• Debates with Devils

    What Swedenborg Heard in Hell

    By Emanuel Swedenborg
    Edited by Donald L. Rose
    Translated by Lisa Hyatt Cooper
    Introduction by Leonard Fox

    Selections from the writings of Swedish visionary Emanuel Swedenborg reveal the nature of hell and the souls who inhabit it. Read more

    Paperback, 154 pages

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In 1996, the Swedenborg Foundation published Conversations with Angels, revealing the wisdom imparted to Swedenborg by heavenly spirits. This companion piece presents Swedenborg’s encounters with evil spirits, narratives arranged thematically by Donald Rose and newly translated by Lisa Hyatt Cooper from several of Swedenborg’s works. Rose explains the nature of these experiences and of Swedenborg’s experience of hell as the provision of a merciful God who seeks restraint rather than vengeance.

About 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.


Donald L. Rose was a Swedenborgian minister who was educated at the Academy of the New Church in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, and at the University of Grenoble in France. He served his ministry in Australia, New Zealand, France, and Holland. During nine years in London, he participated in the work of the Swedenborg Society. He produced a number of Swedenborgian studies designed for young people, including The Human Face. He was the co-editor of Debates with Devils, a companion book to Conversations with Angels, and more recently edited the Foundation title Afterlife.


Lisa Hyatt Cooper is translator of the fifteen-volume Secrets of Heaven for the Swedenborg Foundation’s New Century Edition of Swedenborg. Her past publications include a Latin edition of Swedenborg’s work Other Planets. She lives in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania.


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