The reasons for the emergence of transcendentalism in the 19th century

Emerson, significantly, was one of their students. That Awakening, along with its successor, revolved around the questions of divine election and original sin, and saw a brief period of revivalism.

Hedge organized what eventually became known as the Transcendental Club, by suggesting to Emerson in that they form a discussion group for disaffected young Unitarian clergy. His intellectual contributions to the philosophy of transcendentalism inspired a uniquely American idealism and spirit of reform.

Theodore Parker —60 was the son of a farmer who attended Harvard and became a Unitarian minister and accomplished linguist. I lay down the book and go to my well for water, and lo!

transcendentalism definition

The professor's duties were to By the s, literature began to appear that bound the Transcendentalist ideas together in a cohesive way and marked the beginnings of a more organized movement. First, it was a humanistic philosophy — it put the individual right at the center of the universe and promoted respect for human capabilities.

By opening the door wide to the exercise of the intellect and free conscience, and encouraging the individual in his quest for divine meaning, Unitarians had unwittingly sowed the seeds of the Transcendentalist "revolt. Since they conceived of revelation as an external favor granted by God to assure the mind of its spiritual progress, they doubted that inner "revelation" without prior conscious effort really represented a spiritual transformation.

This knowledge comes through intuition and imagination not through logic or the senses.

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History of New England Transcendentalism