welcome

The Swedenborg Society is a publisher, library, events space, museum, bookshop and registered charity. In addition to organizing events, lectures, conferences, exhibitions, performances and film screenings, we also publish a large selection of literature relating to the work of the philosopher, scientist, inventor, astronomer, mathematician, parliamentary figure and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). The Society's Grade II listed premises in Bloomsbury, central London, is also available for private hire. For free updates on our events and publications please join our e-newsletter mailing list

Charity registration number: 209172

The Swedenborg Society Annual General Meeting, 2018

Notice of the 208th Annual General Meeting

For full deatils of the notice follow link here

Swedenborg and the English Romantics: items from the Swedenborg Collection

Emanuel Swedenborg | William Blake | S T Coleridge | C A Tulk | Philip James de Loutherbourg | John Flaxman | J J G Wilkinson and others

Exhibition dates: October 17 - November 2 | Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm | in association with Bloomsbury Festival 2018

Drawn directly from the collection at Swedenborg House, "Swedenborg and the English Romantics" explores the many previously unexplored links links between writers and artists such as William Blake, S T Coleridge, John Flaxman, J J G Wilkinson and others, and their connection to the work of the Swedish visionary and scientist, Emanuel Swedenborg. The exhibition will include previously unseen archival material. 

Drawing workshop with Sally Kindberg!

Discover the Hidden Treasures of Swedenborg House

Drawing workshops for adults and children (aged 6+)  | SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER | 2.00 to 4.00pm | Free refreshments and materials | Swedenborg House, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH | FREE  | Children to be accompanied by a parent or carer

BOOK HERE

IN COLLABORATION WITH THE BLOOMSBURY FESTIVAL 2018

Come and explore the secrets of Swedenborg House! We are delighted after the overwhellming popularity of our previous workshop to announce a third drawing workshop by acclaimed artist, author and designer Sally Kindberg. Accompanied by artist and filmmaker Jacob Cartwright, Sally will be leading drawing workshops for adults and children (aged between 6+) on the many fascinating items on display at Swedenborg House, and on Swedenborg himself. Visitors will be led through a unique exploration of our rare collection of artefacts and treasures, including strange mechanical inventions, powdered wigs, duck feather pens and angels.

Tennyson, Blake and Swedenborg

a talk by Sibylle Erle

Thursday 25 October, 6.30-8.30pm | Tennyson, Blake and Swedenborg | FREE | Refreshments provided | Swedenborg House, 20 Bloomsbury Way, WC1A 2TH

RSVP HERE

To coincide with the exhibition Swedenborg and the English Romantics: items from the Swedenborg Collection, Sibylle Erle will be giving an indepth talk on Tennyson, Blake and Swedenborg. The talk will last for 45 mins followed by a Q&A and drinks and snacks.

Tennyson had a life-long affinity with the great, Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg. He was an incessant reader, as his wife Emily’s journal testifies, and he liked to ponder the reality of the spiritual world with his family and friends. The network of readers of Swedenborg is complex and it also includes Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Dante Gabriel and Rossetti. All of them knew the Swedenborgian James John Garth Wilkinson, who had published William Blake’sSongs of Innocence and of Experience (1839), as well as a biography of Swedenborg in 1847. Another work with a Swedenborgian tinge is Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job (1826), presented to Tennyson by Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893) in 1856. This paper argues that Tennyson’s interest in Swedenborg was channelled through Blake’s early nineteenth-century reception.Blake’s early nineteenth-century reception.

Medicine, Mysticism and Mythology: Garth Wilkinson, Swedenborg and Nineteenth-Century Esoteric Culture

a talk by Malcolm Peet

BOOK LAUNCH, TALK & AGM | Saturday 10 November 2018 | doors open 2.00 pm for a 3.00 pm start | Wellspring House,25 Radcliffe New Road, Radcliffe, Manchester M26 1LE |FREE ADMISSION (but book in advance) | Refreshments served

BOOK HERE

Dr James John Garth Wilkinson (1812-99) was a pioneer in his approach to medicine. He was an outspoken campaigner for an array of social reforms, including women’s suffrage, anti-vivisectionism and the freedom of choice for patients. He was an early champion of the poetic genius of William Blake, and he counted amongst his friends and acquaintances such luminaries as Charles Dickens, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Thomas Carlyle, Frederick H Evans, John Ruskin, Sophia and Augustus De Morgan, Josephine Butler, Henry James, Sr, Thomas Lake Harris and Ralph Waldo Emerson. However, in spite of these achievements, he has remained little known outside of the history of homoeopathy and the scholarship that surrounds the eighteenth-century scientist and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). 

