The Animal Kingdom 2 volumes
Author : Emanuel Swedenborg
Translator : J.J. Garth Wilkinson,
Format : Hardback, Vol. 1 - 554 pages, Vol. 2 - 670 pages
Release date : 1960
Note: The Latin title Regnum Animale was curiously rendered The Animal Kingdom by Wilkinson in his 1843 English translation. The English title is misleading, as the subject dealt with is the dynamics of the human soul's domain. It is a study of both human physiology and psychology, an early part of Swedenborg's search for the 'seat' of the human soul.
Published in 1740-41, it is the final installment in Swedenborg's long series of published works on the natural sciences deals with aspects of the soul's domain not treated in his earlier works. It contains a refinement of philosophical principles regarding the operation of the human body, as well as extracts from the anatomists of his day. Its purpose is to approach, through a comprehensive understanding of anatomy and physiology, the nexus of soul and body and to describe their interaction in anatomical terms.
This is a work in three parts, Part I dealing with the viscera of the abdomen, Part II with the viscera of the thorax and Part III with the skin, the organs of touch and taste, and organic forms in general. Swedenborg left Parts IV (The Organs of Generation) and V (The Five Senses) unpublished as he resigned his scientific work to begin a comprehensive treatment of the Scriptures and a universal theology of the New Jerusalem.
The work makes several contributions to our understanding of the human body as a harmony of dynamic processes. These include a consideration of anatomical elements by degrees, in a refinement of his concept of a structural platform for functional integration across discrete levels of organization. To explain this effectively, the notion of correspondence between levels, in a comprehensive functional link, is offered here; this would become the central principle of spiritual-natural interaction in Swedenborg's theological works to come.