This volume contains four shorter works by the influential eighteenth-century mystic Emanuel Swedenborg. Translators George F. Dole and Jonathan S. Rose have produced an accessible rendering of these important yet easily overlooked works.
New Jerusalem: In this work Swedenborg outlines his theology in twenty-three brief chapters on major Christian topics such as love, faith, regeneration, the inner self and outer self, and the nature of the Bible. Nearly every chapter ends with what is in effect an index to that topic as it appears in his much larger study Secrets of Heaven.
Last Judgment: This work on the “end times” asserts that the Last Judgment foretold in the Bible does not involve the end of the physical world. Rather, the Last Judgment was an event of tremendous upheaval in the spiritual world, a nonmaterial apocalypse which has already occurred and which Swedenborg himself witnessed.
White Horse: This brief work is divided into two parts. The first presents the inner meaning of the white horse mentioned in chapter 19 of the book of Revelation. The second is effectively an index to passages concerning the Bible and its inner meaning in Swedenborg’s much larger work Secrets of Heaven. This work is a good short introduction to Swedenborg’s principle of correspondences between the spiritual and physical worlds, as well as to his unique view of the nature of the Bible.
Other Planets: Building on the eighteenth-century fascination with the possibility of life on other worlds and with traveler’s tales of other cultures, this work describes life on other planets in our solar system and elsewhere in the universe. Swedenborg undertook this work specifically to demonstrate that Jesus is God not just of planet Earth but also of the universe as a whole.
About the Author
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish nobleman widely known as a scientist, engineer, inventor, and (in later life) visionary theologian. A graduate of Uppsala University, he spent most of his career as an overseer on Sweden’s Board of Mines, and he was also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and an active member of the Swedish parliament. He is best known for his prolific theological writings, which he produced and published following a spiritual awakening in his mid-fifties, and for the substantial influence those works have had on philosophical thought and spiritual/religious movements in the centuries since his death.
George F. Dole (translator) holds a BA from Yale, an MA from Oxford, and a PhD from Harvard. Now professor emeritus, Dr. Dole taught ancient languages, the Bible, and theology at the Swedenborg School of Religion in Newton, Massachusetts. He has served as translator for other volumes of Swedenborg’s works, and he is also the author of Freedom and Evil, Sorting Things Out, and A Book about Us. He lives in Bath, Maine.
Jonathan S. Rose (translator) is the series editor of the New Century Edition, an ongoing project that incorporates the latest scholarship to produce a modern, accessible translation of Emanuel Swedenborg’s theological works. Holder of a BA and an MDiv in religion and an MA and a PhD in Latin, he has worked for years in the study of Neo-Latin and in Swedenborgian research. He was both chaplain and a tenured professor of religion and sacred languages at Bryn Athyn College before taking on his current position.