On the occasion of the launch of his monograph Medicine, Mysticism and Mythology: Garth Wilkinson, Swedenborg and Nineteenth-Century Esoteric Culture, author Malcolm Peet will provide a much-needed reappraisal of Wilkinson’s importance, exploring his interests in mesmerism, spiritualism, Fourierism, environmentalism, poetry, politics, philosophy and mythology, all of which were filtered through Wilkinson’s ever-changing yet constant regard for Swedenborg. Malcolm will also reflect on how Wilkinson’s spiritual journey might have played out in today’s spiritual climate.

The 208th Annual General Meeting of the Swedenborg Societywill follow Malcolm’s talk. 

Read more

Swedenborg Film Festival 2018

Book Now

Susan Hiller, Channels, 2013. Multi-channel video installation, 106 television sets, 9 media players, 7 dvd players, signal splitters. Commissioned by Matt’s Gallery, London. Courtesy of the artist.

24 November 2018 | 6.00-9.00 pm | Swedenborg House, The Swedenborg Society, 20/21 Bloombury Way, London WC1A 2TH | FREE

BOOK HERE

The Swedenborg Film Festival returns on 24 November with special guest judge, the artist Susan Hiller. Featuring 20 new short films by international artists, alongside a special screening of Hiller’s work, the SFF is co-curated by Gareth Evans (Whitechapel Gallery) and Nora Foster (Frieze). Selected films will explore this year’s theme of 'Correspondences' – symbols, metaphor and hidden meanings – and screenings will take place at Swedenborg House in Bloomsbury.

Chosen from an open call for submissions, this year’s featured artists are: Jonathan Bryant CrawfordMartin Del CarpioJames EdmondsKeira GreeneOona GrimesAtobe HiroshiAndrew KöttingMox MäkeläDiane NerwenJames NortonJulian OlariuLouiza OrlofAnnette PhiloJon RatiganVictoria SkogsbergAlkaios SpyrouJohn SmithJohn StruttonHuangzhi Tang and Sharon Whooley. Films will span screenings in Swedenborg Hall and installations throughout the grade-II-listed Swedenborg House, ‘one of London’s most atmospheric venues’ (Guardian).

The artist Susan Hiller will choose and announce the winner at the close of the festival, as well as present a special screening of her work in Swedenborg Hall.

New book out now

An Evening of Dreams

by Homero Aridjis, Eva Hoffman, Darian Leader, Tom McCarthy and Selina Mills.

with an introduction by Chloe Aridjis.

Originating in a memorable and discursive evening held at Swedenborg House in October 2015, and inspired by Swedenborg’s private journal of dreams written between 1743-4, An Evening of Dreams brings together six major authors to examine the role of dreams and dreaming in their practice. The volume begins with a discussion of the relation between dreaming and poetry, and is followed, via a broad range of literary themes and approaches, by talks on dreaming and language, dream interpretation and psychoanalysis, dreaming as a literary space and dreaming and blindness.

order your copy here

Arcana Caelestia Reading Group

Last Thursday of every month, starting on Thursday 25 May 2017 | 6.00-8.00 pm | Gardiner Room, Swedenborg House, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH | FREE

Next Meetings: 25 October, 29 November 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.

volunteers needed

Would you like to volunteer for the Swedenborg Society? We are currently looking for people who might like to help invigilate our bookshop during weekdays and also help out during our busy events programme. Previous experience is not needed. The Society’s beautiful oak-lined shop is in the middle of Bloomsbury, London. It is close to the British Museum and only five minutes walk from Covent Garden and Leicester Square. If you are interested in volunteering or interning, please do not hesitate to contact us via admin@swedenborg.org.uk or 0207 405 7986.