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Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell

5.0 8
by EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, GEORGE F. DOLE (Translator), Bernhard Lang (Introduction)

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What happens to us when we die? Are heaven and hell real? If so, what are they like? Heaven and Hell contains the answers to these questions as seen by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772).


This new translation of Swedenborg’s most popular work paints a detailed picture of life in the spiritual realms. A Swedish Enlightenment scientist of extraordinary


What happens to us when we die? Are heaven and hell real? If so, what are they like? Heaven and Hell contains the answers to these questions as seen by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772).


This new translation of Swedenborg’s most popular work paints a detailed picture of life in the spiritual realms. A Swedish Enlightenment scientist of extraordinary accomplishment, Swedenborg underwent a spiritual crisis that led to an unparalleled series of paranormal experiences. He spent his last twenty-seven years in almost daily experience of heaven and hell, recording his observations and conversations, many of which are reported in Heaven and Hell. This sustained and detailed description of the nonphysical realms has left its impression on the minds of many great thinkers, including Goethe, Blake, Coleridge, Emerson, Borges, and Milosz.


This deluxe edition contains an introduction by religious historian Bernhard Lang setting the volume in the context of its time.


The New Century Edition of the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg is a modern-language, scholarly translation of Swedenborg’s theological works. The series’ easy-to-read style retains the dignity, variety, clarity, and gender-inclusive language of Swedenborg’s original Latin, bringing his thought to life. Introductions and annotations by eminent, international scholars place Swedenborg’s writings in their historical context and illuminate obscure references within the text, enabling readers to understand and trace Swedenborg’s influence as never before.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Swedenborg Foundation has done handsomely by its eponymous visionary with this first volume in a new 25 part set of translations for his of his work. They have begun with a fine new translation of Emmanuel Swedenborg's most famous work, a description of the many heavens and hells that make up the great 18th-century thinker's cosmology, at once perfectly logical and perfectly eccentric. Swedenborg's afterworld is a kind of reflection and amplification of our own, and his vision of moving and active collective of heavens, occupied by the very real blessed dead, has been a tremendous influence on Goethe, Emerson, and Jorge Luis Borges, among many others. Dole's translation has the clarity and simplicity of Swedenborg's Latin, and the notes and supplementary material are wonderfully balanced and informative. Highly recommended. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Inaugurates a projected 25-volume series representing the first time the complete work of the Swedish scientist, theologian, and religious mystic Swedenborg (1688-1772) will be produced in English by the same publisher using unified standards of translation and scholarship. Supporting the translation of are an introduction, diagrams, a chronological table, endnotes, a table showing parallel passages in other works, and three indices. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

Swedenborg Foundation Publishers
Publication date:
Nw Century Edition
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Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

“Some people believe it is hard to lead the heaven-bound life that is called ‘spiritual’ because they have heard that we need to renounce the world and give up the desires attributed to the body and the flesh and ‘live spiritually.’ All they understand by this is spurning worldly interests, especially concerns for money and prestige, going around in constant devout meditation about God, salvation, and eternal life, devoting their lives to prayer, and reading the Word and religious literature. They think this is renouncing the world and living for the spirit and not for the flesh. However, the actual case is quite different, as I have learned from an abundant experience and conversation with angels. In fact, people who renounce the world and live for the spirit in this fashion take on a mournful life for themselves, a life that is not open to heavenly joy, since our life does remain with us [after death]. No, if we would accept heaven’s life, we need by all means to live in the world and to participate in its duties and affairs. In this way, we accept a spiritual life by means of our moral and civic life; and there is no other way a spiritual life can be formed within us, no other way our spirits can be prepared for heaven. This is because living an inner life and not an outer life at the same time is like living in a house that has no foundation, that gradually either settles or develops gaping cracks or totters until it collapses.”

