A Forty-Year Journey Engaging Human Sexuality and Gender Questions in the Swedenborigan Church of North America
“At the upcoming annual convention, a proposed Standing Resolution of welcome and support of all people in the LGBTQ+ community will be brought to the floor.” Read Rev. Dr. Jim Lawrence’s article in the May 2022 issue of “the Messenger”.
“The Board of Trustees of the Center for Swedenborgian Studies, (CSS) the Corporation of the New Church Theological School, is delighted and honored to announce the selection of our new dean, Dr. Rebecca Esterson, starting July 1, 2022.
Rev. Dr. James Lawrence is retiring after twenty-one years as dean and will become the new President of the Swedenborgian Church of North America at this year’s annual convention in June.”
Read Rev. Jane Siebert’s article in the March 2022 issue of “the Messenger”.
The History and Vision of the Center for Swedenborgian Studies
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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 Dean & Associate 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.