Right: Library speaker Jerry Leitner discusses the gospel of Mary Magdala, a Common Ground program, in October. Due to its size, the group gathered in James Parlor, on the second floor of 77 W. Washington St. for this program. 

Events & Programs

Programs at the Swedenborg Library are open to the public. Aside from the Common Ground programs, for which we collect a fee for Common Ground, we appreciate whatever free will offering you would like to make for your attendance. 
THURSDAY, October 26, 2017   /   6-7:30 pm: 
10 Commandments: The Secrets of Spiritual Growth Found in God's Principles for Living

Swedish scientist and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) writes that the Ten Commandments are the most important part of the Bible. They encapsulate what we need to do to grow as spiritual people, with a meaning that penetrates far beyond the surface level of words and deeds.

One of the fundamentals of Swedenborg’s theology is the concept that underlying the literal text of the Bible is an inner spiritual meaning. Using this method of interpretation, Swedenborg peels back the layers of the Ten Commandments to reveal a cohesive set of teachings with both practical applications and far-reaching spiritual implications.

Although Swedenborg discusses the Ten Commandments in many places throughout his writings, he wrote four extended commentaries on the subject in four separate volumes: Secrets of Heaven (volume 7, published in 1754), True Christianity(1771), the short work Life (1763), and the posthumously published Revelation Explained (1758–1759). Those four commentaries are now being combined in a single volume for the first time, allowing the reader to compare and contrast Swedenborg’s approach across a seventeen-year span.

This book offers new insights for spiritual seekers and students of Swedenborg alike, illuminating what is at once a familiar set of biblical teachings and one of the cornerstones of Swedenborg’s system of personal growth.

scientist and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) writes that the Ten Commandments are the most important part of the Bible. They encapsulate what we need to do to grow as spiritual people, with a meaning that penetrates far beyond the surface level of words and deeds.

One of the fundamentals of Swedenborg’s theology is the concept that underlying the literal text of the Bible is an inner spiritual meaning. Using this method of interpretation, Swedenborg peels back the layers of the Ten Commandments to reveal a cohesive set of teachings with both practical applications and far-reaching spiritual implications.

Although Swedenborg discusses the Ten Commandments in many places throughout his writings, he wrote four extended commentaries on the subject in four separate volumes: Secrets of Heaven (volume 7, published in 1754), True Christianity(1771), the short work Life (1763), and the posthumously published Revelation Explained (1758–1759). Those four commentaries are now being combined in a single volume for the first time, allowing the reader to compare and contrast Swedenborg’s approach across a seventeen-year span.

This book offers new insights for spiritual seekers and students of Swedenborg alike, illuminating what is at once a familiar set of biblical teachings and one of the cornerstones of Swedenborg’s system of personal growth.

Join us for a deeper look into the 10 Commandments, in this multi-session discussion with Rev. Robert McCluskey. Join us for any or all of these discussions. 

Swedish scientist and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) writes that the Ten Commandments are the most important part of the Bible. They encapsulate what we need to do to grow as spiritual people, with a meaning that penetrates far beyond the surface level of words and deeds.

One of the fundamentals of Swedenborg’s theology is the concept that underlying the literal text of the Bible is an inner spiritual meaning. Using this method of interpretation, Swedenborg peels back the layers of the Ten Commandments to reveal a cohesive set of teachings with both practical applications and far-reaching spiritual implications.


Dates: Thursdays: 

October 26: theft & deception

November 9: envy of others

Time: 6-7:30 pm

Fee: Free will offering

RSVP: info@SwedLib.org. 


Rev. Robert McCluskey will lead the discussion via Google Hangouts from his home in San Pedro, California. He holds a B.A., M.A., and is a graduate of the Swedenborg School of Religion. He was ordained into the Swedenborgian Church of North America in 1984. 
   Rev. McCluskey has pastored Swedenborgian churches in Portland, ME and New York City, and for 17 years served as Swedenborgian representative to the National Council of Churches, with specific attention to the work of social justice and religious freedom.

Book Group Discussion: A Gentleman in Moscow 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017  - 2-3:30 pm
Join us for a discussion of this best-seller by Amor Towles, that explores what it means to have purpose or, as Swedenborg would say, usefulness to society. 

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. 

Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility—a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel.

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.


Date & Time: Wednesday afternoon, November 1, 2-3:30 pm
Location: Swedenborg Library, 17th floor, 
77 W. Washington St., Chicago.
Fee: None. Copies of the book are available from the Swedenborg Library on loan. 
Upcoming COMMON GROUND LECTURES
The Swedenborg Library is the downtown Chicago satellite for COMMON GROUND. Originally conceived as a forum for ecumenical talks on religious topics, Common Ground's offerings have expanded to include a wide array of spiritual, cultural, economic, and history programs. Common Ground celebrated its 41st anniversary in 2016. For information on its programs held in suburban Deerfield, Illinois and other locations, visit: COMMON GROUND


The dates for upcoming Common Ground programs at the Swedenborg Library are listed below: 
Common Ground
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2017  / 7-9 PM
How Did God Get All Those Animals on the Ark? - Literary and Theological Reflections on the Story of the Flood  with Dr. Pauline Viviano

A supposed replica of Noah's Ark has been built in Williamstown, Kentucky and the displays in this museum claim to defend the historicity of the flood against all challenges. For biblical scholars, arguments in support of the historicity of Noah's flood collapse when we focus on a literary and theological analysis of the story.

In this presentation, we will look at flood stories from the ancient Near East, and focus in particular, on the Genesis flood narrative. What kind of literature is the flood story, what is the point of the story, and what is the input that archaeology has to offer? These are some of the questions we will explore. 

Location
: Swedenborg Library, 17th floor, 77 W. Washington St. (at Clark) in Chicago. 
Fee: $10 collected at the door, payable to Common Ground. 
Join us for refreshments prior to the program, at 6 pm.


Dr. Pauline Viviano, Ph.D., Biblical Languages and Literature, recently retired as associate professor of theology at Loyola University. She recently completed a commentary on the Books of Jeremiah and Baruch for the Collegeville Commentary Series. 
Common Ground
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2017 /   7-9 PM
Adam and Eve and Us, with Jerry Leitner

Genesis 2-3 tells the story of a god, a man, a woman, a snake, and a prohibition. Over time, this simple origin myth becomes a driving force behind the West's view of male/female relationships, human sinfulness, humanity's control over nature, sexuality, and the ceaseless desire to regain Paradise lost. This talk examines how the story of Adam and Eve deeply affects Western culture and shapes the way we think about ourselves. 

Location
: Swedenborg Library, 17th floor,  77 W. Washington St. (at Clark) in Chicago. 

Fee: $10 collected at the door, payable to Common Ground. 

Join us for refreshments prior to the program, at 6 pm.


Jerrol Leitner holds M.A.s in Theology and English. He is recently retired from forty years of teaching.