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who was emanuel swedenborg

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Emanuel Swedenborg
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Emanuel Swedenborg
Emanuel Swedenborg
Full name Emanuel Swedenborg
Born January 29, 1688
Stockholm, Sweden
Died March 29, 1772 (aged 84)
London, England
Era 18th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Theosophy, mysticism
Inspired Swedenborgianism
Influenced by[hide]

Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, Descartes, Leibniz


Kant, William Blake, August Strindberg, Charles Baudelaire, Carl Jung, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Helen Keller, George Inness, Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) Jorge Luis Borges

About this sound Emanuel Swedenborg (help·info) (born Emanuel Swedberg; January 29, 1688[1] – March 29, 1772) was a Swedish scientist, philosopher, Christian mystic[2][3] and theologian. Swedenborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. In 1741 at the age of fifty-three he entered into a spiritual phase[4] in which he eventually began to experience dreams and visions beginning on Easter weekend April 6, 1744. This culminated in a spiritual awakening, whereupon he claimed he was appointed by the Lord to write a heavenly doctrine to reform Christianity. He claimed that the Lord had opened his spiritual eyes, so that from then on he could freely visit heaven and hell, and talk with angels, demons and other spirits.

He said that the Last Judgement had already occurred, in 1757, though only visible in the spiritual world, where he had witnessed it.[5] That Judgement was followed by the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which occurred, not by Christ in person, but by a revelation from Him through the inner, spiritual sense of the Word[6] to Swedenborg.[7] In fact, Swedenborg said, it is the presence of that spiritual sense that makes the Word Divine.[8]

For the remaining 28 years of his life, he wrote and published 18 theological works, of which the best known was Heaven and Hell (1758),[9] [10] and several unpublished theological works. Some followers of Swedenborg believe that, of his theological works, only those which Swedenborg published himself are fully Divinely inspired.[11]

In Life on Other Planets, Swedenborg stated that he conversed with spirits from Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Venus, and the moon.[12] He did not report conversing with spirits from Uranus and Neptune, however, which were not discovered yet. This lack is seen by some to raise question about the credibility of all his reports on this matter. This issue has been extensively reviewed elsewhere.[13]

Swedenborg explicitly rejected the common explanation of the Trinity as a Trinity of Persons, which he said was not taught in the early Christian Church. Instead he explained in his theological writings how the Divine Trinity exists in One Person, in One God, the Lord Jesus Christ, which he said is taught in Colossians 2:9. Swedenborg also rejected the doctrine of salvation through faith alone, since he considered both faith and charity necessary for salvation, not one without the other. The purpose of faith, according to Swedenborg, is to lead a person to a life according to the truths of faith, which is charity, as is taught in 1 Corinthians 13:13 and James 2:20.

Swedenborg's theological writings have elicited a range of responses. However, he made no attempt to found a church.[14][15] A few years after his death – 15 by one estimate[16] – for the most part in England, small reading groups formed to study the truth they saw in his teachings.[17] As one scholar has noted, Swedenborg’s teachings particularly appealed to the various dissenting groups that sprang up in the first half of the 19th century who were “surfeited with revivalism and narrow-mindedness” and found his optimism and comprehensive explanations appealing[18] Several writers were influenced by him, including William Blake (though he ended up renouncing him), Elizabeth Barrett Browning, August Strindberg, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Baudelaire, Adam Mickiewicz, Honoré de Balzac, William Butler Yeats, Sheridan Le Fanu, Jorge Luis Borges, Carl Jung and Helen Keller. Other notable figures who were adherents to his teachings were the theologian Henry James Sr., the artist George Inness, and mid-Western pioneer and nurseryman Johnny Appleseed.

His philosophy had a great impact to The Duke of Sodermanland, later King Carl XIII, who as the Grand master of Swedish Freemasonry (Svenska Frimurare Orden) built its unique system of degrees and wrote its rituals.

In contrast, one of the most prominent Swedish authors of Swedenborg's day, Johan Henrik Kellgren, called Swedenborg "nothing but a fool".[19] A heresy trial was initiated in Sweden in 1768 against Swedenborg's writings and two men who promoted these ideas.[20]

In the two centuries since Swedenborg's death, various interpretations of his theology have been made, and he has also been scrutinized in biographies and psychological studies.[21]

1 Biography
1.1 Early life
1.2 Scientific period
1.3 New direction of studies
1.4 Journal of Dreams
1.5 Visions and spiritual insights
1.6 Scriptural commentary and writings
2 Veracity
3 Scientific beliefs
4 Psychic accounts
4.1 The fire anecdote
4.2 The Queen of Sweden
4.3 The lost document
5 Kant on Swedenborg
6 Theology
6.1 Marriage
6.2 Trinity
6.3 Sola fide (Faith Alone)
7 Works
8 See also
9 Notes
10 References
11 Further reading
12 External links

[edit] Biography
[edit] Early life
Memorial plaque at the former location of Emanuel Swedenborg's house at Hornsgatan on Södermalm, Stockholm.

Swedenborg's father, Jesper Swedberg (1653–1735), descended from a wealthy mining family. He travelled abroad and studied theology, and on returning home he was eloquent enough to impress the Swedish king, Charles XI, with his sermons in Stockholm. Through the King's influence he would later become professor of theology at Uppsala University and Bishop of Skara.[22][23]

Jesper took an interest in the beliefs of the dissenting Lutheran Pietist movement, which emphasised the virtues of communion with God rather than relying on sheer faith (sola fide).[24] Sola fide is a tenet of the Lutheran Church, and Jesper was charged with being a pietist heretic. While controversial, the beliefs were to have a major impact on his son Emanuel's spirituality. Jesper furthermore held the unconventional belief that angels and spirits were present in everyday life. This also came to have a strong impact on Emanuel.[22][23][25]

Swedenborg completed his university course at Uppsala in 1709, and in 1710 made his grand tour through the Netherlands, France, and Germany, before reaching London, where he would spend the next four years. It was also a flourishing center of scientific ideas and discoveries. Emanuel studied physics, mechanics, and philosophy, and read and wrote poetry. He wrote to his benefactor and brother-in-law Eric Benzelius that he believed he might be destined to be a great scientist.[26][27]
[edit] Scientific period
Flying Machine, sketched in a notebook in 1714. The operator would sit in the middle, and paddle himself through the air.

