Pittsburgh native Ed Simon returns to Riverstone to launch his new book, Elysium: A Visual History of Angelology
Ineffable, invisible, inscrutable – angels are enduring creatures across Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and human experiences of the divine as mediated by spiritual emissaries are an aspect of almost every religious tradition. In popular culture, angels are often reduced to the most gauzy, sentimental, and saccharine of images – fat babies with wings and guardians with robes, halos, and harps. By contrast, in scripture whenever one of the heavenly choirs appears before a prophet or patriarch they first declare "Fear not!" for terror would be the most appropriate initial reaction to these otherworldly beings. Angels are often not what we'd expect, but it's precisely in that transcendent encounter that something of the strangeness of existence can be conveyed. Elysium: A Visual History of Angelology is a follow-up volume to Pandemonium: A Visual History of Demonology, and like that earlier title, this book will offer an account of the angelic hierarchies as they've been understood across centuries and cultures, of the individual personages like the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel who have marked the mythology of the West.
Ed Simon is staff writer for literary site The Millions and has contributed his characteristically engaging cultural criticism to almost every major American literary publication, including The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Paris Review Daily, The New Republic, and The Washington Post. With a PhD in English, Simon is an expert on the literature and religion of Renaissance Britain and early America, but he has developed a reputation among editors, critics, and readers for introducing complex subjects in an accessible manner. In fall 2021, Abrams Books released his latest book, Pandemonium: A Visual History of Demonology, which has since become the standard text on the subject for popular readers.
Elysium: A Visual History of Angelology is a gloriously illustrated overview of angels across art, religion, and literature from scholar Ed Simon, writer for The Millions.
Ineffable, invisible, inscrutable—angels are enduring creatures across Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and human experiences of the divine as mediated by spiritual emissaries are a
A compendium celebrating the art of hell and its minions.
Ed Simon’s Pandemonium: The Illustrated History of Demonology presents—for the first time—Satan’s family tree, providing a history and analysis of his fellow fallen angels from Asmodeus to Ziminiar.
Ed Simon tells the story of Pittsburgh through this exploration of its hidden histories--the LA Review of Books calls it an "epic, atomic history of the Steel City."