SPECIAL EVENT: Flag Unveiling

Design: Michael Hampton & Christina Mitrentse
Thursday 17 October 6.30 - 9.00 pm

The Swedenborg Society presents SHhhh.. Michael Hampton and Christina Mitrentse’s winning flag design for Swedenborg House. On 17 October 2013, for the first time in over forty years, a new flag will be raised at the front of 20-21 Bloomsbury Way. Refreshments will be served from 6.30 pm and the artists will be present to launch their design. Everyone is invited!




Exibition Opening: Peter Cartwright, Artist in Residence

OPENING 17 October 2013 | 6 - 9 pm

We are proud to present a site-specific exhibition of drawings by Peter Cartwright, Artist in Residence at the Swedenborg Society (2012-13). Peter Cartwright has exhibited internationally and his work has been purchased by the Arts Council England and East Midlands Arts. This exhibition is the result of work made over the past year, in response to Swedenborg House, a grade-II-listed building and home to the Swedenborg Society since 1925.

READ MORE | Admission is free | The opening will form part of the Bloomsbury Festival 2013

Read our Latest E-Newsletter

The latest Swedenborg Society e-newsletter has been sent out. Simply click here to read our latest news and reviews, including the publication of PHILOSOPHY, LITERATURE, MYSTICISM (pictured); our OPEN CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS for the Swedenborg Short Film Festival; news of the BESTSELLING Swimming to Heaven by Iain Sinclair and our collectors' edition; the WINNING FLAG DESIGN for Swedenborg House; and a recommendation to attend SALLY POMME CLAYTON's special performance of Night Visit at the Rich Mix, London.

If you would like to join the mailing list, please email Alternatively complete the form on this page.

New Publication: Swimming to Heaven: The Lost Rivers of London by Iain Sinclair

On Tuesday 30 July, we are proud to launch the latest volume in the Swedenborg Archive series: Swimming To Heaven: The Lost Rivers of London by Iain Sinclair. SWIMMING TO HEAVEN is the second in a series of pocketbooks making available material from the SWEDENBORG ARCHIVE. Iain Sinclair follows in the path of the 'lost' rivers of London and examines their influence on the visionary literature of the capital.


A Flag for Swedenborg House | The winning design

We are delighted to announce that MICHAEL HAMPTON & CHRISTINA MITRENTSE have won the Flag Design Competition by popular vote. Their design (pictured left) took 75% of votes cast among our members, mailing list and followers on Facebook/Wordpress. The new flag, bearing the winning design, will be raised at the front of Swedenborg House, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, during the autumn.

The flag logo SHhhh.. plays on the initials of Swedenborg House, blending them into an imprecation to be quiet; curt yet soothing too, as in the western world silence is at a premium... This eye-catching gesture is intended both to announce Swedenborg House but also work subliminally on drivers or shoppers, whilst reminding visitors bound for the British Museum to observe a respectful hush, as knowledge is more easily acquired without constant chatter.

Further information and full artists' statement

Flag Design Competition: THE KNOCKOUT STAGE

We were overwhelmed by entries for our flag design competition, and have been extremely impressed by the quality of designs submitted, from all over the world. All ten shortlisted designs, (which have been available to view on our blog since 20 June), received positive feedback and encouraged much discussion; but it proved extremely difficult to get a consensus of opinion among our members and trustees. We were therefore unable to pick a single winning design.

We have instead introduced a KNOCKOUT STAGE to the flag competition, narrowing down the current shortlist to a final shortlist of 4 designs, featuring works by: Jonas Wallberg & Agneta Wickenberg; Jefferson Small; Christina Mitrentse & Michael Hampton; and Simon Barker. This final shortlist will be subject to a a wider vote among our membership and mailing list, before we announce the winner in one month’s time. A page on our wordpress blog contains extra information about each flag and details of how to vote.

Further information.

Flag Design Competition: SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED

We were overwhelmed by entries for our flag design competition, and have been extremely impressed by the quality of designs submitted, from all over the world. We have published 10 designs on our blog, representing a select shortlist.

The winning design will be announced at the Swedenborg Society’s 203rd Annual General Meeting on 27 June 2013. Our judging panel will be reviewing the shortlist over the next week, but your suggestions and feedback would be much appreciated. Please feel free to leave your comments on the blog post here.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a design. We look forward to announcing the winner, and to raising the new flag in the autumn!


