Swedenborg Foundation Press, 2011
Reviewed by Jocelyn Braddock.
THIS little book illustrates and describes the seven stained-glass windows commissioned from the Tiffany Company in 1902 by one Swedenborgian Church in the United States as a gift to another. I had never heard of Emanuel Swedenborg, an eighteenth century Swedish philosopher, engineer and Christian mystic.
This is not the place to explore this particular approach to faith. Suffice to say that it involves angels, celestial travel and heavenly visits, and contends that the last judgment occurred in 1757. It had some noted adherents in the United Kingdom and the United States around the time the windows were commissioned.
After a brief introduction, the following seven chapters describe each of the cities of Asia Minor, to which John addressed a letter. The text of each letter accompanies a full-page reproduction of the window. Further sections address biblical and spiritual meaning and angelic wisdom.
The images of the windows and the wide range of illustrative art are glorious.
The emphasis of the faith inspired by Swedenborg's visions is upon humility, service and correct behaviour. It offers an interesting glimpse into a somewhat different approach to knowing and loving God.