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Revelation and exegesis in the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

Goldsack, S. J. Cunnington (1955) Revelation and exegesis in the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This essay contains nine chapters of which the first is mainly biographical and includes a short account of all the theological, writings laid under contribution in the later chapters. The second chapter deals with the important question of Swedenborg’s experiences of the spiritual world. These chapters are designed to lay a minimum of factual groundwork upon which appreciation of Swedenborg’s distinctive contribution to all matters of theology must be based. Some critical review of the spiritual experiences accompanies their description. Thereafter the work proceeds directly to exposition of the fundamental teachings which impinge upon Swedenborg’s doctrine of the Word. Of necessity his doctrine of God, that is, the doctrine of the sole Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Tri-une God, is examined. It is further shown that the order of creation determines the order of revelation and that "degrees" and "correspondences" afford the means by which the Divine descends into the created universe. The doctrine of the Word is then examined in the light of these teachings and his statements about the internal sense of the Sacred Scriptures are found to be harmonious with them. The question of the canon of the Word is raised and considered, the last two chapters are concerned with Swedenborg’s exegesis. First it is shown that exegesis of the letter is supremely important, distinguishing however between historical and literary criticism and exegesis of the sense of the letter. In the concluding chapter four passages, two from each of Swedenborg’s major published exegetical works, are presented, showing how the internal sense of the chosen texts has been reached. Next a study is made of his treatment of the symbol of the serpent in passages from various parts of the Scriptures and finally certain experiments are made under the guidance of his principles of interpretation.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Letters
Thesis Date:1955
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:47

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