Milton and the Glenstal angel


Sir, – Are angels really neither male nor female, as Gabrielle Brocklesby argues (Letters, October 11th), in response to “Nude biblical images by Glenstal monk are banned by Facebook” (News, October 8th)?

She references the “school catechism” to assert that “giving them a clear sexual persona is surely bad theology”. But John Milton thought otherwise. In Book X of Paradise Lost, he gives Adam these lines: “O why did God, /Creator wise, that peopled highest heaven/With spirits masculine, create at last/This novelty on earth, this fair defect/Of nature, and not fill the world at once /With men as angels without feminine, /Or find some other way to generate/Mankind?”

This suggests that Milton, that steadfast Puritan, would approve of the Glenstal angel. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.