Emanuel Swedenborg: Visionary Savant in the Age of Reason (Swedenborg Studies)

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9780877851950: Emanuel Swedenborg: Visionary Savant in the Age of Reason (Swedenborg Studies)
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The distinguished German theologian Ernst Benz documents the rich and fascinating life of Emanuel Swedenborg, who claims an exceptional place in history as both a scientist and a visionary. Also an active statesman, Swedenborg accomplished major engineering feats, contributed numerous groundbreaking studies in a variety of scientific fields, and played a prominent role in Swedish public institutions. This is one of the most comprehensive biographies of Swedenborg available in print.

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About the Author:

Ernst Benz (1907--1978) was a professor of Church History at the University of Marburg. Benz's bibliography embraces hundreds of learned articles and some fifty books, ranging from studies of Eastern Orthodox churches and Asian religions to mystical sources of German Romanticism and the interaction of theology and science in such movements as Mesmerism and electrotheology.

 Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke is the author of Paracelsus and The Occult Roots of Nazism.  Dr. Goodrick-Clarke also translated Swedenborg and New Paradigm Science by Ursula Groll for the Swedenborg Foundation.

From Publishers Weekly:

Japanese philosopher D.T. Suzuki once called Swedenborg the Buddha of the North. The 18th-century Swedish mystic's visionary writings also deeply influenced Emerson, Blake, Strindberg and Helen Keller. First published over 50 years ago and now available in English for the first time, Benz's superb biography brings to life this scientific and religious genius. Born in the late 17th century as the third child of a Swedish Lutheran bishop, the young Emanuel absorbed the humanistic currents of the time, reveling in the mechanistic theories of Isaac Newton. When he went to England to study, Swedenborg met Newton and was conducted into his circles. By 1740, however, he had turned from the principles of mechanistic science to organic science, thus arguing for the unity of all things. Early in the 1740s he began to experience dreams and visions that informed his own scientific work. In 1744, Swedenborg's life was changed forever when God appeared to him and told him his mission was to explain... the spiritual meaning of Scripture. From then on, Swedenborg wrote of angels, paradise, the last judgment and the New Jerusalem, explaining them all in terms of the inner sense of Scripture. While many regarded Swedenborg as an eccentric, Benz shows that he was really no different from the medieval mystics or the Hebrew prophets in his ability to transmit God's revelation to his community. Although the prose is workmanlike, Benz's first-rate biography offers a compelling portrait of this extraordinary religious leader.
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