In 1715 Swedenborg returned to Sweden, where he was to devote himself to natural science and engineering projects for the next two decades. A first step was his noted meeting with King Charles XII of Sweden in the city of Lund, in 1716. The Swedish inventor Christopher Polhem, who became a close friend of Swedenborg, was also present. Swedenborg's purpose was to persuade the king to fund an observatory in northern Sweden. However, the warlike king did not consider this project important enough, but did appoint Swedenborg assessor-extraordinary on the Swedish Board of Mines (Bergskollegium) in Stockholm.[28]

From 1716 to 1718 Swedenborg published a scientific periodical entitled Daedalus Hyperboreus ("The Northern Daedalus"), a record of mechanical and mathematical inventions and discoveries. One notable description was that of a flying machine, the same he had been sketching a few years earlier (see Flying Machine (Swedenborg)).[27]

Upon the death of Charles XII, Queen Ulrika Eleonora ennobled Swedenborg and his siblings. It was common in Sweden during the 17th and 18th centuries for the children of bishops to receive this honour as a recognition of the services of their father. The family name was changed from Swedberg to Swedenborg.[29]

In 1724 he was offered the chair of mathematics at Uppsala University but he declined, saying that he had mainly dealt with geometry, chemistry and metallurgy during his career. He also noted that he did not have the gift of eloquent speech because of a speech impediment. The speech impediment in question was stuttering, noted by many acquaintances of his: it forced him to speak slowly and carefully and there are no known occurrences of his speaking in public.[30] The Swedish critic Olof Lagerkrantz proposed that Swedenborg compensated for his impediment by extensive argumentation in writing.[31]
[edit] New direction of studies

During the 1730s Swedenborg undertook many studies of anatomy and physiology. He had the first anticipation, as far as known, of the neuron concept[32] It was not till a century later that science recognized the full significance of the nerve cell. He also had prescient ideas about the cerebral cortex, the hierarchical organization of the nervous system, the localization of the cerebrospinal fluid and the functions of the pituitary gland. In some cases his conclusions have been experimentally verified in modern times.[33][34][35] There is also evidence that Swedenborg may have preceded Kant by 20 years in the development of the nebular hypothesis.[36]

In the 1730s Swedenborg also became increasingly interested in spiritual matters and was determined to find a theory which would explain how matter relates to spirit. Swedenborg's desire to understand the order and purpose of creation first led him to investigate the structure of matter and the process of creation itself. In the Principia he outlined his philosophical method, which incorporated experience, geometry (the means whereby the inner order of the world can be known), and the power of reason; and he presented his cosmology, which included the first presentation of his Nebular hypothesis. In Leipzig, 1735, he published a three volume work entitled Opera philosophica et mineralis ("Philosophical and mineralogical works"), where he tries to conjoin philosophy and metallurgy. The work was mainly appreciated for its chapters on the analysis of the smelting of iron and copper, and it was this work which gave Swedenborg international reputation.[37]

The same year he also published the small manuscript de Infinito ("On the Infinite"), where he attempted to explain how the finite is related to the infinite, and how the soul is connected to the body. This was the first manuscript where he touched upon these matters. He knew that it might clash with established theologies, since he presents the view that the soul is based on material substances.[38][39]

He also conducted dedicated studies of the fashionable philosophers of the time John Locke, Christian von Wolff, Leibniz, and Descartes, as well as returning to earlier thinkers Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, and others.[40]

In 1743, at the age of 55, Swedenborg requested a leave of absence to go abroad. His purpose was to gather source material for Regnum animale (The Animal Kingdom, or Kingdom of Life), a subject on which books were not readily available in Sweden. The aim of the book was to explain the soul from an anatomical point of view. He had planned to produce a total of seventeen volumes.[41]
[edit] Journal of Dreams

By 1744 he had traveled to the Netherlands. Around this time he began having strange dreams. Swedenborg carried a travel journal with him on most of his travels, and did so on this journey. The whereabouts of the diary were long unknown, but it was discovered in the Royal Library in the 1850s and published in 1859 as Drömboken, or Journal of Dreams.

He experienced many different dreams and visions, some greatly pleasurable, others highly disturbing.[42] The experiences continued as he travelled to London to continue the publication of Regnum animale. This cathartic process continued for six months. It has been compared to the Catholic concept of Purgatory.[43] Analyses of the diary have concluded that what Swedenborg was recording in his Journal of Dreams was a battle between the love of his self, and the love of God.[44]
[edit] Visions and spiritual insights

In the last entry of the journal from October 26–27, 1744, Swedenborg appears to be clear as to which path to follow. He felt he should drop his current project, and write a new book about the worship of God. He soon began working on De cultu et amore Dei, or The Worship and Love of God. It was never fully completed, but Swedenborg still had it published in London in June 1745.[45]

One explanation why the work was never finished is given in a well-known and often referenced story. In April 1745, Swedenborg was dining in a private room at a tavern in London. By the end of the meal, a darkness fell upon his eyes, and the room shifted character. Suddenly he saw a person sitting at a corner of the room, telling Swedenborg: "Do not eat too much!". Swedenborg, scared, hurried home. Later that night, the same man appeared in his dreams. The man told Swedenborg that He was the Lord, that He had appointed Swedenborg to reveal the spiritual meaning of the Bible, and that He would guide Swedenborg in what to write. The same night, the spiritual world was opened to Swedenborg.[46]
[edit] Scriptural commentary and writings
Arcana Cœlestia, first edition (1749), title page

In June 1747, Swedenborg resigned his post as assessor of the board of mines. He explained that he was obliged to complete a work he had begun and requested to receive half his salary as a pension.[47] He took up afresh his study of Hebrew and began to work on the spiritual interpretation of the Bible with the goal of interpreting the spiritual meaning of every verse. From sometime between 1746 and 1747, and for ten years henceforth, he devoted his energy to this task. Usually abbreviated as Arcana Cœlestia and under the Latin variant Arcana Caelestia[48] (translated as Heavenly Arcana, Heavenly Mysteries, or Secrets of Heaven depending on modern English-language editions), the book became his magnum opus and the basis of his further theological works.[49]

The work was anonymous and Swedenborg was not identified as the author until the late 1750s. It consisted of eight volumes, published between 1749 and 1756. It attracted little attention, as few people could penetrate its meaning.[50][51]

His life from 1747 until his death in 1772 was spent in Stockholm, Holland, and London. During these twenty five years he wrote another fourteen works of a spiritual nature of which most were published during his lifetime.

One of his lesser known works presents a startling claim, that the Last Judgment had begun in the previous year (1757) and was completed by the end of that year[52] and that he had witnessed the whole thing.[53] According to Swedenborg, the Last Judgment took place, not in the physical world, but in the World of Spirits, which is located half-way between heaven and hell, and which everyone passes through on their way to heaven or hell.[54] The Judgment took place because the Christian church had lost its charity and faith, resulting in a loss of spiritual free will that threatened the equilibrium between heaven and hell in everyone’s life[55][56]

Swedenborg published his work in London or Holland due to the freedom of the press unique to those countries.[57][58]

Throughout this period he was befriended by many people who regarded him as a kind and warm-hearted man. When in the company of others, he was jovial, and conversed about whatever subject was discussed. Those who talked with him understood that he was devoted to his beliefs. He never argued matters of religion, except when ridiculed, when he replied sharply, so that the ridicule would not be repeated.[59][60]
Swedenborg's crypt in Uppsala Cathedral

In July, 1770, at the age of 82, he traveled to Amsterdam to complete the publication of his last work. The book, Vera Christiana Religio (The True Christian Religion), was published in Amsterdam in 1771 and was one of the most appreciated of his works. Designed to explain his teachings to Lutheran Christians, it was the most concrete of his works.[61]

In the summer of 1771, he traveled to London. Shortly before Christmas he suffered a stroke and was partially paralyzed and confined to bed. His health improved somewhat, but he died on March 29, 1772. There are several accounts of his last months, made by those he stayed with, and by Arvid Ferelius, a pastor of the Swedish Church in London, who visited him several times.[62]

