By Arthur Versluis
The 1st significant examine because the Nineteen Thirties of the connection among American Transcendentalism and Asian religions, and the 1st entire paintings to incorporate post-Civil battle Transcendentalists like Samuel Johnson, this e-book is encyclopedic in scope. starting with the inception of Transcendentalist Orientalism in Europe, Versluis covers the full background of yank Transcendentalism into the 20th century, and the profound impact of Orientalism at the movement--including its analogues and affects in global non secular 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 influence of Transcendentalism at the twentieth-century learn of comparative religions has ramifications for the learn of non secular background, comparative faith, literature, politics, background, and paintings heritage.
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Extra info for American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions (Religion in America)
127 The word "fair" here is rather ambiguous, but in any event, we know precisely where Priestley stands. He continues by drawing on the testimony of a Dr. Andrew Ross, who finds that Christians are "better people than the Mahometans or the Hindoos. . "129 This is not exactly what one might call a "fair comparison," but it is indicative of prevailing missionary rhetoric even into the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, an indication also, therefore, of just how radical a shift in perspective the Emersonian Transcendentalist sympathy toward the Orient represented.
But the East always retained in their work an air of the exotic; it was not so much assimilated as deployed in the way that one might use exotic jewelry. It made fine decorations under certain circumstances. But for that neandros, that vision of a new man, reborn, one must turn to Emerson and the Transcendentalists. In them we see for the first time a serious attempt at conjoining Asian philosophical and religious teachings in Hinduism and Buddhism, and Western thought. To see how this was so, we must turn first to the reasons that Emerson and the other Transcendentalists were attracted to the Orient.
It is evidently a refinement on something more simple, and this appears to me to have been the system of the Sammanes. . " Yet he admits that in every respect the Hindoo nation appears to much greater advantage. With them we find the rudiments, and more than the rudiments, of most of the arts and sciences, especially that of astronomy, of which most other nations were wholly ignorant. 145 How one can logically affirm the superiority of Judaism over Hinduism and yet acknowledge the Hindu nation is superior in every respect one can hardly imagine.
American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions (Religion in America) by Arthur Versluis