New Church


New Church
or Swedenborgians

Church whose members follow the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg.

Swedenborg did not himself found a church, but he believed that his writings would be the basis of a "new church," which he associated with the "new Jerusalem" mentioned in the Book of Revelation. In 1788, soon after his death, a group of his followers established a church in London. The first Swedenborgian society in the U.S. was organized in Baltimore in 1792. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two sacraments of the church, and New Church Day (June 19) is added to the established Christian festivals. There are three New Church groups: the General Conference of the New Church, the General Convention of the New Jerusalem in the U.S.A., and the General Church of the New Jerusalem.

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▪ association of churches
also called  Swedenborgians,  

      church organized in the General Conference of the New Church, the General Convention of the New Jerusalem in the U.S.A., and the General Church of the New Jerusalem. Its members are followers of the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg (Swedenborg, Emanuel), the 18th-century Swedish scientist, philosopher, and theologian. Swedenborg did not himself found a church, but he believed that his writings would be the basis of a “New Church,” which he related to the New Jerusalem mentioned in the biblical Book of Revelation.

      Shortly after Swedenborg's death, a group of his followers in England decided to establish a separate church. In 1788 the first building for New Church worship was opened in Great East Cheap, London, and was rapidly followed by others. In 1789 a conference met in the London church, and, except for 1794–1806 and 1809–14, the General Conference of the New Church has met annually.

      Swedenborg's writings on religion were introduced into the United States in the 1780s. The first society was organized in Baltimore in 1792, and the first American ministers were ordained in 1798. The General Convention of the New Jerusalem in the U.S.A. was founded in 1817 in Philadelphia. Differences of interpretation within the convention led to the formation in 1897 of a separate group, the General Church of the New Jerusalem.

      Worship in the Swedenborgian churches is almost always liturgical. Preaching of the Scriptures is based on Swedenborg's teaching that Scripture should be interpreted spiritually. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two sacraments of the church. To the established Christian festivals is added New Church Day (June 19).

      Church government in the three New Church groups varies. The British General Conference and the U.S. General Convention annually appoint a general council, which, with a ministerial council, is the controlling authority. The General Church is episcopal. Candidates for the ministry, apart from those trained in Africa for service there, normally pass through a full-time four-year course in one of the two U.S. colleges (in Cambridge, Mass., and Bryn Athyn, Pa.) or in Woodford Green, Essex, Eng., before being ordained.

      The three groups have extensive mission operations, with emphasis on Africa. New Church societies, generally small, are found in many parts of the world. Australia has its own conference, closely allied to that in Britain. The New Church groups in continental Europe are nearly all assisted from the United States.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • New Church — New New (n[=u]), a. [Compar. {Newer} (n[=u] [ e]r); superl. {Newest}.] [OE. OE. newe, AS. niwe, neowe; akin to D. nieuw, OS. niwi, OHG. niuwi, G. neu, Icel. n[=y]r, Dan. & Sw. ny, Goth. niujis, Lith. naujas, Russ. novuii, Ir. nua, nuadh, Gael.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • New Church — or New Jerusalem Church noun The Swedenborgian Church • • • Main Entry: ↑new * * * New Church, the church of the Swedenborgians; New Jerusalem Church …   Useful english dictionary

  • New Church. — See New Jerusalem Church. * * * …   Universalium

  • New Church — /nju ˈtʃɜtʃ/ (say nyooh cherch) noun → General Church of the New Jerusalem …   Australian English dictionary

  • New Church. — See New Jerusalem Church …   Useful english dictionary

  • NEW CHURCH —    the religious organization founded by the followers of Emanuel SWEDENBORG …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • New Church Education — is a philosophy of education developed and practiced by the General Church of the New Jerusalem, one of the New Church or Swedenborgian sects. This philosophy is based on some of works of Emanuel Swedenborg, whose theological writings are… …   Wikipedia

  • New Church (Virginia) — New Church, Virginia Lugar designado por el censo de los Estados Unidos …   Wikipedia Español

  • New Church, Virginia — New Church is a census designated place (CDP) in Accomack County, Virginia, United States. The population as of the 2010 Census was 205. References GNIS entry …   Wikipedia

  • New Church Haw, without Alderugate —    A plot of land purchased by Sir Walter Manny in 1349 to be a burial place outside the City walls for those who died of the plague.    He erected a chapel there dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary by the name of the Annunciation of the Blessed …   Dictionary of London