In this thoughtful introduction to Emanuel Swedenborg’s spiritual writings, author George F. Dole leads the reader through a philosophical consideration of how this eighteenth-century theology fits into modern concepts of knowledge, self, and the afterlife.
Starting with the question of knowledge—how we come to accept the things that we believe to be true—Dole then offers Swedenborg-based examples of the oneness underlying all of reality and examines what that suggests about the interconnection of the physical and spiritual worlds. This leads to a discussion of what it means to live a morally good life and how that impacts the choices we make in daily life, followed by questions of what that means for spiritual community. The final chapter wraps all of these themes together as Dole tackles the central concept of Swedenborg’s theology—God.
Each of the ten chapters starts with a brief introduction from Dole followed by a series of short excerpts from Swedenborg’s writings that illustrate the point. For this volume, all of Swedenborg’s words were translated from the Latin by Dole himself, who is also a translator for the New Century Edition of the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg.