Mid 1800s American Renaissance - technological growth - publishing increased - reading audience increased Optimism New Ideas - God - people - nature - society Time Period
Transcendentalism Intellectual movement Elements of religion and philosophy 1. The view that basic truths of the universe lie beyond the knowledge we obtain from our senses 2. The view that there is a spiritual unity of all forms of being. God, humanity, and nature sharing a Universal Soul.
3. The view that intuition is the highest power of the soul. - never reasons - never proves - simply perceives 4. The view that nature, the human, and the spirit are all interwoven and part of a perfect whole.
Like PuritansUnlike Puritans Believed in the individual’s ability to experience God first hand (recall Grace) Believed that ability was given to everyone. Puritan Traditions
Value of individualism Focus on Nature Explored mysteries of human personality Romantic Traditions
Transcendentalists Small group – mostly friends of Emerson Concord, MA In constant search of inspiration/insight Great faith in goodness of natural world Trying to reach self-awareness and human understanding Ralph Waldo EmersonHenry David Thoreau
We will read… Self-Reliance Civil Disobedience Walden Nature “The American Scholar”