8 February 1688
|Died||29 March 1772 (aged 84)|
|Tradition or movement||Lutheranism; inspired the New Church|
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Emanuel Swedenborg (//, Swedish: [ˈsvêːdɛnˌbɔrj] (listen); born Emanuel Swedberg; 8 February [O.S. 29 January] 1688 – 29 March 1772) was a Swedish pluralistic-Christian theologian, scientist, philosopher and mystic. He became best known for his book on the afterlife, Heaven and Hell (1758).
Swedenborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. In 1741, at 53, he entered into a spiritual phase in which he began to experience dreams and visions, notably on Easter Weekend, on 6 April 1744. His experiences culminated in a "spiritual awakening" in which he received a revelation that Jesus Christ had appointed him to write The Heavenly Doctrine to reform Christianity. According to The Heavenly Doctrine, the Lord had opened Swedenborg's spiritual eyes so that from then on, he could freely visit heaven and hell to converse with angels, demons and other spirits and the Last Judgment had already occurred the year before the 1758 publication of De Nova Hierosolyma et Ejus Doctrina Coelesti [Concerning the new Jerusalem and its heavenly doctrine], in 1757.
Over the last 28 years of his life, Swedenborg wrote 18 published theological works—and several more that remained unpublished. He termed himself a "Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ" in True Christian Religion, which he published himself. Some followers of The Heavenly Doctrine believe that of his theological works, only those that were published by Swedenborg himself are fully divinely inspired. Others have regarded all Swedenborg's theological works as equally inspired, saying for example that the fact that some works were "not written out in a final edited form for publication does not make a single statement less trustworthy than the statements in any of the other works". The New Church, a new religious movement originally founded in 1787 and comprising several historically-related Christian denominations, reveres Swedenborg's writings as revelation.
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Emanuel Swedenborg [...] entered into a spiritual phase of life at the age of 53 in 1741. He had a series of dreams and visions, culminating in an 'awakening' at Easter 1744, after which Swedenborg felt that he was free to visit heaven and hell and to talk with spirits, angels and demons.