A relation of Swedenborgianism and anthroposophy

The case of the Finnish author Kersti Bergroth and her novel The Living and the Dead

  • Tiina Mahlamäki University of Turku


My article discusses the influence of Emanuel- Swedenborg on a Finnish female author, Kersti Bergroth (1886–1975) through one of Bergroth’s novels Eläviä ja kuolleita (‘The Living and the Dead’, 1945). Bergroth was a prolific author with an anthroposophical bent, and an admirer of German idealism. In this particular novel Bergroth refers explicitly to Swedenborg and the story discloses a number of Swedenborgian themes: the doctrine of correspondences; a world divided into material, spiritual, and divine realms; and communication with the spirits of the dead. As Bergroth was an active member of the anthroposophical movement, I will also consider the route, spread, and place of Swedenborg’s ideas within anthroposophy and theosophy in the twentieth century.

Keywords: Emanuel Swedenborg, Kersti Bergroth, Anthroposophy, literature, correspondence
Apr 21, 2018
How to Cite
Mahlamäki, T. (2018). A relation of Swedenborgianism and anthroposophy. Approaching Religion, 8(1), 69–78. https://doi.org/10.30664/ar.66723