Emanuel Swedenborg

Aspects of Theological Phase

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There are several aspects of the theological phase of Swedenborg's career. First, for much of the period, he wrote and published anonymously, and therefore few, even among his close friends, knew the nature of the theological studies as they evolved. Second, he invested a considerable amount of his own funds in the process since none of his theological studies enjoyed any significant circulation. He gave away many copies anonymously, to clergymen, universities, and libraries. Third, he lived a normal though sometimes secluded life during the early theological years. Unmarried, he was much alone with his books, often in a small summerhouse which he built at the back of the garden of his Stockholm property. Fourth, experiences in his last years reversed the anonymous and secluded pattern of his life as his works became widely diffused in learned circles. Finally, he remained convinced that the Lord had commissioned him to bring a new revelation to men. Fulfillment of this commission depended upon a dual existence in both the spiritual and natural worlds alternately, for year upon year as his commentaries multiplied.

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