“Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1883), “the Concord Sage,” was a lecturer and essayist, who became the preeminent exponent of Transcendentalism. After studies at Harvard Divinity School he became a Congregational minister, but eventually resigned, judging, “This mode of commemorating Christ is not suitable to me.” Strongly influenced by Indian philosophy and religion, he believed that we can receive divine truth through nature.
Though he is considered one of the most significant intellectual figures in American history, this volume offers a fresh perspective by highlighting his extensive writings on spiritual themes. Like his friend Henry David Thoreau, Emerson is one of those who might have described himself as “spiritual, not religious,” thus speaking directly to a generation of contemporary seekers.
Jon M. Sweeney, editorial director of Franciscan Media, is a scholar, author, and culture critic with a wide range of interests. His many books include The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation, and Francis of Assisi in His Own Words. For the Modern Spiritual Masters Series he has edited Phyllis Tickle: Essential Spiritual Writings.
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