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Religions 2018, 9(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9010012

‘Partakers of the Divine Nature’: Ripley’s Discourses and the Transcendental Annus Mirabilis

School of Writing, Literature, and Film, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2018 / Published: 5 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcendentalism and the Religious Experience)
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Abstract

In declaring 1836 the “Annus Mirabilis” of Transcendentalism, Perry Miller captured the emerging vitality of a new religious movement, described by Convers Francis as “the spiritual philosophy”. Francis first listed George Ripley’s Discourses on the Philosophy of Religion (1836) as a sign of the new movement. Ripley’s book, strongly influenced by William Ellery Channing’s sermon “Likeness to God” (1828), captured the metamorphosis of Transcendentalism from its Unitarian theological roots, and sheds light on the Transcendentalists’ theory of religious experience. Ripley presented Transcendentalism as the purist form of Christian theology. This new religious awareness enabled a realization of the divine “inner nature”, and described a religious life dedicated to the practice of spiritual self-cultivation. This new awareness brought with it “universal love”, and a vision of what it meant to partake of divinity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Transcendentalism; Unitarianism; spiritualism; self-culture; soul; Christian theology; George Ripley; William Ellery Channing; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Perry Miller; F. O. Matthiessen Transcendentalism; Unitarianism; spiritualism; self-culture; soul; Christian theology; George Ripley; William Ellery Channing; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Perry Miller; F. O. Matthiessen
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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Robinson, D.M. ‘Partakers of the Divine Nature’: Ripley’s Discourses and the Transcendental Annus Mirabilis. Religions 2018, 9, 12.

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