Emanuel Swedenborg was born January 29, 1688 in Stockholm, Sweden. Initially one of the most renowned natural scientists of Europe, he experienced a transcendental awakening that led him on a quest of spiritual exploration, which he recorded in his numerous mystical works.
Although he never intended for a church, religion, or sect to be founded or named after him, reading groups and spiritual organizations began forming in England soon after his death. American groups eventually founded what is now the General Convention of Swedenborgian Churches, a progressive, inclusive, democratically governed denomination with which Our Daily Bread is affiliated.
As a result of Swedenborg’s spiritual questioning and insights we exist to encourage that same spirit of inquiry and personal growth, to respect differences in views, and to respect and embrace the wisdom of all traditions.
Swedenborgian theology attempts to reconcile spirituality and rationality. For example, Swedenborg understood Scripture as containing an “inner meaning” which corresponds to our own spiritual development, rather than reading the text literally.
Swedenborg shared in his theological writings a view of God as infinitely loving and at the very center of our beings. In his view, God is Love and Wisdom itself, quite literally incapable of judgment, punishment or anger. It is our call to be vessels of this love, and to share it, whatever form it may take. The emphasis is not on accepting particulars of doctrine, but rather on leading a life of love towards the Divine and all beings.
Swedenborgianism is a spiritual as well as a rational approach to life. At Hillside, we welcome and encourage a diversity in beliefs, in an environment where questioning, open discussion and authentic spiritual inquiry and experience are cultivated.
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