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Swedenborg, Homoeopathy and America’s Reform Tradition

EVENT: Swedenborg, Homoeopathy and America’s Reform Tradition

DATE: 7th November 2020 - 21st November 2020




SPEAKER/S: John S Haller, Jr

Join us on November 7, 14 and 21, 2020 (7pm, GMT; 2pm EST) for three online talks.

Co-sponsored with the Swedenborg Foundation and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA

1. MY DISCOVERY OF SWEDENBORG AND HOW MY BOOKS CAME ABOUT: In his first lecture John will take us through the foundations of his interest in Swedenborg and Swedenborgianism, from taking a course on Existentialism in college to his background in the medical humanities. He will discuss the work of Mesmer, the theories of vitalism and materialism, the utopian Brook Farm experiment and more.

2. THE SWEDENBORGIAN INFLUENCE ON HOMOEOPATHY: In his second lecture John will discuss the connection between Swedenborg and homoeopathy. He will employ the tools of his craft as a historian to provide an account of these two historical movements, which are not only interesting in their own right but are closely entwined. He will explain the context in which people like Swedenborg and Samuel Hahnemann, who developed homoeopathy, came to their ideas. What was it that led them to think in the manner that they did? How did their generation see and interpret the world? What principles did they believe in prior to drawing up their theories?

3. AMERICA’S REFORM TRADITION: SWEDENBORG, NEW CHURCH AND THE DOCTRINE OF USES: In his third lecture, John will guide the audience through how Swedenborg garnered such widespread interest across the world, and particularly in America. Why did this unpretentious and devout man resonate for so many Christians and non-Christians alike, influencing movements including Transcendentalism, homoeopathy, spiritualism and Zen Buddhism?

DR JOHN S HALLER, JR is emeritus professor of history and medical humanities at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He has written on subjects ranging from the history of race and sexuality to medicine, pharmacy and spirituality. His most recent books include Distant Voices: Sketches of a Swedenborgian World View (published with the Swedenborg Society in 2017) and Swedenborg’s Principles of Usefulness: Social Reform Thought from the Enlightenment to American Pragmatism (Swedenborg Foundation, 2020).

The talks coincide with the publication of Swedenborg’s Principles of Usefulness: Social Reform Thought from the Enlightenment to American Pragmatism. A 20% discount will be offered to those who purchase the these titles via the talks.

A ZOOM link will be provided to those who have booked prior to the events.