Angels Fear: Towards an Epistemology of the Sacred


Father and daughter explore the ecological and cybernetic qualities of living systems, the sacred as an emergent property of complex relationships, and "a view of mind and the universe that is neither mechanistic nor supernatural."

Publisher summary

Angels fear is the final sustained thinking of the great Gregory Bateson, written in collaboration with his anthropologist daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson. 

Here we have set out before us Bateson's natural history of the relationship between ideas. Gregory Bateson, one of the most influential and original thinkers of the 20th century, spent his life (he died in 1980 before completing this book) exploring the nature of mental process and its connection with the biological world. His search to find "the pattern which connects all living things" culminated in the writing he did for Angels fear.

The book incorporates writing by both father and daughter, including essays written by Gregory in the last years before his death.


Gregory Bateson
Mary Catherine Bateson