Meet the Author

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish scientist, nobleman, and theologian who spent his life investigating the mysteries of the soul. Born in Stockholm to a staunchly Lutheran family, he graduated from the University of Uppsala and then traveled to England, Holland, France, and Germany to study the leading scientists of the time. He gained favor with Sweden’s King Charles XII, who gave him the position of overseer of the Swedish mining industry. Later, he was given a seat on the Swedish House of Nobles by Charles XII’s successor, Queen Ulrika Eleonora. Between 1743 and 1745 he began to have visions of heaven, hell, and Jesus Christ which resulted in a stream of books about the nature of God, the afterlife, and the inner meaning of the Bible. He devoted the last decades of his life to studying Scripture and presenting his own unique theology to the world.

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Heaven and Hell 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you ever wondered what life after death was like, this book is perhaps the most complete description of it: we do survive after death with spiritual bodies, but in heaven and hell the ideas in our minds become our new reality. There is a correspondence in heaven and hell with the state of our mind, and how we have loved others.  The overriding principle of God is love, and in heaven we will be with those who are like us, who love us most.  There is no "time and space" in the spiritual world, instead distance is determined by how much you love others.  All communication is telepathic.  At the center of heaven is a spiritual Sun, which is the Lord - which has now been reported multiple times by those who have had a Near Death Experience. Unlike other editions, this digital work is well formatted, where footnotes, references and the index are hyperlinked for easy reading.  Although it is one of my favorite works by Swedenborg, there are other works where we dives into the spiritual meaning of the Bible, and discusses Christian theology at length based upon the experiences and knowledge Swedenborg obtained from his visionary experiences.  Overall, a very rational explanation of Christianity.  This work is part of the series "The Divine Revelation of the New Jerusalem", which contains all the works of Swedenborg hyperlinked together, and are also available as separate volumes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Swedenborg was a Swedish scientist who began to have almost daily contact with angels who gave him tours of heaven and hell. He wrote numerous volumes, this being a great one to start with. He describes what he saw in both heaven and hell and describes them often in great detail. He describes not only the clothes that angels wear, but also time, space, children.... I really enjoyed his descriptions of death and the different stages one progresses through. Another major concept described in detail in this book is correspondences. This is a great translation although I believe the Swedenborg Foundation is about to come out with a newer Dole translation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is great, absolutely great. I'm just now beginning to read swedenborgs work (I heard about the man a few months ago). I've been reading it in PDF form, yet find myself compelled to buy the Swedenborg Foundations version, even at it's high price.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in my sophomore religion class and found it very interesting. I found it comforting to read knowing that when i died that was not going to be the end. It is also nice to know that I will be going to such a nice place when I die- or at least what I consider to be nice- hopefully when I die I will find heaven nice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read 'Heaven and Hell' by Emanuel Swedenborg first when I was a younge girl. At the time I was astounded and comforted by this work's informative and hopeful outlook on life and the life beyond. It helped me to have hope within, even in times of great doubt. I am so greatful for this most recent translation of 'Heaven and Hell' and am already seeing the beautiful effects of this book on my life and others as they explore its intriguing debths. I would be surpised if anyone did not enjoy this wonderful experience.
StephenMuires More than 1 year ago
Heaven and Hell is definitely the easy access book if you want to get to know Swedenborg. This particular translation is easy to read and in modern English. The book is comparatively short. Swedenborg wrote Heaven and Hell after having finished his major work The Arcana in 12 volumes. Here we have what amounts to a select summary of ideas. There's a chapter on dying and life after death. There are stories of his personal journeys into the spirit world. At this point it doesn't matter if you believe Swedenborg was reporting accurately on his experiences (something we may never be able to verify anyway). What matters is that these accounts are vivid and convincingly detailed. The writer is not a dreamer or a poet. He is a scientist, a theologian. He clearly has a message, and even though that message is Christian and now 250 years old, it is a message that is readable, at times entertaining, and certainly very intriguing. By Stephen Muires, author of 'Ordained - a novel'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago