Swedenborg Birthday Lecture 2018

David Bodanis on Isaac Newton

Portrait of Newton at 46 in 1689 by Godfrey Kneller

Saturday 20 January 2018 | 4.00 – 6.30 pm | Swedenborg Hall, Swedenborg House, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH | FREE | Refreshments served


Isaac Newton was an early and seminal influence on the work and thought of Emanuel Swedenborg. As a young man Swedenborg travelled to London in 1710 to meet and attend lectures by the great man, and in 1734 he entitled his own great three-volume philosophic work The Principia or the first principles of natural things in response to Newton’s own Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Drawing from research related to his forthcoming biography, bestselling author and academic David Bodanis will speak on Newton, offering special insight into the great man’s polymathic genius and the effect he had on eighteenth-century science and philosophy.

David Bodanis is an academic and author whose books include The Secret House (1986); the bestselling E=mc² (2001); Electric Universe (2006) which was the Royal Society Science Book of the Year Prize winner; Passionate Minds (2007) and the recently published international bestseller Einstein’s Greatest Mistake (2016). He has also published articles in the Financial Times, the Guardian, and the New York Times, and has appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight.

Arcana Caelestia Reading Group

Hieronymous Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights (detail). Wikimedia Commons.

Last Thursday of every month | 6.00-8.00 pm | Gardiner Room, Swedenborg House, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH | FREE

Next Meetings: 25 January, 22 February, 29 March 2018

Following on from our seminar series staged over the last year on 'Swedenborg, Literature and the Imaginal' (with Dr William Rowlandson) and on 'The Anatomy of Heaven' (with Dr David Lister), we will be holding a monthly reading group centring on Swedenborg's magnum opus Arcana Caelestia.

The Arcana can be seen as a foundation for all of Swedenborg's later visionary works, including Heaven and Hell and Divine Love and Wisdom. It contains Swedenborg's clause-by-clause elucidation of the spiritual meaning in the biblical books of Genesis and Exodus, as well as descriptions of an incredible variety of his own spiritual experiences. It exists in English as a 12-volume set (translated by John Elliott) and is available to order online or at the Swedenborg House Bookshop.

Volume one will be available for free for those who register in advance.

Register here.