Premium Essay

Transcendentalist

In: English and Literature

Submitted By olinde
Words 1105
Pages 5
Transcendentalism and Christianity Have Incompatible Beliefs
Transcendentalism is “a group of new ideas in literature, religion, culture, and philosophy that emerged in the early to middle 19th century” (Wikipedia). Transcendentalism first started with Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the pioneers of the Transcendentalists, who in his essay “Nature”, criticized several things, especially the Unitarian church (Wikipedia). Many other Transcendentalists such as Thomas Parker, Henry David Thoreau, Amos Bronson Alcott, and James Freeman Clark, along with Emerson, were critics of their society because they didn’t like the fact that people had “unthinking conformity” (Stanford 1). Transcendentalists work to make the world better through “social reform movements” and also strongly believe that one’s intuitive ability is a gift from God (Lewis). These might be the reasons why Transcendentalists tried to build their own religion based on certain principles which they said came from the “inner essence of the human” (Wikipedia). The Transcendental movement came out of a religious group of Christians in order to create their own group in many points incompatible with Christianity (Stanford 1). This is why Transcendentalism and Christianity have incompatible beliefs. One of the ways the beliefs of Transcendentalists and Christians are incompatible is that they have incompatible beliefs about Jesus. Christians believe that Jesus came to human beings to show them the way to salvation (Certificate 2). Transcendentalists have a different opinion about that; they don’t accept the fact that Jesus has been sent by God in order for human beings to gain salvation. Transcendentalists find Jesus as only “one” of the “true race of prophets” and don’t agree with Jesus’ greatness (Stanford 4). Another point to help conclude that Christianity and Transcendentalism are incompatible is that…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Literary Criticism of Edgar Allen Poe

...sympathy changes here, and finally at the end when they are on the bridge he says the narrator is dense and cynical. The problem for the progressive dislike of the narrator, according to Eliot, is related to how one is meant to take the tale. The narrator announces how it will be a history "who's moral will be obvious and without question". He explains how the narrators attacks on transcendentalists manipulates the reader towards accepting the story at its simple face value. Eliot asserts that Poe is ahead of the reader and leaves clues "for the Dupins among us to find." He explains how the narrator compares himself to La Fontaine who wrote animal fables, then introduces his deceased friend Toby Dammit. He goes Further and shows, very convincingly, that Toby could in fact literally be a dog rather than metaphorically like it appears on the surface. Eliot believes that there is sufficient evidence to show that Toby is in fact a dog, but goes on to say that it doesn't matter for the point of the story. Depending on how the reader looks at the story, Toby can either be viewed as "a transcendentalist, a simple dog, or an immoral person." He says that the story shows the weakness of the Transcendental Idealists position who he associates with Toby. Furthermore, he associates the devil with the materialist and literalist position and the narrator with the conventional social or moralistic position. He explains how the correct position, Poe's position, is shown "through......

Words: 1015 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Cvd and Trancendetalism

...story “Walden” by saying “To enjoy these advantages I was ready to carry on; atlas, to take the world on my shoulders.” Thoreau is saying that he is ready to do anything and that he can do it. The song “Handlebars” it says “I can tie a knot in a cherry stem, I can tell you about Lief Ericson, I know all the words to “de’ colores, and I’m proud to be an American.” The Flobots are showing they have confidence in themselves by stating they can do these things and be proud. Over all both the Flobots and Thoreau is showing confidence. I still believe that characteristics show that “Handlebars” is a transcendentalistic song. Thoreau has shown that he is a transcendentalist. He has shown this through his writings. The Flobots are very transcendentalistic because they show all the characteristics that one would have to be a transcendentalist. They do their own thing, they have nature, they rely on no one but themselves, and they are very confident. So in conclusion the song “Handlebars” is a transcendentalistic song....

Words: 540 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

The Catcher in the Rye: a Hint to the Past

...led by hippies and their 20th century Transcendentalist views. A lot of the novel’s Transcendentalist influence is hidden in otherwise insignificant moments. At first glance, Holden’s spur of the moment plan to run away with Sally just seems crazy, but at closer look, the life he envisions closely resembles the life led by Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond. Holden goes on a rant, babbling on about the life he suddenly wants to have. He tells Sally that the two of them could “stay in these cabin camps and stuff like that till the dough runs out…[they] could live somewhere with a brook and all and, later on, [they] could get married or something. [Holden] could chop all [their] own wood in the wintertime and all’” (Salinger 132). As Sally objects, she tells him that his dream is not reasonable, and she shows the impossibility of recreating the ideals of 19th century Transcendentalists in modern times. Even if Sally and Holden went to Massachusetts, the birthplace of the Transcendentalist movement, there was no way in modern times that they could reconstruct Holden’s dreams “of life close to nature, away from urban reality which crushes the individual and stifles the best in him” (Piechucka 34). Holden wishes wholeheartedly throughout the novel to escape reality’s phoniness and live innocently and purely, mimicking Emerson’s philosophy of individualism, freedom, and non-conformity. (Piechucka 34). Holden’s Transcendentalist views can also be seen in his strong......

Words: 1774 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Ahab and Moby Dick

...Ahab’s Leg and Moby Dick Melville uses symbolism in his novel Moby Dick to express his theme. Anti-Transcendentalism plays a large role in his writing as well. Captain Ahab’s leg is a symbol used to express natures mark on man along with anti-transcendentalist ideas. Melville also uses Moby Dick to represent man vs nature. Captain Ahab’s leg and Moby Dick represent anti-transcendentalist ideas and are symbols throughout the story. Captain Ahab is the captain of the Pequod whaling ship in the story. The singular purpose of the Captain’s whaling mission is to hunt down and kill a whale name Moby Dick. In his previous encounter with Moby Dick the Captain lost his leg to the whale. In place of his real leg the Captain has a prosthetic leg made of out whale bone. The Captain’s bone leg has quite a few meanings. It represents struggle to readjust to life, the want for vengeance, and anger. The Captain wants to invoke vengeance on Moby Dick because of his unrightful taking of his leg. This strong anger towards Moby Dick makes him obsessed on getting revenge. He offers a reward to all of the crew members aboard the boat for whoever kills Moby Dick; “Whosoever of ye raises me a while headed whale, with three holes punctured in his starboard fluke - look ye, whosoever of ye raises me that same white whale, he shall have this gold ounce, my boys” (Melville 4). This reward offering shows that the Captain will go to the ends of the sea and back in order to have Moby Dick killed.......

Words: 567 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

English Assignment

...2. Define and clarify three characteristics of Emersonianism/Transcendentalism Three main characteristics of transcendentalism as defined by Emerson himself in “The Transcendentalist,” are; respect for intuitions, withdrawal from labor and competition, and pursuit of a critical, solitary lifestyle. Transcendentalism can also be defined as a pursuit of the truth. Fundamentally, truth can be anything that an individual believes to be correct, based on his or her own intuition. All generally accepted social beliefs are to be tossed aside and one is to follow his or her instincts. Emerson rejected labor and any outcomes of labor. He did not believe in competition or government but rather in a self propelled world. Living a solitary lifestyle is thought of as an important feature in transcendentalism. Simplicity is said to stem from self-dependency. “Society is good when it does not violate me; but best when it is likest to solitude” (Emerson). It is believed that is one lives a simple life; all will go well for them. These are just three of the many principles and characteristics of transcendentalism. 4. Explain this statement in Thoreauvian terms: “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.” This quote taken from Thoreau’s “Civil Obedience,” is a statement that has made a large impression on countless. Thoreau believed that if the government is committing unjust actions, one should put his or her entire......

Words: 818 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

The Modern Transcendentalist vs. the Technical World

...In 2008, American author and journalist, Richard Louv wrote in his book, Last Child in the Woods, about the gap that has continuously been developing amongst people and nature as technology advances, overrunning humanity. Richard Louv expects that in the not so distant future, many of the younger generations will be so disconnected from nature that even looking outside a car window during a drive, would be quite bizarre. By utilizing testimonies that represent either the average technology-loving American or the modern transcendentalist, nostalgic imagery, and rhetorical questions he develops a well thought out argument about the severance between people and nature. After Louv learns about the advance science has reached, where altering the very color of a butterflies wings is now a luxury, that the science of synthetic nature has let Americans’ achieve, he comes across Matt Richtel, an American writer and journalist for the New York Times, who believes Americans have developed a new advertising medium, a medium that could captivate people’s attention much faster than any other traditional method, such as billboards and street benches. And although Richtel is correct to a certain extent, by implying he is right about how “moving ads out of the virtual world and into the real one” is something that is currently taking place, however, Louv suggests that such a form of advertisement is not even worth looking at. Louv quoting Richtel’s ridiculous statement where he claims “It’s......

Words: 794 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Ralph Waldo Emerson Worldview

...Jonathan Veldhuyzen Professor Matthew Towles English 201-002 11/21/2014 Ralph Waldo Emerson: His own God and Transcendentalist Worldview “The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, though their own eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insights and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us,” (940, 941) were the words written by Emerson in the introduction of his renown work “Nature” as he espoused that men should not necessarily believe in a God through ideals seen in the Bible and evidenced in nature, but rather use their own logic through poetry and philosophy to determine their own God. His writings espoused beliefs that do not reflect a Christian worldview, but rather bases man’s salvation on his own intuition. Emerson was a rebel in his time, he had independent views that did not align to any system of values. According to “Anthology of American Literature,” Bronson Alcott declares that “Emerson’s church consists of one member-himself.” These words signify that Emerson’s ideas and values were so radical for the time that very few people shared his beliefs. Yet, he was not alone in espousing thinking that seemed somewhat pantheistic and contradictory to what he had preached many years earlier. During the 1830’s Ralph Waldo Emerson joined with some other literary authors of the day in supporting a set of values that looked beyond a Supreme Being for...

