Swedenborg’s Secret is the first major study of the eighteenth-century Swedish philosopher and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) to be published in English for over fifty years, being a translation of the critically acclaimed Swedish biography Swedenborg’s Hemlighet (1999). Beautifully designed and illustrated throughout with ten color plates and forty-four black-and-white pictures, Swedenborg’s Secret is an authoritative and full-length biography that is immensely readable.
Using a wealth of historical material, Lars Bergquist paints a vivid portrait of an ambitious and practical man who was one of the greatest figures of the Enlightenment, a polymath who was a poet, inventor, mathematician, mineralogist, anatomist, and cosmologist. Bergquist also reveals Swedenborg to be a “man of two worlds,” someone who not only played an active part in the political life of his nation but who was also a spiritual visionary, setting out a stunning vision of human destiny in works such as Heaven and Hell and New Jerusalem. Swedenborg’s Secret reclaims Swedenborg from the margins of contemporary thought and places him where he belongs: as a founding figure of modern spirituality and Western philosophy.
The book also contains a chronology of Swedenborg’s life and contemporary events, an appendix listing the contents of Swedenborg’s personal library and other books he was known to have owned or read, a comprehensive bibliography, and a full index.