The Development of His Thought
By Martin Lamm
Translated by Tomas Spiers and Anders Hallengren
Foreword by Paul Valery
Swedenborg Studies #9
Available for the first time in English, Martin Lamm's work on the evolution of the philosophy of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) has stood as one of the standard works on the Swedish theologian since its original publication in 1915. Lamm shows that Swedenborg's scientific worldview was not changed by his later religious revelations — that the two complemented and corroborated each other. Read more
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Available for the first time in English, Martin Lamm’s work on the evolution of Emanuel Swedenborg’s (1688-1772) philosphical system has stood as the standard humanist interpretation of Swedenborg’s writings. First published in Swedish in 1915, the book has influenced generations of European scholars. His detailed investigation of the philosophical and religious background of Swedenborgian thought is an illuminating inquiry into the mystery of how Swedenborg was transformed from a scientist into a seer.
Lamm demonstrates that there is a logical and consisten line of thought developed from Swedenborg’s earliest childhood experiences to his most mature theological statements. Backed by scholarly evidence, Lamm shows that Swedenborg’s scientifically based worldview was not changed by his religious revelations — rather, his visions completed and corroborated the picture.
Martin Lamm’s analysis of the genesis of Swedenborgian philosophy is a masterful and lively portrait of one of history’s most remarkable thinkers.
“How is a Swedenborg possible? What must be assumed to consider the co-existence of the qualities of a learned engineer, of an eminent government official, of a man wise in practical matters and learned in every field, with the characteristics of a visionary who has no hesitation in writing out and publishing visions, in allowing himself to be known as one visited by the inhabitants of another world, taught by them, and living a part of his life in their mysterious company?”
“. . . A treasure for the historian of early modern thought, as well as for anyone trying to understand the intricacies of Swedenborg himself.”
—Prof. Tamar Frankiel, University of California (Riverside) in Metanexux
About the Swedenborg Studies Series
Swedenborg Studies is a scholarly series published by the Swedenborg Foundation. The primary purpose of the series is to make materials available for understanding the life and thought of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) and the impact his thought has had on others. The Foundation undertakes to publish original studies and English translations and to republish primary sources that are otherwise difficult to access.