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By Arthur Versluis

ISBN-10: 0195076583

ISBN-13: 9780195076585

ISBN-10: 1423764773

ISBN-13: 9781423764779

The 1st significant learn because the Nineteen Thirties of the connection among American Transcendentalism and Asian religions, and the 1st finished paintings to incorporate post-Civil warfare Transcendentalists like Samuel Johnson, this booklet is encyclopedic in scope. starting with the inception of Transcendentalist Orientalism in Europe, Versluis covers the full heritage of yankee Transcendentalism into the 20 th century, and the profound impression of Orientalism at the movement--including its analogues and affects in international spiritual discussion. He examines what he calls "positive Orientalism," which acknowledges the price and perennial truths in Asian religions and cultures, not just within the writings of significant figures like Thoreau and Emerson, but in addition in modern renowned magazines. Versluis's exploration of the influence of Transcendentalism at the twentieth-century examine of comparative religions has ramifications for the examine of non secular historical past, comparative faith, literature, politics, heritage, and paintings historical past.

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Coleridge, the editor of Byron's works, has pointed out, the lines from "The Giaour," which read The lonely Spider's thin gray pall Waves slowly widening o'er the wall; . . 89 But Byron's Orientalism remained mainly for exotic effect and was mostly limited to Islamic sources. "90 Indeed, Moore's descriptions of Radha, the "Amra flowers," and "Crishna" all derive from Jones, just as many of his poetical descriptions of India were taken directly from Jones's botanical essays, as J. P. 91 Though we have to alter spellings from time to time, Moore's poems in fact are filled with references from the East: we meet Kamadeva (Camdeva), the Heaven of Indra, Rama, Krishna (Crishna), and other figures.

Predecessors: The First Meetings of East and West 35 The reference just quoted is the only overt mention of the Orient in this poem, and I would not want, as some critics have, to emphasize Eastern mythology and teachings as if they were essential to reading Shelley. 114 In his reference to the "Indian isle," Shelley is drawing more on an exotic image—vampire bats in the evening sun—than making a profound reference to the Kali Yuga and Jambudvipa. But all the same, Shelley (always an omnivorous reader) was to some degree influenced by Eastern teachings and mythology.

119 As Raine pointed out here we can envision a paradisal Oriental realm (Eden being traditionally in the East) in which incense-laden trees and cedars grow, in which the Abyssinian maid sings of Mount Abora. 122 Wordsworth, and, for that matter, virtually all of the English poets we have discussed, are more a part of this older indirect contact with the Orient than of that new contact with the mythology and teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism begun by Sir William Jones. 123 But this neandros, this new man, was not to be found in the works of Southey, Moore, or Shelley, Coleridge, Wordsworth, or Byron.

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American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions (Religion in America) by Arthur Versluis


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