Back to All Events

Swedenborg Foundation Cultural Event | Moods in Emanuel Swedenborg’s Theological Works: A Musico-Verbal Exploration

7:00 PM Annual Swedenborg Foundation Meeting, 8:00 PM Performance (Seating for Performance beginning at approximately 7:30. Seating Capacity: 300)

Donations welcome. Free for Bryn Athyn College/Academy of the New Church students.

Swedish scientist, philosopher, and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) has sometimes been accused of writing in a monotone. This impression, formed no doubt from reading English translations of the distant past, does not do justice to the wide variety of moods in the original Latin. One of the goals of the New Century Edition (NCE) of the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg, an ongoing project that incorporates the latest scholarship to produce a modern, accessible translation of Swedenborg's theological writings, is to convey these moods more accurately. This light-hearted evening will feature Series Editor Jonathan Rose reading passages from the NCE that embody different moods, while musicians Annalisa and Greg Synnestvedt perform interludes that reflect those moods.

Dr. Rose (pictured), an outstanding guitarist and pianist in his own right, took twelve years of classical piano lessons and continues to compose and play in a variety of styles: classical, rock, jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, and popular music. During past performances he has set Latin poetry (“Catullus 63”) to a drum beat, in order to capture the ancient rhythm in which it was written, and, after discovering a very rare piece of Hellenistic Greek "sheet music", has supplied chords to accompany the antiquated melody, rhythm and lyrics. However, this evening will showcase Jonathan’s considerable skills as a public speaker, which are familiar to those who regularly attend his popular weekly Spirit and Life Bible Study class, available on ustream at or on Facebook at Spirit and Life Bible Study ( This class is a current passion for Dr. Rose who holds a B.A. and a M.Div. in religion from BAC and a M.A. and a Ph.D. in Latin from Bryn Mawr College. He has worked for years in the study of Neo-Latin and in Swedenborgian research. He was both chaplain and a tenured professor of religion and sacred languages at BAC before taking on his current position. As Series Editor of the NCE, Jonathan does translating, editing, research, and fund raising for the project. He is a seventh-generation Swedenborgian and his wife, Dr. Kristin King, is president of BAC.

Brother and sister duo Greg and Annalisa Synnestvedt have been playing violin together for 10 years, performing music that ranges from classical to bluegrass and jazz. They especially enjoy playing for church services at the Bryn Athyn Cathedral. Greg, 19, is currently a freshman at BAC and is the director of the BAC Men's a cappella group. He also sings in the Bryn Athyn Cathedral choir and, in addition to the violin, plays banjo, mandolin, and guitar in a number of folk and bluegrass ensembles. Annalisa, 22, graduated from BAC in May 2011 with an interdisciplinary degree in Psychology and History, and is currently finishing her first year of a masters program in occupational therapy at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia where she plays violin in the Jefferson Chamber Orchestra. She served as co-director of the BAC's Women's a cappella group, the Never B Flats, from 2009-2010. From 2006-2008, Annalisa was the recipient of an advanced study scholarship at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia and played violin in their chamber program from 2005-2008. If you have taken a tour of Glencairn recently, it’s possible that Annalisa guided you through the Museum, as she has been an Interpreter giving highlights tours for the past few years. The siblings actually performed the standard "At Last" with Jonathan recently, for his daughter's wedding, and are excited to be collaborating with him again.

This event is open to all, including the 162nd annual meeting of the Swedenborg Foundation, a nonprofit organization located in West Chester, PA. At the conclusion of the concert the audience is invited to meet the performers at a reception where light desserts will be served.

Earlier Event: April 29
Ben Odhner in Concert
Later Event: June 18
Landmarks in Lights