Atmosphere and Religious Experience in American Transcendentalism

0

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist

Description

Atmosphere and Religious Experience in American Transcendentalism, Is A Well-Researched Topic, It Is To Be Used As A Guide Or Framework For Your Research.

Abstract

I propose a new intellectual history of how the aesthetic obtains religious value in the American literary tradition. According to the account that prevails from Perry Miller to Tracy Fessenden, the Transcendentalists collapse scripture and literature into a single secular category. I argue instead that the Transcendentalists redraw the distinction along
aesthetic criteria. A text’s sacred status has little to do with who wrote it when, and everything to do with a particular aesthetic quality expressive of divine inspiration. Scholarship has neglected two concepts instrumental to this development: the religious sentiment and
atmosphere. Unitarian and Calvinist norms held all religious practice to the test of scripture and empirical reason. The Transcendentalists found scripture too polyvocal, reason too limited, to ground religion. They championed an alternative standard: the religious sentiment, an intrinsic spiritual impulse. Like other impulses, the religious sentiment
compels expression and satisfaction, both of which proceed not only from devotional practices, but from divinely inspired literature as well. The second concept, atmosphere, develops primarily through Emerson’s essays and lectures to explain how the religious sentiment manifests in aesthetic form. Inspired literature is intensely atmospheric. And only intensely atmospheric literature can satisfy the religious sentiment. Ultimately, I hope to lay the methodological foundations necessary for a robust scholarly inquiry into atmospheric form among such twentieth-century poets as Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, and John Ashbery, all of whom continue to associate atmosphere with a heightened clarity of mind and depth of experience.

Table of Contents

Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………ii
Summary for Lay Audience………………………………………………………………iii
Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………………iv
Table of Contents………………………………………………………………..…….….vi
List of Appendices……………………………………………………………………….vii
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………..1
Interlude: “There’s a Certain Slant of Light,” by Emily Dickinson……………………. 37
Chapter 1. Jonathan Edwards and Liberal Secularity……………………………………43
Interlude: “Sea-Surface Full of Clouds,” by Wallace Stevens…………….……………..79
Chapter 2. The Religious Sentiment and Transcendentalist Secularity…………..….…..99
Interlude: “Kinderszenen,” by Jan Zwicky…………………….………………….……133
Chapter 3. The Concept of Atmosphere in Emerson……………….…………………..145
Interlude: “End,” by Jorie Graham……………………………………………………..186
Chapter 4. Walt Whitman’s Poetics of Atmosphere……………….……………………196
Conclusion: “Rain,” by John Ashbery……………………………….…………………237
Works Cited…………………………………………………………………………….262
Appendix………………………………………………………………………………..278

List of Appendices
Appendix A: Poems.

Brand

YourPastQuestions Brand

Additional information

Author

Thomas Sorensen

No of Chapters

4

No of Pages

291

Reference

YES

Format

PDF

Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.