By Ellen Muehlberger

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The editors of the text notice the change, but do not suggest any reason for it (ed. Clarke, Dillon, and Hershbell, Iamblichus, 87 n. 120). 3 (ed. Clarke, Dillon, and Hershbell, Iamblichus, 87); for a short note on the history of “archon” in Christian literature, see David Brakke, Demons and the Making of the Monk: Spiritual Combat in Early Christianity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006), 283 n. 8. 25 In this question, angels come before archangels, but in all subsequent discussions in book 2, archangels are closer to gods than angels.

Instead, the triumph of the Christian God, the Word's elevation to full divinity, and the withdrawal of the pagan gods may have opened a huge space for divine mediation, which angels and the saints are both rushing in to fill, from different ends of the gap between heaven and earth. In the fifth chapter, “Ambivalence about the Angelic Life: The Promise and Perils of an Early Christian Discourse of Asceticism,” which considers the identification of the desert ascetics of late antiquity with those described in Luke 20 as “equal to the angels,” I first document this way of talking about ascetics and see how it shaped expectations about the ascetic project.

14)—may be usurped by another, later, “angel” preaching a gospel at odds with Paul’s. His suggestion that an angel may come and preach another gospel calls into question the ability of Christians to discern the moral status of these messengers. Even as Paul attempts to reinforce his influence among his followers with rhetorical figures of angels, those same figures point to the dissolution of authority and entropy of Paul’s message, rather than its stability. Dissolution and entropy lie at the center of early Christian theorizing about angels.

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Angels in the religious imagination of late antiquity by Ellen Muehlberger
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