There is evidence that Swedenborg wrote a letter to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, in February, saying he (Swedenborg) had been told in the world of spirits that Wesley wanted to speak with him.[63] Wesley, startled, since he had not told anyone of his interest in Swedenborg, replied that he was going on a journey for six months and would contact Swedenborg on his return. Swedenborg replied that that would be too late since he (Swedenborg) would be going to the spiritual world for the last time on March 29.[64] (Wesley later read and commented extensively on Swedenborg’s work.)[65] Swedenborg’s landlord's servant girl, Elizabeth Reynolds, also said Swedenborg had predicted this date, and that Swedenborg was as happy about it as if was “going on holiday or to some merrymaking.”[66]

In Swedenborg’s final hours, his friend, Pastor Ferelius, told him some people thought he had written his theology just to make a name for himself and asked Swedenborg if he would like to recant. Raising himself up on his bed, his hand on his heart, Swedenborg earnestly replied,

"As truly as you see me before your eyes, so true is everything that I have written; and I could have said more had it been permitted. When you enter eternity you will see everything, and then you and I shall have much to talk about."[67]

He then died, in the afternoon, on the date he had predicted, March 29.[67]

He was buried in the Swedish Church in Shadwell, London. On the 140th anniversary of his death, in 1912/1913, his earthly remains were transferred to Uppsala Cathedral in Sweden, where they now rest close to the grave of the botanist Carolus Linnaeus. In 1917, the Swedish Church in Shadwell was demolished and the Swedish community that had grown around the parish moved to West London. In 1938 the site of the former church where he had been buried in London was redeveloped, and in his honor the local road was renamed Swedenborg Gardens. In 1997 a garden, play area and memorial near the road were created in his memory.[citation needed]
[edit] Veracity

Swedenborg's transition from scientist to mystic has fascinated many people ever since it occurred, including such people as Immanuel Kant, William Blake, Goethe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Balzac, Jorge Luis Borges, August Strindberg, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Carl Jung.[citation needed]

Some have asserted that Swedenborg lost his mind, suffering some sort of mental illness or nervous breakdown.[21] While this idea was not uncommon during Swedenborg's own time, it is mitigated by his activity in the Swedish Riddarhuset (The House of the Nobility), the Riksdag (the Swedish parliament), and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. A close analysis of the historical facts of his life conducted by the Swedenborg Scientific Association concluded that he was sane.[68] Additionally, the system of thought in his theological writings is remarkably coherent.[69]

Swedenborg has had a variety of biographers, favorable and critical.[70] Some propose that he did not in fact have a revelation at all, but rather developed his theological ideas from sources ranging from his father to earlier figures in the history of thought, notably Plotinus.This position was first and most notably taken by the Swedish writer Martin Lamm, who wrote a biography of Swedenborg in 1915, which is still in print.[71] Olof Lagercrantz, the Swedish critic and publicist, had a similar point of view, calling Swedenborg's theological writing "a poem about a foreign country with peculiar laws and customs".[72]

Swedenborg's approach to demonstrating the veracity of his theological teachings was to find and use voluminous quotations from the Old Testament and New Testament to demonstrate agreement between the Bible or Word of God and his theological teachings. The demonstration of this agreement is found throughout his theological writings, since he rejected blind faith and declared true faith is an internal acknowledgment of the truth. The vast and consistent use of Biblical confirmations in Swedenborg's theological writings led a Swedish Royal Council in 1771, examining the heresy charges of 1770 against two Swedish supporters of his theological writings, to declare "there is much that is true and useful in Swedenborg's writings."[73]
[edit] Scientific beliefs

Swedenborg proposed many scientific ideas during his lifetime. In his youth, he wanted to present a new idea every day, as he wrote to his brother-in-law Erik Benzelius in 1718. Around 1730, he had changed his mind, and instead believed that higher knowledge is not something that can be acquired, but that it is based on intuition. After 1745, he instead considered himself receiving scientific knowledge in a spontaneous manner from angels.[74]

From 1745, when he considered himself to have entered a spiritual state, he tended to phrase his "experiences" in empirical terms, claiming to report accurately things he had experienced on his spiritual journeys.

One of his ideas that is considered most crucial for the understanding of his theology is his notion of correspondences. But in fact, he first presented the theory of correspondences in 1744, in the first volume of Regnum Animale dealing with the human soul.[27]

The basis of the correspondence theory is that there is a relationship between the natural ("physical"), the spiritual, and the divine worlds. The foundations of this theory can be traced to Neoplatonism and the philosopher Plotinus in particular. With the aid of this scenario, Swedenborg now interpreted the Bible in a different light, claiming that even the most apparently trivial sentences could hold a profound spiritual meaning.[75]
[edit] Psychic accounts

There are three well known incidents of psychic ability reported in literature about Swedenborg.[76] However, there are several versions of each.
[edit] The fire anecdote

The first was from July 29, 1759, when during a dinner in Gothenburg, he excitedly told the party at six o' clock that there was a fire in Stockholm (405 km away), that it consumed his neighbour's home and was threatening his own. Two hours later, he exclaimed with relief that the fire stopped three doors from his home. Two days later, reports confirmed every statement to the precise hour that Swedenborg first expressed the information.[77]

However, though the fire was real enough and spared Swedenborg’s house, the fire anecdote – one of the most well-known psychic anecdotes – may have an alternative explanation: In Sweden, the fire is known as Mariabranden (after the church Maria Kyrkan, which was severely damaged). In the high and increasing wind it spread very fast, consumed about 300 houses and made 2000 people homeless.[78] However, the fire undoubtedly broke out Thursday July 19 (about 3 p.m.) and was put out during the following night or early morning.[78][79] At that time, a messenger could bring the news from Stockholm to Gothenburg within two or three days. Under the July 29 interpretation, Swedenborg did not need any supernatural power or psychic ability to correctly visualize the fire. However, this explanation depends upon there being a belief in the July 29 date-based alternative. Since, as just noted, it seems clear that the July 19 date is correct[80] there appears to be no credible basis for an explanation based on the 29th. It also seems unlikely in the extreme that the many witnesses to Swedenborg’s distress during the fire, and the immediate report of it to the provincial governor,[81][82] would have believed any such claim.

In the fire anecdote, July 29 is said to be a Saturday. It was a Sunday.[83]

It has been proposed that, according to Swedenborg biographer John Garth Wilkinson, "On Saturday, at 4 o'clock, p.m.," says Kant," when Swedenborg arrived at Gottenburg [Gothenburg] from England, Mr. William Castel invited him to his house, together with a party of fifteen persons."[84] If so, Swedenborg could not participate in a party on July 19 because this date was a Thursday. If the dinner was arranged the first Saturday thereafter, on Saturday 21 July, Swedenborg also could be informed on the fire by a natural way.

