|Home > History & Historians > Emerson's "Transcendental" approach to History
| Ralph Waldo Emerson resigned as an Unitarian
minister in 1832 and subsequently tried to establish himself as a
lecturer and writer. His efforts in this direction included the
self-financed publication of a pamphlet entitled "Nature" in
1836. This essay, only five hundred copies of which were printed
(and these took some six years to be distributed), received
little initial notice but effectively articulated the
philosophical underpinnings of the subsequently widely
influential New England Transcendentalism movement.
In July 1838 Emerson caused considerable controversy through the content of an Address delivered to the senior class at Harvard College Divinity School. In this Address Emerson effectively attacked formal religion and encouraged people to seek an intuitive spiritual experience.
... the doors of the temple stand open, night and day, before every man, and the oracles of this truth cease never, it is guarded by one stern condition; this, namely; it is an intuition. It cannot be received at second hand. ...
Emerson's first substantial publication was a volume of Essays
that issued from the presses in 1841. There were twelve essays in
this volume the very first being one entitled "History".
"There is one mind common to all individual men.
|Human Nature?||An Open Society?|
... with Emerson's call for a looking at facts as symbols it seems that we may hope to draw closer to an appreciation of Humanity's central and wide-related nature. Such an association is briefly attempted on our series of pages page that consider a rather dramatic episode in European History:-
|Spirituality & the wider world|
|Some Social Theory and insights|
|The Unfolding of History|
|The Vienna Declaration|
|Framework Convention on National minorities|
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays - History