American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions

Hardcover | September 1, 1992

byArthur Versluis

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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 ofTranscendentalist 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 "positiveOrientalism," 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 ofcomparative religions has ramifications for the study of religious history, comparative religion, literature, politics, history, and art history.

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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 ofTranscendentalist Orientalism in Europe, Versluis covers ...

Arthur Versluis is at Washburn University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 9.49 × 6.5 × 1.22 inPublished:September 1, 1992Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195076583

ISBN - 13:9780195076585

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Transcendentalism and the Orient2. Predecessors: The First Meetings of East and WestThe German Tradition and the EastThe English Romantics and the Orient FairJoseph Priestley: Moses and the Hindoos3. Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, and the OrientEmerson's "Asia Mine"Thoreau Sauntering EastwardAlcott's Universal Bible4. The Dissenters: Melville and BrownsonMelville as GnosticOrestes Brownson and Tradition5. The Ambience: Orientalism in General-Interest American MagazinesThe Popular Climate West and EastConcluding Remarks6. Ambience and Embodiment of Transcendental DreamsConverting the WorldImages of America's Golden AgeTranscendental Dreams and Earthly Fiction7. Transcendentalist Periodicals and the OrientLiterary Religion and Social Reform: The Western Messenger, The Dial, The Present, The Harbinger, and The Spirit of the AgeThe Universal and the Particular: The Cincinnati Dial, The Radical, The Index, and the Journal of Speculative Philosophy8. Patterns in Literary Religion: The Orient and the Second Cycle of TranscendentalismBeginnings: Lydia Maria Child and The Progress of Religious IdeasUnitarian Transcendentalism: James Freeman Clarke and Elizabeth PeabodyUniversal Religion: John Weiss and Samuel JohnsonThe Sympathetic Universalism of William Rounseville AlgerOctavius Brooks Frothingham's Religion of Humanity and Moncure Conway's Anthropocentrism9. ConclusionDrawing Conclusions in the Drawing RoomArtists and AsiaPopular RamificationsThe Twentieth CenturyBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions is a significant contribution, providing an abundance of material to introduce students of literature and comparative religion as well as historians and political theorists to an important aspect of the thought of theTranscendentalists."--1650-1850:Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era