Jim Lawrence is Dean of the Center for Swedenborgian Studies. He first earned an undergraduate degree in economics for the developing worlds from the University of Texas at Austin. A growing focus on the need for spiritual renewal in the world led to seminary. He studied at Brite Divinity School (Texas Christian University) and then at the Swedenborg School of Religion in Boston, being ordained upon graduation in 1984. During the next seventeen years he worked with three Swedenborgian congregations in rural, suburban, and urban settings, while also serving simultaneously in publishing ministries. He contributed as publisher, editor and author to more than 30 works in church related publication ministries. He received the Doctor of Ministry degree with a concentration on writing and publishing in 1992 from the Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana, and in 2012 received his Ph.D. in Christian Spirituality from the GTU.

From 2001-2015 he was the Dean of the Swedenborgian House of Studies at Pacific School of Religion, and since July 1, 2015 he has led the new Center for Swedenborgian Studies. In addition to Swedenborgian studies, he pursues research and teaches in spirituality studies, Western Esotericism, and New Religious Movements.

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James Lawrence's CV

Select Publications

2019 “Painter, Pastor: The Spiritual Arc in William Keith,” in Foundations for Grand Things: Swedenborg and the Spiritual in Art, ed. Devin Zuber (forthcoming Swedenborg Foundation Press).

2019 “A World Apart: The American Antislavery Issue,” in The Moment is Now, ed. Anders Hallengren. West Chester, PA: Swedenborg Foundation Press 

2019 “Foreword,” in Contemplative Wicca: Reflections on Contemplative Practice for Pagans. London: Aeon Books, 2019.

2019 Book Review, In the Shadow of the Dragon’s Back: A Young American Girl in South Africa during the Early Years of Apartheid by Rachel Odhner Longstaff (Culicidae Press, 2019), in New Church Life (May/June).

(2019) "Swedenborgian Church of North America" in the academic database of the World Religions and Spirituality Project at Virginia Commonwealth University: https://wrldrels.org/2019/04/03/swedenborgian-church-of-north-america/

2017 “Correspondentia: A Neologism in Aquinas Attains Its Zenith in Swedenborg,” in Correspondences: Journal for the Study of Esotericism, v. 5.


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