Art: The Glory of the Lord Shone Round About Them

WHETHER God is dead or not, his angels seem to be. The angel in 1970 is mere commercial décor—a mothlike doll with pink wings and a smirk of good cheer, dangling amid the glitter balls on a thousand plastic Yule trees or twanging its polystyrene harp in the window of a Brooklyn store. In fact, Christmas is about the only area of our culture in which angels survive at all. An archangel, Gabriel, told the Virgin Mary that she would bear the son of God; it was an angel (progenitor of a billion...

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