Evolution Of Religion In America Essay

Length: 6 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Essay Paper: #19386729 Related Topics: Christopher Columbus, Evolution, Separation Of Church And State, Walt Whitman
Excerpt from Essay :

I know that the case you cite, of Dr. Drake, has been a common one. The religion-builders have so distorted and deformed the doctrines of Jesus, so muffled them in mysticisms, fancies and falsehoods, have caricatured them into forms so monstrous and inconceivable, as to shock reasonable thinkers, to revolt them against the whole, and drive them rashly to pronounce its Founder an impostor. Had there never been a commentator, there never would have been an infidel.... I have little doubt that the whole of our country will soon be rallied to the unity of the Creator, and, I hope, to the pure doctrines of Jesus also (Jefferson, 1854).

American Transcendentalism -- the transcendentalist movement was a group of new ideas in religion, literature, culture and philosophy that emerged in New England in the early to middle 19th century as a generalized protest against the general state of intellectualism and return to orthodoxy often noted in some of the nation's top schools like Harvard. In general, the movement believed more in spiritualism than organized religion, that the goal of humans was toward a spiritual state that literally transcended the physical and empirical world -- thus the path to enlightenment needed no intercession from organized religion or religious leaders, and was individually based on the human need for spiritual ascension (Gura, 2008).

Primary examples of this movement can be found in the 1836 Nature essay and subsequent 1837 speech to the Phi Beta Kappa Society by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

So shall we come to look at the world with new eyes. It shall answer the endless inquiry of the intellect, - What is truth? And of the affections -- What is good? By yielding itself passive to the educated Will… Build, therefore, your own world. As fast as you conform your life to the pure idea in your mind, that will unfold its great proportions. A correspondent revolution in things will attend the influx of the spirit (Emerson, 1837)

Spirituality becomes even more relevant for the later transcendentalists like Walt Whitman who, while using material from Christian sources, finds the concept of religion to be far more complex than the belief of one or two faiths even taken in congruence. Using Biblical allusions and innuendo, Whitman forms the very backbone and template of the idea of removing religion from spirituality, of individual communing with the process that is God, and of private and humanistic philosophical movement that will allow humans to reach their maximum spiritual potential. This is clear in his poem, Song of Myself:

1 - I celebrate myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,

I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my

...

The idea first of paganism, of polytheism and the worship of nature as the primary balance within the spiritual world; the use of one religion, Catholicism, to identify and justify the conquest of the new land; the rush to the new colonial world to establish a counter orthodoxy to Catholic European thought; the move towards a separation of church and state and a belief in humanism; finally to a movement that focused far more on spirituality and the path of the individual than staid and hierarchical concepts that resembles more the idea of the indigenous symbiosis of human and universe than any fundamental orthodoxy.

REFERENCES

Benedict, Ruth. (2007). Zuni Mythology. Martino Publishing.

Coffey, J. And P. Lim. (2008). The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism.

Cowley, G. (Fall/Winter 1991). "The Great Disease Migration." Newsweek. Cited in:

www.newsweek.com

Crosby, a. (1972). The Columbian Exchange. Greenwood Press.

Emerson, R.W. (1837). "The American Scholar." Ralph Waldo Emerson Texts.

Cited in: http://www.emersoncentral.com/amscholar.htm

Gaustad, E. (2001). Sworn on the Altar of God: A Religious Biography of Thomas

Jefferson. Eerdmans.

Gura, P.F. (2008). American Transcendentalism: A History. Hill & Wang.

Hefner, a. (July 2001). "Zuni Creation Myth." Encyclopedia Mythica. Cited in:

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/z/zuni_creation_myth.html

Jefferson, T. (1854). The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. VII. Taylor & Maury.

Cited in:

http://books.google.com/books?id=kNIcAQAAIAAJ&pg=PR1&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=3#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Las Casas, Bartolome' (1997). Apologetic History of the Indies. Columbia University

Press.

Mann, C. (2005). New Revelations of America Before Columbus. Knopf.

