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Title: Wrestling with angels : a study of the relationship between angels and humans in late Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity
Author: Sullivan, Kevin P.
ISNI:       0000 0001 1495 9579
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2002
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Much of the extant literature from the kte Second Temple and early Christian periods (200BCE 100CE) contains material about angels. This dissertation is an investigation into the understanding during this period of the relationship between angels and humans. It serves two purposes: (1) it contributes to our understanding of ideas about angels in this period by surveying all of the available evidence and considering evidence that has not previously been studied in detail, and (2) it concludes, contrary to recent studies by Fletcher- Louis and Gieschen, that a clear distinction was maintained between angels and humans, despite occasions when this gap is bridged and humans do become angels. The first chapter introduces the subject, surveys previous research showing the need for the present study and sets out the historical context of the literature to be examined. After these preliminary considerations, the evidence for the distinction between angels and humans is examined in two parts: Part one consists of two chapters that investigate the issue of the similarity of appearance between humans and angels. Chapter two examines the evidence for the portrayal of angels as human beings; conversely, chapter three examines the evidence for the portrayal of humans being as angels. Part two consists of three chapters that investigate the portrayal of close contact between humans and angels. Chapter four examines texts that describe humans and angels living together in communities. Chapter five considers texts that portray angels as recipients of human hospitality, including the issue of whether or not angels ate food. Chapter six considers the human-angel hybrid offspring of Genesis 6 and its interpretations. The final chapter summarises the conclusions that are drawn from the evidence and outlines their implications for current scholarship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Appearance