Emanuel Swedenborg and the Correspondence Doctrine:  
An Esoteric Complex of Ideas and Poetics 
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Емануел Сведенборг и учението за съответствията – езотеричен идеен комплекс и поетика
Emanuel Swedenborg and the Correspondence Doctrine: An Esoteric Complex of Ideas and Poetics

Author(s): Vera Gancheva
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Институт за литература - BAN
Keywords: Emanuel Swedenborg; Correspondence Doctrine; Esoteric Complex; Ideas; Poetics

Summary/Abstract: The Swedish scientist, philosopher and writer Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) is one of the most internationally famous representatives of his native country and of European Enlightenment with a strong influence on many bright minds in the world even to this day. Influenced by Descartes, but also by Locke and Leibnitz, Swedenborg saw the world as subject to mechanical laws and already in his first works of a progressively philosophical and psychological nature he investigated the question of the relationship between mind and matter, body and spirit, coming to the conclusion that soul is material. Like almost all scientists of those days, Swedenborg’s starting point lay in Christianity. For him there was a natural link between the function of the soul and the problem of good and evil; also with the epistemological question of the nature of human knowledge. Knowledge, he thought, partly springs from experience, partly – from intuition which is divine clarity, light. During his Journal of Dreams period (approx. 1743-1745) Swedenborg went through an existential and religious crisis and became a mystic. He decided to discover and explain the complex structure of the universe with the help of the scientific rationalism, characteristic of his time. The essence of Swedenborg’s message is theosophy, knowledge of God and its best known aspect is the correspondence doctrine, a dynamic context in which the natural, spiritual and divine things are connected in a whole with universal importance and validity. The idea of this concordance has served as a special approach to creation in literature and arts but also as their general principle to many thinkers, writers, musicians, artists in different countries and epochs like the European Romanticists, Emerson, Balzac, Baudelaire, Strindberg, Pound, Borges, Milosz, Brodsky and probably above all – Dostoyevsky.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 129-160
  • Page Count: 31
  • Language: Bulgarian