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Christian Angelology

According to the religion of Christianity and its doctrine, angels are the agents of God. There have been various conjectures about Christian theology and the hierarchies it created of angelic beings. The most vital of these was the Christian angelic hierarchy put out in the world around the 6th century AD. This hierarchy was mentioned by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in his work De Coelesti Hierarchia (On the Celestial Hierarchy). Organized into several orders, Angels are also referred to as “Angelic Choirs.”

Doctrine

The Catechism of the Catholic Church which is also referred to as (CCC) states in paragraph 328 that “the spiritual, non-corporeal beings and their existence that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith.” It is believed God created the angels much before creating the universe or Adam and Eve. They are considered higher beings than all of humanity in Christian hierarchies.

The ‘good’ angels direct us towards a trustworthy source of happiness by making us immensely happy through God. Angels refuse to be worshiped by humans. Instead, they propagate the idea of worshiping God. Good angels are a source of genuine compassion in the world, whereas their evil twins are a source of self-centeredness. While good angels use their knowledge to redirect humankind toward God, Bad Angels utilize their knowledge to shock and amaze.

In total, there are three spheres within angels. These spheres are as follows –

First Sphere

The first sphere of angels is those who see and worship God directly. According to Pseudo-Dionysius, these angels communicate the will of God to angels who are closer to humankind than themselves.

Seraphim

The highest rank in Christian angelology, Seraphim, has been described as a creature that has six wings. These beings fly around the Throne of God crying “holy, holy, holy.” Invoking theology, literature, and art all at once, the throne scene is said to influence all subsequent works depicting angels, heaven, and apotheosis. Seraphim are also referred to as celestial beings in non-canonical texts.

Cherubim

Cherub is the one denoted as having two pairs of wings and four faces: one of a lion (symbolic of all wild animals), one of an ox (domestic animals), a human (humanity), and an eagle (birds). Conventions of the times after that have related several physical appearances to them. Western tradition has ascribed cherubim with Cupid/Eros. In fact, St. Thomas Aquinas visualized Satan as a fallen Cherub.

Thrones

The third highest of the nine levels of angels, Thrones, are creatures used to function as an actual chariot of God. Driven by the Cherub, this chariot is accompanied by the notions of peace and submission. God rests on top of them. Thrones are seen as great wheels containing many eyes. They reside in the dimension of the universe where the material form is beginning to take shape.

Second Sphere

The angels of the Second Sphere are said to be heavenly governors of the creation. They are meant to rule and guide their subjects and the spirits in the right direction.

Dominations or Lordships

Dominations (lat. dominatio, plural dominationes, also translated from the Greek term kyriotētes, pl. of kyriotēs, as “Lordships”) denote the hierarchy of celestial beings or “Lordships.” Meant to regulate the duties of lower angels, these angelic lords are known for never making themselves physically available to humans.

Virtues

The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville denote that the Virtues are celebrated for having control of the elements. They act as the spirits of motion and the assistants needed to govern nature. Additionally, they also assist miracles while encouraging humans to solidify their faith in God.

Powers or Authorities

Power or Authorities are angels who have been blessed to have the power over evil forces. These angles utilize their powers to restrain evil forces from doing any harm.

Third Sphere

Principalities or Rulers

The Principalities refer to the angels that are primarily meant to guide and protect nations, clusters of people, and prominent institutions like the Church. The Principalities facilitate the fulfillment of divine ministry and their orders. Some of these principalities are there to assist, while others are there to administer other angels. Paul used the term rulers and authorities in Ephesians 3:10.

Archangels

The Seven Archangels are celebrated as the guardian angels of nations and countries. They are known for comprehending issues and events, including politics, military matters, commerce, and trade.

It is believed that an additional angel was transformed into an archangel and given the name Metatron. He was then appreciated and bestowed with the position of chief of the archangels. He was also told the secrets of creation, which were kept a secret for many years.

Angels

The regular angels are the lowest of all celestial beings in terms of position and power. Still, they are the most recognized, because of their accessibility to humanity, at least in faith. Regarded to be responsible for the affairs of men and women, these angels are of varied kinds that have been differentiated based on the different functions they perform. These angels have been received as messengers by humanity. Personal guardian angels that look over individual beings come under this class.


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