• Last Judgment / Supplements: New Century Edition

    By Emanuel Swedenborg
    Translated by George F. Dole and Jonathan S. Rose

    Swedenborg’s description of the Last Judgment, as he claims to have witnessed it in 1757, and how it prepared the way for the new spiritual age that he saw emerging in his lifetime. Read more

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One of the unique facets of Swedenborg’s theology is his assertion that the Last Judgment as foretold in the book of Revelation has already happened—that it took place in the spiritual world and would have lasting effects on earth.

This volume comprises two short works, originally published separately, which describe the Last Judgment as Swedenborg claims to have witnessed it over the course of many months in 1757. In Last Judgment, first published in 1758, Swedenborg lays out how and why the Last Judgment occurred, explaining that history can be divided into a series of spiritual ages or churches. At the end of each age, evil threatens to overwhelm both the physical and the spiritual worlds, and the Lord restores balance between good and evil with a “Last Judgment.” Thus the 1757 Last Judgment, Swedenborg says, applied only to the souls of people who had lived since the time of Christ, and the reformation of the spiritual world allowed humanity to enter the next age with a new understanding of religion. In the second half of Last Judgment, Swedenborg describes how various types of people were judged, a theme he continues in the 1763 short work Supplements.

The new spiritual age that Swedenborg saw emerging during his lifetime is one of the foundational themes in his theology (a theme he explores more deeply in his later work, Revelation Unveiled, which is a commentary on the book of Revelation). In Supplements, Swedenborg succinctly introduces his understanding of the connection between heaven and earth and of how that connection plays out over the course of human history.

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 EvilSorting 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.

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.

Learn more about the New Century Edition

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