Recommended Exhibition: Edith Marie Pasquier at Tristan Hoare

Interior, Seen from Behind,  Autumn, 2012; From the Series: Consider the Birds: On Stillness

For three years, Edith Marie Pasquier travelled to the famous bird observatory at Falsterbo in Sweden where migrating birds from all over the world are documented. Using a Hasselblad camera with a special lens from the observatory she works early in the morning photographing the birds. The results are a fascinating group of intimate portraits far beyond the descriptive purpose of the scientific lens.

The use of a traditional, more contemplative process creates a painterly feel reminiscent of the Dutch 17th century masters. Contours of feathers seem like pencil drawings and flashes of colour suggest the movement of a paintbrush. Edith Marie Pasquier’s subjects are never photographed straight on, they move in and out of focus replicating an encounter in the wild. In the true sense of the term, these images occupy the Romantic tradition, half perceiving and half creating the world through imagination. The more we reflect on the wild animal the more elusive it becomes.

Annual Report 2012

The Swedenborg Society's Annual Report for 2013 is now available to download online. Please click here for further information.

The Society's 203rd Annual General Meeting will take place in Swedenborg Hall on Thursday 27 June 2013 (6.30 - 7pm). A drinks reception and book launch will follow (7 - 8.30pm), to celebrate the publication of The Grand Theme and Other Essays by Anders Hallengren.

Further information.

Recommended: Strindberg's 'Playing with Fire' at the Drayton Theatre

Strindberg's PLAYING WITH FIRE is being staged at the Drayton Theatre, South Kensington, until 22 June.

'The piece rings intriguing variations on the eternal triangle and seems wholly modern in its distilled, blackly comic power.' - Michael Billington, Guardian

Further information.

Read the Guardian's review here.


Swedenborg Hall | 1, 15, 29 May & 22 June 2013 | Featuring: Peg Rawes / Patrick Lynch / Jonathan Hale / Adam Sharr / Lorens Holm / Peter Carl / Graham Harman

The Architecture Exchange represents a new platform for architectural debate in London, aimed at fostering intellectual exchange between architecture and other fields.

In this, the first seminar series, philosopher Graham Harman’s radical reading of Heidegger is discussed by six eminent architectural thinkers. These intimate talks will take place throughout May 2013, culminating in a final discussion led by Harman on 22 June 2013. All talks are free to attend and will take place in Swedenborg Hall.


Design a Flag for Swedenborg House | open call for submissions

Anyone passing our premises on Bloomsbury Way may notice that Swedenborg House has a rather prominent flag pole - but no flag... Since the Swedenborg Society acquired the building in 1923, a number of flags have flown from this pole, above the Society's bookshop. However the latest design was taken down around ten years ago.

We are now opening submissions for a brand new design, fitting for the Society's third century of existence. This design will be sewn or printed onto a new flag, which will hang outside the Society's grade-II-listed building in Bloomsbury, central London. The winning design should reflect something essential about the Swedenborg Society; its history, aims and activities, but also its future. We are open to a range of ideas, both abstract and representational; and we would welcome designers to visit the Society and its archives for inspiration. This competition is a great opportunity for artists and designers to showcase their work at an historic venue in central London.

The deadline for submissions is 7 June 2013. The winning design will be announced at the Society's Annual General Meeting on 27 June 2013. Finally, the grand unveiling of the new flag will take place in September. We look forward to seeing your submissions! Please contact Nora for measurements and other queries.

Those wishing to submit should send their designs, in PDF format, to Alternatively please post submissions to: Swedenborg Society Flag Competition, Swedenborg House, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH, UK.

Yet Anothor Dicovery! William Blake at the John Rylands Library

Researchers at the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library have stumbled upon a treasure trove of works by poet and artist William Blake. After two years work the students, overseen by Blake expert and Manchester university art historian Colin Trodd, found about 350 engraved plates designed by Blake in the collection. The library has held works by Blake including hand-coloured illustrations of Edward Young’s Nights Thoughts, but the team suspected more were hidden in the collection of a million books and records. John Rylands library archivist Stella Halkyard said: "The students had some specialist training in identifying prints from David Morris at the Whitworth Art Gallery before hunting through the collection. They found out we actually had a huge number of commercial engravings by Blake.”

Many will go on show at the library next month. Further information.

