Henry David Thoreau

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"Only that day dawns to which we are awake."--Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) embodies classic features of the American spirit: nonconformity, the impulse to seek spiritual renewal in nature, and the will to stand firm by his convictions. Famous for his retreat to Walden Pond and "The Duty of Civil Disobedience" after spending a night in jail, Thoreau was a profoundly religious man while remaining unaffiliated with any organized church. He experienced mystical ecstasies in his youth; he followed an almost monastic discipline of contemplation; he explored Hinduism and Eastern religion which he integrated with his deep immersion in nature and his highly refined social conscience.

This anthology draws on Thoreau's voluminous journals, correspondence, and essays, including Walden and other key works providing readers new and old with the extraordinary depth and remarkable relevance of his spiritual thought.

Educator and writer Tim Flinders is author of Sacred Surround: The Thought and Spirituality of Thomas Berry and has edited John Muir: Spiritual Writings in the present series. He lectures on contemplative spirituality at the Sophia Center, Holy Names University in Oakland, CA, and is a research fellow at the Spirituality and Health Institute, Santa Clara University. 

Book Details

Henry David Thoreau
Spiritual and Prophetic Writings
Modern Spiritual Masters Series
Tim Flinders
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Henry David Thoreau Table of Contents 140 Kb
These works are powerful reflections of Thoreau's evolution and his spiritual sentiments, and are a top pick for any collection seeking a wider-ranging gathering of his more spiritual thoughts.
A sampling of [Thoreau's] astonishing spiritual depth and breadth has now been made available.... Arranged by theme, the volume is easy to dip into, yet equally satisfying if read in full. At times Thoreau is refreshingly witty -- such as when he records his stubborn refusal to be agreeable in "frivolous society," noting his resulting unpopularity. More importantly, though, the accord between his convictions and his lifestyle compels the reader to strive for the same.
Gives readers an impressive crosscut of Thoreau's spiritual and prophetic writings. Among our favorites are "Solitude and Silence," "All Good Things Are Wild," "Simple Living," "God Culminates in the Present Moment," and "Nature Never Makes Haste." Three of Thoreau's major essays are included in this paperback: "Life without Principle," "Civil Disobedience," and "Walking."
An introduction and brief notes are present, but for the most part Thoreau's journal entries, letters, essays, and contemplations are left to speak for themselves. A welcome addition to spirituality shelves, ... Especially wonderful to read while resting during or after a long nature walk.
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