Thursday, February 3, 2011

first paragraph - revised version

Pico della Mirandola's texts contain some of the most controversial writings on angels of the Renaissance. Because he compares man to angels, suggest imitation of angels, becoming angels, and going beyond the angelic state to union with divine—in a text that also celebrates the philosophical-theological value “magic and Kabbalah”—Pico has been suspected of angel magic. As a result of these suspicions, his philosophical treatment of angels has not received the serious attention that it deserves. His ideas about angels when examined carefully turn out not to be so radical or magical, but rather deeply grounded in his Christian Neoplatonic commitments. Pico drew his angelology from Dionysius the Areopagite and Thomas Aquinas, whom he referred to as “the glory of our theology.” He was working with problems he inherited from these authorities concerning the relation between angels and humans and angelic knowledge.

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