Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish pluralistic-Christian theologian, scientist, philosopher, and mystic, best known for his book on the afterlife, Heaven and Hell (1758). He had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist, and then in 1741, aged 53, entered into a spiritual phase when he began to experience visions. This culminated in a “spiritual awakening” in which he received a revelation that he was appointed by Jesus Christ to write The Heavenly Doctrine to reform Christianity. According to The Heavenly Doctrine (1758), the Lord had opened Swedenborg’s spiritual eyes enabling him thenceforward to freely visit heaven and hell to converse with angels, demons and other spirits, and the Last Jusdgment had already occurred the year before, in 1757. Swedenborg believed that we leave the physical world once, but then experience several lives in the spiritual world. Over the last 18 years of his life he published 18 theological works and wrote several more. Divine Love and Divine Wisdom (1763) is one of Swedenborg’s most popular works in which, in addition to discussing the nature of God, he examines the purpose of creation and the relationship between the physical and spiritual worlds. One of the book’s most unusual features is an extended exploration of the way the heart and lungs of the human body relate symbolically to the faculties of love and wisdom in the heart and mind. It is one the most purely philosophical of Swedenborg’s later theological works, in which he develops theological concepts for the most part without reference to the Bible.
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