Emanuel Swedenborg

Emanuel Swedenborg
Emanuel Swedenborg.PNG
Portrait of Swedenborg by Carl Frederik von Breda
Born
Emanuel Swedberg

(1688-02-08)8 February 1688
Died29 March 1772(1772-03-29) (aged 84)
EducationUppsala University
Occupation
Notable work
Theological work
Era18th-century
Tradition or movementLutheranism; inspired the New Church
Main interests
Notable ideas

Emanuel Swedenborg (/ˈswdənbɔːrɡ/,[1] Swedish: [ˈsvêːdɛnˌbɔrj] (About this soundlisten); born Emanuel Swedberg; 8 February [O.S. 29 January] 1688 – 29 March 1772)[2] was a Swedish pluralistic-Christian theologian, scientist, philosopher and mystic.[3] He became best known for his book on the afterlife, Heaven and Hell (1758).[4][5]

Swedenborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. In 1741, at 53, he entered into a spiritual phase in which he began to experience dreams and visions, notably on Easter Weekend, on 6 April[6] 1744.[7] His experiences culminated in a "spiritual awakening" in which he received a revelation that Jesus Christ had appointed him to write The Heavenly Doctrine to reform Christianity.[8] According to The Heavenly Doctrine, the Lord had opened Swedenborg's spiritual eyes so that from then on, he could freely visit heaven and hell to converse with angels, demons and other spirits and the Last Judgment had already occurred the year before the 1758 publication of De Nova Hierosolyma et Ejus Doctrina Coelesti [Concerning the new Jerusalem and its heavenly doctrine], in 1757.[9]

Over the last 28 years of his life, Swedenborg wrote 18 published theological works—and several more that remained unpublished. He termed himself a "Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ" in True Christian Religion,[10] which he published himself.[11] Some followers of The Heavenly Doctrine believe that of his theological works, only those that were published by Swedenborg himself are fully divinely inspired.[12] Others have regarded all Swedenborg's theological works as equally inspired, saying for example that the fact that some works were "not written out in a final edited form for publication does not make a single statement less trustworthy than the statements in any of the other works".[13] The New Church, a new religious movement originally founded in 1787 and comprising several historically-related Christian denominations, reveres Swedenborg's writings as revelation.[14][15]

  1. ^ "Swedenborg". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference enc1911 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Cooper, Glen M. (2014). Swedenborg, Emanuel. Encyclopædia Britannica. Bibcode:2014bea..book.2110C. Retrieved 9 September 2011. and the Encyclopedia of Religion (1987), which starts its article with the description that he was a "Swedish scientist and mystic". Others have not used the term[which?] such as Williams-Hogan, Jane (2005) in Encyclopedia of Religion Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Swedenborg, E. Heaven and its Wonders and Hell. From Things Heard and Seen (Swedenborg Foundation, 1946)". Swedenborgdigitallibrary.org. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  5. ^ Bergquist, Preface (pp. 15–16)
  6. ^ Compare: Easter Sunday 1744 = Wednesday, March 25, 1744 (Gregorian calendar)
  7. ^ Vardy, Peter; Vardy, Charlotte (2013). God Matters (reprint ed.). London: SCM Press. p. 163. ISBN 9780334043928. Retrieved 23 January 2021. Emanuel Swedenborg [...] entered into a spiritual phase of life at the age of 53 in 1741. He had a series of dreams and visions, culminating in an 'awakening' at Easter 1744, after which Swedenborg felt that he was free to visit heaven and hell and to talk with spirits, angels and demons.
  8. ^ See Swedenborg, E. The Heavenly Doctrine
  9. ^ Swedenborg, E. The Last Judgment and Babylon Destroyed. All the Predictions in the Apocalypse are at This Day Fulfilled. (Swedenborg Foundation 1952, Paragraphs 1–74) Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  10. ^ "The True Christian Religion, Containing the Universal Theology of The New Church Foretold by the Lord in Daniel 7; 13, 14; and in Revelation 21; 1, 2, by Emanuel Swedenborg". Swedenborgdigitallibrary.org. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  11. ^ "Which of Swedenborg's books are Divine revelation?". Swedenborgdigitallibrary.org. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  12. ^ See "Which of Swedenborg's books are Divine revelation?"
  13. ^ Odhner, Carl Theophilus (1912). ""Diary" and the Spiritual Body". New Church Life: 298.
  14. ^ "Swedenborgianism (New Church)". September 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  15. ^ New Jerusalem Church (1788). Reasons for separating from the old church. : In answer to a letter received from certain persons in Manchester, who profess to believe in the heavenly doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church, as contained in the theological writings of the Late Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg, and yet remain in the external forms of doctrine and worship now in use in old church, not withstanding their direct opposition to the heavenly doctrines of the new church. To which are added, sundry passages from E. Swedenborg, on which the expediency, and even necessity, of a complete separation from the former church, is founded. By the Members of the New Jerusalem Church, who assemble in Great East-Cheap, London. R. Hindmarsh. OCLC 508967814.