Theology: A Who's Who of Heaven & Hell

Need spiritual help in stealing a woman's garter? Try a prayerful summons to the angel Baltazard, who, according to the Jewish cabala, has a special gift for such pranks. In case he fails, other spirits might help—perhaps Vassago, an angel with unique ability to ferret out a lady's secrets.

According to medieval Jewish scholars, there are 301,655,722 angels—the bodiless spirits who stand midway in the chain of being between God and man. In A Dictionary of Angels (Free Press; $15), Poet-Anthologist Gustav Davidson, 72, has put together a wacky and wonderful compendium of angelic lore, including brief biographies of 3,406...

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