This interpretation has several problems: One, as noted above, is that current scholarship does place the incident on July 19. The original Knobloch letter quoted from Kant here[85] does not specify a day of the week, but the definitive The Swedenborg Epic biography associates the 19th with Saturday.[86] Furthermore, if the 29th is associated with Sunday, as just noted, then the 19th would be associated with Saturday. And, finally, there is, again, the simple logic that, if Swedenborg had received news of the fire at the same time as everyone else in Gothenburg, there would have been no anomaly perceived at the time and recorded for history.
[edit] The Queen of Sweden

The second event was in 1758 when Swedenborg visited Queen Louisa Ulrika of Sweden, who asked him to tell her something about her deceased brother Prince Augustus William of Prussia. The next day, Swedenborg whispered something in her ear that turned the Queen pale and she explained that this was something only she and her brother could know about.[87]
[edit] The lost document

The third was a woman who had lost an important document, and came to Swedenborg asking if a recently deceased person could tell him where it was, which he (in some sources) was said to have done the following night.[88]

Although not typically cited along with these three episodes, there was one further piece of evidence of possible pertinence here: Swedenborg was noted by the seamen of the ships that he sailed between Stockholm and London to always have excellent sailing conditions.[89] When asked about this by a friend, Swedenborg played down the matter, saying he was surprised by this experience himself and that he was certainly not able to do miracles.[89]
[edit] Kant on Swedenborg

In 1763, Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), then at the beginning of his career, was impressed by these accounts and made inquiries to find out if they were true. He also ordered all eight volumes of the expensive Arcana Cœlestia (Heavenly Arcana or Heavenly Mysteries). One Charlotte von Knobloch wrote Kant asking his opinion of Swedenborg’s psychic experiences[90][91] Kant wrote a very affirmative reply, referring to Swedenborg’s “miraculous” gift, and characterizing him as “reasonable, agreeable, remarkable and sincere” and “a scholar”, in one of his letters to Mendelssohn,[92] and expressing regret that he (Kant) had never met Swedenborg.[93][94] An English friend who investigated the matter for Kant, including visiting Swedenborg’s home, found Swedenborg to be a “sensible, pleasant and openhearted” man and, here again, a scholar.[95]

However, three years later, in 1766, Kant wrote and anonymously published a small book entitled Träume eines Geistersehers (Dreams of a Spirit-Seer)[96] that was a scathing critique of Swedenborg and his writings. He termed Swedenborg a “spook hunter”[97]“without official office or occupation”[98] As rationale for his critique Kant said that he wanted to stop “ceaseless questioning”[99] and inquiries about "Dreams" from “inquisitive” persons, “both known and unknown,”[100] and “importunate appeals from known and unknown friends.”[101] as well as from “moon calves”[101] He also said he did not want to expose himself to ”mockery.”[102] More significantly, He became concerned about being seen as an apologist for both Swedenborg and for Spiritism in the guise of the interest in Swedenborg.,[103] which might have damaged his career.[104] It seems clear that Dreams was intended as a refutation of all such thinking.[105] This left Kant in the ironic or hypocritical position of trying to free himself of ridicule while at the same time applying ridicule to Swedenborg .[103]

However, there has long been a suspicion among some scholars that, despite "Dreams", Kant actually had a behind-the-scenes respect for Swedenborg.[106] Certainly there were inconsistencies in Kant’s handling of this issue. For instance,

(1) Kant’s writing style was usually “complex, labored, dry ...and earnest”[107] but in ‘‘Dreams’’ was often “playful, ironic and humorous”.[107]

(2) While he mocked Swedenborg in print, in the preserved notes of Kant’s lectures on metaphysics taken by a student named Herder, Kant treated Swedenborg with respect, “not to be sneezed at”.[108][109] At one point, Herder’s notes term Swedenborg’s visions as “quite sublime”.[110]

(3) Kant’s friend Moses Mendelssohn thought there was a “joking pensiveness” in "Dreams" that sometimes left the reader in doubt as to whether "Dreams” was meant to make “metaphysics laughable or spirit-seeking credible”.[111]

(4) In a one of his letters to Mendelssohn Kant refers to "Dreams" less-than-enthusiastically as a “desultory little essay”.[112]

Finally, a case has been made that Kant wrote "Dreams" before, not after, the Knobloch letter and that this was accomplished by accidentally or deliberately falsifying the dates of the documents involved, notably that of the Knobloch letter.[113] This alteration, if true, would strengthen the case for Swedenborg’s work being viewed by Kant, in the last analysis, positively. However, the fact of the matter is difficult to determine since the key date involved is that of the original of the Knobloch letter, which is lost.[113]
[edit] Theology

Swedenborg considered his theology a revelation of the true Christian religion that had become obfuscated through centuries of theology. However, he did not refer to his writings as theology since he considered it based on actual experiences, unlike theology,[27] except in the title of his last work. Neither did he wish to compare it to philosophy, a discipline he discarded in 1748 because it "darkens the mind, blinds us, and wholly rejects the faith".[114]

The foundation of Swedenborg's theology was laid down in Arcana Cœlestia (Heavenly Mysteries), published in eight Latin volumes from 1749 to 1756. In a significant portion of that work, he interprets the Biblical passages of Genesis and Exodus. He reviews what he says is the inner spiritual sense of these two works of the Word of God. (He later made a similar review of the inner sense of the book of Revelation in Apocalypse Revealed.[115]) Most of all, he was convinced that the Bible describes a human's transformation from a materialistic to a spiritual being, which he calls rebirth or regeneration. He begins this work by outlining how the creation myth was not an account of the creation of Earth, but an account of man's rebirth or regeneration in six steps represented by the six days of creation. Everything related to mankind in the Bible could also be related to Jesus Christ, and how Christ freed himself from materialistic boundaries through the glorification of his human presence by making it Divine. Swedenborg examines this idea in his exposition of Genesis and Exodus.[116]
[edit] Marriage

One aspect of Swedenborg's writing that is often discussed is his ideas of marriage. Swedenborg himself remained a bachelor all his life, but that did not hinder him from writing voluminously about the subject. His work on Marriage Love (Conjugial Love in older translation)(1768) was dedicated to this purpose.[117]

The quality of the relationship between husband and wife resumes in the spiritual world in whatever state it was at their death in this world. Thus, a couple in true spiritual love remain together in that state in heaven for eternity. A couple lacking in that love by one or both partners, however, will separate after death and each will be given a compatible new partner. A partner is also given to a person who loved the ideal of spiritual marriage but never found a true partner in this world. The exception in both cases is a person who hates chaste marriage and thus cannot receive such a partner.[118]

Swedenborg saw creation as a series of pairings, descending from the Divine love and wisdom[119] that define God and are the basis of creation. This duality can be seen in the pairing of good and truth,[120] charity and faith,[121] God and the church,[122] and husband and wife.[123] In each case, the goal for these pairs is to achieve conjunction between the two component parts. In the case of marriage, the object is to bring about the joining together of the two partners at the spiritual and physical levels, and the happiness that comes as a consequence.
[edit] Trinity

Swedenborg was sharply opposed to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity as three Persons, the Person of the Father, the Person of the Son, and the Person of the Holy Spirit. Instead, he claimed that the three were different components of the one God, one Person, in whom is the Divine Trinity, and that divinity is impossible if divided into three Persons. The three components are the Divine Himself (the Father), the Divine Human (the Son, Jesus Christ), and the going forth into the world of God’s influence, which is the Holy Spirit.[124][125] All three components, soul, mind and body, can be seen in people, who are created in God’s image.[126]

Swedenborg spoke against the Trinity of Persons in virtually all his works.[127] The Divinity or Divine essence of the three is one, as the Person is one. According to Swedenborg, Muslims, Jews and people of other religions are mainly opposed to Christianity because its doctrine of the Trinity of Persons makes One God into three Gods. He considered the separation of the Trinity into three separate Persons to have originated with the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD and the Athanasian Creed, circa 500.[128] For example:

From a Trinity of Persons, each one of whom singly is God, according to the Athanasian creed, many discordant and heterogeneous ideas respecting God have arisen, which are phantasies and abortions. [.] All who dwell outside the Christian church, both Mohammedans and Jews, and besides these the Gentiles of every cult, are averse to Christianity solely on account of its belief in three Gods.

