Appeared in Spring/Summer 1995, Vol. XXI, Nos. 1, 2

In several of his works, Thomas Aquinas formulates some fascinating philosophical arguments for the existence of finite, purely spiritual beings, incisively exploring their essential characteristics as well. These creatures are named “separate substances,” because by definition they are devoid of material composition. More commonly they are called “angels,” a term of Greek etymology meaning “messengers” – by denomination from their relationship to mankind as narrated in the Bible. Since the actual reality of angels is an important article of orthodox Judeo- Christian faith (and a religious tenet of other belief systems, too), it would be desirable to provide a convincing defense of their existence and to work out a reasoned exposition of their nature.

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