Emanuel Swedenborg

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a prolific eighteenth century inventor, scientist, philosopher and mystic, theological speculator, and forerunner to modern spiritualism. Swedenborg was born in Stockholm, Sweden, the son of a clergyman and professor of theology, Jesper Swedberg.

"After studies at the University of Uppsala, where he concentrated on mathematics and astronomy, Swedenborg traveled for 5 years throughout Europe (1710-1714). After a 2-year period in which he engaged in scientific journalism, Swedenborg became assessor at the Royal College of Mines in 1716. For the next 30 years, Swedenborg's main work was concentrated in the Swedish metal-mining industry. His engineering skill earned him a wide reputation. From 1747 onward, he devoted most of his time to the acquisition of knowledge through traveling and observation and to the elaboration and publication of scientific and theological theories."^ [1]^

In 1745, Emanuel Swedenborg had a life changing experience - the Lord appeared to him and told him that a person was needed to serve as the means by which God would further reveal Himself to humanity, in a similar manner to the prophets in the Holy Bible. This vision began Swedenborg's life as a spiritual revelator for the expressed purpose of writing doctrines that would belong to the New Jerusalem, or the New Christian Church mentioned in the Book of Revelation." ^[2]^

"Although not a theologian in the strict sense, he was an outstanding philosopher or theological speculator. He rejected the traditional Christian teaching of the Trinity . . . Swedenborg's theory of redemption rejected any notion that Jesus Christ was in himself a divine person, but it held that the inmost soul of Jesus was divine. This divine soul had taken on a human form from Mary, and Jesus' human nature had been glorified by his exemplary life. By resisting all the temptations and ills of the powers of darkness, Jesus had opened a way for divine life to flow into all mankind. Man had become free to know truth and to be able to obey its dictates. Human salvation lay in this knowledge and obedience."^ [3]^

Summary of his writings

Swedenborg originally wrote in Latin, so that a list of his books may vary. The following list is from the Swedenborg Foundation called the American Standard Edition:

  • Apocalypse Explained (volumes 1-6)
  • Apocalypse Revealed (volumes 1-2)
  • Arcana Coelestia (volumes 1-12)
  • True Christian Religion (volumes 1-2)
  • Conjugial Love
  • Divine Love and Wisdom
  • Divine Providence
  • Four Doctrines with the Nine Questions
  • Heaven and Hell
  • Miscellaneous Theological Works
  • Posthumous Theological Works (volumes 1-2)
  • Spiritual Diary (volumes 1-5)

Notes

  1. ? Emanuel Swedenborg from Encyclopedia of World Biography, Gale Group: Thomson Corporation (2005-2006).
  2. ? See Swedenborg's book the True Christian Religion, n.779.
  3. ? Op. cit., Encyclopedia of World Biography.