— Swedenborg, True Christian Religion, section 183[129]

Swedenborg's theological teachings about the Trinity being in the One Person Jesus Christ is labeled by some as modalism because it identifies three aspects (not persons) of One God, a unitarian God.
[edit] Sola fide (Faith Alone)

He also spoke sharply against the tenet called Sola fide, which means that salvation or righteousness before God is achievable by a gift of God's grace ("Sola gracia"), through faith alone, irrespective of the person's deeds in life. Sola fide was a doctrine averred by Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli and others during the Protestant Reformation, and was a core belief especially in the theology of the Lutheran reformers Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon. Swedenborg instead held that salvation is only possible through the conjunction of faith and charity in a person, and that the purpose of faith is to lead a person to live according to the truths of faith, which is charity. He further states that faith and charity must be exercised by doing good out of willing good whenever possible, which are good works or good uses or the conjunction perishes. In one section he wrote:

It is very evident from their Epistles that it never entered the mind of any of the apostles that the church of this day would separate faith from charity by teaching that faith alone justifies and saves apart from the works of the law, and that charity therefore cannot be conjoined with faith, since faith is from God, and charity, so far as it is expressed in works, is from man. But this separation and division were introduced into the Christian church when it divided God into three persons, and ascribed to each equal Divinity.

— True Christian Religion, section 355[130]

[edit] Works

List of referenced works by Swedenborg and the year they were first published.[131][132][133]

Within parenthesis, the common name used in text, based on the New Church online bookstore. Then follows the name of the original title in its original publication.[134] Various minor reports and tracts have been omitted from the list.

1716–1718, (Daedalus Hyperboreus) Swedish: Daedalus Hyperboreus, eller några nya mathematiska och physicaliska försök. (English: The Northern inventor, or some new experiments in mathematics and physics)
1721, (Principles of Chemistry) Latin: Prodromus principiorum rerum naturalium : sive novorum tentaminum chymiam et physicam experimenta geometrice explicandi
1722, (Miscellaneous Observations) Latin: Miscellanea de Rebus Naturalibus
1734, (Principia) Latin: Opera Philosophica et Mineralia (English: Philosophical and Mineralogical Works), three volumes
(Principia, Volume I) Latin: Tomus I. Principia rerum naturlium sive novorum tentaminum phaenomena mundi elementaris philosophice explicandi
(Principia, Volume II) Latin: Tomus II. Regnum subterraneum sive minerale de ferro
(Principia, Volume III) Latin: Tomus III. Regnum subterraneum sive minerale de cupro et orichalco
1734, (The Infinite and Final Cause of Creation) Latin: Prodromus Philosophiz Ratiocinantis de Infinito, et Causa Finali Creationis; deque Mechanismo Operationis Animae et Corporis.
1744–1745, (The Animal Kingdom) Latin: Regnum animale, 3 volumes
1745, (The Worship and Love of God) Latin: De Cultu et Amore Dei, 2 volumes
1749–1756, (Arcana Coelestia (or Cœlestia including Latin variant, Arcana Caelestia (Heavenly Mysteries) Latin: Arcana Cœlestia, quae in Scriptura Sacra seu Verbo Domini sunt, detecta, 8 volumes
1758, (Heaven and Hell) Latin: De Caelo et Ejus Mirabilibus et de inferno. Ex Auditis et Visis.
1758, (The Last Judgment) Latin: De Ultimo Judicio
1758, (The White Horse) Latin: De Equo Albo de quo in Apocalypsi Cap.XIX.
1758, (Earths in the Universe) Latin: De Telluribus in Mundo Nostro Solari, quæ vocantur planetæ: et de telluribus in coelo astrifero: deque illarum incolis; tum de spiritibus & angelis ibi; ex auditis & visis.
1758, (The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine) Latin: De Nova Hierosolyma et Ejus Doctrina Coelesti
1763, (Doctrine of the Lord) Latin:Doctrina Novæ Hierosolymæ de Domino.
1763, (Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture) Latin: Doctrina Novæ Hierosolymæ de Scriptura Sacra.
1763, (Doctrine of Life) Latin: Doctrina Vitæ pro Nova Hierosolyma ex præceptis Decalogi.
1763, (Doctrine of Faith) Latin: Doctrina Novæ Hierosolymæ de Fide.
1763, (Continuation of The Last Judgement) Latin: Continuatio De Ultimo Judicio: et de mundo spirituali.
1763, (Divine Love and Wisdom) Latin: Sapientia Angelica de Divino Amore et de Divina Sapientia. Sapientia Angelica de Divina Providentia.
1764, (Divine Providence) Latin: Sapientia Angelica de Divina Providentia.
1766, (Apocalypse Revealed) Latin: Apocalypsis Revelata, in quae detegunter Arcana quae ibi preedicta sunt.
1768, (Conjugial Love, or Marriage Love) Latin: Deliciae Sapientiae de Amore Conjugiali; post quas sequumtur voluptates insaniae de amore scortatorio.
1769, (Brief Exposition) Latin: Summaria Expositio Doctrinæ Novæ Ecclesiæ, quæ per Novam Hierosolymam in Apocalypsi intelligitur.
1769, (Interaction of the Soul and the Body) Latin: De Commercio Animæ & Corporis.
1771, (True Christian Religion) Latin: Vera Christiana Religio, continens Universam Theologiam Novae Ecclesiae
1859, Drömboken, Journalanteckningar, 1743–1744
1983–1997, (Spiritual Diary) Latin: Diarum, Ubi Memorantur Experientiae Spirituales.

[edit] See also

General Church of the New Jerusalem
Herman Vetterling
List of Christian thinkers in science
Lord's New Church Which Is Nova Hierosolyma
The New Church
New Thought
Religious Science
Second Coming
Swedenborgian Church of North America
Swedenborg Rite
Unity Church

