Genesis: A Journey Inward
In this class students journey with the biblical book of Genesis. Genesis holds a particular fascination for those in the Swedenborgian interpretive lineage, as a text in which myth and history meet. The story telling of the ancients speaks across time, filling our present world with dramas of family and fertility and of connection to and estrangement from the Divine. Students engage a close reading of some of Swedenborg’s earliest biblical commentaries, including his poetic account of the Adam and Even story, De Cultu et Amore Dei (The Worship and Love of God) as well as Swedenborg’s many theological volumes dedicated to interpreting Genesis, such as Arcana Coelestia (Secrets of Heaven) and Explicatio in Verbum Historicum Veteris Testamenti (The Word Explained). Students also engage with other “spiritual sense” tranditions, or with Jewish, Christian, and Islamic commentarial traditions which understand the creation stories and stories of our ancestral matriarchs and patriarchs to correspond to the stories of our own inner spiritual lives. Students are encouraged to develop their own intuitive connections to and interpretations of this collection of ancient and sublime texts that we call Genesis.
Related: Read Professor Rebecca Esterson’s blog on “Swedenborg’s Eve: On Mutuality, Meaning, and Mirrors”