from Robert H. Kirven, "A Concise Overview of  Swedenborg's Theology" (Appleseed & Co.MA 2003)

Table of  Contents



THE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT OF THIS BOOK came together first as a one-semester course for students at the Swedenborg School of Religion, the seminary for ministerial training for the Swedenborgian Church (also the immediate predecessor to the Swedenborgian House of Studies at Pacific School of Religion). For the first few years, lectures from notes served the purpose now filled by the Discussions sections, and recognition is due my students in those years for their questions that helped to shape the present text.

The late Rev. Dr. Friedemann Horn, of Zurich, who served as president of the Swedenborg School of Religion in 1978-79, suggested that I write and duplicate the lectures and assignments for use as a correspondence course for interested adults. That course was the earliest manuscript of the present book. The Rev. Dr. James Lawrence, dean of the Swedenborgian House of Studies, suggested several years ago that I convert the correspondence course into a book. After a couple of revisions of the manuscript, including one with editorial assistance from Steve Koke, Jim Lawrence and I began a search for a translator to translate a slightly abbreviated form of the assignments in Swedenborg in a fresh version for publication. Once that search ended with my volunteering to do the translation, considerably more time passed while I actually got it done.

When all of the discussions and translations were complete, my daughter Margaret Larsen lent her copy-editing skills to a word-by-word revision in 2001, resulting in a major update and improvement in consistency. That form of the text, restructured by Margaret in 2002 after receiving suggestions from Jim Lawrence, is now presented for your use. It was fun teaching and writing it, but I needed a lot of help.

Glendale, Arizona, April 2002

Other works by Robert H. Kirven:
Big Questions Off Campus
Angels in Action; A Book about Dying
Swedenborg and the Revolt against Deism
The Oneness of Things

The online version of this book has been reviewed and edited to assure its compatibility with the fully inspired works of Swedenborg's revelation. For details, see "Which of Swedenborg's books are Divine revelation?"

Kurt Simons
The Swedenborg Digital Library

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