One of the greatest problems that readers of Emerson have is grasping his religious beliefs. We know that religion is important to him because every essay seems saturated with references to attaining a more perfect relationship with God. His emphasis on a universal soul flowing through individual souls can strike us as mystical and abstract, and, therefore, hard to grasp. The key to understanding his religious views lies in Unitarianism, a religious association that, to an outsider, might appear to be oddly non-religious. Not surprisingly, given Emerson's belief in the sanctity of individualism and his accepting Unitarian principles, this denomination is based fundamentally on an individual's private relationship with God — the God within each of us — and on the individual's personal judgment in matters of morals and ethics. Unitarianism denies that the God of Christianity can be identified as the three-person Trinity — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
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Early in his life, Emerson followed in the footsteps of his father and became minister, but this ended in when he felt he could no longer serve as a minister in good conscience. He experienced doubts about the Christian church and its doctrine. These reservations were temporarily alleviated by his brief association with Unitarianism, but soon Emerson became discontent with even their decidedly. In this essay, Ralph Waldo Emerson describes his view of an ideal education. What are its defining characteristics? I believe his defining characteristics on his view of an ideal education would have to include the motherly guidance way of education, the teachers working on each student individually and the teachers inspiring the students to think for themselves by giving them encouragement for their thoughts. As a final literature project, I felt it was most fitting and also most beneficial for myself, to do degree recap of the literature we read throughput this class; especially since some of the readings felt like they were easier to digest than others.
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Concerned initially with the stars and the world around us, the grandeur of nature, Emerson then turns his attention onto how we perceive objects. Emerson sees nature as an inspiration for people to grasp a deeper understanding of the spiritual world. Emerson begins his essay by observing the omnipresence of nature, which garners respect from the observer. However, nature always seems distant, indifferent.
At the time, women were barred from higher education, and scholarship was reserved exclusively for men. Emerson published the speech under its original title as a pamphlet later that same year and republished it in In , he included the essay in his book Essays, but changed its title to "The American Scholar" to enlarge his audience to all college students, as well as other individuals interested in American letters. The text begins with an introduction paragraphs in which Emerson explains that his intent is to explore the scholar as one function of the whole human being: The scholar is "Man Thinking.