Origin[ edit ] Transcendentalism is closely related to Unitarianismthe dominant religious movement in Boston in the early nineteenth century. Transcendentalism was not a rejection of Unitarianism; rather, it developed as an organic consequence of the Unitarian emphasis on free conscience and the value of intellectual reason. The transcendentalists were not content with the sobriety, mildness, and calm rationalism of Unitarianism.
Biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo EmersonAmerican Transcendentalist poet, philosopher, lecturer, and essayist wrote Nature ; To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society.
I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches.
One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime.
Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!
But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile. Never intending to be regarded as a philosopher, Emerson emerged as one of the original thinkers of his age, oftentimes poetically expressing his ideals; ' He was a proponent of abolition, and spoke out about the cruel treatment of Native Americans.
Influenced by the Eastern philosophy of unity and a divine whole, emphasizing God Immanent, to be found in everyone and everything, Emerson sowed the seeds of the American Transcendentalist movement.
He realised the importance of the spiritual inner self over the material external self through studying Kantianism, Confucianism, Neo-Platonism, Romanticism, and dialectical metaphysics and reading the works of Saint AugustineSir Francis Bacon, Samuel Taylor Coleridgeand William Shakespeare among many others.
During his lifetime and since Emerson has had a profound influence on some of the 19th and 20th century's most prominent figures in the arts, religion, education, and politics.
Young Ralph had a strict but loving upbringing in the household of a minister who died when he was just eight years old. It was the first of many untimely deaths of Emerson's relatives. While his father had died young, he was very close to his mother, siblings, and Aunt Mary Moody who had a great and positive influence on his intellectual growth.
Early on young Waldo as he like to be called started keeping journals and later would base many of his essays on his thoughts and observations expressed therein. While his writings were sometimes criticised as being too abstract, he was an eloquent and popular speaker.
He then taught at his brother William's Boston school for young ladies.
Emerson's first publication, "Thoughts on the Religion of the Middle Ages" appeared in in the Christian Disciple. When inEmerson entered Harvard Divinity School, there was much discussion of and influence from translations of the German critics and Hindu and Buddhist poetry--it was the beginning of his struggle to come to terms with his own Christian beliefs.
She died of tuberculosis a few years later and her death caused another wave of religious questioning and doubt for Emerson. He next married Lydia 'Lidian' Jackson d. They entertained many friends and noted artists, free thinkers, poets, authors, and Transcendentalists of the time including Nathaniel Hawthorne and Bronson Alcott and his daughter Louisa May Alcott.
Henry David Thoreau built his Walden Pond cabin on Emerson's property; he watched over Emerson's family when he lectured abroad. In Emerson resigned his position with the Church and sailed for Europe.American essayist, philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson was a leading figure in the 19th century Transcendentalism movement.
A champion of individualism and persistent critic of social pressures, Emerson was an influential American figure whose philosophy is embodied in the numerous essays he wrote and lectures he gave. If you are a teacher searching for educational material, please visit PBS LearningMedia for a wide range of free digital resources spanning preschool through 12th grade.
Originally titled "An Oration Delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, at Cambridge, [Massachusetts,] August 31, ," Emerson delivered what is now referred to as "The American Scholar" essay as a speech to Harvard's Phi Beta Kappa Society, an honorary society of male college students with unusually high grade point averages.
- Transcendentalism Essay Transcendentalism is the system of philosophy that leads to reality. William Bryant, Henry Thoreau, and Ralph Emerson illustrate the ideas of transcendentalism through their works. Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, – April 27, ) was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the midth century.
formulating and expressing the philosophy of transcendentalism in his essay . Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late s and s in the eastern United States. It arose as a reaction to protest against the general state of intellectualism and spirituality at the time.
The doctrine of the Unitarian church as taught at Harvard Divinity School was of particular interest.. Transcendentalism emerged from "English and German Romanticism.