Romanticism /Transcendentalism. English III Mr. Stanberry. Romanticism.
What is Transcendentalism?
"Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the the early nineteenth century, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson."
"They (transcendentalists) were critics of their contemporary society for its unthinking conformity, and urged that each person find, in Emerson's words, “an original relation to the universe."
-Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
A break away from Calvinism
What is Calvinism?
- God has rule over all things through scripture, God, humanity, salvation, and the church.
John Calvin created Calvinism based on religious interpretation. He emphasized areas of "reformation."
Other notable transcendentalists
Henry David Thoreau
Amos Bronson Alcott
The Beliefs of Transcendentalism: God
Everything is a reflection of God.
- People are basically "good."
- People will still sin, but they will repent and do "good" the majority of the time.
- People are designed to be close to God.
- Nature, by design, is also close to God.
The Beliefs of Transcendentalism: Nature
Contemplating nature can allow you to transcend the real world and go to a higher, spiritual level.
- People can get closer to God without church.
- Nature is as close as you can get to God.
- Society (the opposition of Nature) keeps people from achieving this higher spiritual level.
The Beliefs of Transcendentalism: People
A person's instinct (intuition) can lead them to understand the depth of God's spirit.
- There is no social boundary. The ability to understand God is not limited based on social status.
- Based on the notion that people are basically "good," instinct or intuition can help people know God.
The Beliefs of Transcendentalism: Tradition / Society
Individualism and self-reliance are better than following others or conforming to tradition.
- People will make the right choices when given the chance.
- The use of Government is not needed.
- People should be urged to question authority and challenge society.
- Materialism is not good. People should not be dependent of money or things.
The Beliefs of Transcendentalism: Knowledge / Understanding
A person's true feelings and instincts are more valuable than book knowledge.
- The "average" person can make this connection with God.
- Social status and education becomes irrelevant.
- People will be trusted to do and feel good things.