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Length:
73 pages
58 minutes
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 7, 2015
ISBN:
9786155564321
Format:
Book

Description

Ralph Waldo Emerson, was born at Boston in 1803 into a distinguished family of New England Unitarian ministers. His was the eighth generation to enter the ministry in a dynasty that reached back to the earliest days of Puritan America. Despite the death of his father when Emerson was only eleven, he was able to be educated at Boston Latin School and then Harvard, from which he graduated in 1821.



After several years of reluctant school teaching, he returned to the Harvard Divinity School, entering the Unitarian ministry during a period of robust ecclesiastic debate. By 1829 Emerson was married and well on his way to a promising career in the church through his appointment to an important congregation in Boston. However, his career in the ministry did not last long. Following the death of his first wife, Ellen, his private religious doubts led him to announce his resignation to his congregation, claiming he was unable to preach a doctrine he no longer believed and that "to be a good minister it was necessary to leave the ministry."
With the modest legacy left him from his first wife, Emerson was able to devote himself to study and travel. In Europe he met many of the important Romantic writers whose ideas on art, philosophy, and literature were transforming the writing of the Nineteenth Century. He also continued to explore his own ideas in a series of voluminous journals which he had kept from his earliest youth and from which virtually all of his literary creation would be generated. Taking up residence in Concord, Massachusetts, Emerson devoted himself to study, writing and a series of public lectures in the growing lyceum movement. From these lyceum addresses Emerson developed and then in 1836 published his most important work, Nature. Its publication also coincided with his organizing role in the Transcendental Club, a group of leading New England educators, clergy, and intellectuals interested in idealistic religion, philosophy, and literature.

Publisher:
Released:
Apr 7, 2015
ISBN:
9786155564321
Format:
Book

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Nature - R. Waldo Emerson

Table of Contents

Nature [Illustrated]

About Author: R. W. Emerson

Introduction

Chapter I: Nature

Chapter II: Commodity

Chapter III: Beauty

Chapter IV: Language

Chapter V: Discipline

Chapter VI: Idealism

Chapter VII: Spirit

Chapter VIII: Prospects

About Author: R. W. Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson, was born at Boston in 1803 into a distinguished family of New England Unitarian ministers. His was the eighth generation to enter the ministry in a dynasty that reached back to the earliest days of Puritan America. Despite the death of his father when Emerson was only eleven, he was able to be educated at Boston Latin School and then Harvard, from which he graduated in 1821.

After several years of reluctant school teaching, he returned to the Harvard Divinity School, entering the Unitarian ministry during a period of robust ecclesiastic debate. By 1829 Emerson was married and well on his way to a promising career in the church through his appointment to an important congregation in Boston. However, his career in the ministry did not last long. Following the death of his first wife, Ellen, his private religious doubts led him to announce his resignation to his congregation, claiming he was unable to preach a doctrine he no longer believed and that to be a good minister it was necessary to leave the ministry.

With the modest legacy left him from his first wife, Emerson was able to devote himself to study and travel. In Europe he met many of the important Romantic writers whose ideas on art, philosophy, and literature were transforming the writing of the Nineteenth Century. He also continued to explore his own ideas in a series of voluminous journals which he had kept from his earliest youth and from which virtually all of his literary creation would be generated. Taking up residence in Concord, Massachusetts, Emerson devoted himself to study, writing and a series of public lectures in the growing lyceum movement. From these lyceum addresses Emerson developed and then in 1836 published his most important work, Nature. Its publication also coincided with his organizing role in the Transcendental Club, a group of leading New England educators, clergy, and intellectuals interested in idealistic religion, philosophy, and literature.

The impact of Emerson's Nature was enormous, soon making it the manifesto of the growing movement of Transcendentalism. In its often seemingly random and loosely organized essays, Emerson articulated the core beliefs of the Transcendentalists: the unity of all things within the consciousness of an Over-Soul, the divinity within each human being, and the ability of the individual to transcend worldly reality through Nature. In its Introduction, he argued modern people accepted the world through the dead traditions of the past, but that through Nature man might enjoy an original relation to the universe. Ultimately, what Emerson proposed in the book was that what is conventionally thought of as religious salvation is achieved not through adherence to stiff doctrine, but through the immediacy of experience in life. Nature also established Emerson as America's leading intellectual, a role he was to fulfill for the rest of his life.

Over the next twenty years Emerson lectured widely and published a series of essays that articulated American views of art, philosophy, and literature including The American Scholar, Self-Reliance, The Over-Soul, The Poet, and Experience. In these essays, Emerson is credited with establishing an American literary Declaration of Independence complete with a philosophic framework that respected native notions of self-reliance, common sense, and democracy.

His ideas were not without controversy. For instance, invited to speak to the graduating class of the Harvard Divinity School in 1838, Emerson delivered an address which virtually ostracized him from the more conservative New England clergy, many of whom had until that time embraced him. In what is commonly called The Divinity School Address, Emerson challenged the notion that spiritual truth is received solely through Scripture. Instead, he insisted upon a return to original spiritual experience which could not be received second hand, and that the role of the ministry was to invest humanity with new hope and new revelation.

Emerson also became recognized as a major poet during this period, though his poetry is little more than versification of the ideas more directly stated in his prose works. His most popular poem is also among his earliest, Concord Hymn (1837) commemorating the shot heard round the world of the American Revolution. Many of his poems endure as significant contributions to

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