Words: 1121 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

A New Way of Thinking

...Transcendentalism took off in the 1800’s with a little help from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Emily Dickenson. These transcendentalists expressed their beliefs through writings such as poems and essays. These few transcendentalists went out of their way to represent their ideals and beliefs. Only a number of people understood the idea of transcendentalism because it is so complex and involved a much deeper thought process. It was this complexity within Transcendentalism that makes it stick out in history still to this day. Transcendentalism is an idealistic philosophical and social movement that developed in New England. Transcendentalism was developed in reaction to rationalism in 1836. It taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity. The transcendentalist members held progressive views on feminism and communal living. Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the better known transcendentalists, became a transcendentalist in 1832 which lead to the writing of “Self-Reliance” and “The American Scholar.” He later became the central figure of his literary and philosophical group, known as the American Transcendentalist. In the 1840’s he founded and co-edited the literary magazine The Dial. In 1841 and 1844 he published essays, including, “Self-Reliance,” “Friendship” and “Experience.” In “Self-Reliance” Emerson writes: A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament......

Words: 1143 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Huck Finn

...of spreading their ideas, Ralph Emerson and Henry Thoreau’s writings offered their transcendentalist views in the nineteenth century. Their books, articles, journals, and essays, presented ideas that I could specifically relate to myself and learn from. Prior to reading their works I analyzed situations much differently than I do now. Now, I have a significantly improved outlook on my life and the things that happen around me. In Walden's opening chapter, “Economy,” Thoreau examines the trade-offs we make in life, and asks himself, what are life's real necessities. In this chapter, Thoreau noted only four necessities: food, shelter, clothing, and energy. After reading this chapter, I thought back to when I had gone camping years ago, leaving behind everything but the bare necessities of life. At the time, it felt like I would not survive, not having electricity or my own bathroom. I looked at things from a one point perspective, thinking my world was crashing down. After analyzing this chapter, I now am able to see I could not have been farther from the truth. I was too caught up in everyday human experiences and did not look at the “vital facts of life” (Thoreau 214) that were right in front of me. In reality, I had everything that was essential for living right but could not see it. Having read Walden I am able to see this situation with a more optimistic perspective of a transcendentalist. Through Emerson’s Self Reliance he urges readers to trust their own......

Words: 556 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

A&P by Hawthorn

...Nathaniel Hawthorne`s the Blithedale romance details the lives of several characters who live through the creation and eventual failure of a utopian commune called Blithedale. Blithedale is founded upon a series of percepts that would be considered transcendentalist. Transcendentalism was an important and persuasive theory in the 19th century often associated with ralph Waldo Emerson. Transcendentalist believed that it was possible to create a system that would allow humanity to live in absolute harmony with nature and one another. Although Nathaniel Hawthorn was in certain ways sympathetic possibility of putting their ideas into practice. Based on his own experiences at a utopian farm in the 1840, Hawthorne wrote The Blithedale Romance in order to show the deficiency of much of transcendentalist beliefs. Hawthorn uses the experiences of his characters in Blithedale critique transcendentalist ideas, such as romantic idealism, ideal communities, and the relationship of self to others, the possibility of communal soul, and the possibility of an idealized pastoral world existing in contemporary society. Hawthorne satirically demonstrates the absorb naivety of these transcendentalist notions through the lens of his novel, showing that his characters unswerving devotion to idealized concepts ultimately fails to achieve real world results and that , in many cases, this idealism in fact leads to tragic disaster. While most of the characters begin their stay at Blithedale......

Words: 1689 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

The Puritans

...The Puritans’, Enlightenment/Founding Fathers’, and Transcendentalists’ View of God American literature was influenced by three different religious philosophies between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Even though the Puritan, Cotton Mather; the Enlightenment author and Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson; and spiritual philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson had a different view of God, each philosopher believed in God and felt a connection to our Creator on some spiritual level. Their ideas differed particularly on predestination, science and rationale, and intuition. (clearly stated thesis) During the seventeenth century, Puritanism was the most common form of religion and played an important role in Puritan life. Since God was at the forefront in Puritanism, individuals believed that human and natural occurrences were messages from God. Cotton Mather was a great historian and a highly respected clergyman during this period. In one of his most famous works, The Wonders of the Invisible World, Cotton Mather gives his account of the Salem Witch Trials in which he was convinced that he received this command from the Lord. Cotton Mather believed that witches were doing the work of the devil and had to be destroyed before the Puritans could fulfill their destiny as “a people of God.” The Puritans believed they were chosen by God to serve a special purpose which was already predestined. According to the Puritan beliefs, one cannot choose salvation; since God was......

