Swedish scholar and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg spent his life exploring both the physical sciences and the spiritual realms in his quest to understand the secrets of the human soul. In the process, he left volumes of writings that continue to inspire seekers today.

For new readers of Swedenborg, the challenge is knowing where to start and what to read. This volume offers a taste of some of his most powerful writings. Included are five books:

Heaven and Hell: an overview of the afterlife
Divine Love and Wisdom: an explanation of the nature of God
Divine Providence: an understanding of why evil is allowed to exist in the world
True Christianity: a different perspective on Christian teachings
Secrets of Heaven: an unveiling of the inner meaning of Scripture

What happens to our souls after we die? What is the nature of God? Of evil? How can we transform our inner selves and truly partake in God’s love? The writings in this volume answer all those questions and more, unfolding Swedenborg’s lessons about how we can deepen our faith and put it into action.

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.


George F. Dole 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 is also the author of Freedom and Evil, Sorting Things Out, and A Book about Us. He lives in Bath, Maine.


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.


Jonathan S. Rose 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 B.A. and a M.Div. in religion and a M.A. and a Ph.D. 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.


A Swedenborg Sampler is a compilation of the best of his writings in translation. This book contains selections from five of his works the translators have deemed appropriate for a mainstream audience…This new translation is easy to read, written in everyday language accessible to the uninitiated. The meticulous presentation is informative and mesmerizing.”

—Julia Ann Carpentier, ForeWord Reviews, June 3, 2011

“Writing over two centuries ago, scientist-turned-mystic Swedenborg almost perfectly captured the tone of the current expansion of New Age into a mainstream spiritual philosophy. As more and more people begin to seek out contact with out-of-body entities, and even more begin looking to reconcile their traditional religious roots with their changing needs and beliefs, the writings of Swedenborg should start getting more attention. The Swedenborg Foundation has had the good sense to offer the public an easy-to-read introduction to this prolific intellectual’s body of work. Five of Swendenborg’s most popular books are excerpted, newly translated, and presented with brief introductions which provide background for the excerpts. The Swedenborg Foundation is simultaneously releasing an inspirational novel—The Guardian Angel Diary by Grant Schnarr— which Dr. Mehmet Oz describes as “just the kind of medicine we should be prescribing.” It will be a perfect display companion, letting people know that Swedenborg’s work speaks across the ages and continues to influence writers and philosophers.”

—Anna Jedrziewski, New Age Retailer, May 2011 online edition

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