Artist in Residence | news 2012-13

Night Visit: Sally Pomme Clayton

 We are extremely pleased to announce that our former Artist in Residence (2011-12), Sally Pomme Clayton, will be performing Night Visit at an international storytelling festival in Ljungby, Sweden in the summer of 2013. Night Visit was premiered in Swedenborg Hall on 20 October 2012, and represented the fulfillment of Sally’s artist residency at Swedenborg House, supported by the Arts Council England. You can read about the performance and listen to a sound clip here. Video clips from the premiere are also available here. Jim Lockey’s Artist in Residence exhibition met a very positive response in October, and we will soon publish an interview with Jim by James Wilson, discussing his work in Swedenborg House.

Our new Artist in Residence (2012-13) has already begun work at Swedenborg House. He is the painter Peter Cartwright, whose work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in the collections of the Arts Council and the Royal Academy of Arts, among other institutions. We are currently confirming our second Artist in Residence for 2012-13, and hope to announce their residency in February 2013.

Christmas E-Newsletter

The Swedenborg Society Christmas E-Newsletter has been sent out. It contains gift ideas for Christmas, special offers on books, and event reviews - including Death: A Self Portrait at the Wellcome Collection. Click here to read the e-newsletter online.

Please contact if you would like to be added to mailing list.

Swedenborg Society Transaction Series: Launch 2013

At the Birthday Meeting on 26 January 2013, the Swedenborg Society will be proud to launch three new publications. These are the latest volumes in the historic ‘Transaction’ series, featuring talks and lectures given at the Swedenborg Society from 1910 to the present day.

Dr David Lister will be present on 26 January to launch The Feeling of What Happens / Smile or Die (Transaction no. 8), illustrated transcripts of his lectures on Swedenborg and the brain, originally given at Swedenborg Birthday Meetings in 2010 and 2011. Patrick Johnson will launch Carl Bernhard Wadström: In Search of the New Jerusalem, (no. 9), his 2009 lecture exploring Swedenborg’s influence on the European anti-slavery movement. The final Transaction to be launched, The Garment of Love (no. 10), will feature our esteemed President, Anders Hallengren, whose talk on Swedenborg’s philosophy of love was given at the Society’s Birthday Meeting in 2012. Each Transaction is a limited-edition print, and every copy will be individually numbered and signed by the author.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the Birthday Meeting to celebrate the launch of a new generation in the Transaction series! Further information.

Death and the Contemporary | Seminar in Swedenborg Hall | 20 December 2012

We would like to recommend an event taking place in Swedenborg Hall on 20 December 2012. ‘Death and Trauma’ is the second in the series of site-specific events entitled Death and the Contemporary, hosted by Dr Georgina Colby and Anthony Luvera.

The twenty-first century has witnessed a proliferation of work in the area of trauma, and it is widely acknowledged that our contemporary culture is a post-traumatic culture. The seminar asks, how has trauma impacted the philosophical issues surrounding death? A panel discussion with four keynote speakers from across the disciplines of literature, the visual arts, and philosophy will provide an exciting forum in which to explore issues surrounding death and trauma in contemporary culture. Audience members will have the opportunity to engage with and contribute to these stimulating conversations.

Admission is only £5.00/£3.00 for concessions and you’ll have the chance to wander around the Swedenborg Society bookshop before and after! Please note that this event is organized independently of the Swedenborg Society; please visit for further information.

From Here To Eternity (Oliver Pietsch, 2010) | WINNER: Swedenborg Short Film Festival 2012

We are pleased to announce that FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by Oliver Pietsch was awarded Best Film at the Swedenborg International Short Film Festival on 30 November 2012. His film was chosen by judges Gareth Evans and Jeremy Millar, from a shortlist of seven works by international filmmakers.

Oliver was born in 1973 in Munich, Germany. He graduated from the Academy of Arts, Munich in 2003, and now lives and works in Berlin. Oliver has exhibited internationally and is represented by the Nettie Horn gallery in London.

Judges' Comments:

Taking literally to heart Laura Mulvey's observation that film might be a kind of death 24 times a second, this ambitious and often darkly humorous work embodies an unflinching awareness of the moving image's ability, perhaps because of its own transience, to capture in all its unsettling variety, the moment - and implications - of passing.


View the information on the shortlist here.

