Presentation on theme: "Transcendentalism. Transcendentalism Background An intellectual movement founded by Ralph Waldo Emerson, a minister who was educated at Harvard. (He was."— Presentation transcript:
Transcendentalism Background An intellectual movement founded by Ralph Waldo Emerson, a minister who was educated at Harvard. (He was a Harvard freshman at age 14!!!). Emersons first wife died at age 19. After her death, Emerson resigned his position as a minister and developed the Transcendentalist philosophynot a new religion, but a new belief that placed importance on the individual.
Transcendentalist Beliefs Human senses are limited, and merely help us understand the physical world; deeper truths can only be reached through intuition (instinct). Observing nature helps us understand ourselves. Nature is proof that God exists. God, nature, and humanity are united in a shared universal soul (also called the Over-Soul).
Where did it come from? Transcendentalism began as a reform movement in the Unitarian church. It is not a religionmore accurately, it is a philosophy or form of spirituality. It centered around Boston and Concord, MA. in the mid-1800s. Emerson first expressed his philosophy of Transcendentalism in his essay Nature.
Basic Premise #1 An individual is the spiritual center of the universe, and in an individual can be found the clue to nature, history and, ultimately, the universe itself.
Basic Premise #2 The structure of the universe literally duplicates the structure of the individual self. All knowledge, therefore, begins with self- knowledge.
Basic Premise #3 Transcendentalists accepted the concept of nature as a living mystery, full of signs.
More Basic Premises Individual virtue and happiness depend upon self-realization. In other words, you cant be happy until you know yourself and become who you are. Transcendentalists desired to embrace the whole worldto know and become one with the world.