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New Church Visionaries Online Lecture

April 7, 2023 @ 7:00 pm


April 7, 2023
7:00 pm
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You are invited to journey with us as we learn about some of the greatest visionary minds of the New Church lineage. The influence of Swedenborgian ideas and spirituality has been one of enormous diversity and dynamism. This free lecture series is offered by the Helen Keller Spiritual Life Center, an initiative of the Cambridge Society of the New Jerusalem at Swedenborg Chapel, with generous financial support from the Massachusetts New Church Union.

The third lecture of the series will be delivered by Rev. Robert E. McCluskey, who will be discussing Ralph Waldo Emerson, a leader in the creation of the Transcendentalist movement in the mid-19th century. In 1826, Emerson was introduced to Emanuel Swedenborg through Sampson Reed’s Growth of the Mind. Much like William Blake before him, Emerson maintained an abiding, if ambiguous, relation to Swedenborg’s ideas for the remainder of his life. Rev. McCluskey’s lecture will briefly examine Emerson’s life and consider his philosophy and works. He will then turn to Emerson’s connection to Swedenborg and the concepts of correspondence, influx, freedom of thought, and the primacy of personal experience over doctrine. 

The Reverend Robert E. McCluskey holds two degrees in philosophy, with a focus on Greek philosophy, modern idealism, existentialism, and hermeneutics. He is a graduate of the Swedenborg School of Religion and was ordained into the Swedenborgian Church of North America in 1984. He has pastored churches in Portland, Maine, and New York City, and served on the denomination’s Social Justice Committee. He currently administers rites and sacraments at Wayfarers Chapel near Los Angeles.

Schedule of future lectures:

May 5: Dr. Devin Zuber, on Ivan Aguéli

May 19: Dr. Carl von Essen, on William James

June 2: Rev. Dr. James Lawrence, on John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed)

July 7: Dr. Rebecca Esterson, on Immanuel Kant

Additional information about each lecture will be published in the Harvard Square Business Association newsletter in the month prior to the event. We look forward to having you join us.