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On Swedenborgianism in Bond Hill

One of the more interesting hypotheses in my book I felt was that Bond Hill’s first church was trans-denominational, or perhaps even Swedenborgian, reflecting the progressive spiritual framework of Henry Watkin’s family. The degree to which Watkin was a Swedenborgian hasn’t been fully established. We know that Watkin’s father-in-law Henry Fry was a committed Swedenborgian and vegetarian. We also can surmise that Watkin’s wife, Laura Ann Fry Watkin, was also Swedenborgian. Until recently we didn’t have any additional evidence linking Swedenborgianism to Henry Watkin. But recently we discovered that certain articles, some of the first ever published of Lafcadio Hearn’s concerned Swedenborgianism, and these were written recently after Henry and Lafcadio first met each other! I’ll know more once I actually read the articles, and my findings will be incorporated into the last and hopefully final version of my Bond Hill book.

About Aharon N. Varady


Aharon's Omphalos is the hobbit hole of Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project. He is a community planner and environmental educator working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of libraries and museums. His advocacy for open-source strategies in the Jewish community has been written about in the Atlantic Magazine, the Yiddish Forverts, Tablet, and Haaretz. He is particularly interested in pedagogies for advancing ecological wisdom, developing creative and emotional intelligence, and realizing effective theurgical praxes . He welcomes your comments, personal messages, and kind words. If you find his work helpful to your own or you'd simply like to support him, please consider donating via his Patreon account.

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