American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions

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Oxford University Press, Sep 16, 1993 - Religion - 368 pages
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The first major study since the 1930s of the relationship between American Transcendentalism and Asian religions, and the first comprehensive work to include post-Civil War Transcendentalists like Samuel Johnson, this book is encyclopedic in scope. Beginning with the inception of Transcendentalist Orientalism in Europe, Versluis covers the entire history of American Transcendentalism into the twentieth century, and the profound influence of Orientalism on the movement--including its analogues and influences in world religious dialogue. He examines what he calls "positive Orientalism," which recognizes the value and perennial truths in Asian religions and cultures, not only in the writings of major figures like Thoreau and Emerson, but also in contemporary popular magazines. Versluis's exploration of the impact of Transcendentalism on the twentieth-century study of comparative religions has ramifications for the study of religious history, comparative religion, literature, politics, history, and art history.
 

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Contents

Transcendentalism and the Orient
3
The First Meetings of East and West
16
3 Emerson Thoreau Alcott and the Orient
51
Melville and Brownson
119
Orientalism in GeneralInterest American Magazines
139
6 Ambience and Embodiment of Transcendental Dreams
172
7 Transcendentalist Periodicals and the Orient
184
The Orient and the Second Cycle of Transcendentalism
235
9 Conclusion
305
Bibliography
329
Index
351
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Page 14 - She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness and universal benevolence of mind, especially after this Great God has manifested Himself tc her mind. She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly; and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure, and no one knows for what. She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves and seems to have someone invisible always conversing with her.

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