Read e-book online American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions (Religion in PDF

By Arthur Versluis

ISBN-10: 0195076583

ISBN-13: 9780195076585

ISBN-10: 1423764773

ISBN-13: 9781423764779

The 1st significant research because the Thirties of the connection among American Transcendentalism and Asian religions, and the 1st complete paintings to incorporate post-Civil battle Transcendentalists like Samuel Johnson, this booklet is encyclopedic in scope. starting with the inception of Transcendentalist Orientalism in Europe, Versluis covers the total historical past of yankee Transcendentalism into the 20th century, and the profound impression of Orientalism at the movement--including its analogues and affects in international spiritual discussion. He examines what he calls "positive Orientalism," which acknowledges the price and perennial truths in Asian religions and cultures, not just within the writings of significant figures like Thoreau and Emerson, but additionally in modern renowned magazines. Versluis's exploration of the effect of Transcendentalism at the twentieth-century research of comparative religions has ramifications for the research of spiritual heritage, comparative faith, literature, politics, background, and paintings heritage.

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But like Hegel, many of the later Transcendentalists fell back on the notion of Christianity's superiority or of the inherent superiority of the West to the East (James Freeman Clarke in particular). Finally, Hegel stands more as an example and a predecessor for the Transcendentalists than as an influence, particularly in regard to their Orientalism. So far, we have seen the introduction into the West of some articles and translations from the Orient, chiefly by way of Sir William Jones and those few others who began to acquaint the West with the East, and we have seen the ways in which these translations and articles were assimilated by the German cultural stream, including the simple fascination of Herder and Goethe, the easy generalizations of Feuerbach regarding the active West and the passive East, the lauding of Vedanta and Hinduism with a correlate denigration of Buddhism as seen in Schlegel, the expectation of a more universal study of religion as seen in Schleiermacher, and the use of the Bhagavad Gita and, more generally, of Hinduism and Buddhism to support particular philosophical notions, as in Schopenhauer and Hegel.

And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.

But he like the Transcendentalists, also drew on the Eastern teachings and mythology with which he had had more substantive contact. Shelley began to learn about Eastern teachings and mythologies in 1809, when he read Southey's Thalaba and later The Curse of Kehama, about which he was inquiring before it was published, writing Stockdale on 2 December 1810: "When do you suppose Southey's Curse of Kehama will come out? "107 Many scholars have noted the Neoplatonic elements in the "Hymn," as these are readily evident, but not so many have observed that in this poem Neoplatonic and Hindu elements are intermingled.

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American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions (Religion in America) by Arthur Versluis

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