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Religions 2017, 8(9), 163; doi:10.3390/rel8090163

Christian Conversion, the Double Consciousness, and Transcendentalist Religious Rhetoric

Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies, Hampshire College, 893 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002, USA
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcendentalism and the Religious Experience)
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Abstract

Despite the theological gulf that separated the Transcendentalists from their Puritan predecessors, certain leading Transcendentalists—Emerson, Fuller, and Thoreau among them—often punctuated their writings, published and private, with literary representations of dramatic episodes of spiritual awakening whose rhetorical structure sometimes betrays suggestive parallels with traditional, recognizably Christian, forms of conversion rhetoric. While all of these Transcendentalists clearly showcase representations of dramatic religious experience in their work, this reliance on Christian rhetorical patterns is most obvious in the early writings of Emerson and Fuller. Thoreau’s constructions reflect little ostensible Christian influence, yet even here, thematic continuities with earlier forms of religious self-expression are discernible. View Full-Text
Keywords: Transcendentalism; religious experience; religious rhetoric; William James; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Jones Very; Margaret Fuller; Henry David Thoreau Transcendentalism; religious experience; religious rhetoric; William James; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Jones Very; Margaret Fuller; Henry David Thoreau
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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Hodder, A. Christian Conversion, the Double Consciousness, and Transcendentalist Religious Rhetoric. Religions 2017, 8, 163.

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