Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review of Stuckenbruck, The Myth of the Rebellious Angels

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: The Scope and Shape of the Watchers Myth in Antiquity (Daniel Machiela). Review of Loren T. Stuckenbruck, The Myth of the Rebellious Angels: Studies in Second Temple Judaism and New Testament Texts. WUNT 335. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014.
In this volume of collected articles—most of them published previously in a variety of scholarly venues, though updated here—Loren Stuckenbruck of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, takes the reader on a detailed exploration of the birth and early history of this legend as attested in ancient Judaism and earliest Christianity. There are few, if any, as capable of guiding this tour, and though these individual studies were not originally intended to be read as part of a comprehensive account, readers of this book will come away with a rich understanding of the myth of the fallen, rebellious angels and their offspring as understood in ancient Judaism and Christianity. They will also gain an appreciation of the breadth and scholarly acumen of Stuckenbruck’s work on this topic, which is truly remarkable. In this review, I aim to introduce readers to texts and traditions associated with the myth of the rebellious angels, touching on current scholarly discussions around them.
The publication of the book was noted here, paperback here. A related, more recent book co-edited by Professor Stuckenbruck was noted here. Earlier essays in the AJR series on the Dead Sea Scrolls (in honor of the 70th anniversary of their discovery) are noted here and links.