Swedenborg's Summerhouse & 'ghosts'

Stephen McNeilly, our editor and curator, will be giving a short presentation on 'Swedenborg's Summerhouse: Voices from the Past' on 29 November 2012. His talk will form part of a larger symposium, organized by Manchester University research students and focused on the theme of 'GHOSTS'. Other speakers include Sasha Handley on 'The Apparition of Mrs Veal and other stories (Ghosts and what they meant in the early modern era)'.

Admission is free but capacity is limited. Simply click in the link below or visit the Facebook event page for further information. (image copyright of Stephen McNeilly)

Download the event flyer (PDF format): 160.31 kb

Swedenborg Short Film Festival | screening selection announced

We were overwhelmed by submissions this year, receiving a record volume of entries for the Swedenborg Short Film Festival. It was extremely difficult to choose the films listed below, but the selection panel hopes that this shortlist reflects the richness of contemporary filmmaking culture whilst embodying the creative implications of Swedenborg’s ideas. Judges Gareth Evans and Jeremy Millar have selected the following films for screening in Swedenborg Hall on 30 November 2012. All films are shortlisted for the award, Best Film, which will be chosen by the judges and given at the closing of the festival.

GUN (Paul Hage Boutros, Sweden) 6 mins 16

HAND IN A PLASTIC BAG (Erica Eyres, UK) 9 mins 36

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (Oliver Pietsch, Germany) 26 mins

FIN DE SIECLE (Kathleen Quillian, USA) 7 mins 30

FACTORY (Bruno Ramos, UK) 10 mins 17

OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN (Edwin Rostron, UK) 3 mins

THE SUBTERRANEANS (Toby Tatum, UK) 4 mins 37

+ series of ‘invited screenings’ (tba), curated by the judges (not eligible for Best Film).

Screening schedule to be announced. Admission to the festival is free but capacity is limited. Advance booking is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED via Please find further information on our website here and do join the event on Facebook! We look forward to seeing many of you on 30 November.

NEW RELEASE on DVD ... Heaven, Hell & Other Places: a Film about Emanuel Swedenborg

We are pleased to present Heaven, Hell and Other Places, a documentary commissioned by the Swedenborg Society and realized by award-winning directors Cartwright & Jordan. This new film will be available to buy on DVD from 13 September 2012.

Heaven, Hell & Other Places explores the central themes of Swedenborg’s life and work, charting his journey from scientific genius to mystical savant. Filmed on location in London and Stockholm, with special access to Swedenborg's summer house, garden and personal diaries, the documentary features interviews with renowned writers on Swedenborg, Gary Lachman, Devin Zuber, Lars Bergquist and many others. We recommend this film as an invaluable introduction to the enigma regarded by Borges as 'the most interesting man in recorded history'.

Further information.

A New Discovery - 'Parental Affection' by William Blake

A newly-discovered watercolour by William Blake (1757-1827), originally belonging to a founder member of the Swedenborg Society, has been revealed at the major art event, Master Drawings London.

English watercolour specialist Lowell Libson showcased a perfectly-preserved work by William Blake entitled Parental Affection or The Meeting of a Family in Heaven (left), which he values at six figures. The watercolour was originally acquired by Swedenborgian and Society member Charles Augustus Tulk (1786-1849) in 1816 and has remained in the same family collection ever since. 'This work is totally unknown and unrecorded and has been in an album since it was first acquired by Charles Tulk from the artist,' says Libson, 'It has never seen the light of day and is in superb condition.'

Charles Augustus Tulk was a friend and patron of William Blake, whose Songs of Innocence and Experience he was the first to introduce to Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). William Blake was an early reader of Swedenborg, and Swedenborg's influence can be seen in much of Blake's radical poetry, prose and visual art, including this newly-discovered watercolour and also The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-1793).

Read more about the watercolour, its Swedenborgian content and provenance, on the Lowell Libson website here.

Spring E-Newsletter

photograph by chloe aridjis

Our latest e-newsletter has been sent out, containing news and reviews related to Emanuel Swedenborg and to the Swedenborg Society. You can read the e-newsletter online here.

Enjoy! If you would like to join the Swedenborg Society e-newsletter mailing list, simply email

No Greater Love (Michael Whyte, 2010): Now Fully Booked

Film Screening + Director’s Q&A | Swedenborg Hall | 17 April 2012 | 6.30 pm | Free Admission

The Swedenborg Society is pleased to present No Greater Love, a film by Michael Whyte. This screening is NOW FULLY BOOKED but return tickets may become available on the night. The screening will take place in the unique atmosphere of grade-II-listed Swedenborg Hall, on the edge of Bloomsbury, London. The director will be present to introduce his film and answer questions from the audience afterwards. Admission is free but capacity is limited. Further information.

