Special Issue "Transcendentalism and the Religious Experience"
A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2017)
Dr. Daniel Koch
University of Oxford, OX1 3PA, UK
Phone: 44 7891 942540
Interests: education; history; languages and cultures
Perry Miller’s great anthology, The Transcendentalists (1950), refocused Transcendentalism as a religious phenomenon. But he looked mainly at doctrinal issues, arguing that in many ways Transcendentalism was a reaction against Unitarianism and a return to Puritan beliefs. Our issue, however, is particularly interested in expanding the range of what constituted the religious and spiritual “experience” (a term emphasized by William James) while including articles on both the more famous Transcendentalists and the lesser known ones. We also believe that the spiritual beliefs and voyages of those with whom Transcendentalists were in contact (most obviously, but certainly not exclusively Unitarians) would enrich the collection, as well as the inspiration of non-Western texts on key Transcendentalist intellectuals.
Focus: it will be in seeing the religious/spiritual component to Transcendentalism, which was a broad social and intellectual movement, encompassing not only religion, but social thought and activism, politics, experiments of communal living, and aesthetic interpretations.
Scope: it will welcome papers over the entire expanse of Transcendentalism, from the early 1830s to the 1870s. We encourage papers that broadly define “religion” and widen the canvas to include all spiritual experiences that may have influenced Transcendentalists or which help us contemporary readers appreciate Transcendentalism.
Purpose: to expand on the current interest in Transcendentalist religion as a diverse effort, including strong compatibility with many non-supernatural Eastern religions and with William James’s notion of the spiritual “experience.”
Since the 1980s, the emphasis in Transcendentalist studies has been on social history (especially on Transcendentalist participation in abolition and the women’s movement). More recently, there has been a recognition of the individual spiritual struggles of its members, and this collection would both enforce and enlarge the scope of that investigation.
Prof. Dr. Kenneth S. Sacks
Dr. Daniel Koch
Manuscript Submission Information
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- natural religion