The Five Ages
Extracts from Swedenborg with commentary by P L Johnson
Author : Emanuel Swedenborg and commentary by PL Johnson
Format : Paperback, 243 pages
Release date : 2008
A new book by Swedenborg?
Well not exactly, but this may be the nearest thing to it. Swedenborg died in 1772, aged 84, not long after having completed his extensive True Christian Religion, but, had he lived on, what might he have published next? Actually the last unpublished manuscript of any length he left behind was his Coronis which sadly is no longer extant, except for an imperfect and incomplete copy. It describes five ages or 'churches', as he calls them. A world history, but a spiritual or psychological history, not a political or social history, although it does touch on social matters.
In the Coronis, and also in earlier works, Swedenborg explores a theme that can be found in most mythologies, the idea of the 'World Ages'. The Greeks and Romans called them the Golden Age, Silver Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. In the structure of the Bible one can discern similar periods initiated by, Adam, Noah, Moses, Christ and a new age foretold in the Book of Revelation. You will find more versions in Norse, Persian, Aztec and other myths. Nowhere, however, will you find a treatment of the theme as extensive and detailed as Swedenborg's. It was scattered through several of his books, but is here brought together in one volume. We are told of mankind's psychological development through the ages and how God accommodated His revelation to suit us.
The passages from Swedenborg have been compiled by Patrick Johnson who has added a commentary to help continuity. Patrick Johnson has been interested in history and Swedenborg all his life and has been the Editor of two Swedenborgian Magazines.