In a sermon preached in the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica, California on November 11, 2001, the Reverend Judith E. Meyer argued that “Religious pluralism in America may well have begun in Mary Moody Emerson's parlor in Concord, Massachusetts. . . . She was the one who first introduced Ralph Waldo Emerson to the sacred scriptures of the East. And she remained throughout her life her acclaimed nephew’s spiritual director and support.”
Dr. Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale and energetic proselytizer for neo-Gnosticism, commends Emerson’s “Divinity School Address” of 1838 as the supreme “American vision of Christ.” Bloom describes what he calls the “American Religion” as “solitude, individuality and pragmatism of feelings, acts, and experiences rather than thoughts, desires, and memories.”
“That is always best which gives me to myself. . . . The Puritans in England and America . . . . Their creed is passing away, and none arises in its room. I think no man can go with his thoughts about him, into one of our churches, without feeling, that what hold the public worship had on men is gone, or going. It has lost its grasp on the affection of the good, and the fear of the bad. In the country, neighborhoods, half parishes are signing off. . . . It is already beginning to indicate character and religion to withdraw from the religious meetings. . . . Let me admonish you, first of all, to go alone. . . . Dare to love God without mediator or veil.”
“Jesus Christ belonged to the true race of prophets. He saw with open eye the mystery of the soul. Drawn by its severe harmony, ravished with its beauty, he lived in it, and had his being there. Alone in all history, he estimated the greatness of man. One man was true to what is in you and me. He saw that God incarnates himself in man, and evermore goes forth anew to take possession of his world. He said, in this jubilee of sublime emotion, 'I am divine. Through me, God acts; through me, speaks.' . . . But what a distortion [of] his doctrine and memory . . . [in] the following ages!”
Emerson’s vision clearly anticipates the resurgent paganism of the 21st century, what David Wells calls the convergence of resurgent paganism and primal spirituality.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Posted by Bradford Mercer at 10:06 AM