The Swedenborgian or "New Church" tradition, which draws on the Christian theology of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), views Adam (or "the human") in the early chapters of Genesis as encompassing both sexes.
However, this tradition rejects the idea that Adam was an individual human being. It holds instead that Adam was a figure representative of the earliest genuinely human culture on earth. So most Swedenborgians do not picture Adam as a physically androgynous figure having the organs and other characteristics of both sexes, but rather as a symbolic figure that encompasses both the men and the women of the earliest human spiritual culture.
Swedenborg commonly uses the word "church" to mean, not a particular church institution, but an entire human culture as characterized by its commonly held spiritual perspective and beliefs. About the "church" represented by Adam, he writes:
The human being here [in Genesis 3:17-19], though, means not an individual but the earliest church. (Secrets of Heaven #277)
Commenting on this more fully a little later in the same work, he writes:
The reason the term adam is used is that the Hebrew word means a human. The person is never called by the proper name Adam but is called the human. Clear evidence for this is the fact that here [in Genesis 5:2] and earlier the human is spoken of not in the singular but in the plural. What is more, the term refers to both the man and the woman; both together are called the human. Anyone can see that this is so from the words themselves, which are, "He called their name Human Being on the day on which they were created" [Genesis 5:2]. Likewise in chapter 1 it says, "Let us make a human in our image, and these will rule over the fish of the sea" (Genesis 1:26, 27, 28). The same words also show that the subject is not some first-created individual of the race but the whole of the earliest church. (Secrets of Heaven #478)
This is Swedenborg's own presentation of the belief that "Adam," or "the human," does not mean an individual man named "Adam," but rather the earliest human culture on earth, which included both men and women.
This is the common Swedenborgian belief about Adam. In the Swedenborgian tradition, Adam is viewed as a figure that symbolizes and includes all of the earliest humans on earth, both men and women.
Here are two statements of this principle in classic Swedenborgian literature dating from the 1880s. Keep in mind that in that era the word "man" was still commonly used in the generic sense of "humanity," including both sexes. In these two quotes all italics, parentheses, and brackets are in the originals.
Adam is the common Hebrew word which means man, and it is almost always so rendered in the Scriptures. Now the first place where it is mentioned is in the opening chapter of Genesis, and there it is said that "God created (Adam or) man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them." Thus on the sixth day of creation it would appear that the human family was called into being, and, like all the lower races, consisted of males and females. So, too, at the beginning of the fifth chapter we read: "In the day that God created man (or Adam), in the likeness of God made He him; male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name (man or) Adam in the day when they were created." In this passage we seem indisputably to be taught not only that man was created male and female from the very first, but also that Adam was a generic term, including both sexes, and applied to both at the time of their creation. (James Reed, Swedenborg and the New Church. Boston: Houghton, Osgood and Company, 1880, p. 19-20)
Here James Reed, a prolific 19th century Swedenborgian author, picks up on Swedenborg's reference to Genesis 5:2 in showing that the Hebrew term adam encompasses both male and female.
We read in Genesis (v. 1, 2): "In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God created He him, male and female created He them, and blessed them and called their name Adam [or man]." It requires both the male and the female to make the âdâm—the man—that is the whole man. Therefore God called the name of the two conjoined—the male and the female—their name, âdâm. And the Adam, including both sexes, is said to have been in the likeness of God. The reason is, that the female was created to be an image more especially of the Divine Love, and the male to be an image more especially of the Divine Wisdom. (Benjamin Fiske Barrett, Heaven Revealed. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1885, p. 293-294)
Here Benjamin Fiske Barrett, another prolific 19th century Swedenborgian author, adds the standard derivation (in Swedenborg's theology) of both male and female from the nature of God.
These concepts about Adam are common in Swedenborgian literature and tradition right from that tradition's origins in the late 18th century.
So in the Swedenborgian Christian tradition, Adam, or "the human," in the early chapters of Genesis is seen as a figure representing the earliest "church," or spiritual culture of human beings on earth, encompassing both men and women. Thus Adam, though not usually pictured by Swedenborgians as physically androgynous, is seen as androgynous in representation and concept. In more traditional language, "Adam" is interpreted as a generic term for the men and women of the earliest spiritual era on earth, taken together as a culture or society.