cover of book

American Sage: The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson
by Barry M. Andrews
University of Massachusetts Press, 2021
eISBN: 978-1-61376-883-9 | Paper: 978-1-62534-607-0 | Cloth: 978-1-62534-606-3
Library of Congress Classification PS1642.R4
Dewey Decimal Classification 814.3

Even during his lifetime, Ralph Waldo Emerson was called the Sage of Concord, a fitting title for this leader of the American Transcendentalist movement. Everything that Emerson said and wrote directly addressed the conduct of life, and in his view, spiritual truth and understanding were the essence of religion. Unsurprisingly, he sought to rescue spirituality from decay, eschewing dry preaching and rote rituals.

Unitarian minister Barry M. Andrews has spent years studying Emerson, finding wisdom and guidance in his teachings and practices, and witnessing how the spiritual lives of others are enriched when they grasp the many meanings in his work. In American Sage, Andrews explores Emerson's writings, including his journals and letters, and makes them accessible to today's spiritual seekers. Written in everyday language and based on scholarship grounded in historical detail, this enlightening book considers the nineteenth-century religious and intellectual crosscurrents that shaped Emerson's worldview to reveal how his spiritual teachings remain timeless and modern, universal and uniquely American.
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