The above quote was made by a Catholic Cardinal to soften the blow of new scientific evidence about the cosmos coming from observations being made with the telescope (Copernican theory). Science did one thing. Religion did another. So there was no conflict.
But over time, the church began to feel threatened by the emerging scientific worldview, fearing that it contradicted the inerrancy of the Scriptures.
When Galileo entered into the fray he tried to pacify this situation by basically arguing that true science would never disprove the truth of God’s Holy Word. The caveat to his argument was that Scripture had to be rightly understood. He suggested that Holy Scripture should be metaphorically rather than literally understood. Since Christian orthodoxy refuted any “higher meaning” within the biblical narratives, Galileo simply jumped from the frying pan into the fire.
Enter scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). He made the discovery that Holy Scripture not only contained deeper metaphorical meaning but that this sacred symbolic language was based on the science of correspondences. This was a real science that offered a rational model of causal (top-down) processes emerging from a pre-space (pre-geometric) domain of the Infinite.
He claimed that God’s Holy Word was a multi-leveled document, whose very architecture and scaffolding consisted of distinct (discreet) orders of reality and the universal patterning principles for all causal processes – physical, mental and the Divine.
Swedenborg had not only anticipated Physicist David Bohm’s ideas of implicate and explicate (unfolding) order in the universe, but had applied it to the sacred structure of God’s Holy Word! He wrote dozens of books to provide evidence for this unexpected thesis.
Having the key to the science of correspondences not only reveals new details on how to go to heaven, but also, how the heavens go. The process of human salvation follows the same principles as all other processes in the universe including creation, evolution and obtaining eternal life.
However, one would have to make a major investment in both time and intellectual energy in reading Swedenborg’s vast scientific and theological works to gain the big picture of how science and theology can be unified.
For those interested I have simplified the process. Next spring my new book Proving God will be made available to the public. It contains the essence of Swedenborg’s novel discoveries formulated into a rational scientific model for expressing a final unified theory – with both explanatory and predictive powers.