In this groundbreaking study, Friedemann Horn documents Friedrich Schelling’s intense personal engagement with Emanuel Swedenborg’s theological works, an engagement fueled to a considerable extent by the untimely death of two women whom Schelling loved. In Swedenborg’s vision of the spiritual realm, Schelling found an invaluable resource that supplied an underpinning for his own romantic idealism. Horn details the linguistic similarities in the writings of the two philosophers and shows how, particularly in Clara and the Stuttgart Lectures, Schelling employs the ideas of the “seer of the North.”
The scholar will find suggestive contacts with Goethe, Wagner, and Franz von Baader, and with a theosophical tradition whose importance may have been overshadowed by Kant’s scathing criticism of Swedenborg. In giving access to that undercurrent, Horn provides a unique and neglected view of nineteenth-century thought.