New Book: Swedenborg: An Introduction to his Life and Ideas by Gary Lachman (Penguin USA, 2012)

We are pleased to present a new paperback edition of Gary Lachman's popular introduction to Swedenborg, printed by Penguin Books USA. Swedenborg: An Introduction to his Life and Ideas is the latest addition to a new Penguin series, featuring Carl Jung and Rudolf Steiner among others. This edition will be launched on 12 April and is also available as an e-book in two different formats. You can purchase Swedenborg: An Introduction via the Penguin USA website,, and

The original hardback edition, printed by the Swedenborg Society is entitled Into the Interior: Discovering Swedenborg (2010). Visit our online bookshop here.


Lachman identifies all the roles Swedenborg inhabited (spiritual thinker, psychic, scientist, inventor, statesman, traveler, and possibly even spy) and does an exceptionally good job of suggesting why this little-known polymath deserves more substantial critical attention. – The Independent on Sunday

Read more about the Archive Exhibition

Read more about REMNANTS: an exhibition of objects on our new Wordpress blog here.

Blake's London: London Review of Books Bestseller

BLAKE'S LONDON: THE TOPOGRAPHIC SUBLIME by Iain Sinclair is now the bestselling book at the London Review of Books shop. You can also purchase a copy via our online bookshop and through; Blake's London is also available to download for KINDLE e-reader on

In this small and specially-designed volume, Iain Sinclair takes the reader on a discursive journey through BLAKE’S LONDON showing how, in Blake’s vast and rich poetry, language and imagination conjoin to delineate a profound engagement with place. Further information.

New Wordpress Blog

The Society now has a Wordpress Blog, featuring news and reviews from the Society. We encourage you to read these informal updates, written by Nora (publicist and assistant curator), Alex (assistant librarian), James (librarian and assistant editor) and Holly (publishing intern). We will also be uploading images from events, reviews from other sources and much much more. The point of the blog is that it is totally interactive; we welcome you to contribute towards it and comment on our posts!

View the Swedenborg Society Wordpress Blog.

New Blog | by intern Holly Catling

Holly Catling is the current intern in the publishing office and we are very pleased with her contribution towards a number of new projects. Holly graduated from Cambridge University in 2008 with a degree in English Literature; she went on to complete an MSc in International Politics at SOAS, University of London. She has been busy creating the Society's first-ever e-book and is now working on our first-ever wordpress site. Read Holly's blog describing her first impressions of the Society on this website here or on the new (and almost finished!) Wordpress site here.

Now available for Kindle: Blake's London by Iain Sinclair

The Society has produced its first-ever e-book: an electronic version of Blake's London: The Topographic Sublime by Iain Sinclair. You can now visit the Kindle website, to download this e-book for £4.58 only, including VAT and wireless delivery.

Visit the Amazon Kindle Website.

Anders Hallengren | Nominated for Best Experimental Album of the Year Award

The Swedenborg Society's esteemed President, Anders Hallengren, is a Swedish author and scholar, a poet and also a composer. His most recent album of experimental music, OPHIR - Opus Operatum has been nominated for the national MANIFEST Music Award in Sweden. Manifest is an independent critics' award which celebrates a diversity of music; in this way it ressembles the Mercury Music Prize in Britain. The Manifest award show will be held at Berns in Stockholm on February 3 2012. We extend our congratulations to Anders for his nomination and wish him the best of luck.

Anders will be speaking in Swedenborg Hall on Saturday 28 January. He will not be performing his music but discussing Swedenborg's philosophy of love. Everyone is welcome to attend. More info here.

Christmas Books E-Newsletter

Our Christmas Books E-Newsletter has been sent out. It features an invitation to The White Bear King, a Christmas Storytelling Perfomance for Children on Saturday 10 December plus information on 3 new publications available now: Blake's London: The Topographic Sublime by Iain Sinclair, Gardens of Heaven and Earth by Kristin King and Madeleine Waller: Portraits. Also find the Short Film Festival results and more Swedenborg-related news, books and events. Happy reading for a Happy Christmas! Please contact if you would like to be added to the mailing list. Read the Swedenborg Society Christmas E-Newsletter here.