[edit] Notes

^ January 29 according to the Julian calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, the date would be February 8
^ He is called a mystic by many sources, including the Encyclopædia Britannica online version, Swedenborg, Emanuel, retrieved November 8, 2006, and the Encyclopedia of Religion (1987) which starts its article with the description that he was a "Swedish scientist and mystic" .
^ Swedenborg referred to himself as an initialis, in Greek μυστικός (mystikos), "an initiate" (Bergquist, 1999, p.451; in turn based on Arcana Cœlestia §4099)
^ "Christian Bookstore – Religion, Bible and Spirituality Books from the Swedenborg Foundation Online Christian Bookstore". Swedenborg.com. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
^ [1] Swedenborg, E. The Last Judgment and Babylon Destroyed. All the Predictions in the Apocalypse are at This Day Fulfilled.] (Swedenborg Foundation 1952, Paragraphs 1-74)
^ Swedenborg, E. The True Christian Religion: Containing the Universal Theology of The New Church Foretold by the Lord in Daniel 7; 13, 14; and in Revelation 21;1,2 (Swedenborg Foundation 1952, paragraphs 193-215)
^ True Christian Religion, paragraphs 753-786
^ True Christian Religion, paragraph 200
^ Swedenborg, E. Heaven and its Wonders and Hell. From Things Heard and Seen (Swedenborg Foundation, 1946)
^ Bergquist, Preface (p. 15–16)
^ See “Which of Swedenborg’s books are Divine revelation?”
^ Emanuel Swedenborg, Life on Other Planets. Translator: John Chadwick. Foreword By: Raymond Moody, ISBN 0-87785-320-7.
^ Simons K. The Life on Other Planets Question The Swedenborg Project 2007
^ Block, M.B The New Church in the New World. A Study of Swedenborgianism in America (Holt 1932; reprint Octagan 1968), Chapter 3.]
^ Benz, E. Emanuel Swedenborg. Visionary Savant in The Age of Reason (translated by Goodrick-Clarke (Swedenborg Foundation 2002, p. 487)
^ Crompton, S. Emanuel Swedenborg (Chelsea House 2005, p. 76)
^ Block, Chapter 3
^ Ahlstrom, S.E. A Religious History of the American People (Yale 1972, p. 483)
^ Johan Henrik Kellgren published an often quoted satirical poem entitled Man äger ej snille för det man är galen ("You Own Not Genius For That You are Mad") in 1787. See Jonsson, Inge, Swedenborg och Linné, in Delblanc & Lönnroth (1999). (Link to the full poem, in Swedish)
^ The trial in 1768 was again Gabrial Beyer and Johan Rosén and essentially concerned whether Swedenborg's theological writings were consistent with the Christian doctrines. A royal ordinance in 1770 declared that Swedenborg's writings were "clearly mistaken" and should not be taught even though his system of theological thought was never examined. Swedenborg then begged the King for grace and protection in a letter from Amsterdam. A new investigation against Swedenborg stalled and was eventually dropped in 1778. (1999), pp.453–463
^ a b This subject is touched on in the preface of Bergquist (1999), who mentions the biography by Martin Lamm (originally published 1917) and its focus on the similarities of Swedenborg's scientific and theological lives. He mentions an earlier biography by the Swedish physician Emil Kleen who concluded that Swedenborg was blatantly mad, suffering "paranoia and hallucinations". A similar conclusion was made recently by psychiatrist John Johnson in Henry Maudsley on Swedenborg's messianic psychosis, British Journal of Psychiatry 165:690–691 (1994), who wrote that Swedenborg suffered hallucinations of "acute schizophrenia or epileptic psychosis." For comment on Johnson’s interpretation, see special issue of The New Philosophy on The Madness Hypothesis.)
^ a b (Swedish) Nordisk familjebok, 2nd edition (Ugglan) article Svedberg, Jesper (1918)
^ a b Encyclopeaedia Britannica, 1911 edition. article Emanuel Swedenborg
^ Svedberg's pietistic interests are described in Bergquist (1999), p.230–232
^ Martin Lamm (1978 [1915]; pp.1–19) notes how all Swedenborg biographies at that draw similarities between the beliefs of Jesper and Emanuel. Lamm himself partially agrees with them, but he maintains that there were marked differences between them too.
^ Lagercrantz, preface.
^ a b c d x
^ The meeting between the King, Polhelm and Swedenborg is described in detail in Liljegren, Bengt, Karl XII i Lund : när Sverige styrdes från Skåne, (Historiska media, Lund, 1999). ISBN 91-88930-51-3
^ Bergquist (1999), pp.114–115
^ Berquist (1999), pp.118–119
^ Proposed by Lagercrantz, also mentioned by Bergquist (1999), p.119
^ Fodstad, H. The neuron theory Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery 2001;77:20-4
^ Gordh, E. et al.Swedenborg, Linnaeus and Brain Research and the Roles of Gustaf Retzius and Alfred Stroh in the Rediscovery of Swedenborg’s Manuscripts.] Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences 2007; 112:143-164
^ Gross C.G. Emanuel Swedenborg: A neuroscientist before his time. The Neuroscientist’’ 3: 2(1997)
^ Gross, C. "Three before their time: neuroscientists whose ideas were ignored by their contemporaries] Experimental Brain Research 192:321 2009
^ http://www.newchurchhistory.org/articles/glb2007/baker.pdf
^ Bergquist (1999), pp. 142–155
^ Lamm (1987), pp.42–43, notes that by assuming that the soul consists of matter, as Swedenborg did, one becomes a materialist. He further notes that this was also noted by contemporaries.
^ Jonsson, Inge, Swedenborg och Linné, in Delblanc & Lönnroth, p.321
^ Bergquist (1999), pp.165–178
^ Jonsson, Inge, Swedenborg och Linné, in Delblanc & Lönnroth, p.325
^ Bergquist, p.200–208
^ Bergquist (p.206) makes the comparisment to Purgatory
^ Analysis by Bergquist, p.209. Bergquist has previously published a separate book commenting on the Journal called Swedenborgs drömbok : glädjen och det stora kvalet (Stockholm, Norstedt, 1988)
^ Bergquist (1999), pp.210–211
^ This account is based in Bergquist (1999), pp.227–228. The story was much later told by Swedenborg to Carl Robsahm (see Robsahm, #15)
^ Bergquist (1999),pp.286–287
^ Cf. Michelle Grier, 'Swedenborg and Kant on Spiritual Intuition' in On the True Philosopher: Essays on Swedenborg, ed. Stephen McNeilly (London: Swedenborg Society, 2002), p. 1. Accessed 2010-11-11
^ Bergquist (1999), p.287
^ Bergquist (1999), p.288
'^ Jonsson, Inge, Swedenborg och Linné, in Delblanc & Lönnroth, p.316
^ The Last Judgment and Babylon Destroyed. All the Predictions in the Apocalypse are At this Day Fulfilled from Things Heard and Seen. From 'De Ultimo Judicio Et De Babylonia Destructa,
^ Last Judgment, #60
^ Swedenborg, E. Heaven and Its Wonders From Things Heard and Seen (Swedenborg Foundation 1946, #421-535)
^ Last Judgment #33-34
^ For an extensive explanation of the inner spiritual sense of the book of the Apocalypse, see Swedenborg, E. The Apocalypse Revealed Wherein are Disclosed the Arcana Foretold Which Have Hitherto Remained Concealed (Swedenborg Foundation 1928).
^ Bergquist (1999),p.477–478
^ Trobridge, G. Swedenborg, Life and Teaching (Swedenborg Foundation, 1976, p. 272).
^ Robsahm, #38
^ Bergquist (1999), p.475, quotes a letter from the pastor of the Swedish Church in London, Ferelius, in 1780, first published in Tafel II:I, p.560.
^ Bergquist (1999), p.464
^ Bergquist (1999), 471–476. Accounts of Swedenborg's last days were collected and published in Tafel II:1, pp.577 ff, 556 ff, 560 ff.
^ http://books.google.com/books?id=5plNwQ4xyfwC&pg=PA106&lpg=PA106&dq=john+wesley+swedenborg&source=bl&ots=tv48ELMH0Y&sig=xsFqXKc2uEibBH5YjydRkhEJmvM&hl=en&ei=K0OgTbjLM5TUgQfBsd3lBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CDEQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=john%20wesley%20swedenborg&f=false
^ Epic, p. 430ff.
^ Swedenborg, E. True Christianity, Containing a Comprehensive Theology of the New Church That Was Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1, 2, (Swedenborg Foundation 2006, Translator’s Preface, Vol. 2, p. 36 ff.)
^ Epic, p. 431
^ a b ’’Epic’’, p. 433
^ *"The Madness Hypothesis," a special issue of the academic journal The New Philosophy (1998;101: whole number), in which a number of authors review the question of Swedenborg's sanity. The issue draws the conclusion based on its analysis of the historical evidence that he was not insane.
^ Bergquist (1999), p.474
^ "Who Was Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772)?" An article including a list of biographies about Swedenborg, with a brief analysis of each biographer's point of view. Accessed February 2011.
^ Bergquist (1999), p.15
^ en dikt om ett främmande land med sällsamma lagar och seder. Largercrantz (1996), backpage
^ Sigstedt (1952), p.408
^ Bergquist (1999), p.364–365
^ Lamm (1987 [1915]), dedicates a chapter to the correspondence theories, p.85–109
^ Bergquist (1999), p.312
^ The accounts are fully described in Bergquist, pp. 312–313 and in Chapter 31 of of The Swedenborg Epic. The primary source for these accounts is a letter from Immanuel Kant in 1768 and the Swedenborg collection by Tafel (see references).
^ a b http://www.brandhistoriska.org/olyckor_se.html; in Swedish
^ Staffan Högberg, Stockholms historia (Stockholm’s history), part 1, p. 342; in Swedish)
^ Johnson, G., ed. Kant on Swedenborg. Dreams of a Spirit-Seer and Other Writings.’’ Translation by Johnson, G., Magee, G.E. (Swedenborg Foundation 2002, p. 185)
^ Bergquist, L, Swedenborg's Secret’’ (London, The Swedenborg Society, 2005, p. 270)
^ Johnson, p. 70)
^ http://www.dinstartsida.se/almanacka.asp?datum=1759-07-01; in Swedish
^ John Garth Wilkinson, Emanuel Swedenborg. A Biography. Boston 1849; http://www.ivu.org/history/renaissance/emanuel_swedenborg.pdf.
^ Johnson, G., ed. Kant on Swedenborg. Dreams of a Spirit-Seer and Other Writings. Translation by Johnson, G., Magee, G.E. (Swedenborg Foundation 2002, p. 67)
^ Sigstedt, C. The Swedenborg Epic. The Life and Works of Emanuel Swedenborg’’ (New York: Bookman Associates, 1952)
^ According to Bergquist (1999), p.314–315, There are several different accounts of the events which makes it difficult to conclude the exact details of the event. Carl Robsahm (see references) reports the story in this way.
^ According to Bergquist (1999), p.316, there are some ten different reports of this event. There are two trustworthy descriptions, one by Robsahm (writing down Swedenborg's own description) and one by a priest who enquired of the woman in a letter fifteen years later.
^ a b Sigstedt, p. 329
^ Benz,p.11
^ This letter is further discussed in Laywine, A., Kant’s Early Metaphysics. North American Kant Society Studies in Philosophy, volume 3 (Atascadero, California: Ridgeview Publishing Company, 1993), pp.72–74.
^ Johnson 2002. p. 69
^ Johnson 202, p. 71
^ Benz 2001, p. 13
^ Johnson, p. 69
^ Johnson, G., Magee, G.E. (Swedenborg Foundation 2002)
^ Benz 2001, p. 31
^ Benz, E., Heron, A. (Translator) Spiritual Vision and Revelation, Chapter VI. The Mystery of a Date – Fresh light on Kant’s Criticism of Swedenborg, p. 13, reprinted in The New Philosophy 2001 104:7
^ Johnson 2002, p. 83
^ Johnson, G. Did Kant dissemble his interest in Swedenborg? "The New Philosophy" 1999, 102: 531
^ a b Johnson 1999, p. 29
^ Johnson 1999, p. 84
^ a b Benz 2001, p. 31
^ Benz 2001, p. 31)
^ Benz 2001, p.29)
^ Benz 2001, p. xiii
^ a b Benz 2001, p. xiv
^ Benz 2001, pp. xiii, xv
^ Johnson 2002, p. 73
^ Johnson 2002, p. xv
^ Johnson 2002, p. 123
^ Johnson 2002, p. 85
^ a b Benz 2001, p. 15ff.
^ Quoted by Bergquist (1999), p. 178, based on Swedenborg's Spiritual Experiences (1748), §767 (It should be noted, however, that Spiritual Experiences is not among the works Swedenborg published himself, and thus may not be authoritative revelation. See “Which of Swedenborg’s books are Divine revelation?”
^ The Apocalypse Revealed Wherein are Disclosed the Arcana Foretold Which Have Hitherto Remained Concealed
^ Bergquist (1999), p.286–309
^ Marriage Love #1
^ Marriage Love 46-50)
^ Marriage Love #52
^ Marriage Love #84
^ Marriage Love #1
^ Marriage Love #117
^ Marriage Love #83
^ New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine, # 290 and 306
^ The True Christian Religion, #139-184
^ (Genesis 1: 26-27)
^ Bergquist (1999), p.301.
^ True Christian Religion, sections 163–168
^ "True Christian Religion, sections 336 ff". Biblemeanings.info. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
^ Latin booktitles, The Swedenborg Society, accessed November 21, 2006.
^ The original title, and year of publication is based on Bergquist (1999), Litteraturförteckning (pp.525–534).
^ ‘’The Works of Emanuel Swedenborg in Chronological Order’’, Emanuel Swedenborg Studies, accessed February 3, 2011 .
^ Emanuel Swedenborg Bibliography, New Church website, accessed November 14, 2006

