Emanuel Swedenborg – Empiricist and Mystic Cover Image
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Емануел Сведенборг – емпирик и мистик
Emanuel Swedenborg – Empiricist and Mystic

Author(s): Vera Gancheva
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Институтът по философия и социология при БАН
Keywords: Swedenborg; Enlightenment; science; mysticism; Bible; theory of correspondences

Summary/Abstract: Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) was a Swedish scientist, philosopher, Christian mystic and theologian. He had a successful career as an inventor and scientist, an outstanding representative of the Swedish and European Enlightenment. At the age of fifty-six he entered into a new phase in which he experienced dreams and visions. Its culmination in a spiritual awakening through a religious crisis found an expression in his claims that the Lord had opened his eyes, so that from then on he could explore heaven and hell and talk with angels, demons and other spirits and work on the interpretation of the Bible with the goal of disclosing the spiritual meaning of every verse. For the remaining 28 years of his life he wrote and published more than 20 theological works. Arcana Coelestia (“Heavenly Secrets”) was his magnum opus and the basis of his theological corpus. This article is focused on the special connection between the two parts of Swedenborg’s life and work and the empirical background of his expedition to outer worlds. The Swedish mystic has proposed many scientific ideas, both before his crisis and after. One of his ideas that is considered most important for the understanding of his theology is his theory of correspondences or the relationship between the natural (physical), the spiritual and the divine worlds. The foundations of this theory can be traced to Neoplatonism and the most ancient roots of hermeticism in general. Thus Swedenbory could demonstrate that even the most roots of hermeticism in general. Thus Swedenborg could demonstrate that even the most trivial phenomena and concepts could hold a profound spiritual meaning. Influenced by Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Descartes, Leibniz he influenced (among many others) Blake, Dostoyevsky, Strindberg, Baudelaire, Borges, Jung...

  • Issue Year: XVII/2008
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 58-74
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Bulgarian