Reformation Leads to Self-Reliance: The Protestantism of Transcendentalism
Author(s)Rachel B. Griffis
Religions. Mythology. Rationalism
Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
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AbstractThis article examines connections between the Protestant Reformation and American literature and argues that Protestantism’s best expression exists in contemporary iterations of self-reliance. The first part focuses on William Ellery Channing’s and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s literary criticism of John Milton, a poet who represents the Protestant ideals these writers combine with American principles to develop the literary tradition. The second part discusses the trajectory of American literature in the nineteenth century and extends this discussion to current assumptions regarding teaching and learning.