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Boys Playing Angels


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Hi everyone


We're coming to the end of the Christmas season and it caused me to think about something .. In the Christmas pageants put on in church the angels are always played by girls. I attend a progressive church and the shepherds and wise men are usually mixed both girls and boys. The angels are always played by girls, even in my open and affirming church. I see angels as mythological beings but I find the role of gender assignment in mythology interesting.


Has anyone who attends church noticed this or seen boys playing angels in nativity pageants?






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Hi, MOW. Interesting observation about the gender of angels.


The church I attend doesn't do Christmas pageants (maybe because the mean age of the congregation seems to be about 65!). So no comment on Christmas pageants per se. But the history of angelology in Christianity is fascinating. A really good systematic study of the history of angels is Gustav Davidson's A Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels (New York: The Free Press, 1967). It covers angels from the annals of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and a whole lot of other religions, past and present.


Historically, most angels were considered either genderless or male. But there's the occasional female angel in the list.


I've noticed that in recent years there's been a lot of artwork with beautiful, golden-haired, female angels, often accompanied by mythical creatures -- unicorns, fairies, gnomes, and clouds and clouds of butterflies. Lots of pretty, fluttery butterflies.


Maybe this is meant to make us think that God is kinda spineless?

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