New Publication | Blake's London by Iain Sinclair

BLAKE'S LONDON: THE TOPOGRAPHIC SUBLIME is a revised lecture Iain Sinclair gave at Swedenborg Hall in 2007. The lecture was part of a larger conference held in celebration of the 250th birthday of William Blake, and organized conjointly by Goldsmiths College and the Swedenborg Society.

This volume is printed as a limited edition pocket hardback. It is the first in series of volumes edited by Stephen McNeilly making available talks, photographs and and other items from the Swedenborg Archive. Available now. BUY THIS BOOK.

All books ordered before Christmas will be GIFT-WRAPPED free of charge.

Event | Saturday 10 December | The White Bear King: a Christmas Performance for Children

Sally Pomme Clayton is the Swedenborg Society's new Artist in Residence. An established writer and storyteller, Sally has written several children's books, co-founded the Company of Storytellers and performs regularly for children at the British Museum and at the National Gallery. We are extremely pleased to present Sally's first ever performance in Swedenborg Hall. THE WHITE BEAR KING is a 'mysterious Scandinavian wonder tale', brought to life by Sally Pomme's dynamic and energetic performance. This performance is a perfect Christmas outing and suitable for those aged 6 and above. 

Sally Pomme Clayton's artist residency is supported by Arts Council England. Admission is free but capacity is limited so advance booking is highly recommended.  Refreshments will be also served. More info here.

Swedenborg Short Film Festival | Results

The Swedenborg Short Film Festival took place on Friday 18 November. Over 100 people attended the screenings, which featured 9 films shorlisted for the award Best Film, plus three special screenings, Carousel by Paul O'Kane, American Water by Cartwright & Jordan and Kiling Time by Bridget Smith. Judges Rosie Cooper and Ian Hunt picked the shortlist and attended the festival. At the closing of the festival, the award for BEST FILM was given to HISAB by Ezra Wube (image, above). HISAB is an animated film based on Ethiopian urban folk story. This piece is created using stop action animation and paint on canvas. The entire animation is painted on a single surface, with each scene painted over the last.

Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed towards a very special evening. See details of HISAB and other shortlisted entries here.

Paul Tecklenberg | Westminster Open Exhibition | 5 - 18 November

Former Swedenborg Society Artist in Residence (2009-10) Paul Tecklenberg will be exhibiting his work influenced by Emanuel Swedenborg, at the Westminster Open 2011, from 5 - 18 November. We highly recommend that you go see it! Admission is free. Venue: SW1 Gallery, London. More info here.

Madeleine Waller | Artist in Residence Exhibition | 24 - 28 October | 11am - 4.30 pm

The Swedemborg Society is proud to present its latest Artist in Residence, photographer Madeleine Waller. Madeleine completes her residency with the opening of an exhibition throughout Swedenborg House and with the launch of Portraits, a publication recording Madeleine's residency work. For her residency at Swedenborg House, Madeleine took photographic portraits of members and trustees of the Society, staff and other individuals connected with this historic but little known institution. These photographs are now displayed around Swedenborg Hall and digitally projected in Swedenborg Hall.

Entry for the opening is free. Admission is by appointment via

Don Paterson | Performance Reading | Thurs 24 October

Award-winning poet DON PATERSON will perform his work, with ghost folk song from MacGillivray as featured on BBC Radio 3, both in Swedenborg Hall, 'one of London's most atmospheric venues' (The Guardian).

Doors open at 6.30 for a 7pm start. Limited capacity. Booking still open. More info.

Autumn E-Newsletter

The Swedenborg Society Autumn E-Newsletter has been sent out and is now available to read online. It includes news of Madeleine Waller's Artist in Residence exhibition; Jozef Van Wissem's performance in Swedenborg Hall; the Bloomsbury Festival; two evening events featuring Brian Catling, Don Paterson and MacGillivray; details of Images of the Afterlife in Cinema, a new book in the bookshop; and news of a Swedenborg Ballet opening on New York's Broadway. Read the Autumn E-Newsletter online here.

Performance | 6 October | Iain Sinclair & MacGillivray

Thursday 6 October 2011 | 7.00 pm | Swedenborg Hall, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way London WC1A 2TH

YOU CARRY FIRE: Iain Sinclair & MacGillivray. The author Iain Sinclair will be excavating the future and reinterring the past, with vocalist MacGillivray, whose haunting songs will evoke murdered mermaids and Radiophonic soundscapes. BOOK YOUR PLACES NOW. More info here.