Mather, Cotton. (2008). "The Cotton Mather Home Page." The Hall of Church

History. Cited in: http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil//mather.htm

Powell, J. (2005). The First Americans; Race, Evolution, and the Origin of Native

Americans. Cambridge University Press.

Whitman, W. (n.d.). "Song of Myself." Poems of Whitman. Cited in:

http://www.daypoems.net/poems/1900.html

Sources Used in Documents:

REFERENCES

Benedict, Ruth. (2007). Zuni Mythology. Martino Publishing.

Coffey, J. And P. Lim. (2008). The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism.

Cowley, G. (Fall/Winter 1991). "The Great Disease Migration." Newsweek. Cited in:

www.newsweek.com
Cited in: http://www.emersoncentral.com/amscholar.htm
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/z/zuni_creation_myth.html
http://books.google.com/books?id=kNIcAQAAIAAJ&pg=PR1&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=3#v=onepage&q=&f=false
History. Cited in: http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil//mather.htm
http://www.daypoems.net/poems/1900.html


Cite this Document:

"Evolution Of Religion In America" (2010, February 20) Retrieved November 30, 2021, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/evolution-of-religion-in-america-14894

"Evolution Of Religion In America" 20 February 2010. Web.30 November. 2021. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/evolution-of-religion-in-america-14894>

"Evolution Of Religion In America", 20 February 2010, Accessed.30 November. 2021,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/evolution-of-religion-in-america-14894

Related Documents
Religion and Science Are Often
Words: 2242 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 98794853

The question should also be specific enough that there would not be a large number of sub-questions that would have to be answered first or that might alter the value of the central question. At the same time, if the question were too narrow, then the researcher might find that it ruled out other possibilities that might emerge. The question also must generate data that tests the hypothesis, and

Evolution of Constitutional Law the
Words: 2266 Length: 8 Pages Topic: American History Paper #: 5976757

" (Sage, 1) This is a matter of its emergent identity, which echoed so many of the trespasses of the British Crown. Indeed, we can see that in its vying for independence, the United States would still demonstrate in some ways its immediate cultural relationship to Europe while explicitly seeking an evolution in the terms surrounding this culture. Most certainly, the manner of treatment to which Native American inhabitants were subjected

Religion Has Been on the
Words: 1397 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Evolution Paper #: 61192084

Glynn concludes that fundamentalists exist not only in the Creationism Camp, but in the Evolutionism camp as well, regretting the unfortunate irony that Evolutionism Fundamentalists are attempting to suffocate constructive dialogue in much the same way Catholic Priests did in the past. e. Thomas Demere and Steve Walsh -- Creationism Should Not Be Taught In Public Schools Demere and Walsh argue that teaching a non-disprovable theory like Creationism would further weaken

Religion Is Truly a Lived Experience. In
Words: 3309 Length: 12 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 35208288

Religion is truly a lived experience. In today's volatile world, with world events hinging on various interpretations of religious texts perhaps more than in any other time in human history save, perhaps, during the Crusades, humanity is increasingly aware that religion is not a stoic object of study. Rather, it is a living breathing force in which we live and which inhabits us, whether we seek it or not. Robert Orsi's

Religion/Israel L. Jones Role of
Words: 2790 Length: 9 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 52405505

However, prior to the creation of Israel the numbers were much higher (currently approximately 300,000 Palestinian Christians live in the U.S. alone (2004). Interestingly, the Israeli Army does not differentiate between Arab Christians and Arab Muslims in their occupation activities. In fact, in many areas Palestinian Christians are particularly hit by civilian casualty occurrences (Halter, 2001). In fact, Palestinian Christians identify so strongly with the Palestinian cause that statements

Religion the New Human Potential
Words: 1267 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 14434348

In fact the aims of theosophy when it was founded was to "form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, or color," and also "to promote the study of Aryan and other Eastern literature, religions, and sciences," and also "to investigate the hidden mysteries of nature." (Prothero 197). New Human Potential Movement members have written books but none have penned a book that