The first collection of Emerson's spiritual writings, published for the 200th anniversary of the writer's birth
Matthew Arnold once described Ralph Waldo Emerson as "the friend and aider of all those who would live in the spirit." Arnold's comment captured the impact that Emerson had as a teacher of a new form of spirituality in the
nineteenth century. Emerson proposed a new religious vision that made the spiritual life freshly accessible to people.
In our current era, Emerson continues to speak with a compelling voice. Known best in the twenty-first century as a literary innovator and early architect of American intellectual culture, Emerson's writings still offer spiritual sustenance to the thoughtful reader. The Spiritual Emerson brings together the essays and lectures that best articulate Emerson's spiritual
vision, and promise the greatest relevance to today's reader. Compiled and introduced by David M. Robinson, one of the leading authorities on Emerson, The Spiritual Emerson will be both a portrait of Emerson as a spiritual
teacher and a sourcebook for all those who find his ideas and convictions useful in their own efforts to live in the spirit.
"This collection brings together for the first time Emerson's most important writings on spiritual themes, along with a discerning and eminently readable introduction by one of the foremost authorities on Emerson's religious thought."
--Lawrence Buell, Harvard University, author of LITERARY TRANSCENDENTALISM and EMERSON
"Simply the best selection ever made from the spiritual writings of America's most influential sage. Combining familiar essays with the oft-neglected, from both the early and the later Emerson, Robinson reveals the paradoxes that shaped one soul then and continue to shape many today. For all who still care for the soul, essential reading."
--John Buehrens, author of UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE
"THE SPIRITUAL EMERSON is a superb and timely collection, one that will help to elucidate and consolidate our understanding of Emerson's spirituality on the occasion of his 200th birthday celebration. Accessibly framed and introduced by David Robinson, our premier scholar of the religious context and character of Emersonian Transcendentalism, this elegantly appointed volume will help open the way to a fuller understanding of the heart of Emerson's thought. Drawn together chronologically from every period of Emerson's long and productive career, the essays contained here provide a sound basis for a better understanding of the life-long evolution of his religious and moral philosophy."
--Alan Hodder, Hampshire College
"David Robinson is our leading interpreter of the later Emerson's pragmatic turn toward an 'ever greater conviction that ethical action [is] not a by-product of religious belief, but the very core of religion itself.' Robinson has for years been calling attention to Emerson as a
religious figure, not just a literary or philosophical one. Now he has, in THE SPIRITUAL EMERSON, provided us with a guided anthology that takes the reader through Emerson's own spiritual evolution. Robinson's Emerson is an urgent seeker, outspoken, socially committed and publically responsible. Robinson's Emerson is a person we can--and should-- be learning from. Robinson is persuasive in his belief that Emersonianism is--especially now--a live option for us."
--Robert D. Richardson, author of Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind and Emerson: The Mind on Fire
David M. Robinson is a leading authority on Emerson and the New England transcendentalist movement. He is the author of numerous books, including Emerson and the Conduct of Life, The Unitarians and the Universalists, and
Apostle of Culture: Emerson as Preacher and Lecturer. He is Oregon Professor of English and head of the American studies program at Oregon
State University, in Corvallis.