Emerson’s influence | Transcendentalism
Emerson s Influence on Thoreau Essay - 728 Words
During the early to mid-nineteenth century the Unitarian denomination experienced a counter-reformation, which started with the Transcendentalists. The Transcendentalists were a constituency within the Unitarian church that desired to reform the church. They wanted to rid the church of its rationalism and infuse a naturalistic religion. The movement away from a rational religious understanding to a naturalistic one necessarily would include transforming the Unitarian view of God. The Transcendentalists were writers and thinkers like Henry David Thoreau, Theodore Parker, George Ripley, and most importantly, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Many of the Transcendentalists were brought up in the Unitarian church. They preached the idea of finding God through nature and natural experience. The Transcendentalists’, especially Emerson’s, ideals of individuality and self-reliance moved Unitarianism from corporate experience and traditional worship to an emphasis on individual worship.
Ecstasy of Influence - The New Yorker
[The following are excerpts of a paper submitted in April for Senior Honors research in the Department of History and Political Science, School of Arts and Sciences, Longwood College, Virginia. Bibliographical information in the footnotes has been edited to conserve space. We believe the author sheds needed light on how the Christian convictions of American Unitarianism were destroyed by Emerson’s assault on the Bible and his assertion that all people are divine. Sounds like “ye shall be as gods” (Gen. 3:5 – KJV)].
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Emerson had meanwhile become seriously interested in thePoetry, Philosophy and Essays of such persons as Plato, Plotinus,Swedenborg, Victor Cousin, Carlyle, Coleridge, and Wordsworth.
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His (first series) were published in 1841. Meanwhile, tragedy struck with the sudden death of his five-year old son Waldo in 1842, soon after the death of John Thoreau from lockjaw, and a darker, tougher strain appears in Emerson's writing, beginning with his memorializing poem, But Emerson pulled himself together to give a series of lectures in New York and in 1844 he had a prepared.