Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 37 (2), 211-8

Emanuel Swedenborg

Emanuel Swedenborg

E Foote-Smith et al. Epilepsia.


How is it that the name of a brilliant 18th century scientist and philosopher, many of whose exceptional achievements were often advanced for his time, is almost never mentioned in the annals of science? And how did it happen that a man very deeply dedicated to the advancement of science experienced a vision that completely altered the course of his life? We suggest, based on his extensive self-analytical writings, that the source of his spiritual experiences was temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and that he is among the group of creative religious thinkers also suspected or known to have had epilepsy, from St. Paul and Mohammed to Dostoevsky, who have changed Western civilization.

Similar articles

  • Joan of Arc
    E Foote-Smith et al. Epilepsia 32 (6), 810-5. PMID 1743152.
    For centuries, romantics have praised and historians and scientists debated the mystery of Joan of Arc's exceptional achievements. How could an uneducated farmer's daught …
  • Henry Maudsley on Swedenborg's Messianic Psychosis
    J Johnson. Br J Psychiatry 165 (5), 690-1. PMID 7866688.
    Renewed interest is deserved in the contentious issues of the nature of religiosity and its relationship to psychotic experience.
  • Spirituality and Religion in Epilepsy
    O Devinsky et al. Epilepsy Behav 12 (4), 636-43. PMID 18171635. - Review
    Revered in some cultures but persecuted by most others, epilepsy patients have, throughout history, been linked with the divine, demonic, and supernatural. Clinical obser …
  • [Epilepsy and Religion]
    KO Nakken et al. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 131 (13-14), 1294-7. PMID 21725389. - Review
    A number of people with epilepsy, particularly those with temporal lobe epilepsy, have reported experiencing religious feelings during their seizures. Some experience a f …
See all similar articles

Personal name as subject

LinkOut - more resources