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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 writing (1)


Meaning-making and the Power of Writing

This essay originally appeared as the first chapter of Chelsea Rose Odhner's undergraduate thesis entitled, “Write to Heal: An Analysis of Writing Therapy in the Treatment of Gynecological Cancer,”; completed in 2008. Chapter One, included here, dissects the elements in the process of writing and contrasts these with the process involved in other forms of communication. -editor.

Among all forms of language, the written word has particular power. With respect to the styles of writing in the Word, Emanuel Swedenborg (2007) explains that the people of the earliest church “expressed themselves in words representing higher things [and that] they also spun those words into a kind of narrative thread to lend them greater life” (§ 66). Spinning the words into a kind of narrative thread gave the people “the fullest pleasure possible.” It is unclear whether Swedenborg’s use of the term “earliest church” here refers to a time during the earliest church that had the written word or not. In either case, the key point is that the narratives involved a composing process whether written or otherwise. If it is true in general that some greater life can be imparted to language by being woven into a narrative thread, how could writing serve as an optimal medium for this process? By investigating qualities unique to writing as a form of language we may be able to develop an understanding of how language could acquire greater life by being woven through writing. Does language acquire greater life by being written because the process of writing serves as a medium for making meaning?

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