Words: 548 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Love

...The broken-hearted can only be mended by love just as only love can change a man's heart; enemies can become friends only through love just as only love can soften the hardest of hearts. In this way, Emerson, as a transcendentalist, portrays love as being a necessity in life; every man wishes, desires, to be loved. For this reason, the world would benefit from showing love to everyone as it causes mankind to care for others, to encourage joy in others. It is something that comes from deep within the soul and if the world experienced more love, humanity would be willing to expand their mind to accept the differences in others. No matter how humans differ from each other, whether by color of skin, religion, or social status, they all deserve love. In “The Transcendentalist,” Emerson writes that human beings have a “great wish to be loved” (3). Every person wishes to be loved; they want to be desired and cared for. Erich Fromm describes love as the “only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.” If everyone felt loved and also gave that love to everyone else, the world would be crime-free. Hate crimes, thefts, murders, and even suicides would not occur; it would be ridiculous to hurt the ones we love. People would see each other as equals—black, white, brown, red and yellow would be seen all the same as they are loved. There would be no need to prosecute those with different belief systems—the world would be willing to understand them because of the......

Words: 364 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Into the Wild Essay

...Stephen Mrs. Weiser English 12/20/14 A Modern Day Transcendentalist The biography Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer, is about a young man named Chris McCandless who is different. He doesn’t like all the “man made rules”(102) that come with being apart of society. He thinks that if he gets away from society and secludes himself he will find his true happiness. This aspect of Chris’s mindset makes him a modern day transcendentalist. One of the transcendentalist themes that is clearly displayed in Chris is his individualism. This individualism in Chris is displayed in his younger days and as an adult. Chris as a child seemed to do things his own way and do them without help he would just do them. An example of this is when Chris goes to his neighbor's house and finds candy in a drawer. Another example of his individualism is when Chris “decided to ignore it”(Krakauer 109) and write his science lab report in a different way than what the teacher told the class to do it. This shows that Chris wanted to do things his own way and not be told what to do. Another transcendental theme that is displayed in Chris is his love for adventure. The way that Chris shows this is in the way he gets to Alaska. In one of Chris’s letters to home he says, “I now walk out to live amongst the wild.”(Krakauer 58) I think this shows that Chris has no intent on getting to Alaska as fast as he could he just wanted to go on a hegira and have stories to tell and have the full experience.......

Words: 357 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Transcendentalism Significant Authors and Works

...attended meetings in Boston to discuss and write about spiritual ideas ; They called themselves the Transcendentalists. They had very radical opinions and were nonconformists when it came to organized religion. Their goal was to share a personal sense of spirituality and to tell that everyone had a private relationship between themselves and the universe, better known as 'The Eternal One' theory. Many important authors gained fame form this movement, such as : Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. Ralph Waldo Emerson is often regarded as the heart and soul of the Transcendentalism movement. He left Unitarian church ministry to focus more on physiological and spiritual writing. His first well known essay was "Nature" ; It gave insight to Emerson's view of the natural world, and in it he said that through exploring nature, man would find out more about himself. He also believed it was fundamental that man take a break from the distractions in society and get lost in ones thoughts about the natural world. “The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship”. This direct quote from "Nature" embodies the principles of the transcendentalist movement by restating their belief on separation from the church to build a better 'Eternal Self' with the universe and nature. Henry David Thoreau was inspired to start writing with a more transcendentalist view after borrowing a copy of Nature, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, from a neighbor. he was so......

Words: 691 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Transcendentalism

...contemporary transcendentalist defend that ideas are the only reality: “The tangible world exists solely as a manifestation of pure ideas”. This incorporation of ideas can also be seen in the writings of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, who became the first to use the term "transcendentalism." Philosophical investigations of his writings and the pure workings of the mind were extremely influential throughout Western culture during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially as they ascribe to American transcendentalism. Kant forecast that transcendental knowledge is limited because, as humans, we can understand only what we are capable of perceiving. If we cannot stick to certain principles than it is just because it is beyond our capacity. There are other German transcendentalists, with whom Emerson is closer in his thinking, elucidates Kant's reasoning. They argue that simply because we cannot perceive something does not mean that it does not exist. Emerson believes that the soul exists, but he also agrees that he cannot define what soul is, other than acknowledging when he senses it in himself or in another person. British romanticism also had an influence on Emerson and transcendentalism. Romantics such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge advocate the primacy of the individual over the community and foster a belief in the audacity of individual vision over the conventions and formalities of institutions.Both for romantics and......

Words: 9948 - Pages: 40