[edit] References

Ahlstrom, S.E. A Religious History of the American People (Yale 1972) Includes section on Swedenborg by this scholar.
Benz, Ernst, Emanuel Swedenborg: Visionary Savant in the Age of Reason (Swedenborg Foundation, 2002) ISBN 0-87785-195-6, a translation of the thorough German language study on life and work of Swedenborg, Emanuel Swedenborg: Naturforscher und Seher by the noted religious scholar Ernst Benz, published in Munich in 1948.
Bergquist, Lars, Swedenborg's Secret, (London, The Swedenborg Society, 2005) ISBN 0-85448-143-5, a translation of the Swedish language biography of Swedenborg, Swedenborgs Hemlighet, published in Stockholm in 1999. ISBN 91-27-06981-8
Block, M.B. The New Church in the New World. A study of Swedenborgianism in America (Holt 1932; Octagon reprint 1968) A detailed history of the ideational and social development of the organized churches based on Swedenborg's works.
Crompton, S. Emanuel Swedenborg (Chelsea House 2005) Recent biography of Swedenborg.
Johnson, G., ed. Kant on Swedenborg. Dreams of a Spirit-Seer and Other Writings. Translation by Johnson, G., Magee, G.E. (Swedenborg Foundation 2002) New translation and extensive set of supplementary texts.
Lamm, Martin, Swedenborg: En studie (1987; first ed. 1915). A popular biography that is still read and quoted. It is also available in English: Emanuel Swedenborg: The Development of His Thought, Martin Lamm (Swedenborg Studies, No. 9, 2001), ISBN 0-87785-194-8
Lagercrantz, Olof, Dikten om livet på den andra sidan (Wahlström & Widstrand 1996), ISBN 91-46-16932-6. In Swedish.
Leon, James, Overcoming Objections to Swedenborg's Writings Through the Development of Scientific Dualism An examination of Swedenborg's discoveries. The author is a professor of psychology (1998; published in New Philosophy, 2001)
Emanuel Swedenborg and Dean Fagerstrom – Servants of the Lord and Current Forces to Emphasize the Marriage of Good and Truth As a Means of Healing Society’s Ills...[citation needed]
Moody, R.A. Life after Life (Bantam 1975) Reports correlation of near-death experience with Swedenborg's reports of life after death.
Price, R. Johnny Appleseed. Man and Myth (Indiana 1954) Definitive study of this legendary man. Includes details of his interest in Swedenborg and the organizational New Church
Robsahm, Carl, Hallengren, Anders (translation and comments), Anteckningar om Swedenborg (Föreningen Swedenborgs Minne: Stockholm 1989), ISBN 91-87856-00-X. Hallengren writes that the first complete publication of the Robsam manuscript was in R.L. Tafel's Documents, Vol. I, 1875 (see section "#Further reading")
Sigstedt, C.,The Swedenborg Epic. The Life and Works of Emanuel Swedenborg (New York: Bookman Associates, 1952). The whole book is available online at Swedenborg Digital Library.
Toksvig, Signe, Emanuel Swedenborg. Scientist and Mystic., Yale University Press, (1948), and Swedenborg Foundation, (1983), ISBN 0-87785-171-9

