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Ralph Waldo Emerson biography New England Transcendentalism Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in May as the fourth child in a family of eight and brought up in a family atmosphere supportive of hard work, moral discipline, and wholesome self-sacrifice. Seven of his ancestors were ministers, and his father, William Emerson, was minister of the First Church Unitarian of Boston. In Emerson graduated, at the age of 18, from Harvard where he had proved to be a popular, rather than a brilliant, student.

Over the next three years he taught school in Boston in association with his brother William. This mode of life was, however, unsatisfactory to him and, feeling a spiritual calling, he entered Harvard Divinity School in with the view of becoming a minister. In October of the next year he was "approbated to preach" by the Middlesex Association of Ministers. Despite ill health which necessitated a period of recuperation in South Carolina and Florida Emerson became established as an occasional preacher of sermons in churches in the Boston area.

That same year September he married a delicate eighteen year old beauty named Ellen Louisa Tucker. This marriage seems to have been very much a love-match but Ellen Louisa unfortunately died of Tuberculosis in February Emerson, descendant of a long-continued multi-generational family tradition of service as Christian ministry did not take this step of resignation lightly.

An examination of the immediate background to this potentially dramatically life-altering change may well throw much light on the Essence of Emerson as an individual Human Being. In his private journals over a few short weeks in the summer of Emerson inscribed such passages as these: The profession is antiquated. In an altered age, we worship in the dead forms of our forefathers.

Were not a Socratic paganism better than an effete superannuated Christianity? What is the message that is given me to communicate next Sunday? It is a life. It is not something else to be got, to be added, but is new life of those faculties you have.

It is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, it is to be humble. July 6, I would think - I would feel. The hour of decision. It seems not worth while for them who charge others with exalting forms above the moon to fear forms themselves with extravagant dislike. Let me not bury my talent in the earth in my indignation at this windmill. I will not, because we may not all think alike of the means, fight so strenuously against the means, as to miss the end which we all value alike.

I think Jesus did not mean to institute a perpetual celebration, but that a commemoration of him would be useful. Others think that Jesus did establish this one. The most desperate of scoundrels have been the over refiners. Without accommodation society is impracticable. July 14, And in concluding a sermon delivered to the congregation on 9 September, , at the time of his resignation Emerson said: It has many duties for which I am feebly qualified. It has some which it will always be my delight to discharge according to my ability, wherever I exist.

And whilst the recollection of its claims oppresses me with a sense of my unworthiness, I am consoled by the hope that no time and no change can deprive me of the satisfaction of pursuing and exercising its highest functions.

Cousin, Carlyle, Coleridge and Wordsworth had themselves been greatly influenced by the "Transcendentalism" of Immanuel Kant!!! Emerson arrived back in New York in October and a year later settled with his mother in Concord, Massachusetts and became active as a lecturer in Boston.

His addresses including "The Philosophy of History," "Human Culture," "Human Life," and "The Present Age" were based on material in his Journals, a collection of observations and notes that he had begun while a student at Harvard.

In the autumn of Emerson married Lydia Jackson and the couple moved into a spacious house in Concord that Emerson had purchased. Lydia Jackson was something of an heiress owning a house in her home town of Plymouth. Emerson had been introduced as a growing child by a famously intellectually inclined maiden aunt, Mary Moody Emerson, to taking a great interest in the Neo-Platonists and also translations of the Sacred Books of the East.

He subsequently formed the habit of reading from the Hindu Bhagavad Gita every morning. Emerson himself admitted that he owed much to her influence.

It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs? Embosomed for a season in nature, whose floods of life stream around and through us, and invite us by the powers they supply, to action proportioned to nature, why should we grope among the dry bones of the past, or put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded wardrobe?

The sun shines to-day also. There is more wool and flax in the fields. There are new lands, new men, new thoughts. Let us demand our own works and laws and worship. Only five hundred copies were printed and these took some six years to be distributed. Transcendentalism began as a radical religious movement, opposed to the rationalist, conservative, institution that Unitarianism had become. The Transcendentalists assumed a universe divided into two essential parts, the soul and nature.

Emerson defined the soul by defining nature: A second address, commonly referred to as the "Address at Divinity College," delivered in July to the graduating class of Cambridge Divinity College, aroused considerable controversy because it attacked formal religion and argued for self-reliance and intuitive spiritual experience.

Here are some brief passages from the Divinity School Address: It cannot be received at second hand. In how many churches, by how many prophets, tell me, is man made sensible that he is an infinite Soul; that the earth and heavens are passing into his mind; that he is drinking forever the soul of God? In the interval between the publication of these two volumes, Emerson wrote for The Dial, the journal of New England Transcendentalism, which was founded in with Margaret Fuller later famous as a critic and feminist as editor.

Emerson succeeded her as editor in and remained in that capacity until the journal ceased publication in In his first volume of Poems was published. Emerson again went abroad from to and was welcomed by Carlyle. In May he made a brief trip to Paris then in the aftermath of the "Revolution of " before returning to give a course of lectures in England. While visiting abroad Emerson also gathered impressions that were later published in English Traits a study of English society.

His Journals give evidence of his growing interest in national issues and, on his return to America, he became more active in the abolitionist cause delivering many antislavery speeches. As early as Emerson had delivered an address in the Concord courthouse in celebration of the anniversary of the liberation of the British West India Island slaves. All of the Concord churches refused to open their doors to the convention, so Thoreau secured the court-house.

In Emerson was prominent in opposition to the enactment of the Fugitive Slave Law. When the Fugitive Slave Act was passed in , he referred to it as "this filthy enactment" and wrote in his journal, "I will not obey it, by God! Included in this volume of essays are "Power," "Wealth," "Fate," and "Culture.

After this time Emerson did little writing and his mental powers declined, although his reputation as a writer spread. His later works include Society and Solitude , which contained material he had been using on lecture tours; Parnassus , a collection of poems; Letters and Social Aims ; and Natural History of Intellect , Journals Emerson became something of a celebrity - "The Sage of Concord.

When his house caught fire in July neighbors rushed to his aid and succeeded in saving the books, manuscripts, and furniture. During the course of reconstruction Emerson and his daughter were prevailed upon to go abroad and visited England, France, Italy and Egypt. In May the Emersons were awarded a triumphal welcome back to Concord, and their rebuilt home, by the townspeople.

Ralph Waldo Emerson biography New England Transcendentalism Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in May as the fourth child in a family of eight and brought up in a family atmosphere supportive of hard work, moral discipline, and wholesome self-sacrifice. Buy products related to transcendentalism philosophy products and see what customers say about transcendentalism philosophy products on FREE DELIVERY possible on eligible purchases.

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