Henry David Thoreau : A Transcendentalist

1438 Words May 13th, 2015 6 Pages
Henry David Thoreau: A Transcendentalist Religion and politics are perhaps the most important topics of discussion, and paradoxically, the ones least discussed. Our differences cause us to shy away from such depth in our conversations with others and it is a remarkable human being who can share her opinion honestly on the subjects, and even more so, transcend the current popular opinions of the time. Henry David Thoreau was a man such as this. He spoke out against an unjust society and challenged the comforts and distractions that society has become so accustomed to. He preached simplicity in daily life and peace in protest. His words of wisdom have influenced many great leaders since. Thoreau’s call for social reform, individualistic qualities, love of nature, emphasis on reading and intellectual growth, and quest for truth within are at the heart of his legacy and an inspiration to those drawn to transcendentalism today. Henry David Thoreau was born and died in Concord, Massachusetts. At the time of his birth in 1817, Rev. Ezra Ripley was the ordained minister of Concord (Shattuck, pg. 192) and Christianity in Concord was still growing and refining from its first organization in the year 1636 (Shattuck, pg. 148). It was during this period that a movement known as the Second Great Awakening occurred in America, producing popularity with Baptist and Methodist churches in the 1820s. Between 1833 and 1837, Thoreau studied at Harvard then returned to Concord to teach with…
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