Saturday, March 8, 2008

Church of the Holy City

The Church of the Holy City: Emanuel Swedenborg's theological teachings of
individualism and diversity as grounded in the teachings of Christ are found here.


Located at 1611 16th Street NW, the Church of the Holy City is home to members of the Swedenborgian Community. Having never heard of them, this is what I learned:

The religion is based on the theological writings of Swedish scientist and later theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. Fifteen years after his death, a group of individuals who admired his work gathered in London and formed a church based on his teachings.

Among their beliefs: Swedenborgians believe the Second Coming has already taken place and is ongoing at this time; we live in a spiritual and material world with the spiritual world being less clear to us until death; Jesus Christ was a manifestation of God made flesh; love is the basic element of reality and the source of all life; truth is the reality of love at work; humanity has free will and must develop that will into action; and scripture is literal and has a spiritual essence as well. Swedenborgianism stresses freedom, diversity, and individualism. To learn more, click here.

The Church of the Holy City was founded in 1846 and the sanctuary was dedicated in 1896. It was designed by Swedenborgian architect H. Langford Warren and features cut stonework on the exterior, a bell tower, and stained glass by Lamb and Tiffany. Currently, the church is in the process of restoring parts of the building that have aged and fallen into disrepair, but it remains open for services during these renovations and is available for meetings and weddings.


Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 2/08

8 comments:

Fénix - Bostonscapes said...

The church I posted today must have been build around the same time, then.

Lara said...

a wonderful building!

Dusty Lens said...

An appealing church. And a little lesson here. I never learned about this church organization. Thanks!

yes, in my haste in posting...may have had something to do with a bottle of wine, I deleted my red photo and forgot to add the 2 things tag and link it to the original blog. Proof, haste makes waste.

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Stunning, As I have come to expect! Beautiful!

D.C. Confidential said...

Fenix: I just left a comment over on your blog re: the similarity in these churches. It is uncanny!

Lara: I like it, too. I find it rather quaint.

DL: I'd never heard of Swedenborgianism either until I started researching this little church. Fascinating theology! I wonder if there aren't a lot of them in the Minnesota/Wisconsin area what with all the Swedish immigrants in that part of the country...

Lisa: Thanks!

b.c. said...

that's really interesting--i never heard of this group either--they have a nice church...

d.c. confidential said...

B.C.: I thought it was fascinating, too! I'm a sociologist of religion by academic training and I found Swedenborgian theology fascinating. I may just have to check it out one Sunday!

The Artful Eye said...

Lovely facade! I have never heard of Swedenborgians. Interesting!