Follow-up to Monday’s Conversation

Hi all —

A new minilecture / Reading Forum will be up and coming tomorrow (Friday), but in the meantime: just to follow up, as promised, in response to our conversation via Adobe connect earlier in the week–

First of all, it is important for us to be thinking about what Swedenborg means by the “New Church” and the “New Jerusalem” as we explore these contexts of polity, and the early debates within Swedenborgianism about separatism. How do Swedenborg’s hermeneutics of the Book of Revelation lead to his announcement that his work heralds the dawn of the new jerusalem, foretold in the Apocalypse? As we had discussed, Elaine Pagels has just published a new book on Revelations, and you can hear an interesting interview on NPR here with Pagels. How does this historical approach square (or not) with a Swedenborgian take on Revelations?

We also discussed the cognitive impact of reading fictional prose — the ways that Swedenborg’s use of the “memorable relation” is embedded in this larger moment in the 18th century where lots of new interesting stuff was happening with novelistic prose. Here’s the article I had mentioned that appeared last week in the New York Times, which affirms the substantive power of the imagination in our consciousness, and how it works.

I’ll leave the comment section open if you have any thoughts as to either of these strands.

More soon…

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