[edit] Further reading

Newer material:

The Arms of Morpheus—Essays on Swedenborg and Mysticism, ed. Stephen McNeilly (London: Swedenborg Society, 2007), ISBN 978-0-85448-150-7.
Between Method and Madness—Essays on Swedenborg and Literature, ed. Stephen McNeilly (London: Swedenborg Society, 2005), ISBN 978-0-85448-145-3.
In Search of the Absolute—Essays on Swedenborg and Literature, ed. Stephen McNeilly (London: Swedenborg Society, 2005), ISBN 978-0-85448-141-5.
On the True Philosopher and the True Philosophy—Essays on Swedenborg, ed. Stephen McNeilly (London: Swedenborg Society, 2005), ISBN 978-0-85448-134-7.
Swedenborg and His Influence, ed. Erland J. Brock, (Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania: The Academy of the New Church, 1988), ISBN 0-910557-23-3.
Jonathan S. Rose, ed. Emanuel Swedenborg: Essays for the New Century Edition on His Life, Work, and Impact (West Chester, Pennsylvania: Swedenborg Foundation, 2002), ISBN 0-87785-473-4. 580 pages. Multiple scholars contributed to this collection of excellent information on Swedenborg, his manuscripts, and his cultural influence. Republished in 2004 under new title, Scribe of Heaven: Swedenborg's Life, Work, and Impact ISBN 0-87785-474-2.
Wilson van Dusen, The Presence of Other Worlds, Swedenborg Foundation, Inc., New York, Harper & Row, 1974. ISBN 0-87785-166-2
"The Madness Hypothesis," a special issue of The New Philosophy (1998;101: whole number), a journal produced by the Swedenborg Scientific Association, reviews the question of Swedenborg's sanity in scholarly detail, making the case that he was in fact quite sane.
Donald L. Rose, ed., Afterlife: A Guided Tour of Heaven and Its Wonders. Swedenborg Foundation, 2006. (Excellent abridged version of Heaven and Hell)
D. T. Suzuki, translated by Andrew Bernstein, Afterword by David Loy, Swedenborg: Buddha of the North. Swedenborg Foundation, 1996. (Brilliantly shows relevance of Swedenborg's ideas to Buddhist thought.)
Sig Synnestvedt, ed., The Essential Swedenborg: Basic Religious Teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Swedenborg Foundation, 1970.

Older material of importance, some of it not in print:

The most extensive work is: RL Tafel, Documents concerning the Life and Character of Swedenborg, collected, translated and annotated (3 vols., Swedenborg Society, 1875—1877);
J. Hyde, A Bibliography of the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg (Swedenborg Society).
Kant's Träume eines Geistersehers (1766; the most recent edition in English is from 1975, ISBN 3-7873-0311-1 );
J. G. Herder's "Emanuel Swedenborg," in his Adrastea (Werke zur Phil. und Gesch., xii. 110–125).
Transactions of the International Swedenborg Congress (London, 1910), summarized in The New Church Magazine (August, 1910).
Swedenborg and Esoteric Islam (Swedenborg Studies, No 4) by Henry Corbin, Leonard Fox
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Swedenborg; or, the Mystic", in Emerson: Essays and Lectures (New York, New York: The Library of America, 1983), ISBN 978-0-940450-15-8.

[edit] External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Emanuel Swedenborg
Wikisource has original works written by or about: Emanuel Swedenborg
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Emanuel Swedenborg

Australian centre providing a range of services and information about Swedenborg and his spiritual teachings. Full on-line catalogue.
Works by Emanuel Swedenborg at Project Gutenberg.
Works by or about Emanuel Swedenborg in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
Emanuel Swedenborg Studies is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and preserving the historical record of the life and times of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). Among the existing broad context of apologists and critics of Emanuel Swedenborg, it is the mission of Emanuel Swedenborg Studies to establish an objective and comprehensive record of the facts of Emanuel Swedenborg’s Life – all of the facts and only the facts.About, Emanuel Swedenborg Studies, accessed April 30, 2007.
A Journal of Dreams.
Information Swedenborg Inc The mission of Information Swedenborg Inc. is to raise awareness of the life and work of Emanuel Swedenborg. Sells books by, about and related to Swedenborg, world wide but especially within Canada.
The Swedenborg Foundation is a non-profit publisher, book seller, and educational organization which publishes the theological works of Swedenborg, contemporary books and videos on spiritual growth, offers lectures and workshops, and maintains a library of Swedenborgian literature.
The Heavenly Doctrines, a searchable library of Swedenborg's "revelatory phase" theological writings.
Small Canon Search Swedenborg enumerated in his Arcana Coelestia #10,325 the books of the Bible that were, according to his revelation, Divinely inspired. In his True Christian Religion # 779 he indicated that books of his revelation that he published were also Divine revelation. This search engine, then, for the convenience of the reader, searches only the works thus inspired. For further review of this issue, see Which of Swedenborg's books are Divine revelation?
Emanuel Swedenborg Swicki, a collaborative community searching the World Wide Web for information about Emanuel Swedenborg.
The Swedenborg Project A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in the state of Maryland for the purpose of disseminating the teachings of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, revealed through Swedenborg. The Project’s website provides an overview and reference information in keeping with that goal.
The Swedenborg Digital Library contains online full-text versions of books about Swedenborg and the Second Coming as well as access to the books of the Second Coming teachings that Swedenborg himself published.First Translation of Swedenborg's theological writings: 16th Chapter of Genesis as explained in the Arcana Cœlestia (This translation from Latin into English was commissioned by Swedenborg himself and is a photocopy of a first edition copy: PDF - 12MB).
The Swedenborg Society The Swedenborg Society translates, prints and publishes works by the Swedish scientist, philosopher and visionary, Emanuel Swedenborg.
The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine According to What Has Been Heard from Heaven With an Introduction Concerning The New Heaven and the New Earth (Swedenbog Society 1911; Swedenborg Foundation 1951) This book is one of the Writings but is included in the present section because it provides an extremely compact summary of the Writings that was written by Swedenborg himself.

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