Enlightenment All the Way to Heaven: Emanuel Swedenborg in the Context of Eighteenth-Century Theology and Philosophy is an English translation of Friedemann Stengel’s 2009 German habilitation (qualifying) thesis, which was published by Mohr Siebeck Tübingen in 2011, Aufklärung bis zum Himmel: Emanuel Swedenborg im Kontext der Theologie und Philosophie des 18. Jahrhunderts. In this volume, Stengel provides a survey of Swedenborg’s philosophical influences, as well as an assessment of Swedenborg’s own influence on the German theology of his time, thereby giving the reader new insight into the nature of the Enlightenment. Exploring Swedenborg’s many inspirations, from Plato to Aristotle, Augustine to Descartes, and Malebranche to Leibniz, just to name a few, Stengel shows the breadth of their impact on Swedenborg and the resultant sophistication of the Swedish prophet’s ideas.
By broadening the conversation surrounding Swedenborg’s source and reception histories, Stengel hopes to counter the reductive lenses through which certain of Swedenborg’s experiences have been filtered. In the author’s own words, “this will serve to highlight the perspectives contained within the historical discourse, tracing their seminal influence on later religious and philosophical discussions that, in turn, gave rise, from the eighteenth century onward, to the psychohistorical interpretations of associated supernatural phenomena such as Swedenborg’s visionary propensity.”
Enlightenment All the Way to Heaven is the twenty-fourth installment in the Swedenborg Studies scholarly series.
About the Author
Prof. Dr. Friedemann Stengel (b. 1966) studied Protestant theology in Halle, Neuendettelsau, and Bonn (Germany). Since 2010, he has been the professor of modern church history at Martin-Luther-University, Halle. Since 2018, he has been the executive director of the Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Pietismusforschung (Interdisciplinary Center for Pietism Research). And since 2020, he has served as the dean of the Faculty of Theology in Halle. Stengel is the co-editor of Gefühl und Norm. Religion und Gefühlskulturen im 18. Jahrhundert. Beiträge zum V. Internationalen Kongress für Pietismusforschung 2018 (2021); the author of Ausgeschlossen. Die 1933–1945 entlassenen Hochschullehrer der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (2016); the author of Sola Scriptura im Kontext: Behauptung und Bestreitung des reformatorischen Schriftprinzips [Sola Scriptura in Context: Assertion and Denial of the Reformation Scriptural Principle] (2016); the co-editor of Kirche und Krieg: Ambivalenzen in der Theologie [Church and War: Ambivalences in Theology] (2015); the author of Aufklärung bis zum Himmel: Emanuel Swedenborg im Kontext der Theologie und Philosophie des 18. Jahrhunderts [Enlightenment All the Way to Heaven: Emanuel Swedenborg in the Context of Eighteenth-Century Theology and Philosophy] (2011); the author of Die Theologischen Fakultäten in der DDR als Problem der Kirchen- und Hochschulpolitik des SED-Staates bis zu ihrer Umwandlung in Sektionen 1970/71 (1998); and the author of essays on ecclesiastical contemporary history (church history of the GDR and under National Socialism), theology and philosophy of the long eighteenth century (Pietism, Enlightenment studies, esotericism), cultural history of the early Reformation movement, and discourse theory and historiography.
Suzanne Schwarz Zuber is a German-American art historian, curator, and translator based in Berlin and Berkeley. After studying in NYU’s graduate program at the Institute of Fine Arts, she worked and translated for cultural institutions such as the Smithsonian in Washington DC, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Felix Nussbaum Haus, Jüdisches Museum München, and the Jewish Museum in New York. Zuber’s publications include Remarque’s Impressionists: Art Collecting and Art Dealing in Exile (2013) and Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama (2005). Her most recent work includes texts for contemporary art exhibitions in San Francisco and a biography of Sam Salz for the academic publisher De Gruyter in Berlin.
RJ Julia’s Just The Right Book! subscription service combines the convenience of a personal shopper with a love for reading and all things books. Bring this literary passion to the comfort and safety of your own home!