The Unitarians’ leading preacher, William Ellery Channing (1780–1842), portrayed orthodox Congregationalism as a religion of fear, and maintained that Jesus saved human beings from sin, not just from punishment.His sermon “Unitarian Christianity” (1819) denounced “the conspiracy of ages against the liberty of Christians” (P, 336) and helped give the Unitarian movement its name.They criticized government, organized religion, laws, social institutions, and creeping industrialization.
And they had faith that all would be well because humans could transcend limits and reach astonishing heights.
Emerson's Writings Many of Ralph Waldo Emerson's addresses, lectures, essays, and other writings are available on this website.
Other important transcendentalists were Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Lydia Maria Child, Amos Bronson Alcott, Frederic Henry Hedge, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, and Theodore Parker.
Stimulated by English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Herder and Schleiermacher, and the skepticism of Hume, the transcendentalists operated with the sense that a new era was at hand.
is a very formal word that describes a very simple idea.
People, men and women equally, have knowledge about themselves and the world around them that "transcends" or goes beyond what they can see, hear, taste, touch or feel.Simplify, simplify." – from Walden (1854), by Henry David Thoreau As a group, the transcendentalists led the celebration of the American experiment as one of individualism and self-reliance.They took progressive stands on women's rights, abolition, reform, and education.This knowledge comes through intuition and imagination not through logic or the senses.People can trust themselves to be their own authority on what is right. Their chief publication was a periodical called "The Dial," edited by Margaret Fuller, a political radical and feminist whose book "Women of the Nineteenth Century" was among the most famous of its time.In “Likeness to God” (1828) he proposed that human beings “partake” of Divinity and that they may achieve “a growing likeness to the Supreme Being” (T, 4).The Unitarians were “modern.” They attempted to reconcile Locke’s empiricism with Christianity by maintaining that the accounts of miracles in the Bible provide overwhelming evidence for the truth of religion.Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass introduced the "free verse" style of poetry, reflecting the individualistic tone of transcendentalism.This picture of Whitman with a butterfly appeared in the 1889 edition.The club had many extraordinary thinkers, but accorded the leadership position to Margaret Fuller played a large part in both the women's and Transcendentalist movements.She helped plan the community at Brook Farm, as well as editing The Dial, and writing the feminist treatise, Woman in the Nineteenth Century.," he urged Americans to stop looking to Europe for inspiration and imitation and be themselves.