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Religions 2017, 8(4), 75; doi:10.3390/rel8040075

That Which Was Ecstasy Shall Become Daily Bread

Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, 719 Daylily Lane, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, USA
Academic Editors: Daniel Koch and Kenneth S. Sacks
Received: 26 January 2017 / Revised: 31 March 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 24 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcendentalism and the Religious Experience)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [211 KB, uploaded 24 April 2017]

Abstract

This paper attempts to answer three questions: (1) Was Emerson a mystic? (2) If so, what is the nature of his mysticism? (3) How has his understanding of mysticism influenced by Unitarian theology and spiritual practice? In doing so, it draws upon historical and contemporary studies of mysticism and mystical experience, including those of William James, Leigh Eric Schmidt, and Bernard McGinn among others; the writings of Emerson, including his essays, lectures, and journals, and, finally, the testimonies of his contemporaries and succeeding generations of Unitarian religious leaders. Answering the first question in the affirmative, the paper examines Emerson’s understanding of mysticism as a departure from a devotional form of mysticism focused on relationship with a personalized deity and toward a naturalistic, transpersonal type of mysticism, and traces its influence within the context of Unitarian history. View Full-Text
Keywords: mysticism; experience; Emerson; Transcendentalism; Unitarianism mysticism; experience; Emerson; Transcendentalism; Unitarianism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Andrews, B.M. That Which Was Ecstasy Shall Become Daily Bread. Religions 2017, 8, 75.

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