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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in science (8)


Theistic Science

Contrary to current opinion, Susan proposes that science can be founded on religious ideas without any internal conflict. She feels that the rigor of its processes would not be weakened by its religious origin, and that this approach alone presents an alternative to materialism. -Editor

Whatever trials, tribulations, sadness and frustrations you have over your journey with Alzheimer's, please know that the essential you will always be there - to you and your loved ones. Sometimes you may have to send a search party in to find you though :)

That is an anonymous commenter on David Hilfiker's blog about his life with early stage dementia. What will happen to the sense of self as the disease progresses? Our awareness that our "I" does not change over our lifetime the way our physical body does perplexes much of current scientific thinking because of its penchant for materialist explanations.

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Emanuel Swedenborg Phone Home: A Mystic Perspective On Aliens

Using Swedenborg's descriptions of alien life, Vaishali finds comic irony in that, while we as a culture obsess over the possibility of life on other planets, allocating massive funds in search of scientific proof of it, those life forms reject our banal material focus in preference for the sublime worship of One. You can find other essays on the topic of extra-terrestrial life published by New Church Perspective here. -Editor.

We all know that scientists around the world have been searching for alien life. They have been behaving like the ultimate in universal voyeurs, keeping a roving eye out for signs of “other worldly life forms”, poised listening, like the nosey eavesdropping neighbor, for any possible alien transmissions - intergalactic messages. We are also familiar with the various scenarios science fiction writers have depicted as possible outcomes of alien and human life reaching out and touching one another. It runs from “Star Trek” to “The Martian Chronicles” and Spielberg’s “E.T.” to “Independence Day”, “Mars Attacks” and even “I Had An Alien’s Baby” in the supermarket tabloids. At least the science fiction writers are more creative and broad-minded in their speculative surmising. Between the hard measurable facts and the flights of human imaginative fancy is there some information that exists, right now, about the actuality of alien life, and how they may be responding to us? The answer is... yes! The source however may surprise you. The author I will be drawing upon has impeccable credentials and has attained an unquestionable level of scientific and academic accomplishment. His observations, however, may read to many like the ramblings of an over inventive, over active imagination. Sound interesting? Well, it is! And, this author’s books and writings about his contact with alien life forms have been around for hundreds of years and published in dozens of languages. Stumped? Allow me the pleasure of introducing you to the 18th century scientist mystic Emanuel Swedenborg.

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Atomic Tension

Allen explains the atomic tensions that are the root of all the variety we witness in the universe. From this exploration he is able to glean spiritual truths that mimic this fundamental creative dynamic. This was first published in the student newspaper of the Bryn Athyn College, BACON Bits, in April of 2009. -Editor.

Teaching chemistry at Bryn Athyn College, a New Church institution, I have the opportunity to explore science and religion in a Swedenborgian context. Seeing the physical world as God’s creation and therefore reflecting, at least in its matter and forces, God’s intent, opens up additional dimensions of meaning embedded in physical law. If the natural and spiritual worlds are both created by God, and created as a whole rather than as wholly separate cosmoses, then we can expect to find in our study of the natural world insight into the spiritual world as well. In the New Church these connections are often called “correspondences,” a term used many times in English translations of Swedenborg’s theological works. I find pursuit of these connections more satisfying than engaging in debates about the authority of science and religion. Rather than determining which perspective should have more standing, I feel that each has standing in its own context, and that the tension sometimes created between the two can enrich both.

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Some Ideas Regarding Science and the Writings

This piece is a condensed version of the forty-nine page essay Allen had published in The New Philosophy, in July 2008. He addresses the friction created when science and religion do not meet neatly in the middle. Allen takes a positive view of this conflict and suggests holding sharp things gently. -Editor.

The Writings contain many pieces of information about the natural world. Often, this information is in agreement with contemporary, scientific understanding. Sometimes it is not. One example of conflict between the two regards the topic of life on other planets: the Writings claim that humans live on all planets and satellites of this solar system, but contemporary science does not support this claim. What are New Church readers to do with conflicts like these? I’ve had that question put to me many times. I offer here a few thoughts on the subject, intended not as the final word but as a few ideas to engage the subject.

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Discernment: Reflections on 9/11 

Norm offers an unconventional perspective on the destruction of the Twin Towers. He finds the 9/11 Commission Report to be frightfully inadequate. As a Swedenborgian, he cannot accept un-rational explanations for events that have shaped our foreign policy so drastically over the last ten years. -Editor.

"Thought from the eye closes the understanding but thought from the understanding opens the eye" (Divine Love and Wisdom 46).

To speak out and challenge the official findings of the 9/11 Commission Report on the events of September 11th even in a relatively free society is ventured into with some degree of trepidation. Yet openness, and a willingness to express a divergent viewpoint from the norm is essential where truth and its pursuit are fundamental to freedom and democracy.

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Lessons from Milankovitch, Swedenborg, and Cold, Obnoxious Winters

After months of dull and overcast weather, Lauren is driven to perform an interpretive dance representing the orbit of the earth around the sun. She compares the seasons to the changes of state we undergo in relation to our center of love and wisdom (the Lord). We could even weary of ecstasy if it were allowed to linger too long. -Editor.

Scenario: What do you do in a small restaurant with adults in your party engrossed in deep conversation and an energetic three-year-old who wants to move? Solution: The Milankovitch Dance. What is the Milankovitch Dance? It is an ingenious way to keep that spritely 3-year old content in a rather confined area, provided that your back is good and your memory of the Milankovitch Cycles better. For those of you unfamiliar with the latter, please rejoice in the knowledge that you are about to receive.

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