The Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

A new philosophy for a new church in a new world


Photograph of quill pen on desk by Ross Pollack

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish scientist, engineer and philosopher who spent his last three decades writing theological works, both Biblical interpretation and more philosophical works on the nature of God, humanity, reality and life after death.

Swedenborg wrote that he was allowed to visit heaven and hell and talk to people there, gaining insight into the spiritual plane of existence. He also said that what he wrote came directly from the Lord, and that it was revealed to him so that the Lord could establish a new church in the world, correcting errors that had arisen in the Christian churches. Despite these extraordinary claims, Swedenborg himself lived humbly, avoided public speaking and stuck to publishing books, making no attempt to organize a church.

This site was created to share those theological works and ideas drawn from them, so people can see and judge for themselves the nature of the insight Swedenborg had. You can access those works – known as “The Writings” by students of his work – on this page, or use the search functions to explore specific topics for yourself.

Swedenborg wrote in Latin, and there are multiple English translations of most of his works (as well as translations into many other modern languages). We offer all the major English translations here (see links in the left column) and will add new ones as they are available. We have also created a collection of additional translations in other languages which have not yet been fully incorporated into the site, but are available as static documents here.

If you’re new to Swedenborg, here are some works you might consider tackling first.

“Heaven and Hell”: This offers a unique and detailed vision of life after death, with people choosing heaven or hell based on the things they love most in life.

“Arcana Coelestia (Heavenly Secrets)”: This 12-volume work offers a phrase-by-phrase analysis of the symbolic spiritual meaning of Genesis and Exodus. It’s a large undertaking, but if you’re a serious student of the Old Testament, it may be for you.

“Conjugial Love”: This describes how male and female minds and spirits are designed to interlock, creating a whole that is truly human. Some struggle with its male perspective, but others see through the 18th-century language to embrace a vision of eternal marriage as the source of all joy in heaven.

“Divine Love and Wisdom”: If you’re into science, this could have definite appeal. The most philosophical of the Writings, it starts with the premise that the Lord is love itself and traces the impact of that idea on spiritual reality, physical reality and the relationship of God and humanity.

“Divine Providence”: This work describes how the Lord operates into our lives, keeping us in freedom while working constantly to draw us toward love and heaven.

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