This is the first performance in a series of events featuring Iain Sinclair, Brian Catling, Don Paterson and Alan Moore; 'billiard playing angels, dirty smoke, broken rivers and burning tongues spread across four lone nights'. Listen to each author read - after ghost folk song from MacGillivray.

Swedenborg Film Season | Robert Bresson Trilogy

The summer is, apparently, over ... But do not despair! The autumn heralds the return of the Swedenborg Film Season ... Over three consecutive Friday evenings, (16, 23, 30 September), we will showcase the wonderful work of Robert Bresson, often described as ‘a philosopher with a camera’. These three landmark films, Diary of a Country Priest (1951), A Man Escaped (1956) and Pickpocket (1959) explore themes which are arguably ‘Swedenborgian’, in a cinematic style which is both original and captivating. We highly recommend that you take this opportunity to witness these radical and fascinating works, in the unique atmosphere of Swedenborg Hall. Admission is free but capacity is limited so please book in advance. More info here.

Open House London | 17 September 2011

1 - 4 pm | Swedenborg House, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH

On 17 September, the Swedenborg Society will open its doors to the public as part of Open House London, the annual festival celebrating London architecture. No advance booking required. Tours of the builsing will take place every half hour.

More info

Alex Murray's Staff Blog

The website now features a regular staff blog from the Society. Alex Murray is a recent graduate in English Literature & Film Studies and our Assistant Librarian; he is involved in creating a systematic database for the library collection, which will soon be available online. Read his blog, detailing his discoveries from the Society's fascinating Archive, here.

Summer E-Newsletter

We have just sent out the latest online newsletter. It contains the latest news from the Society; a feature on Memoirs of Swedenborg, a new publication; an article on Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning; information about Anders Hallengren, our new President; a short review of the Romantics exhibition at Tate Britain; and a recommendation to follow in Swedenborg's footsteps on the 1711 London Walk. To view the e-newsletter online click here. To subscribe to the mailing list please email

Download the latest E-Newsletter as a PDF document: 1.18 Mb

Call for Papers: Victorian Spiritualities

The Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies welcome proposals for papers on any of the following themes, or indeed any other aspects of Victorian spiritualities, for its conference on the 17 March 2012:



  • exploration of spiritual themes in poetry, drama, fiction, hymn-writing and sermons
  • art and iconography on spiritual themes
  • spiritual writings from different Christian denominational perspectives and other world faiths
  • Theosophy, Swedenborgianism, Transcendentalism, Spiritualism and other radical approaches
  • the spiritual views of agnostics and religious sceptics
  • pedagogical approaches to Victorian spirituality
  • the experience of teaching the history, culture, and literature of Victorian sprituality within the HE sector

Please send a brief abstract of 250-300 words to Jane de Gay at by 12 September 2011. Ideally, all papers will be published in a Leeds Working Papers volume in advance of the colloquium, and will need to be submitted by 19 December 2011. Colloquium convenor: Revd Dr Jane de Gay.

Call for Entries: Swedenborg Short Film Festival 2011

  • Deadline for Submissions: 30th September 2011
  • Festival Screenings: 18th November 2011, 6 - 9 pm

We are very pleased to announce that the Swedenborg Short Film Festival 2011 is now open for entries. Following the success of last year, we hope the festival will continue to establish itself as an annual landmark event on the UK film calendar. Featuring films of 30 mins or less, the heart of the Festival is to showcase the latest new and established talent. Films should respond to themes encountered in the work of scientist, philosopher, radical theologian and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688 - 1772). Submissions are invited on a variety of themes and genres. Selected submissions will be screened to a public audience at Swedenborg Hall; at the closing of the festival an award will be given for Best Film. Find more information and download an application form here.

Event | Brian Dillon & Momus | In Conversation

Swedenborg Hall | 27 June 2011 | 7.00 pm


The Swedenborg Society is very proud to be hosting a collaborative event with Sternberg Press. Acclaimed authors Brian Dillon and Momus in conversation, to celebrate the co-launch of Sanctuary (Sternberg Press, May 2011) and The Book of Japans (Sternberg Press, May 2011). Admission costs £5.00. Doors open at 6.30 pm for a 7 pm start. Limited capacity; advance booking highly recommended via or (020) 7405 7986. More information here.

