Swedenborgian Church of North America Swedenborgian Church of North America

Henry James, Sr.

Writer, thinker and follower of Swedenborg's Teachings

Henry James, Sr. & Jr.

Henry James, senior (1811-1882).  American writer and thinker and follower of Swedenborg’s teachings.  He first became attracted to Swedenborg’s teachings while in England during the early 1840s when he suffered what was probably a nervous breakdown and was recommended to read Swedenborg.  He identified his own crisis as what Swedenborg calls a ‘vastation’.  Author of Substance and ShadowThe Secret of Swedenborg and other works.  In England he formed a life-long friendship with Garth Wilkinson.  He was also a close friend of Emerson.  He was the father of the philosopher William James and of Henry James the novelist.  Henry James, junior was a Vice-President of the International Swedenborg Congress held in London in 1910 to celebrate the centenary of the Swedenborg Society.

Reference:  Alfred Habegger, The Father: A Life of Henry James, senior (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1994).