By Arthur Versluis
The 1st significant examine because the Thirties of the connection among American Transcendentalism and Asian religions, and the 1st accomplished paintings to incorporate post-Civil battle Transcendentalists like Samuel Johnson, this ebook is encyclopedic in scope. starting with the inception of Transcendentalist Orientalism in Europe, Versluis covers the whole background of yankee Transcendentalism into the 20th century, and the profound effect of Orientalism at the movement--including its analogues and impacts 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 in addition 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 historical past, comparative faith, literature, politics, background, and artwork historical past.
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Additional info for American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions (Religion in America)
Hegel (1770-1841) also drew from what he knew of the Orient— from Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism—and so included more detailed information than we might expect. At the same time, however, the Hegelian view of the Orient was rather like that of Christian missionaries: Hegel believed that the Eastern religions corresponded to a dead and past form that consciousness had left behind. We should keep in mind that Hegel's view of the East was very much a manifestation of a more general movement in Germany, a complex phenomenon to whose various components we can here only allude.
51 So it is no easy matter to place Hegel amid all this brouhaha, amid the accusations, assertions, and refutations that surrounded the introduction of Eastern texts into Europe. "52 As is usual in discussions of the Orient at this relatively early date in the exchange between East and West, Hegel's discussion is surprising for its wealth of terms and specific aspects of, in this case, Hinduism, and yet it also contains some rather dubious generalizations. 54 On the one hand, it is surprising that Hegel had the knowledge he did, and on the other hand, it is surprising that on such slim bases he should feel able to make such wide-ranging generalizations.
The English Romantics and the Orient Fair English Romanticism is an enormous topic, and here we shall only touch on those general aspects of Romanticism in connection with the Orient that will in turn figure in our discussion of American Transcendentalism. But even with this limitation, we need to consider the Orientalism or anti-Orientalism of Scott, Campbell, and Beckford, as well as that of Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth, Southey, and Coleridge, in order to understand the ways in which Emerson and Thoreau could later assimilate those Eastern teachings with which they had contact.
American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions (Religion in America) by Arthur Versluis