May E-Newsletter

The latest Swedenborg Society electronic newsletter is now available to read online. It includes news on the Parlour Principia event; an article on Swedenborg and Baudelaire; a recommendation to buy Edward Chell: In Conversation; a review of Enter the Void; and more Swedenborg-related news and events.

Simply email if you would like to join the mailing list.

The Bloomsbury Project

On Friday 15 April, Richard Lines, Secretary of the Swedenborg Society took part in the Bloomsbury Project Conference at University College London. You can read his talk on 'Swedenborgianism and Pugilism: The William White Affair' here. You can also view Richard Lines' Short History of the Swedenborg Society 1810 - 1910 and more key information on the Society, on the Bloomsbury Project website here.

Iain McGilchrist Lecture

Thank you to everyone who attended the talk by Iain McGilchrist on 7 April. It was a wonderful event; Iain McGilchrist spoke with wit and intelligence about the divided brain and its historical implications. We also heard some very interesting questions from the floor. If only there was more time to answer them! Forthcoming lectures at the Swedenborg Society will feature writer and mythographer, Marina Warner, author Iain Sinclair, among others to be confirmed ... Watch this space!

New Publication

Edward Chell: In Conversation

With Amy Halliday

Designed & Edited by Stephen McNeilly
Limited Edition

As part of the major site-specific exhibition, Swedenborg House: Fourteen Interventions, Edward Chell created Ten Steps to Heaven, an installation piece consisting of fourteen handrails and a plaque. In this articulate and revealing interview with Amy Halliday, Edward Chell explains how Swedenborg's ideas inform the striking design of his artwork; its conceptual correspondences to Swedenborg's scientific investigations and his spiritual conscience, to types of knowledge and forms of narrative. Ten Steps to Heaven is still on show in Swedenborg House, so please feel free to come and have a look! This publication is fully illustrated and available in the Swedenborg Society Bookshop now. BUY THIS BOOK

February/March E-Newsletter is now available to read online

Just click here for news on a forthcoming lecture by Iain McGilchrist, a review of The Western Esoteric Traditions by Nicholas Goodrick Clarke, an exhibition review of The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead at the British Museum, an article on Swedenborg and life on other planets, news of a new Swedenborg Opera and much much more! Please email if you would like to join the mailing list.

Read the February/March E-Newsletter online here.

BOOK LAUNCH: 29th January: Heaven and Hell a new translation by KC Ryder (Swedenborg 2011)

We are very pleased to present this new translation of Heaven and Hell. On Saturday 29th January, as part of Swedenborg's Birthday Meeting, we will officially launch the new edition. The launch will take place from 4 - 4.30 pm, preceding a lecture by Dr David Lister. The new book will be available to buy at a 20% discount.

Refreshements will be served and everyone is welcome to attend. However capacity is limited so please contact if you are planning to come and celebrate the launch of this much-anticipated publication.

Christmas Books E-Newsletter

The Swedenborg Society CHRISTMAS BOOKS E-NEWSLETTER has now been sent out! It includes recommended titles for certain readers, special offers and a feature article on the new Heaven and Hell. Read it online here. Read the November e-newsletter here. Read the September e-newsletter here. View past issues of the e-newsletter here.

Please email if you would like to join the mailing list. For more NEWS, including information on recent events please click here.

New Swedenborg Society Publication in the Bookshop

We would like to recommend our new publication in association with Paul Tecklenberg's artist residency: In Conversation: Paul Tecklenberg (Swedenborg Society, 2010), available now in the Swedenborg Society bookshop. A signed limited edition, the publication includes an interview with the artist, colour images and an audio CD from his installation work Random Passages which was part of our bicentenary exhibition Swedenborg House: Fourteen Interventions. BUY THIS BOOK.

Madeleine Waller, Artist in Residence: Shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portait Prize 2010

We are very proud to have the photographer Madeleine Waller as the Swedenborg Society's current Artist in Residence. Madeleine was very recently shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010; her work Wet and Dry, Laura is one of 60 portraits chosen from over 6,000 entries. It can now be seen as part of the Taylor Wessing Prize exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, among other shortlisted works. For her residency at Swedenborg House, Madeleine is taking photographic portraits of members of the Society. These portraits will be on display as part of her residency exhibition next year. Please contact if you would like to take part.