As a U.S.-based organization with global connections, we have borne witness to the escalation of expressions of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry here and abroad over the last several years. We’ve faced challenges of our own, because Swedenborg himself made deeply problematic statements about other races, ethnicities, and religions that are hard to reconcile with the expressions of love, faith, and hope found throughout his writings.
We as an organization have chosen to embrace Swedenborg’s powerful messages of divine love and wisdom as a call to respect all of God’s creations equally. In the list of resources that follow, we hope you’ll consider each in the spirit of compassion and charity that Swedenborg called us to.
Swedenborg’s professional career as a scientist and government representative, as well as his spiritual experiences resulted in a unique theology that could serve as a helpful guide for societies throughout the world.
[Good leaders] do not control and command but minister and serve, for doing good for others out of a love for what is good is serving, and making sure that it happens is ministering.(Heaven and Hell §218)
Our Response to Racism (June 2020)
A statement from the board and staff of the Swedenborg Foundation on issues of race and racism.
Off The Left Eye Videos
“Spiritual Anti-Racism Concepts from Swedenborg”
Curtis Childs, producer and host of our webcast series Swedenborg & Life and News from Heaven, examines the demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s murder as a call to spiritual repentance.
“All Religions Exist in Heaven — A Response to the Recent Tragedy in New Zealand”
Recorded as a response to the mosque shooting in New Zealand in 2019, this video emphasizes Swedenborg’s teaching that different religious faiths are each a different path to the same spiritual wisdom. The same ideas are illustrated in our short clip “Many Religions, One Heart.”
“Angels After Terrorism”
Curtis interviews the parents of American student Nicolas Leslie, who was killed in the Nice, France truck attack in 2016, about how they find comfort through Swedenborg’s teachings.
“You Are the Lungs”
This short video, one of the most popular offerings on the Off The Left Eye YouTube channel, shows how we are all part of a greater whole.
Find hundreds more ad-free videos on spiritual growth on our Off The Left Eye YouTube channel.
Spirituality in Practice Blog
“Finding Peace in a World of Violence” (February 2017)
A timeless blog from Swedenborg & Life writer Chelsea Rose Odhner on putting the aftershocks of tragedy behind us.
Good Government (January 2019)
Emanuel Swedenborg’s visionary experiences offer a new perspective on good government and leadership. In his classic Heaven and Hell, he tells us that communities in heaven have governments, which we delve into in this blog.
Racism and Leadership: Some Spiritual Principles and Personal Reflections (September 2020)
Blog by Rev. Christopher A. Barber who writes on matters of church doctrine, history, and life, and loves to help students grasp biblical and theological concepts in the light of a New Church worldview.
Transformational Fire in Nature, Society, and Spiritual Life (August 2017)
Writer and philosopher George Gantz explores parallels between Swedenborg’s writings and fire in society.
What Swamps Teach Us about Spiritual Life (November 2017)
Blog author George Gantz uses Swedenborg’s idea of spiritual correspondences to study the flowing water of living truth and the stagnation of spiritual swamps.
Shooting Down Hatred — A Christian Response to the Orlando Hate Crime (June 2016)
As Swedenborgians, how can we keep love flowing in the face of horrific events? How can we begin to respond to hate with love?
Our Spirituality in Practice blog features articles on how Swedenborg’s principles for spiritual living can be applied in practical ways to everything from controversial current events to everyday challenges–so you can grow in love and wisdom. Browse more >
Scholars on Swedenborg Blog
“A Story Without End”
This article by Anders Hallengren examines the legacy of Carl Bernhard Wadström, a Swedish Swedenborgian whose abolitionist activities in Great Britain helped bring about the end of the British slave trade. The article was taken from The Moment Is Now: Carl Bernhard Wadström’s Revolutionary Voice on Human Trafficking and the Abolition of the African Slave Trade, a collection of scholarly essays on Wadström, the late eighteenth-century perceptions of the slave trade, and the ways that Swedenborgianism intersected with it.
L. Maria Child: Visionary Antislavery Crusader Changed a Church by Leaving It
Author Tisa M. Anders explores how a nineteenth-century American woman used reforms as her chosen way to bring her Swedenborgian beliefs to life and advocate for the abolition of slavery.
“Swedenborgians and the Original Black Lives Matter Movement: How the First George Bush Confronted Racial Justice Passivity in the Churches”
The article by Rev. Dr. James F. Lawrence focuses on the response to abolitionism among U.S. members of the New Church. Dr. Lawrence is Dean at the Center for Swedenborgian Studies of the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley).
Three Worldviews That Paved the Way for Women’s Suffrage
Author Dr. Soni Soneson Werner is a mediator and retired associate professor emerita of psychology at Bryn Athyn College. Dr. Werner is the author of five Swedenborg-influenced books and the board president of the Swedenborg Foundation. Her talk with Rev. Cory Bradford-Watts on the Transcendiots webcast about Spiritual Conflict Resolution is another fitting offering for interested viewers.
Our Scholars on Swedenborg blog features articles written by Swedenborgian academics with an emphasis on how religious pluralism has been used to solve some of the most pressing issues of the past and present. Browse more >
Swedenborg Foundation Books
Charity: The Practice of Neighborliness
This short, practical guide gives the reader a handbook for compassionate living.
Divine Love and Wisdom
One of Swedenborg’s most popular works, this volume describes a loving God who is equally present with all people on earth–regardless of race or religion–and explores the underlying unity of all living things.
The Joy of Spiritual Living: Simple Steps to Your Best Self
Through a series of eight exercises, Bob Maginel and the recently departed Frank Rose teach readers how to raise their awareness and their spirits to a higher level, to connect more readily with their Higher Power, and to unlock authentic spiritual joy even at life’s most challenging moments.
Swedenborg’s Principles of Usefulness: Social Reform Thought from the Enlightenment to American Pragmatism
Author John Haller explores how Swedenborg’s idea that our purpose in life is both to love others and to find practical ways to improve their lives led many nineteenth and early twentieth century leaders to take on social reforms that vitalized the American landscape.
Why Does God Let It Happen?
In this simple, straightforward book, author Bruce Henderson tackles some of the most difficult questions that people of faith face in their lives.
Feel free to browse through all of the Swedenborg-authored and -inspired books we carry in our online bookstore >
We also welcome you to check out our Free Resources to Inspire Hope and Connection in Times of Crisis: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.