Ralph Waldo Emerson's work is often treated as either part of the ongoing secularization of American culture or marking the emergence of a distinct form of spirituality. In both cases, he is treated as presenting a newness which stands at some remove from religion. This article offers a different paradigm for reading Emerson's religion, one that accepts with Emerson that “religion” is a continually evolving concept that must bring together religious tradition with religious innovation. This article offers a reading of his religious thought by focusing on three themes: the moral sentiment, the Divine, and the religious life.
Emerson's Transcendentalism of Common Life
Nicholas Friesner is a PhD candidate in religion and critical thought in the Religious Studies Department at Brown University. He works in the fields of American religious thought, religious ethics, and philosophy of religion, particularly on the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Nicholas Friesner; Emerson's Transcendentalism of Common Life. Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal 1 May 2017; 100 (2): 143–168. doi: https://doi.org/10.5325/soundings.100.2.0143
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