Forbidden Texts: Modern Lessons From the Underground Swedenborgian Translation Movement in the Eighteenth Century
Featuring Rev. Christopher Barber
March 29, 7:30 p.m.
Doering Center at Bryn Athyn College
2915 Campus Drive, Bryn Athyn, PA
The Institute for Swedenborg Studies at Bryn Athyn College is pleased to invite you to hear Chris Barber speak on his research into the covert society of Swedish pioneers who had to move in secrecy to access and spread what they believed to be a new revelation for a New Church. Refreshments will be served.
Talk will be available online as well as in person. This event is free for attendees.
Stay tuned for more information, including the livestream link.
Location: Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania (optional remote attendance)
Dates: April 23-24, 2022
Schedule: View schedule
Keynote: Jim Lawrence
Registration: Closed (tickets for keynote address available at the door starting at 7:15pm, $10)
This two-day interdisciplinary seminar invites scholars to consider the many prismatic intersections between Emanuel Swedenborg’s paradigm of spirituality and spiritual movements, thought, and applications. Swedenborg’s contribution to spirituality has captured the attention of many important thinkers since his writings first revealed his contact with the spirit world in the late eighteenth century. The concept of spirituality he laid out, at once mystical and profoundly pragmatic, continues to have rippling implications in many fields. Papers will address a variety of topics, including the following:
- Relationships between spirituality and religion
- Relationships between spirituality and religious traditions
- Mystic, devotional, or spiritual practices
- Interpretive models and practices
- Relationships between psychological models and the spiritual mind
- Swedenborg’s metaphysics and physics
Seminar participants may attend in person or remotely.
Those who wish to attend the keynote portion only may do so in person or virtually.
Tickets available at the door starting at 7:15 p.m.
Jim Lawrence, A Daily Spiritual Practice Based on Swedenborg’s Rules of Life
Rev. Dr. Jim Lawrence grew up an every-Sunday kid in a Disciples of Christ church in Houston. During college he majored in developmental economics for impoverished countries due to an overwhelming concern for suffering in the world. It was also during these young adult years that he lost his faith due precisely to the world’s massive misery index. He concluded the universe is heartless and pointless. That perspective changed, however, through a spiritual renewal that opened up a new sense for meaning and purpose. Becoming immersed in the post-Reformation scientist and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg provided one impetus toward interpreting life as meaningful again. His vision shifted toward spiritual renewal as the world’s greatest need, so after rapidly finishing his degree in economics at the University of Texas, he dove into studies at a Disciples of Christ seminary. The “Swedenborg bug,” however, would not go away, and so he committed what many of his colleagues felt was professional suicide by jumping ship to the Swedenborgian seminary in Boston. After graduation and ordination, he found tremendous satisfaction working during the next 17 years in the congregational leadership in three church ministries spanning small town, suburban, and urban settings. During these years he also earned the Doctor of Ministry degree focusing on the performative practice of writing as a communications ministry strategy. To date he has been author, editor, contributor, or publisher of more than 150 bound works and author of dozens of ministry and spirituality articles for the lay public. In 2001 he was called to return to the academy, complete a Ph.D. degree in Christian Spirituality, and become Dean of Convention’s theological school, for which he led the effort to relocate to Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley as the Swedenborgian House of Studies, which in 2015 became a Center of Distinction at the Graduate Theological Union as the Center for Swedenborgian Studies, where he is still Dean. He has remained on the faculty at Pacific School of Religion directing the Doctor of Ministry degree program. He is currently President-Elect of the Swedenborgian Church of North America.
|Saturday, April 23, 2021|
Realms of Spirituality and Science
Concepts of Psychology and Spirituality
|7:30-10:00||Keynote and Reception|
Sunday, April 24, 2021
|9:00 am - 10:30||Session 4
Swedenborg’s Influence on Thought Movements
*Available for in-person attendees only
Questions? Please contact Institute director Thane Glenn, email@example.com, 267.502.4844