• Secrets of Heaven Vol. 1: New Century Edition

    Genesis 1-8

    By Emanuel Swedenborg
    Translated by Lisa Hyatt Cooper
    Foreword by Wouter J. Hanegraaff

    Secrets of Heaven is a verse-by-verse exposition on the books of Genesis and Exodus. In volume 1, Swedenborg describes the inner meaning of the creation story. Read more

    Deluxe hardcover, paperback, and e-book, 768 pages

    Portable paperback and e-book, 552 pages


    The New Century Edition is printed in two different editions:

    Deluxe Edition

    Contains all of the introductions, notes, and supplemental materials. Secrets of Heaven is available as a deluxe hardcover and paperback.

    Hardcover $29.95Paperback $14.95Kindle $2.99Free EPUB

    Portable Edition

    Smaller paperbacks that include the complete text of the translations, but none of the introductions, notes, or other supplemental materials.

    Paperback $9.95Kindle $1.00Free PDFFree EPUB

Description

Secrets of Heaven is a verse-by-verse exposition of Genesis and Exodus, showing the correspondences (connections through symbol between the material and spiritual world) in which, according to Swedenborg’s analysis, the Bible is written. Each chapter includes embedded sections describing Swedenborg’s spiritual experiences and expounding his theological views.

This book series is Swedenborg’s largest and in many ways most challenging title, but it contains abundant points of interest to reward the adventurous reader. In addition to a deep exploration of biblical inner meaning, it presents Swedenborg’s transcendent visions of heaven and correspondingly horrific views of hell; his reports on the process of dying and entering life after death; his spiritual anthropology (specifically, his descriptions of the spiritual state of the earliest people); and his views on many other topics, including the correspondences of the organs and systems of the human body, the theory of a higher and more perfect level of memory above our conscious memory, the existence and nature of human life on other planets, the dual nature of visions and dreams, and the nature of the human mind and its developmental stages.

Volume 1 covers Genesis 1–8, in which Swedenborg describes the inner meaning of the creation story, the fall of Adam and Eve, and Noah’s deliverance from the flood. He understands the days of creation as an image of the stages of human spiritual transformation; Adam and Eve as symbols for the earliest ancient “church,” a people who eventually fell away from God; and Noah as a symbol of the good individuals who were spared from the evil thinking that flooded human minds during that decline. Interspersed with Swedenborg’s explorations of these narratives are his accounts of stages in the transition to the afterlife. He also describes the nature of the soul after death and the joy experienced in heaven, before concluding with descriptions of hell.

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.

 

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 contributed translations to Debates with Devils by Donald L. Rose and was the main consultant for five of the twelve volumes of John Elliott’s translation of Arcana Caelestia, published by the Swedenborg Society in London. She currently lives in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania.

Reviews

“With regard to Swedenborg’s Secrets of Heaven, there never was a time more pressing than now to understand that the internal spiritual meaning of the Christian Bible refers not to the special dispensation of one sect, but to the evolution of a higher spiritual consciousness within each individual.”

—Eugene Taylor, Ph.D., director of the Cambridge Institute of Psychology and Religion.

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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