The Swedenborgian tradition is one that encourages people of faith to be active and conscientious citizens. This five-part series will explore Swedenborgian history and theology as well as concrete ways to be civically engaged.
The History and Vision of the Center for Swedenborgian Studies
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James F. Lawrence
Dean of CSS, Faculty Associate in Spirituality and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Pacific School of Religion
Devin Phillip Zuber
Associate Professor of American Studies, Religion, and Literature
the George F. Dole Professor of Swedenborgian Studies
Rebecca K Esterson
Rebecca Esterson is Assistant Professor in Sacred Texts and Traditions and Dorothea Harvey Professor of Swedenborgian Studies.
Spring 2022 Courses
JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND THE BIBLE: INTERPRETATION, APPROPRIATION, AND EXCHANGE
The last quarter of a century has seen a proliferation of research on the history of the intersection between Jewish and Christian biblical interpretation. New perspectives on identity formation, anti-Judaism, philosemitism, and Christian Hebraism, for instance, have advanced our understanding of the history of the discourses between and within Judaism and Christianity. This class will survey the scholarly literature in this field, and critically engage various methodologies at work in this literature. Therefore, in addition to a study of Christian and Jewish interpretation of the Bible and of each other throughout history, this class will investigate the scholarly discourse of our own day.
This class will consider the theme of incarnation primarily in a Swedenborgian theological context, though readings from other Christian and non-Christian traditions will be incorporated. We will consider what it means to engage an embodied God, and how divinity manifests in the natural world, the human body and scripture. That right action and engagement in the affairs of the world is the ultimate incarnation, the end goal of all religious learning and practice, will be considered through a Swedenborgian interpretation of key biblical texts. A comparative component will incorporate selections from the Bhagavad Gita, Paul Tillich and Hasidic commentary, not for the sake of drawing generalized analogies, but to broaden our understanding of how the topic has been treated in different contexts.