Heaven and Hell: New Century Edition
By Emanuel Swedenborg
Translated by George F. Dole
Heaven and Hell is Swedenborg’s most popular book and his fullest report of his experiences in the other world. In it he describes heaven, hell, and the world of spirits that lies between them. Read more
Deluxe hardcover, paperback, and e-book, 544 pages
Portable paperback and e-book, 416 pages
The New Century Edition is printed in two different editions:
Contain all of the introductions, notes, and supplemental materials. Heaven and Hell is available as a deluxe hardcover, paperback, and e-book.
Smaller paperbacks that include the complete text of the translations, but none of the introductions, notes, or other supplemental materials.
Heaven and Hell is Swedenborg’s most popular book and his fullest report of his experiences in the other world. In it he describes heaven, hell, and the world of spirits that lies between them, and he recounts in detail the process of passing from life to afterlife, as well as the subsequent experiences of the soul. He counters certain traditional views by maintaining that angels (and devils) are not a separately created genderless race but people (both male and female) who once lived in the physical world. These spirits end up either in heaven or in hell depending upon the lives they have led and the choices they have made on earth. Infants and children of any and all religious backgrounds—atheistic, agnostic, non-Christian, or Christian—enter heaven and grow up to young adult age after death, while adults maintain or regain a state of healthful youth. Swedenborg colors his account with abundant details concerning the nature of the spiritual world—having to do not only with angels and their powers, their language, their homes and clothing, but also with the circumstances of devils and evil spirits.
In many respects, Heaven and Hell is “the place to start” for those who wish to become acquainted with Swedenborg’s rich account of the afterlife. Over the years this volume has been much sought also by readers who have an interest in near-death experiences or who seek consolation for the loss of a loved one.
“Emanuel Swedenborg’s work is a vast, complex, dazzling world, filled with lands and seas of extraordinary beauty and richness. . . . Now George F. Dole has swept away the stuffiness and stiffness of earlier [translations] and given us Swedenborg as he is meant to be: a thrilling visionary, a poetic seer of the first order. In every respect, this is a triumph.”
—Philip Zaleski, The Best Spiritual Writing series
“The Swedenborg Foundation has done handsomely by its eponymous visionary role’s translation has the clarity and simplicity of Swedenborg’s Latin highly recommended.”
“Anyone interested in Western spirituality and esotericism should read Swedenborg. He is a Master. Western culture after his passage was transformed. Those who read him will likewise be transformed. This new translation—crisp, accessible, and even elegant—is a blessing.”
—Christopher Bamford, review in Parabola
About the New Century Edition
The New Century Edition of the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg presents 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.
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