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. 
Wednesday, July 26, 2-3:30 pm: Book Discussion - "Lincoln in the Bardo" by George Saunders
February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.
   From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.
Join the Open-Minded Explorers for a discussion of this book on Wednesday afternoon, 2-3:30 pm, July 26, 2017. We will meet in the Swedenborg Library. (more on reverse side.)

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.

   From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Join the Open-Minded Explorers for a discussion of this book on Wednesday afternoon, 2-3:30 pm, July 26, 2017. Location: Swedenborg Library, 17th floor, 77 W Washington St. (at Clark) in Chicago. Use the "contact us" form to borrow a copy of the book (prior to July 5-office will be closed July 6-13.)

STUDY PROGRAMS
THE SWEDENBORG LIBRARY  offers study programs on the work of theologian Emanuel Swedenborg several times a year.  

Coming this autumn will be a discussion program on the Swedenborgian understanding of the Ten Commandments (see below), led by Rev. Robert McCluskey. Dates will be posted shortly. 
NEW IN THE LIBRARY: 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.

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.

2017 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

Note that programs at the Swedenborg Library will be held monthly on THURSDAY EVENINGS in 2017.