Transcendentalists believed that spiritual understanding could be gained directly from God and that no mediator was required. They believed in idealism, emphasizing nature and opposed materialism. They also shared a commitment to social justice.
Transcendentalism began in America and was particularly strong among philosophers and poets there. It had two major influences: one philosophical and one religious.
The first influence was German idealism, especially Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling's work On the Nature of Human Freedom (1809). This idea that freedom can only be achieved through faith in something beyond human reason became known as "the faith in progress".
The second influence was Christianity. Many early Christians had been teachers who had held classes outside their churches on Sundays, so it was not unusual for Christians to look to them for inspiration. Christian mysticism is when a Christian tries to experience God directly rather than through rituals or intermediaries. Two important figures here are Saint Francis of Assisi and John Henry Newman. Both men experienced visions and conversations with Jesus Christ and both were highly influential within the transcendental movement.
So, Transcendentalism was a new way of thinking about spirituality.
Transcendentalism has its roots in early-nineteenth-century New England, where Unitarianism was born. Transcendentalism is still popular today and can be seen in everything from religious poetry to environmental activism.
Transcendentalists were not the only people interested in reaching beyond the world to find truth. Philosophers had been searching for ways to understand reality since Greek times. However, while most philosophers had accepted the existence of a God at some level, few had any intention of communicating with him/her.
The first known use of the term "transcendental" is in 1774, when Samuel Johnson described William Blake as a man "who has given up all thoughts of submitting his opinions to the judgment of others, and who dedicates himself entirely to the study of Truth alone." In the same year, John Wesley used the word in reference to faith in Jesus Christ which takes one's mind away from this world to God. In 1841, Henry David Thoreau wrote, "True religion consists in a conscious appreciation of what is best in our nature and desire after it. This gives us humility before God and fellow-men."
So yes, transcendentalism does believe in God.
The Transcendentalists were spiritual individuals who did not believe in organized religion. The Transcendentalists saw God as an essence manifested via metamorphosed nature, existing in the earth like a pleasant wind sublimed to delight all senses.
Nature, nonconformity, and individuality are central to its principles. In today's society, this shift is highly visible. Its concepts may be found in newspapers, TV shows, and commercials.
The Transcendentalists were spiritual individuals who did not believe in organized religion. The Transcendentalists saw God as an essence manifested via metamorphosed nature, existing in the earth like a pleasant wind sublimed to delight all senses. This idea of nature being divine was new at the time and had far-reaching implications.
They believed that humanity could reach beyond the limits of human experience by using its mind without reference to religion. These men and women were atheists in the modern sense of the word; they did not believe in God but they wanted to live their lives so that God could see what it is like for us to try to love him even though we cannot know him personally.
Transcendentalism was most popular in the United States between the years 1820 and 1840. Many famous people were influenced by transcendentalism including Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott.
Transcendentalism has many ideas that are important for today's society to understand: that humans can understand truth only through intuition rather than through reason alone, that everyone has a role in society regardless of class or position, and that humanity should strive to make the world a better place for others by working together rather than by fighting each other.
The Transcendentalists were spiritual but did not believe in organized religion. Instead of believing in religious people' divinity, they considered nature as holy and divine. They believed that every person has a soul which is immortal and will be reborn into another life, so there is no need for fear of death. Death was seen as a transition to another life rather than the end of existence.
Transcendentalism was most popular among young educated people in the 1820s-1840s. It was based on new ideas about science and philosophy that came from Europe after 1750. The two main figures behind transcendentalism are Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
Emerson was born in Boston in 1803. His father was a clergyman who moved the family to Concord, Massachusetts when Ralph was only nine years old. He had little interest in education and worked at a newspaper office during the day while studying literature and psychology at night. In 1835, he traveled to Italy where he experienced Italian music, art, and culture first-hand. When he returned home, he gave many lectures on European civilization from a moral standpoint.
Thoreau was born in 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts. His father was a wealthy farmer who died when Henry was only ten years old.
People might believe in themselves as their own authority on what is right. A transcendentalist is someone who accepts these notions as a means of understanding life interactions rather than as religious beliefs. He thought that humans were innately good and that everyone had boundless potential. Transcendentalists rejected traditional authority figures such as priests and teachers and believed that each individual was responsible for determining their own path in life.
William Ellery Channing (1772-1842) was an American Unitarian preacher, educator, and philosopher. Born into a wealthy Boston family, he was educated at Harvard University where he became interested in theology but later moved toward natural philosophy. He formed friendships with other young intellectuals who shared his interests, including George Ripley and Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1809, Channing delivered the sermon before which John Quincy Adams cast his vote for president. The following year, Emerson wrote about this speech in his journal: "I have never heard anything like it before or since. It was new then, and is new now. It was not said in anger or in contempt, but in the fervor of soul saying 'Yes!' to truth. It was the voice of a prophet without honor in his own country." After delivering this sermon, Channing withdrew from public life and spent most of his time writing. He died at the age of 63 after suffering several strokes.