How Emerson And His Ideas Were Influenced The Weakening Of Traditional Christianity During The Nineteenth Century

1697 Words Jul 1st, 2016 7 Pages
1. Comment on the charge that Emerson and his ideas were a factor in the weakening of traditional Christianity in the nineteenth century.
Religiously devout Christians regarded his early works as “the latest form of infidelity” due to his transcendental viewpoint and his belief in nature as an “image in which humans can perceive the divine.” Emerson believed in individualism and the idea that “nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” Emerson’s belief in individual authority taught that validity came from within a person and that the individual had ultimate authority, not establish institutions such as religion; He focused on the idea that religion thwarted individual advancements.
2. Can Emerson accurately be called a pantheist? Did his radical transcendentalism, with its emphasis on God in nature, obliterate the historical Christian distinction between the moral and the natural?
I believe that Emerson can accurately be called somewhat of a pantheist due to his belief that “an all-loving and all-pervading god whose presence in people made them divine and assured their salvation.” Over the years, his viewpoint changed from his traditional Unitarian Christian faith towards a more transcendental viewpoint that was a mixture of “Unitarianism, Puritanism, and the teachings of European romanticism.” I believe that his radical transcendentalism did tear apart the traditional Christian distinctions between the moral and the natural due to Emerson’s…
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