. This article tries to summarize current evidences of Biblical references in horror movies. It identifies, classifies, and analyzes a set of references in horror films in last twenty five years. In fact, the article reviews cases of Bible regarded as a divine book, a misunderstood source which causes an evil, a basis for an apocalyptic storyline, a false teaching, and the creation of invalid apocrypha. Besides, the author attempts to prove that The Holy Bible keeps influencing culture even today.
In comparison to the other sources, this article does not have a primary relation to the topic of the research paper, but it contains a fragment which is important to be mentioned in the conducted research. Nevertheless, the article covers an interesting topic and, furthermore, makes an attempt to link religion with a modern life. It is to be noted that this issue is quite strong nowadays. In contrast, this article does not contribute much to the study of religion as a phenomenon. In fact, the article provides examples of movies which use this or that quotation from Bible. Hence, it means that none of primarily-related religion research was conducted.
In this research paper, the article is referred to the fact that Christian angels do not just represent God’s will on the Earth. This article also claims that angels are a symbol of fair judgment. Angels are described as executives of a divine punishment, as well. Even though this article is not primarily related to the topic, it contributed to research by adding important information. In such a way, the understanding of Christian concept of angels became more detailed. However, this article does not imply any further usage, and it is not sufficient for a strong discussion of the topic. That is why it should be referred to as additional support in leading a discussion about the topic.
Fallen Angels In Jewish, Christian and Mohammedan Literature by Leo Jung
The article tells about the role of fallen angels in different divine texts. It describes occasions which can be dubiously understood or obviously “support” the idea of a falling angel. It is to be noted that this article does not cover any of heretic teachings. To be more exact, this article just describes facts about fallen angels in different world religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. In fact, the main argument of the author is to prove that any religion has its own exclusions, which actually mean a certain moral system. In other words, all characters in divine texts are under the influence of certain moral codes, violation of which can be severely punished.
It is important to say that the article is not willing to argue the whole concept of a particular religion. In fact, it just puts an emphasis on specific cases which actually prove the validity of a certain moral system, which the religion suggests. In contrast, this article cannot be used in a broad sense of the research paper’s topic. This article also describes one side of the issue which the other articles do not consider as a constituent one. In addition, it is to be said that the article just enumerates several cases, but it does not somehow connects them or tries to generalize. That is why this article is recommended to be used for a very specific discussion. All in all, the article helped to convey the most drastic peculiarity of Jewish angels. They are not primarily servants of God because they also help Satan to communicate with God. There is no doubt that it is very specific information, but it makes clear that in comparison to Christianity and Islam, Judaism stays separately in this aspect. Finally, it is to be concluded that this article is helpful only in a specific necessity to ground a related argumentation.
The fourth chapter from Creation of the Sacred”by Walter Burkert describes a principle of a hierarchy in any religion. In fact, it also gives an explanation why an individual should pray and tells about general hierarchical relations in religion. This chapter additionally explains general principles according to which a spiritual power influences an individual. Taking into account the specific case of reference to this chapter, it is to be said that it was used for a proof that an angel is not only a spiritual creature, but a particular divine rank, as well. It should be noted that the same chapter could be used for a similar research of other spiritual characters. All in all, this chapter helped to outline one of the reasons for choice this very topic. In addition, it is to be said that this chapter, as well as the entire book, is applicable to any religious confession.
The first chapter of Scriptures of the World’s Religions by James Fieser and John Powers simply outlines general features of all major world religions. It actually grounds their “right” to be the most widespread ones and gives terms for a further specified discussion of them. In fact, this chapter fits the Research Proposal in the best way. First of all, it additionally proves significance of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. What is more, the reference to this chapter gives terms for the further research conducted. In fact, it should be admitted that the chapter contain very obvious and general information which is commonly known to everyone. Nevertheless, the terms of the Research Proposal have to be academically approved. To sum up, it is to be concluded that this chapter has a mediocre significance and is capable of usage as a source for an introduction to more specified issues.